The Paradigm of Game System Building

Hartmut Koenitz, Mirjam Palosaari Eladhari


In this article, we posit ‘game system building’ as a paradigm for game design. Inspired by earlier perspectives on cybernetic art, and current practices in game development and education, we consider the creation of dynamic game systems as a creativeartistic practice where the consideration of complex and often unpredictable behavior and effects are as foundational as the individual elements (rules, graphics, characters, UI etc.) of a game. The paradigm of ‘game system building’ has important implications for the education of designers and games scholars. In this article, we introduce the paradigm and its lineage, and propose an educational approach that reflects ‘game system building’.


game systems; game system building; artistic practice; pedagogy; education; cybernetics; complex systems

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Published by the Digital Games Research Association.