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Gamifying Kindness: Toward a Praxis of the Ephemeral

  • Schänzel, Demi
  • Taylor-Giles, Leanne C.
  • Turner, Jane
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive


In this chapter we focus on the potential for emergent narratives beyond the traditional hero’s journey, and the use of kindness as a design parameter to foster a more contemplative player experience. By closely examining video games through the implied values of their central mechanics, rather than purely through their accumulative aesthetic qualities, we demonstrate that it is possible to analyze how alternative methods of game design can lead to formative and otherwise undiscovered modes of play, more profound and reflective emergent narratives, and an allowance for softer systematic behaviours that remain respectful of the player’s own intrinsic motivations. Through analyzing a collection of kindness-orientated games, we explore how it’s possible to imbue a game with an intrinsic sense of kindness through a careful selection of game mechanics and the accumulative atmosphere of a game’s space, where what is left on the cutting-room floor remains just as critical as what remains.

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