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Recent Publications: [Print]

Ethics and Game Design Volume 2

Critical Gameplay: Design Techniques and Case Studies, Designing Games for Ethics: Models, Techniques and Frameworks, [view in Safari Books]

"Abstract:This chapter introduces critical gameplay design as a technique for creating digital games that offer alternative play. Critical gameplay provides the opportunity to explore game ethics through the way games are designed to be played. Since game designers outline the rules of play, game designs outline designer’s definitions of what is ethical and important. Taking the notion that design is a reflection of the designer’s values, this chapter outlines methodologies for exposing the intrinsic values in play and creating gameplay models from alternative ethics and values. The chapter concludes with examples of critical gameplay games that have been demonstrated to international audience."


Handbook of Research on Computational Arts and Creative Informatics

The Philosophies of Software,Handbook of Research on Computational Arts and Creative Informatics
[view on Google Books or read an earlier draft]
"Abstract: Software is philosophical. Software is designed by people who have been influenced by a specific understanding of the way objects, people and systems work. These concepts are then transferred to the user, who manipulates that software within the rules set forth by the software developer.  The use of these rules by the designer reinforces an understanding of the world that is emphasized by the software they use.  The designer then produces works that mimic these same philosophies instead of departing from them.  The three axis of these philosophies are analogy, reductivism, and transferred agency. . ."

View draft of Philsophies of Software Chapter in PDF format


The Challenge of Enculturation in the Arts,Handbook of Research on Computational Arts and Creative Informatics, IGI Global Press [view on Google Books or read an earlier draft]
"Abstract: Enculturation is the act of passing cultural ideologies from one person to the other... in the tradition of anthropological and sociological study of existing culture, this chapter seeks to illuminate the distinguishing characteristics of contemporary art production and offer perspective on the critical creative process. It takes new media art as its case study because it serves as a cross-cultural intersection of scientific invention and artistic innovation."

View draft of Chapter in PDF format

International Journal of the Humanities


Studying the Philosophy of Software: A Framework for Examining How Digital Design Affects the Arts, the International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp.279-286


Recent Publications: [Online]
Game Career Guide Cover

Truly Independent Game Development: A Case For Making Games By Yourself, Game Career Guide, August 2009 (monthly feature series)
"For years the industry has focused on the increasing size of development teams. It is both a blessing and a hassle. Teams grow; the quality of games increase. Teams grow; the complexity and investment in each game increases too . . . A brief examination of some of the advantages of truly independent development may prove a plausible approach to building specific types of outlier games. What is a truly independent developer? One person designing and building a game."

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Winning: A Guide to Finding Game Competitions for Independent Developers and Students, Game Career Guide, September 2009 (monthly feature series)
"There are few things in the world of independent game development that catapult a game from obscurity to the imperative conscious of game players like winning a competition. Although the benefits vary widely, submitting a game to competitions and conferences has become an integral part of promoting independent games. Like the world of independent films, game contests and conferences offer access to distinct and diverse audiences. This article is designed to provide a topographical view of the universe of game competitions for anyone looking to put their independent game in front of a critical audience."

Educational Fantasy, Game Career Guide, October 2009
"I was reading Chris Crawford's book Art of Computer Game Design, and I came to his point about games and fantasy. In short, he reminds us that part of the appeal in games is their relationship to fantasy. It is not so much that every game needs to involve some mystical orb or sacred sword, but that games appeal to us when they release us from the ordinary experiences of everyday life."

Nonlinear Narrative in Games: Theory and Practice, Game Career Guide, August 2010
with Ben McIntosh and Randi Cohn

"When it comes to writing for video games, there are a few decisions that need to be made before you even begin brainstorming about plot points, characters, or dialogue. Even if the genre and style has been determined, there is a bigger question about the story that must be answered: Will this be a linear or nonlinear narrative?"

Selected Conference Papers

User Testing of a Language Learning Game for Mandarin Chinese (with Dr. Jeannie Duchere and Dr. Martha Castenada). 30th international Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (2012)

Abstract: Polyglot Cubed is an educational game to facilitate the learning of multiple languages. The game is an implementation of contemporary theories in motivation, education and entertainment. This document provides the results from a formal user evaluation of the game. Results indicate favorable interest in the game as a tool for learning Mandarin Chinese.

Critical Gameplay ACM Download: ACE2009

Player Performance and in Game Advertising Retention (with Dr. James Coyle). 8th international Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology ( 2011).

Abstract: In game advertising or IGA is an increasingly common means of promoting brands and products. This study seeks to understand the effectiveness of in game advertising by understanding player retention of brand messages. The researchers created a controlled environment and 3D car racing game, embedding in game advertising and measuring player performance and advertising retention. The study produces a highly detailed view of the relationship of brand retention, player ability, and engagement.

Critical Gameplay ACM Download: ACE2009

Discomfort Design: Critical Reflection through Uncomfortable Play, 17th International Symposium on Electronic Art(2011)

Abstract: Consider that uncomfortable moment in life when people discover a playful experience ceases to be worth playing. Just as an arm is broken on the playground, or a relationship can no longer be mended, there are explicit moments when art transgresses some unforeseen territory leaving us with fear of its potential. This paper explores the potential of taboo game design.

The Challenge of Enculturation in the Arts by Lindsay Grace (excerpt)

Understanding the Art Practice of Critical Gameplay Design, 17th International Symposium on Electronic Art(2011)

Abstract: The paper explores the recent growth in critical gameplay, an application of critical design to the production of computer games. This paper outlines play pedagogy and game rhetoric, relating critical design practices to the creation of computer games. It attempts to explain the art practice of critical game design, providing a brief digital game history and identifying prominent creative works in this relatively new space.


The Poetics of Game Design, Rhetoric and the Independent Game. 5th international conference of the Digital Research Association (DIGRA) - 2011

Abstract: This paper approaches the question about games as art from a fundamentally different perspective. Instead of asking questions of visual aesthetics and pursuing analogies to film or commercial arts, it demonstrates an even clearer analogy to poetic forms. Allying common practices in independent games in particular, this paper serves as an illustrative demonstration of the poetics of game design, emphasizing the poetic properties of independent game designs. It frames game design in terms of the rhetorical devices used to create an experience. Such framing is useful to independent game designers, developers of persuasive and critical gameplay, and archivists seeking an effective way to catalog digital games that is driven by structure instead of subject or play mechanic.

Critical Gameplay ACM Download: ACE2009

An Algorithm for Visual Music: Third International Conferences on Advances in Computer-Human Interactions,
Abstract: This research proposes a method for producing music via visual composition in a computer-game like environment. This is accomplished through the development of artificial intelligence software that applies the visual rules of standard emergent behaviors to the algorithmic arrangement of musical tones. This research presents the proposed system, defining the algorithm and demonstrating its implementation [PDF]

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Games as Teachers, 7th Annual International Digital Media and Art Association Conference (IDMAa), Ball State University, 2009

Abstract: This paper seeks to outline a set of fundamental observations about the instructive nature of video games. It stands as a resource when considering the content of games, the design intentions, and the games’ relationship to general society.  It is, as asserted in this paper, true that games introduce fundamental approaches to problem solving and conflict resolution. These introductions serve as a kind of prescription which may be translated into philosophical approach.  This paper outlines three instruction-related characteristics of video games. These are the games tendency to require learning for efficacy, understanding over recitation, and diagnosis the system.  These three observations are then related to two solutions, the use of appropriate win conditions and the use of direct agency through computer-vision technologies.

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The Development and Testing of gReader: A Universally Designed, Device-Independent Email Client, The Second International Conferences on Advances in Computer-Human Interactions, IARIA/IEEE Proceedings - Conference Proceedings
Abstract: This research project proposes a plan for offering access to e-mail that is largely platform independent. The project is the design of a Text-To-Speech (TTS) application that reads e-mail to users, records the messages in two popular media types for transfer to portable entertainment devices (PET) and portable communications devices (PCD). The application is named gReader. As part of the research, a user task analysis was conducted on eight users ranging from ages 19 to 34. . . The prototype succeeded in delivering email content in an easily comprehended manner.

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Additional publications, exhibitions and presentations. . .

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