Game design and J. Huizinga’s concept: a look at Cyberpunk 2077 through the prism of game theory

Authors: Egorova E.A. Published: 17.12.2021
Published in issue: #6(92)/2021  
DOI: 10.18698/2306-8477-2021-6-756  
Category: The Humanities in Technical University | Chapter: Cultural Studies  
Keywords: game design, game designer, game development, game industry, cyberspace, Huizinga’s game theory

The paper considers the process of developing modern computer games and approaches it from a cultural viewpoint. The study relies on the following hypothesis: to improve computer games and more thoroughly elaborate them in terms of visual-conceptual and semantic aspects, the game industry of the 21st century can apply the famous game theory of the 20th century. We theoretically overviewed the key provisions of J. Huizinga’s “Homo Ludens”, described the main canons of modern game design, and characterized them from the game theory viewpoint. Furthermore, we revealed new principles of gameplay design, which make it possible to fill the vacuum of the entertainment cyberspace with cultural and philosophical meanings. Particular attention was paid to the competent design of the game space, its goals, objectives, and purpose in terms of cultural theories, in particular with regard to “Homo Ludens”. As an example, we took the popular game Cyberpunk 2077. Finally, we specified requirements and categories, introduced them in an accessible form, and deciphered them according to the trends of modern design processes. Reviewing modern game design through the prism of Huizinga’s game theory and relying on Huizinga’s fundamental work, we attempted to correct the existing principles.

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