Planspiel+ - Literatur
On the Architecture of Game Science:A Rebuttal.
ed. Vol. 49 (3), p. 356-372.
Background: Game studies offer a cross-disciplinary image that includes a range of
professions. Game science is responsive to the needs of government institutions,
to industry, and to individuals vis-à-vis institutions. That pragmatism makes
the field issue-oriented, representing a post-normal science approach
in a context of political pressure, values in dispute, high decision stakes and
high epistemological and ethical systems uncertainties. The body of knowledge
is not yet in the form of a cohesive structure: a game science paradigm.
Thematic diversity, theoretical and methodological pluralism, and a strong
focus on the instrumentality of games are weak credentials within academia,
arranged according to analytical science (normal science) principles.
Moreover, within the conventional academic settings, game science faces
serious limitations, due to the fragmented positioning in different departments
Aim: A comprehensive and coherent view on game science is needed that connects
three levels of inquiry: the philosophy of science level, the science level,
and the application level. Based on radical developments during the early
20th century, physicists are introducing doubt, uncertainty, undecidability
and imprecision into the world of physics. These advances have impacted
on the philosophy of science, on modernism and postmodernism, and as a
consequence, on game science. Being able to understand the current position
of game science requires that we are aware of its scientific roots, and future
options for research and professional practice.
Method: Raising a debate among peers, addressing the questions and frame-ofreference
presented in the introductory paper “On the architecture of game
Results: Referring to the frame of reference, offered by the introductory paper
(Klabbers, 2018), the authors have presented five very interesting articles
addressing their varying views on, and approaches to game science. Their
contributions range from the linkages between game science and complex social
systems, to gamification science, and game studies, focusing on the ludosphere,
the realm of digital games. Combined, all papers present a comprehensive
overview of the field, covering game science and its application levels, with
special attention to the varying design and research methodologies and
practices. They mention linkages with the philosophy of science level, however
refrain to work out their implications for designing, facilitating, and debriefing
games. This shortcoming leaves little room for reflecting on the unique role
of the players, their explicit knowledge and tacit knowing included, and omits
important epistemological questions, raised in Table 1 (Klabbers, 2018), which
relate to the triple hermeneutic: the players’ reality created during game play.
Conclusion: The collected papers offer a challenging overview of the current state
of the art, craft, and science, and a good understanding of important questions
that are on the minds of the authors. Together, they present a stimulating
platform for a lively debate, and a good basis for advancing game science, more
particularly, the connected philosophy of science, science, and practical levels.
For the following reason, further research is needed and highly recommended.