The paper “Some Notes on the Nature of Game Design” by Kuittinen and Holopainen was accepted to the Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory –conference held in London 1.-4. September. The paper sums up a major portion of the work done in work package 2.1.

As the abstract says, the focus of the paper is to have a critical look at the current game design literature through the analytical lenses of the current state of the art design research. The aim is not in creating a prescriptive framework for game design, but rather attempt to connect the game design studies to design studies in general.

The paper first discusses the notion of game design as an evolving design situation, which contrasts the narrow views of game design as problem-solving activity and instead acknowledges the complex network of issues that affect design at any given moment.

The central topic of the paper is in analysing a selected list of the current game design literature in light of the general design research theories. After presenting and discussing two models of design activity (one by Löwgren and Stolterman, and one by Bryan Lawson), we look deeper into the game design literature in light of these two models.

In conclusion, we note that in the game design literature the different forms of design activity are left to somewhat little attention and argue that game design research will benefit much from research that takes these into account.