Design harmony in (serious) games

David Farrell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


When game designers talk of ludonarrative dissonance, they are detecting incongruity between narrative context and ludic action. The debate over whether games should be thought of more as dynamic formal systems or narrative stories continues across disciplines in academia and design. Instead of trying to position games as being one or the other, this paper argues for a holistic view of game design that advocates using both ludic and narrative aspects together to achieve a greater effect. Instead of continually highlighting ludonarrative dissonance in games, we should identify, celebrate, and learn from ludonarrative harmony.
Drawing inspiration from Frijda’s laws of emotion and Lantz’s aesthetic view of play, we suggest that the ability of games to create an apparently real situation offers designers the opportunity to create emotionally resonant experiences that change players’ perspectives on the greater world.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th International Clash of Realities Conference
EditorsW Kaminski, M Lorber
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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