Merging the Analogue and the Digital: Combining Opposite Activities in a Mixed Media Game

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

Merging the Analogue and the Digital: Combining Opposite Activities in a Mixed Media Game


  • Ulf Wilhelmsson Division of Game Development, University of Skövde, Sweden
  • Tarja Susi Division of Game Development, University of Skövde, Sweden
  • Niklas Torstensson Division of Game Development, University of Skövde, Sweden


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Abstract:  While much of the games research field for the last two decades has focused on digital games, this article draws attention to the benefits of combining analogue and digital game components to cater for a serious but fun game experience. In this case, the game design provides a set of game rules for players, where the goal is to win by finding another player’s hidden treasure. But, the game also includes deceptive characters, initially unknown to the players, whose goal is to lure the players to reveal information, which will make a player lose the game. Hence, the players and the unknown characters are involved in opposite but intertwined activities. To describe the differing activities we use the activity system model found in Activity Theory. The theoretical conceptualisation, the game design and the play situation create what we term a zone of experience where young players can experience the consequences of sharing too much information. The game design mimics real world online interactions, but under safe off-line conditions. The zone of experience also creates the foundation for an ensuing activity that fits well within the concept of the zone of proximal development: A follow-up conversation under adult guidance of game experiences aimed at raising children’s online risk awareness.

Keywords:  activity theory; mixed media; online risk awareness; serious game; zone of experience

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v9i1.3203


© Ulf Wilhelmsson, Tarja Susi, Niklas Torstensson. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.