(An abstract. Warning: WIP carelessly translated from Portuguese)
Digital Games as Creative Tools
Within the debate on the role of imagination and the imaginary in design theory and practice, there is a correlate issue that should be addressed. An issue within the scope of that debate, but that subverts the original perspective: the role of design in imaginary and creative practices. The objective of this analysis is to identify and discuss aspects and features that enable virtual ludic environments, such as electronic games, as catalysts for imaginative and creative processes. In order to investigate such connections, both terms that incorporate the definition of our subject must be taken in consideration: The ludic qualities, or sense of play, that makes them games, and also the elements that differentiate them as virtual, system-based, electronic. Digital tools have been used for all kinds of purposes. They are routinely used as extensions of our memories, via databases and storage spaces, and our senses, through the use of communication devices such as webcams. What is being proposed here is an investigation on how new technologies, more specifically video games, can function as extensions of our imagination and creativity - and how playfulness, inherent to such cultural artifacts, could relate to this technology, lending and borrowing qualities capable of amplifying their potentials, resulting in a successful and powerful combination that insufflates the creative process. This analysis takes in consideration perspectives presented by contemporary game and new media studies, and also by studies on traditional games and play.