ICIDS 2019 Workshop

Ludonarrative Meaning-making, Transformative Experience and Cultural Influence

How do you integrate ludonarrative meaning-making into the design of interactive narrative experiences? What role does culture play in the design and perception of interactive artefacts? How do you enhance transformational potential?

About the workshop

In this half-day workshop (3 hours) we teach up to 20 participants how the design, delivery and reception of meaning contribute to the interactive narrative experience.

Two presentations on the topic of ludonarrative meaning-making and potential transformative experiences, as well as the influence of cultural context in the derivation of meaning, are combined with a series of interactive exercises and discussions.

Participants will develop an interactive narrative vignette in the form of a paper-prototype, incorporating meaning-making principles and inter-cultural perspectives. A set of rules and a pre-defined, fictional culture will be given so participants can focus on creating the core-experience with a transformative potential.


Participants are introduced to ludonarrative meaning-making processes through a presentation and experiential exercises. Different media snippets and vignettes will be shown and discussed.


We look at transformation from a ludonarrative and cultural perspective. Interactive narratives with transformative potential will be analyzed. Digital experiences such as Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Bury me, my love, Florence, and Adventures with Anxiety, as well as installations A Breathtaking Journey, Situation Rooms, and Angstfabriek (Factory of Fear).

Cultural Influence

Using examples from different disciplines of communication, we look at the role that culture plays in the creation and derivation of meaning. Participants are asked to reflect on cultural contexts and how these influence conceptualization, design and understanding of messages.

Learning by doing. Prototyping a concept given a set of parameters based on a fictual culture.

Prototyping and playtesting

In the second half of the workshop, participants will create a short interactive narrative experience in form of a paper-prototype, incorporating meaning-making principles and inter-cultural perspectives. Participants will be asked to work on this prototype in small groups and based on a pre-defined set of rules and a fictional culture. These constraints will help participants focus on creating a core-experience with a transformative potential. Each group will get to playtest at least one prototype by another group and insights will be shared and discussed during a final group discussion among all participants.

Space is limited! Please register in time and fill out the short form.