Copyright © Chico Queiroz

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Final project for a MA course in Digital Games Design, Insular is a game for Nintendo DS that relies on the player's creativity and nurturing. The game offers several activities designed to deliver moments of reflection and self-expression to the player. It also offers an integrated suite of creative tools, functioning as a sort of mix between virtual cork board, a virtual pet and an organizer. Having no defined goals, challenges and victory conditions and not judging the player's performance Insular could be defined as a non-game .

The research for this project took several different paths at once. While freeform creative play was the major area of investigation, the game's theme and settings required an overview on the interplay between art, science and videogames , and the way they represent and re-create the worlds we live in.

The chosen handheld format also helped and influenced several design decisions for this game, amplifying the sense of agency through an intimate and direct contact of the player with the game.

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