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Game Randomization: Emergent Gameplay Communities

Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

In the second half of the 2010s there is a new trend emerging amongst the gaming community. The video game randomizer is a project taken on by hobbyist developers who are fans of a particular game and wish to extend its lifespan; to make the old new again. Some of these randomizers have become so popular that entire communities are beginning to form around them. In this paper I put forth a taxonomy for video game randomizers that categorizes them by degree of change to the base gameplay brought about by randomization. I identify a tipping point where the transformation to gameplay becomes fundamentally different from the base game and wherein the community forms. Through interviews and research I construct an ethnography of these communities to identify what other communities randomizer developers and players belong to and compare and contrast those communities.

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