A Place to Be
This thesis explores the development of the digital game A Place to Be. The project itself is approached as an experiment in exploring two major concepts as applied to the artistic medium of a digital game: non-humanoid player characters and death. A Place to Be is described as a game that tries to build an empathetic connection between players and their non-humanoid character, and capture a sense of the “sublime” qualities of life and death. The project converses with other, similar games along with media and game theorists, testing and challenging notions proposed by both professional game developers and thinkers. Where is a player when they play a digital game? How can you use games to offer new perspectives? Can games talk about death in complex ways? These are the types of questions asked and answered here in this thesis. Finally, the results of this experiment, both as successes, failures, and discoveries are studied throughout, in the hopes of contributing to the success of related future projects.