Philosophies of Game Theater

Many theater artists are interested in inviting their audiences into the experience of play. There are huge potential benefits to incorporating interaction into performance, of asking viewers to become part of a story rather than simply watching it from the side. It’s no surprise, then, that devised theater makers are looking to game design as an inspiration for how an audience member becomes an active member of the dramatic action. But for someone first starting to venture into this genre, the wealth of theoretical material and discipline specific terminology can be daunting.


The document linked below offers a window into some of the game-based ideas and tools that Swim Pony used in creating The End. While it is by no means an exhaustive list of all the ways game design might be useful to performance, it details useful concepts that we referenced as we built our performance game. It also gives concrete ways we translated those theoretical ideas into practical application within the final product and offers a few questions that may be useful to those wanting to try incorporating these techniques into works of their own.

Philosophies of Game Theater