Game Mechanics for Joint Focus
A rich element of cooperative games are mechanics that communicate. Unlike automated awareness cues and synchronous verbal communication, cooperative communication mechanics enable players to share information and direct action by engaging with game systems. These include both explicitly communicative mechanics, such as built-in pings that direct teammates' attention to specific locations, and emergent communicative mechanics, where players develop their own conventions about the meaning of in-game activities, like jumping to get attention. We use a grounded theory approach to classify types of cooperative communication mechanics game designers might use to enable cooperative play, and to support the identification of under-explored design spaces within the cooperative communication framework.