Smith, Andrew W
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Game design techniques are used to motivate participation in professional, educational, political, and social environments. This research study introduces the theory of ludic borders to examine how the boundary of gamespace is a design product that influences players beyond increasing motivation. Framing the crossing of the ludic border as a negotiation between the design choices of the game designer and the identity of the player, this research considers how game design elements such as visual aesthetics and collaborative mechanics influence the construction of the border. In addition, this research considers how particular characteristics of a player’s identity, such as the frequency with which they play games, influences their crossing of the ludic border. Based on gameplay observation, this research finds that visual aesthetics, gaming frequency, and other factors can influence the extent to which a player expresses their beliefs through their in-game decisions.