Between Subjectivity and Flourishing: Creativity and Game Design as Existential Meaning

Tim Newsome-Ward, Jenna Pei-Suin Ng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores how the process of designing videogames may be meaningful–that is, accomplish a larger existential fulfilment or purpose. We use a reflective methodology which triangulates the creative practice of making a videogame with reflections both during and post-practice against philosophical ideas of meaningfulness. Two ideas of meaningfulness emerged. The first is the generative capacity of subjectivity, where meaningfulness is anchored to our investment as creators, as well as in the intertwining of personal histories, experiences and memories between reflection and action. The second is the flourishing of the self in terms of inner growth and self-discovery out of journeying inherent in the game design process. The significance of our enquiry is three-fold: to more holistically understand videogames as being meaningful, to present a reflective methodology to facilitate such understanding, and to more broadly consider videogames as an instantiation of how media is itself existential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-575
Number of pages24
JournalGames and Culture
Issue number4
Early online date19 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2021


  • videogame design
  • meaningfulness
  • existential
  • creative practice
  • reflective methodology

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