Creative Play

Tochi Ugochukwu

 Introduction to Creative Play

Creativity and Play make up a massive part of video games but what and why exactly are creativity and play have a big part in games? I might seem simple to others and some might not know at all but I am here to discuss this in this chapter.  In any type of games, Creative Play is a very important part of any game design. The creativity in games helps open the player’s mind up and lets the player collect their own share of creativity through viewing and solving problems with their collective creative thinking. Creative Play is not just one thing. Behind it consists of creative design, thinking and art all these things come together you can not have one without the other. In this chapter, I will go over these things in some detail and discuss the good these things make for a game. During these past couple of weeks, I have been doing a large amount of research I could do on creative play within games. With the information from the research, I have gathered I went into detail on certain topics I have found within the different papers I read. In my chapter, I have written about the importance of creative play through mini topics bringing it all together for you to read and take in.

Creative Thinking

Creative thinking within a game is needed among the game story because you do need to use your imagination and mind to develop a great storyline for a game even if it is not the whole plot. With this, you could come up with amazing outcomes, problems, secret places and what happens to the character, etc. Because without these thoughts, how are you meant for the game story? “Koukourikos 2014,” says that adding creative thinking within a storyline forms a pull towards people being more involved in the story or activity. Children also benefit from playing video games to improve their creative thinking and imagination, with them playing the right game it will not only be for fun and leisure purposes it will also be for developing different skills and learning. Games like Minecraft and Little Big Planet come to mind, as these are examples of games that have an excellent platform for creativity because they give gamers both the necessary tools and a framework to solve puzzles. Therefore thinking is a big part of games the more creative and outstanding the game is the more attention it will seek depending on its genre but also adding too much will confuse the player.

Figure 1:


Art is a big part of the creativity of a game, the art within games is a mixture or art itself and science from the 3D modelling, illustration, characters, props, colour and textures, etc. Did you know? In the United States in 2011, they made a law that video games are a form of art. Why art is a big part of games is because if the art was sloppy and not appealing to the eye who would want to buy or at least try the game, nobody when trying or playing a game art is very important from the layout, character, and other little things surround the game if they look cool the play will be intrigued. Games that create certain emotional connections and challenges suck the player deeper into the game and also letting them choose their own paths and creating themes also takes them in more. “Hall 2020”  states that With games creating certain emotional connections and challenges sucks the player deep into the game and also letting them choose their own paths and creating themes also takes them in more. Therefore art is a major part of games if there is no art there is no game but remember art is not just drawing and stuff it is also music and design.

Creative Skills

Creativity is one of the very important skills for game designers. Creative skills within a game must be seen just like with game design it creates and advances the ideas of reality, connections, characters ability hidden areas and problem solvers in a game. There are a variety of different skills required in games but depending on the genre of game you are designing also depends on the skills you use, so skills you might use are problem-solving, leadership, social skills, concentration, patience, etc. Creative skills can also fall on creative thinking as you correlate the story with skills of the character and player and either develop or learn. “Navarrete 2013”  states that The creativity involved with game creation brings in greater engagement with its design and information. Most video games encourage players to practice some level of creativity, for example, players may create a character and story for a role-playing game or be rewarded with creative strategies in competitive games. Therefore overall these skills will also help form a story and help form new traits toward the character and player.

Figure 2:

 Creative Machine Learning

Machine Learning is a useful weapon in game development, it gives more realistic game worlds, captive challenges and unique content in games. The creative machine learning for games is just a substitute for human intelligence that focuses on algorithms and statistics, for games such as Minecraft and car racing games. There are many ways of how ML are used in games such as the scripts for Non-Playable-Characters (NPC’s), making the game more beautiful, adding realistic interactions and more engaging mobile games. Seeing that machine learning is not artificial intelligence looking back on the games played, for example, Super Mario Bros and Sonic and Sega All Star Racing, these both are animated racing games. I can not really tell the difference with the machine learning equipment used in the Super Mario Bros game. “Luhova 2019,” says that making games the source of creativity is noticeable is the music and art of the game. Therefore if I was to go into deep detail I would maybe probably find a little difference between games that use machine learning and games that do not.

Game Design

Creativity within the game design is important in games as it puts together the ideas of reality, connections, characters ability hidden areas and problem solvers in a game. With the game design, I feel like it is very important to know how you are doing to put together the pieces of information, equipment, layout, etc in order to make an eye-catching and cool game that people would want to play, making sure that it fits the certain genre you are producing. Elements such as mechanics, components, rules and goals are important in any game. Adding creative designs in games are also added in learning products or programs to open the eye of others by making the program or product more interesting to use. “Hall 2020” states again that the creative gameplay they engage in the game and enjoy even if there are not clear instructions given the design still makes them want to explore the scenery. Therefore there is more to the importance of game design and everything else written up above is in reaction to this process.


It is clear from the findings in this chapter that creative play is an important part of games as it not only visually opens the minds of the player it also produces a sense of creativity for the player therefore both the player and the game are both giving and receiving from each other. There is so much more that could be said about creative play and far other topics to get into but I did only discuss game design, art, creative thinking, creative skills and creative machine learning because when researching certain papers I did see these topics appear in more than one paper. It is said that younger people like us and even children between ages 5 – 10 people especially benefit from playing video games as it broadens our creativity and imaginations levels and games such as Minecraft help with this. Creativity play is helpful whether it is video games, board games, physical, etc we gain a lot of information whether mentally or physically. After reading this chapter you can see that I have discussed what I have researched and understood about creative play.

Check your understanding


Koukourikos, Antonis; Karampiperis, Pythagoras; Panagopoulos, George, International Association for Development of the Information Society, Paper presented at the International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age (CELDA) (11th, Porto, Portugal, Oct 25-27, 2014). 8 pp.

Hall, Johanna, Stickler, Ursula, Herodotou, Christothea, Iacovides, Ioanna, Convergence: The Journal of Research into New Media Technologies; Dec2020, Vol. 26 Issue 5/6, p1226-1247, 22p

Tap, Raudyah Md, Zin, Nor Azan Mat, Sarim, Hafiz Mohd, 2019 International Conference on Electrical Engineering and Informatics (ICEEI) Electrical Engineering and Informatics (ICEEI), 2019 International Conference on. :176-182 July, 2019

Luhova, Tetiana, Blazhko, Oleksandr, Troianovska, Yuliia, Riashchenko, Oksana, 2019 IEEE 2nd Ukraine Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering (UKRCON) Electrical and Computer Engineering (UKRCON), 2019 IEEE 2nd Ukraine Conference on. :1254-1259 July, 2019

Navarrete, Cesar C. Navarrete, Cesar C. Learning Technologies, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78745, USA


Tochi Ugochukwu is a 2nd-year Creative Digital Media student studying in TUD Blanchardstown. She loves creating videos, edits, and graphic designs. She loves playing games such as Sims4, Call of Duty, and Roblox in her free time as well as binging on anime series. She also loves baking, she has a little baking business she runs on Instagram @tochixcakes. She is hoping to gain enough knowledge and experience to work with teams such as Buzzfeed, Clever, Google, etc abroad.


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Game Design & Development 2021 Copyright © 2021 by Tochi Ugochukwu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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