Technological Change at the Heart of the Creative Process: Insights From the Videogame Industry

L. P. LE, D. Massé, T. PARIS

International Journal of Arts Management

Winter 2013, vol. 15, n°2

Departments: GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: Créativité, technologie, processus de création, matérialité, agence, jeux vidéo / Creativity, technology, creative process, videogames, materiality, agency

While technological change has been much studied in the arts field, it has never been considered in terms ofthe creative process from a micro perspective. The authors analyze the creative process in the context of acultural industry characterized by both digital plasticity and the intertwining of creativity and technology: thevideogame industry. They use a case study approach to examine the extent to which technology, when usedas a tool for creation, interacts with the creative process and highlights the relationship between human creativityand materiality. The authors identify two interconnected processes: the design of gameplays for next-genconsoles and the design of new games initiated by improvements to an existing engine. They find that digitalplasticity enables constant inquiry and a reworking and accumulation of artifacts. They identify several configurationsof human and material agency linked to two concepts: triggering and alignment. Finally, they characterizethis interplay as a process of 'creative negotiation' by stressing its nonlinear and unpredictable nature.These findings refine our understanding of the creative process in the cultural and creative industries by stressingthe importance of materiality at a micro level, suggesting ongoing change in technology rather thanrevolutionary disruptions at the macro level. The results also enrich the technology literature by adding a morenuanced account due to the specific open-ended nature of the cultural industries