Select course

Games students

Katie Wickens

MA Games work by Katie Wickens
MA Games work by Katie Wickens
MA Games work by Katie Wickens

Driven by an urge to unleash the phantasms of the inner mind, I design analogue games and toys, providing frameworks that help people evolve their ideas. My work attempts to facilitate emergent narratives, encouraging imagined worlds or paracosms to manifest through collaborative, modular, randomised worldplay experiences.

The fractural nature of worldbuilding means users are given the opportunity to ‘stitch together a coherent picture from the dispersed information.’ (Jenkins, 2007), and the modularity and randomness helps to break users out of creative ruts (Brian Eno, 2010). Worldplay is recognised to exercise ‘imaginative capacities including imaging, empathizing, and modelling’ and is linked to childhood giftedness, eliciting ‘productive benefit in a constellation of adult disciplines.’ (Root-Bernstein, 2008).

To benefit, my work relies heavily on player-driven interaction; as users bring their ideas to life, it is important to provide them with a safe space to ‘come to terms with feelings, conflicts, realities, and aspirations’ (Sutton-Smith, 1997) they may otherwise be penalized for expressing. Ergo, my goal as a game designer is (and will always be) to inspire this joyful experimentation, providing a safe stage for them to perform their innermost conflicts and fantasies on – a ‘magic circle’ (Huizinga, 1938).

Lizzie Starling