The longest walk: a retrospective of biographical game design

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This paper discusses the design of an original biographical game that is of deep, personal relevance to the designer. The Longest Walk was designed and developed using documentary process and interrogated through Narrative Portraits to authentically convey my father’s experience of living with depression and suicidal intent in an interactive experience with documentary quality. The game takes place on a walk over the Tay Road Bridge (Dundee, UK) – an infamous local landmark for those seeking to take their own life – and makes use of interview audio and point cloud data to strive for indexicality and as a method of expressive framing. This paper reflects on the interweaving of documentary practice with game design practice and serves as a demonstration of how a documentary-like quality can be achieved in games based on lived experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI PLAY '22
Subtitle of host publicationExtended Abstracts of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
EditorsKathrin Gerling, Jo Iacovides, Rainer Malaka, Beth Bonsignore, Julian Frommel
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781450392112
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2022
EventCHI PLAY 2022 - Bremen, Germany
Duration: 2 Nov 20225 Nov 2022


ConferenceCHI PLAY 2022
Internet address


  • Documentary game
  • Lived experience
  • Biography
  • Mental health
  • Walking-simulator


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