What is procedural content generation? Mario on the borderline

Julian Togelius, E. Kastbjerg, D. Schedl, G.N. Yannakakis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingsConference contributionpeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


We try to clarify the concept of procedural content generation (PCG) through contrasting it to other forms of content generation in games with which it could easily be mistaken, and through discussing some properties of PCG which are sometimes thought of as necessary but are actually not. After drawing up some clear demarcations for what is and what is not PCG, we present two versions of a content generation system for Infinite Mario Bros which is intentionally designed to question these same demarcations. We argue that, according to our own definition, one version of the system is an example of PCG while the other is not, even though they are mostly identical. We hope that this paper answers some questions but raises others, and inspires researchers and developers to thread some less common ground in developing content generation techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2nd International Workshop on Procedural Content Generation in Games, PCGames 2011 - Co-located with the 6th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series

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