Monday, June 29, 2009

Care is needed

I just read through the excellent first installment on the Game Design Concepts by Ian Schreiber. I recommend reading it:

The definition of game is an interesting matter. I would add to his something like this:

A game "requires that the player care about the outcome of the game."

This is relevant during the play session. Since the game is defined as an "Activity" already I will lump this one in with the definition of game. If the definition was aimed at the construction of the game in its idle state I would remove it.


  1. I would once again like to point to the work done by Jesper Juul regarding the definition of a game. He spent a whole doctoral thesis on the subject, and came up with a working definition, based on prior studies by Callois, Huizinga and the rest of the gang. AFAIC it works, so why must we keep iterating on this subject? Let's move on, for Pete's sake!

    1. Fixed rules
    2. Variable and quantifiable outcome
    3. Valorization of the outcome
    4. Player effort
    5. Attachment of the player to the outcome
    6. Negotiable consequences

    Cross posted @ gamedesignconcepts


  2. Ok, ranting aside, should one sign up for the course? Might be worth the effort... have you?

  3. I didn't sign up for the course, but I'll keep an eye on in anyway.

    The 6 points in the Jesper Juul definition are good ones. I read them as describing properties that games need to have to be experienced as a game by the player. Points 3, 4 and 5 are relative to the player which makes it one relevant cut of the pie, but not the whole pie.

    What is a game played by two competing computer programs?

    Practically I think all of the slices of the pie are good to keep in mind. Even if it might be a bit many of them. The systematic nature of games are difficult to boil down with an accurate and effective definition.