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Play To Win Or Win To Play


Do computer game player seek to win? or do they win in order to get to play?

Do computer game player seek to win? or do they win in order to get to play?

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  • 1. Play to win or win to play Charlie Breindahl University of Copenhagen
  • 2. Jonas Heide Smith
    • Dissertation from ITU (here) in 2006: ” Plans and Purposes: How Videogame Goals Shape Player Behaviour”
      • The Rational Player Model : “the player is seen as an entity optimizing her outcome within the game as defined by the objective goals”
    Smith, J. H. (2006). Plans and Purposes: How Videogame Goals Shape Player Behaviour. Unpublished Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of PhD, The IT University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, URL: http://jonassmith.dk/weblog/wp-content/dissertation1-0.pdf. Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 3. Smith’s empirical research
    • Six groups of university students aged 23-33
    • Each group had one gaming session playing
      • FIFA Soccer 2004 (Xbox; fully cooperative)
      • Champions of Norrath (PS2; semi-cooperative)
      • Mashed (PS2; competitive)
    Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 4. FIFA Soccer Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 5. Champions of Norrath Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 6. Mashed Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 7. Smith’s game analysis model
    • The game circle
      • The levels of the rules of the game; the game-as-system (Juul)
      • The level of the world created by the game; the game-as-fictional­-world (Juul)
        • Representation (Egenfeldt-Nielsen et al.)
        • Game geography (Egenfeldt-Nielsen et al.)
        • Narrative and setting (Egenfeldt-Nielsen et al.)
    • The gaming circle
    Egenfeldt-Nielsen, S., Smith, J. H., & Tosca, S. P. (2008). Understanding Video Games : The Essential Introduction. New York: Routledge. ISBN: 978-0415977210. Juul, J. (2005). Half-Real: Computer Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 8. Smith’s session recording technique Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 9. We have a problem
    • Only one game session
    • Three games in one session
    • Students knew close to nothing about the games, so
    • Students had trouble using the controllers and grasp the goals of each game
    • Where are those controllers anyway in the analysis?
    Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 10. Smith’s new model Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 11. We need a new model! Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 12. Control heuristics of Mashed
    • X=Accelerate
    • []/O=Brake
    • X+[]/X+O=Hand Brake
    • R1=Fire Weapon
    • R2=Drop Weapon
    • L1=Shout Insult
    Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 13. Control heuristics of FIFA Soccer
    • Left Stick: Controls your player’s basic movement
    • Right Stick: Controls your player’s First Touch Control
    • Left Trigger: Secondary input. Calls in another defender when defending
    • Right Trigger: Sprint 
    • X: Lobbed Pass/Cross (hold LT and press X for Early Cross, double tap for Low Hard Cross)
    • A- Regular Pass (hold LT and press A for a Manual Pass)
    • B- Shoot (hold LT and press B for a Chip Shot)
    • Y- Through Pass (hold LT and press Y for a Lobbed Through Pass)
    Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 14. Control heuristics for Champions of Norrath
    • L2 button : Consume mana potion
    • L3 button : Center camera (behind person)
    • R1 button : Block attacks/cycle right through inventory tabs
    • R2 button : Consume health potion
    • R3 button : Open mini-map (Aka : AutoMap)
    • Directional buttons : Open quick cast menu
    • Left analog stick : Move character
    • Right analog stick : Rotate camera view
    • Start button : Pause game, bring up Options Menu
    • Select button : Open Character Inventory
    • Hold Square button, hit Select button : Use Gate Scroll
    • Circle button : Use Special Ability (Assigned at quick cast menu)
    • Triangle button : Use Special Ability (Assigned at quick cast menu) /Drop item (Inventory screen)
    • Square button : Pick up items/Interact with NPCs and objects/open spell book (Abilities screen) buy/sell (Shop)
    • X button : Attack/unequip item (Inventory screen)
    Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 15. Summary of game controls and game type Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008 Game Controls Control schemata Mashed Avatar, fire weapon, insult Direction Two single-button actions Champions of Norrath Avatar, block, change weapon, potion, map, cast, inventory, drop, pick up/interact, attack
    • Direction
    • Multiple artifacts
    • Multiple actions - >
    • Combos
    • Re-mapping
    FIFA Avatar, first touch, call, sprint, ball lob, ball pass, ball shoot, ball through pass
    • Direction
    • One artifact
    • Multiple actions
    • Combos
  • 16. Champions of Norrath requires help Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 17. Mashed is easier to control Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 18. We need another hypothesis!
    • Beginning players focus on game mechanics (and need help)
    • Intermediate players focus on in-game achievement
    • Advanced players focus on community
      • Only very committed players reach the advanced stage
      • Do very committed players (power gamers) play to win or win to play?
    Taylor, T. L. (2006). Play Between Worlds. Exploring online game culture. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. ISBN: 0262201631. Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 19. Forza Motorsport 2 (Xbox 360)
    • Beginners play offline
    • Intermediate to advanced players go online
      • Xbox LIVE
      • WWW
        • http://www.forzamotorsport.net/
        • http://www.forzamotorsport.co.uk/
        • Etc.
    Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 20. Winning to play
    • Forza Motorsport 2 on Xbox LIVE
      • 361 threads (0.14 % of all) and 10,461 postings (0.38 % of all)
      • 2,327 (22 % of all Forza Motorsport 2 postings) were in the “CAR WANTED / DESIGN WANTED / SWAP THREAD”
    Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 21. Winning to play
    • Forza Motorsport 2 on forzamotorsport.net
      • 70.042 threads
      • two forums created for customized designs had 9670 threads (14 % of all threads) and 328027 postings (30 % of all postings)
    Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 22. Goth girl design by Treewick Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 23. Goth girl design by Treewick (from above) Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 24. Win to play practices
    • Customization of unlockable cars
    • Garage (for keeps)
    • Gifting (reciprocal)
    • Xbox LIVE Auction House
      • In-game currence CR (credits)
    Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 25. Putting a design up for sale
    • Ok, i recently painted a B683 Camaro SS, with a pretty good design. Go here to see the design. Its in screenshots, in members cars. Post your bids here! Posted By: Khyte in Forza Motorsport 2 Subject: Devl® Camaro SS
    Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 26. Putting a tune up for sale
    • EzR tuning is releasing our newest tune. A C550 PT Cruiser built for handling tracks. Although big and ugly this car can keep up with most C class cars, excluding the Renault 5 Turbo. A very easy to drive and consistent build, this car has quickly become my favorite C class car. Tuners: Gorman 628, locksjr19 Painter: LOG1C173 Sellers: Gorman 628, locksjr19, LOG1C173 Buyout: 300,000 credits Posted By: Gorman 628 in Forza Motorsport 2 Subject: (EzR) C550 PT Cruiser
    Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 27. Enforcement of players’ rules
    • What I experienced as a result of reselling a tune that I thought was mine since I bought it was to have about 5 guys hassle the crap out of me while I was playing the game.  They would curse at me, yell at me, and drive into me over and over again.  The whole situation devolved into a Lord of the Flies type of ordeal where these guys felt they had the right to verbally abuse me becasue I re-sold a few of their tunes, something I openly admitted to when they asked me about it since I didn't think it was something I shouldn't be doing. Posted By: tekQ in Forza Motorsport 2 Subject: What do you own in a game?
    Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 28. Reporting the incident
    • To make matters worse it appears this type of behavior by guys in tuning garages is condoned and even encouraged by Turn10, the creators of Forza 2.  While I was being harassed by this group of tuners I attempted to report the abuse so these guys could be dealt with officially.  I read through the code of conduct and saw that they were in violation of most of this code.  The problem is that none of the complaints I submitted appeared to have any affect, so I decided to take matters into my own hands as a last resort.  I decided these guys needed to know that there are things that can be done to hassle them in the way they were hassling me, so I posted the details of each of their tunes on forzamotorsport.net, the online forum for the game.
    Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008
  • 29. Unexpected outcome
    • And what do you think the result was?  I got banned from the forum for flaming other players.  Does this sound fair?  These guys harrased me for weeks, destroying my experience as a gamer without anything happening to them.  Turn10 ignored everything that was happening to me until I posted the tunes in an effort to punish these guys for the way they were treating me and then I was expelled from the forum.  Absolute crap.
    Charlie Breindahl, hitch@hum.ku.dk 16-10-2008