Understanding Games

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Understanding Games: Fiction, Rules, and Genre -- part of the chronology and history of games in 20th and 21st Century. Part of English 115F: The Worlds of Wordcraft

Understanding Games: Fiction, Rules, and Genre -- part of the chronology and history of games in 20th and 21st Century. Part of English 115F: The Worlds of Wordcraft

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  • 1. Understanding Games: Fiction, Rules, and Genre Cursory History of Electronic Gaming in 20th – 21st Centuries Matthew Jett Hall – worldsofwordcraft.wordpress.com
  • 2. Explore the idea of a “game”  Contemplate games as both fiction and rules  Set forth some basic vocabulary and  categories to assure a common language during our discourse Journey through a time line of facts related to  gaming
  • 3. Entertainment?  According to the Oxford English Dictionary  ▪ “Amusement, ▪ delight, ▪ fun, ▪ mirth, ▪ Sport” 17 entries exist for the word “game” in the  OED
  • 4. “The main argument  of this book, that video games are rules and fiction” Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and  Fictional Worlds by Jesper Juul
  • 5. “It is a basic paradox of games that while the  rules themselves are generally definite, unambiguous, and easy to use, the enjoyment of a game depends on these easy-to-use rules presenting challenges that cannot be easily overcome. Playing a game is an activity of improving skills in order to overcome these challenges, and playing a game is therefore fundamentally a learning experience.” (Juul, p.5)
  • 6. “Fiction plays a different role in different  games and game genres, and while some players may be thrilled by the fiction of a game, others may dismiss it as unimportant decoration of the game rules.” (Juul, p.6)
  • 7. “… two basic ways in which  games are structured and provide challenges for players: that of emergence (a number of simple rules combining to form interesting variations) and that of progression (separate challenges presented serially).” (p.6) Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional  Worlds by Jesper Juul
  • 8. “Emergence is the primordial game structure,  where a game is specified as a small number of rules that combine and yield large numbers of game variations for which the players must design strategies to handle.” (Juul, p.5)
  • 9. “In progression games, the player has to  perform a predefined set of actions in order to complete the game. One feature of the progression game is that it yields strong control to the game designer: since the designer controls the sequence of events, progression games are also where we find most games with storytelling ambitions.” (Juul, p.5)
  • 10. The next section presents categories  Ask yourself two sets of questions   Set A: Rules or Fiction? ▪ Does the category illustrate games as fiction? ▪ Does the category illustrate games as rules?  Set B: Progression or Emergence? ▪ Does the category illustrate progression? ▪ Does the category illustrate emeregence?
  • 11. Arcade  Adventure  Board  Console  First Person Shooter (FPS)  MMORPG  PC  Real Time Strategy (RTS)  Role Playing  Simulation  Sports 
  • 12. “a (mechanical or  electronic) game of a type orig. popularized in amusement arcades.” Pac-Man  Pinball 
  • 13. “Designating a role-playing or computer game in which the  participant plays a fantasy role in an episodic adventure story.” (OED) Zork  Myst 
  • 14. Games played on a  physical board where players take turns. Chess  Monopoly 
  • 15. “an electronic  device (usually requiring connection to a television) on which computer games may be loaded and played. “ (OED) Dead or Alive  Dance Dance  Revolution
  • 16. “Designating a  computer game in which the player's view of the action is as though through the eyes of the protagonist.” (OED) Doom  Return to Castle  Wolfenstein
  • 17. Massively  Multiplayer On-Line Role Playing Game Lord of the Rings On-Line  Dark Age of Camelot 
  • 18. Any video game  played on a personal computer. Civilization  King’s Quest 
  • 19. Video game that takes  place in real time and general involves resource management, territory management, and unit placement. Sim City  Age of Empires 
  • 20. Players act out the role of  characters. Closely approximates free form drama, and generally involve a group of players together in a room or around a table. Dungeons & Dragons  d20 modern 
  • 21. “The technique of imitating  the behaviour of some situation or process (whether economic, military, mechanical, etc.) by means of a suitably analogous situation or apparatus, esp. for the purpose of study or personnel training.” (OED) Flight Simulator  M1A1 Tank Simulator 
  • 22. Video game that  simulates the play of traditional sports FIFA Soccer  Madden 
  • 23. Oxford English Dictionary  Oxford Concise Dictionary of Literary Terms  Wikipedia  Video Games: www.mobygames.com  Zork: www.infocomm.com  Atari: www.atari.com  Movies: http://imdb.com 