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What is a Game?

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What is a Game?

  1. 1. What is a game? Play and Games Session 1
  2. 2. Learning objectives • Critically discuss current definitions of games
  3. 3. • Think of a game, any game
  4. 4. • Think of a game, any game • Now think of a completely different game
  5. 5. • Think of a game, any game • Now think of a completely different game • What things are the same?
  6. 6. What is a game?
  7. 7. David Parlett • Games historian • Formal game versus informal play • Game has two components 1. Ends - A goal 2. Means - A way to achieve that goal
  8. 8. Clark C. Abt • Serious Games • Activity • Decision Makers • Objectives • Limiting context
  9. 9. Johann Huizinga • Homo Ludens • The Magic Circle • Is outside ordinary life • not serious • utterly absorbing • not associated with gain or profit • space and time boundaries • has rules • creates separate social groups
  10. 10. Roger Callois • Man, Play and Games • Play • Free • Separate • Uncertain • Unproductive • Rules • Make-believe
  11. 11. Bernard Suits • Philosopher • Grasshopper: Games, Life, and Utopia • Activity • Voluntary • Changes state • Rules • Inefficiency • Rules are accepted
  12. 12. Chris Crawford • The Art of Computer Game Design • Representation • Interaction • Conflict • Safety
  13. 13. Greg Costikyan • quot;I Have No Words and I Must Designquot; • Art or a form of culture • Decision-making players • Resource management • Game tokens • Goal
  14. 14. Brian Sutton-Smith • The Study of Games • Exercise of control systems • Voluntary • Contest between powers • Confined by rules • Disequilibrial outcome
  15. 15. Salen and Zimmerman • Rules of Play • System • Players • Artificial • Conflict • Rules • Quantifiable outcome
  16. 16. Tracy Fullerton • Closed, formal system that • Engages players in structured conflict and • Resolves its uncertainty in an unequal outcome
  17. 17. Sutton- Parlett Abt Huizinga Caillois Suits Crawford Costikyan S & Z Fullerton Smith Has rules √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ Conflict or contest √ √ √ √ √ Goal oriented/outcome √ √ √ √ √ √ √ oriented Acitivity, process or √ √ √ √ event Involves descision √ √ √ making Not serious and √ Absorbing Never associated with √ √ material gain Artificial/Safe/Outside √ √ √ √ √ ordinary life/Boundaries Creates special social √ groups Voluntary √ √ √ Uncertain √ Make believe/ √ √ Representational Inefficient √ Systems of parts/ √ √ √ √ Resources and Tokens A form of art √ Has players √ √ √ √
  18. 18. The player perspective • Flip the definition on its head • Who is playing • Are they playing • Michael Apter & Paratelic states
  19. 19. Telic state Paratelic state pleasant awareness detachment (relaxed) (fun) tone anxiety repression unpleasant (stress) (tense) low high withdrawn arousal interested From Michael Apter
  20. 20. Is it a game? • Look at these online • Darfur is Dying • Alarmingly These Are Not Lovesick Zombies • Chorewars
  21. 21. Summary • What are games? • Problems for definitions. • Does taking a player approach solve this?
  22. 22. Werewolf

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