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Games and Interaction 
Tactical Forms-A Classification of Applied Games for Game Design
Micah Hrehovcsik 
HKU University of the Arts Utrecht 
School of Games and Interaction 
Game Design Lecturer, Researcher and Theorist 
micah.hrehovcsik@hku.nl 
gi.hku.nl
JoeriTaelman 
Utrecht University 
j.g.g.taelman@students.uu.nl 
JoepJanssen 
De HoogstraatRevalidatie 
j.janssen@dehoogstraat.nl 
NielsKeetels 
HKU University of the Arts Utrecht 
niels.keetels@hku.nl
Design research? 
Game Design Research? 
It’s about opening up the black box of game design.
There’s a problem with applied game taxonomy!? 
What about Sawyer & Smith’s 2008 “Serious Games Taxonomy”? 
No way!
Now pay attention! Serious games ≠ training & education games. -Sawyer & Smith 2008 
Current applied game taxonomy is used as a way to “get all parties on 
the same page” and “provide a snapshot of the current state of serious games industry” -Sawyer & Smith 2008 
Uh? So… what kind of game do I need to design? 
“The primary goal of any applied game is the use and usefulness of its game activity outside the domain of the game itself” –van Roessel& van Mastrigt-Ide 2011 
An applied game could be any genre or have any 
game mechanic as long as the game achieves its desired goal(s)-Michael & Chen 2006
Wow… All I need to do now… is read through allthe literature about applied games and become an expert in a specific domain. 
What would really be useful though… is a few good examples.
Where are all the applied game clones?
Classification!!! My game design power has increased tenfold! I have the power of “tried and true gameplay solutions.” 
-Fullerton, Swain & Hoffman 2004 
However “genres are a mixed blessing to an entertainment game designer… genres also tend to restrict the creative process.”-Fullerton, Swain & Hoffman 2004 
Restricted creative process!!!
Sorry, but those tricks won’t work for applied game design! 
But… game mechanics like randomness, time compression, perfect communication worked for entertainment games fun!!! -Michael & Chen 2006 
Aaah!? 
Entertainment Genres !!!
But a lot of work has already been done on applied game taxonomy! 
How can the idea of Tactical Forms really add to this? 
What!? You mean… Tactical form is a term to describe the way an applied game’s deployment is designed 
for a certain context.
GAMING: The Future’s Language 
Richard Duke 1974
Games for Health - Micah Hrehovcsik - Serious Game Classification for Game Designers
Games for Health - Micah Hrehovcsik - Serious Game Classification for Game Designers
Games for Health - Micah Hrehovcsik - Serious Game Classification for Game Designers
Games for Health - Micah Hrehovcsik - Serious Game Classification for Game Designers
Games for Health - Micah Hrehovcsik - Serious Game Classification for Game Designers
Games for Health - Micah Hrehovcsik - Serious Game Classification for Game Designers
Games for Health - Micah Hrehovcsik - Serious Game Classification for Game Designers
Games for Health - Micah Hrehovcsik - Serious Game Classification for Game Designers
Games for Health - Micah Hrehovcsik - Serious Game Classification for Game Designers
Games for Health - Micah Hrehovcsik - Serious Game Classification for Game Designers
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Games for Health - Micah Hrehovcsik - Serious Game Classification for Game Designers

  • 1. Games and Interaction Tactical Forms-A Classification of Applied Games for Game Design
  • 2. Micah Hrehovcsik HKU University of the Arts Utrecht School of Games and Interaction Game Design Lecturer, Researcher and Theorist micah.hrehovcsik@hku.nl gi.hku.nl
  • 3. JoeriTaelman Utrecht University j.g.g.taelman@students.uu.nl JoepJanssen De HoogstraatRevalidatie j.janssen@dehoogstraat.nl NielsKeetels HKU University of the Arts Utrecht niels.keetels@hku.nl
  • 4. Design research? Game Design Research? It’s about opening up the black box of game design.
  • 5. There’s a problem with applied game taxonomy!? What about Sawyer & Smith’s 2008 “Serious Games Taxonomy”? No way!
  • 6. Now pay attention! Serious games ≠ training & education games. -Sawyer & Smith 2008 Current applied game taxonomy is used as a way to “get all parties on the same page” and “provide a snapshot of the current state of serious games industry” -Sawyer & Smith 2008 Uh? So… what kind of game do I need to design? “The primary goal of any applied game is the use and usefulness of its game activity outside the domain of the game itself” –van Roessel& van Mastrigt-Ide 2011 An applied game could be any genre or have any game mechanic as long as the game achieves its desired goal(s)-Michael & Chen 2006
  • 7. Wow… All I need to do now… is read through allthe literature about applied games and become an expert in a specific domain. What would really be useful though… is a few good examples.
  • 8. Where are all the applied game clones?
  • 9. Classification!!! My game design power has increased tenfold! I have the power of “tried and true gameplay solutions.” -Fullerton, Swain & Hoffman 2004 However “genres are a mixed blessing to an entertainment game designer… genres also tend to restrict the creative process.”-Fullerton, Swain & Hoffman 2004 Restricted creative process!!!
  • 10. Sorry, but those tricks won’t work for applied game design! But… game mechanics like randomness, time compression, perfect communication worked for entertainment games fun!!! -Michael & Chen 2006 Aaah!? Entertainment Genres !!!
  • 11. But a lot of work has already been done on applied game taxonomy! How can the idea of Tactical Forms really add to this? What!? You mean… Tactical form is a term to describe the way an applied game’s deployment is designed for a certain context.
  • 12. GAMING: The Future’s Language Richard Duke 1974