[MUD-Dev] DGN: Reasons for play [was: Emergent Behaviorsspawnedfrom...]

cruise cruise at casual-tempest.net
Tue Oct 11 00:23:08 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005

Sean Howard spake thusly...
> "Amanda Walker" <amanda at alfar.com> wrote:

>>"good game" is subjective.

> That's like saying a "good movie" is subjective, and yet somehow,
> despite my wife not being able to sit through it without falling
> asleep 10 minutes in, The Seven Samurai is a "good movie" and
> Dude, Where's My Car? is not.

> The reason for this is because we have a more complex way of
> objectifying movies than we do games. The Seven Samurai uses
> excellent composition, visual metaphors, a well structured plot,
> and superior acting. Dude has...  um... pot. It's funny, sure, but
> there's nothing more to it that we can judge as being a "good
> movie".

I will expand on this in the very near future, but I'll just throw
in a hint of what I've been trying to unravel over the last month
(while on my honeymoon - I have a very understanding wife :).

Chess is a "good" game. Few would challenge that statement, yet
there are lots of people who would never play the game. Tic Tac Toe
is a very "bad", and yet continues to played and prove popular.

Fundementally, "good" is far too loose a term to be used in this
context. There can be a difference between "rich and intellectually
satisfying" and "fun and enjoyable." Heck, there was no real
consensus about what a game actually was in the recent discussions
on this list.

Effectively, a game, just like a film, can be composed of different
"types" of components - a rich, emotional plot or a cheesy five
minute back-of-a-napkin affair, for example - and these types appeal
to different people. We need to recognise these various types, and
which people they appeal to. The film industry figured this out ages
ago. We need to catch up.

I'm working on a formal vocabulary for games, that allows us to
refer to the common elements of a game (computer, board, card,
whatever) with well-defined words, and attempts to break down the
types of identifying elements, as well as provide a means for
describing a game in an objective and abstract way.

It's a big effort, and I've barely made a scratch, but hopefully
I'll have the outlines written up in a few days for the list to cast
it's critical compound eye over.

[ cruise / casual-tempest.net / transference.org ]
   "quantam sufficit"
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