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

cruise cruise at casual-tempest.net
Fri Nov 11 01:38:03 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005


Sean Howard spake thusly...

> To what extent? I can drop rocks in videogames as well. Obviously,
> there is something objective there that we can measure.

<snip>

> Ah, but when I push the jump button, does Mario only jump because
> I think he should? There is very real, quantifiable aspects to
> gameplay - and very real, objective connections between these
> aspects. Gameplay is very much "physical" and as such, is subject
> to a study of its physics.

So how much effort has been put into identifying these aspects?
"Theory of Fun" and "Rules of Play" and a few others seem to be
working towards this goal, as was I with my definitions list
(www.casual-tempest.net/playtheory/definitions.php).

The chain of interaction seems to be something like this (for
anything, not just games):

objective qualities -> emotional response -> final preference

This chain is happening on all sorts of levels, obviously - each
individual animation and colour choice is as subject to this as the
overall theme, objective and requisite playstyle. Each of the
player's reactions is combined into a gestalt opinion of the
game. Any current game review is on the middle tier, because that's
as far as our descriptive language goes. When we argue on this list
over whether Dude, Where's My Car? is a "good" film, we're arguing
on that middle tier. When we argue that a 4x4 has "good" traction
we're discussing the first tier. We're lacking an agreed upon first
tier for games.

These tiers are approximately parallel to Salen & Zimmerman's Rules,
Play and Culture categorisation of games, though it on a more
detailed level it exists within each frame too. The Rules frame is
the most accessible for analysing in the formal way required to
define objective qualities, though Play and Culture are also
amenable to decreasing degrees.

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