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Student Number: U1434630

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Module: MS4401
Coursework: CW1

Isinteractiontheonlyelementnecessaryforagametoexist?
Interactionisanessentialelementforagametoexist.Theplayermustbeableto
interactwiththeworldinsidethegameandthesystemresponds.Interactionisa
relationshipbetweenobjects,specificallywherebothreceiveinputandchanges
accordingly.Interactionalsoseparateswhatapuzzleandgameare.ChrisCrawford
(2007p.16)statesthatAcubepuzzledoesnotactivelyrespondtothehumans
moves...[In]basketballtheopposingplayeracknowledge[s]andrespondtothe
playersactions."Althoughinteractionisarequiredelement,emotionalresponses
mustbeabletobeprovokedfromwithinthegame.Therefore,otherelementsare
necessary.Costikyan(2002,p.3)statesthat"Interactionhasnogamevalueitself.
Interactionmusthaveapurpose"andthatalthoughallgamesareinteractive,"Alight
switchisnotagame".Decisionmakingisinteractionwithapurposeormotivation
whichgivesmeaningtotheiractions.Thisrequiresgoalstobeinvolvedwithinthe
gameandemotionstobeinvolvedthroughouttheprocess,eventuallyculminatingin
triumphuponcompletionofthegame.
Althoughtheevokingofemotionbordersalongthelineofwhatmakesagame
successful,ifthegameisnotplayedbypeoplethenthegamewillbeforgottenand
ceasetoexistexceptinpeoplesmemories.SchellJ.(2008,p.109)statesvarious
descriptionsforMarcLeblancsTaxonomyofGamePleasureswhichdefineswhat
MarcLeblancbelievesgeneratespleasurefortheplayer.Althoughfunisnotstrictly
necessaryforagametoexist,aestheticsandmechanicscancreateopportunitiesfor
ittooccur,evenifthethingspeopleconsiderfunareasindividualasfingerprintsas
statedbyFeilandScattergood(2005,p.2).EachofLeblancsGamePleasuresare
solelyconnectedtoaplayerbyemotionssuchasnarrativeelements.Emotionssuch
astriumphandfrustrationneedtobeevokedtoallowthegametobedefinedasa
game.Theinclusionofgoalsenableplayerstoviewthestateofthegameandjudge
howtheyneedtofilltheirownspecificpleasure,whetherthatiscompletingthe
narrativemainquestsorexploringtheworldtodiscoversecrets.Agamesuchas
Skyrim(2011)enablestheplayertoseewhattheycandofromthebeginningwhilst
theplayerstillchooseswhatactiontheywishtoutilisethemost.Thesystemrewards
themforchoosingbutisstillunrestrictive.Irrespectiveofyourskills,theplayermay

Student Number: U1434630

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Module: MS4401
Coursework: CW1

traversetheentiremapexceptcertainquestareas,thereforethegamepleasuresfor
Skyrim(2011)arethoseoffantasy,narrative,challenge,discoveryandexpression.
Alternatively,FeilandScattergood(2005,p.5)bothstatethatWhenaplayer
achievesalevelofconfidencethatwasformerlybeyondhim,thatswhenhestarts
havingfun.Thispointofviewshowstheneedforprogressiontobeinvolvedinside
games.Theplayershouldbecomemoreskilledandusedtothecontrolsofagame
ratherthanbeingjustasunfamiliarwiththesystemattheendofthegameasthey
didatthestart.Ifathighlevels,youarebeingslaughteredbylowlevelenemiesthen
clearlythereisanimbalancetothegame.Balanceenablestheplayerbeableto
playthegamewithchallengesbeingproportionatetotheplayersskilllevel.Without
this,frustrationwilloccurfrequently.Althoughthisisindeedanemotionevoked,itis
oftentheonewhichmakesthegamebedismissedtoprospectiveplayers.
Thegameitselfmustcontainconciserulesorthosewhichinteractwitheach
otherclearlysonotonlyisthegameabletointeractwiththeplayerbutalsosothat
theplayermayviewthegamestateandattempttoformastrategytoattaintheir
goal.Theseruleschangetheplayersrealityuponagreeingtothetermsofthegame
whilstplaying.Laramee(2002,p.61)statesthatAllformsofentertainmentstriveto
createasuspensionofdisbelief.Uponenteringtheproposedareaofthegame,you
areboundbytherulesuntilyouleavethegame.Thegamemustbeabletoputaside
anyknowledgethatyouhaveabouttheworldandinsteadallowtheplayertobeable
tobecomeinvolvedintherulesoftheworldcreatedbythegame.Booksportraythis
clearlybyremovingthereaderfromdaytodaylifetobecomeimmersedinthe
settingthatthebookexistsinsideutilisingthereadersimaginationthrough
descriptivephrases.JohanHuizinga(1955p.10)statedthatgamesareall
temporaryworldswithintheordinaryworld,dedicatedtotheperformanceofanact
apart.Inphysicalgames,theruleswouldberestrictionsthatwouldpreventyoufrom
performingcertainactionsortheywouldforceyoutoactinacertainmanner.In
contrast,digitalgamesuserulestobuildtherelationships,addingtothegameand
enablingyoutointeractwithit.Rules,mechanicsandsystemsdefinetheactionsthat
canbeperformedandthelistofresponsesthatcanbegiven.Withoutthem,
interactionisimpossibletooccuryetthisdiffersinphysicalgameswherethey

Student Number: U1434630

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Module: MS4401
Coursework: CW1

preventadditionalinteractionthatwouldcircumnavigatethechallengesthatthe
gameproposestoplayers.Thesechallengescanvarygreatly.InSkyrim(2011),
activitiessuchaslockpickingcanbejustasdifficultasdefeatingadragonin
combat.Yet,playersknowwhattoexpectinrelationtotherulesandactaccordingly.
Therulesconstraintheamountoftimestheymayperformmagicaltechniques
throughhavingasystemofmanapoints.Thisallowsthegametohaveanelementof
bothfairnessandchallenge.Thesystemnotonlyreducesyourabilitytorepeatedly
usehighleveltechniquesrepeatedlybutalsoforenemiestobeunabletodothe
sameunlesstheyareverypowerfulbosses.
Inadditiontochallengesrequiredtobecompletedandovercome,anarrative
orstoryisalsoacomponentwhichoftenusedtocreateagame,althoughnot
necessarilyessential.Itisoftenperceivedtoberequiredaspeopleliketoimagine
thatthegameismorethanitseems.Thisisdonebyhowthegameisshownvisually
andthecontextsofeachactivitythatyouperformwithinit.Digitalgamescouldbe
strippedtobeingaseriesofvariablestorevealthecoderatherthandisplaying
imagesofanykind.Inthemajorityofgames,youcansimplifythegametoitscore
minimumanditwillstillbeagame.Physicalgames,althoughlackingincode,could
bebrokendownintoanalgorithm.Thestoryisoftenusedasshowingprogressionof
thegamesanditenablesopportunitiesforvarietysuchasmomentsforbossbattles
tooccurandwhythegoalshouldbeimportanttothecharacter.Anexamplewould
beagoaltodefeatacollectionofvariablessuchashealthwhichwillbeheaded
monster.Thestorywouldcolourthegoalintobeingaquesttodefeatamonsterthat
isterrorisingthetown.Thisinvolvestheplayerandisoftenconsideredmore
aestheticallypleasingthanseeingjustaseriesofnumbers.
Conflictappearsinallgames.Althoughconflictoriginatesfrominteraction,itis
separateasthesearethechallengesandobstacleswhichtheplayermust
overcome.ConflictcanbecreatedbyinteractingwithNPCs,followingthenarrative
plotorbycompetingagainstotherplayers.Conflictcanbedirectorindirect,violent
ornonviolentanddefinesthegoalswhichtheplayermaystrivetocomplete,
attainingpleasureinrelationtoLeblancsTaxonomyofGamePleasures.With
conflict,thereisalsoasenseofdangerorundesirableresultthatmayoccur.Games

Student Number: U1434630

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Module: MS4401
Coursework: CW1

enableplayersofexperiencethepsychologicalexperiencesofconflictanddanger
whileexcludingtheirphysicalrealisations,asstatedbyChrisCrawford(Tekinba,
K.S.andZimmerman,E,2004,p.77)WhenPCdieorfailtocompleteatask,the
playerthemselvesdonotnecessarilyfeeltheresult.Whentheidentitytheplayerhas
assumedwithinthegamedies,theplayerdoesntdieasaconsequences.Instead
theywillmerelyhavetoloadtheirlastsavefileorrestarttheprocessfromscratch,
animpossiblefeattoachievebyanyonewhoislivinginreality.
Inanygame,theaestheticsalwaysneedtobeconsidered.Thevisual
representationsofareaswhichplayersmayenter,theappearanceofinteractive
itemsandanyequipmentwhichtheplayermaycollectoverthecourseofthegame
arejustafewexamples.Skyrims(2011)weapons,armourandconsumablesare
displayedclearlyintheinventory.Theuserinteractswiththemenusystemandasa
result,thecorrespondingitemisdisplayedontheplayeravatar.Thisisconnected
closelywiththeuseoftechnologyandtheplatformthatyouareusingasitrestricts
whatresolutionyourgamemaybeplayedatandalsotheamountofbuttonsor
controlstheplayerhastheabilitytomanipulate.Forphysicalgames,theplayeris
morelikelyrequiredtoprojecttheirimaginationonthegameobjectsaroundthem
ratherthanbeingpresentedwiththeexactobjectasshownonascreen.Chris
CrawfordstatesthatAgamerepresentsasubjectiveanddeliberativelysimplified
representationofemotionalreality,thereforetheappearanceofboththe
environmentandobjectswillbesimplifiedfortheplayersusageorappreciation.
Agameexistsbycombiningavarietyofcomponents.Althoughinteractionis
indeedessentialforthegametoexists,soaremanyothercomponents.Without
interaction,theplayerisunabletorespondtotheworldaroundthemyettherewould
benoreasontointeractiftherewerenogoalspresent.Kelley(1998p.50)statedA
gameisaformofrecreationconstitutedbyasetofrulesthatspecifyanobjecttobe
attainedandthepermissiblemeansofattainingit.

Student Number: U1434630

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Module: MS4401
Coursework: CW1

Reference
Costikyan,G.(2002)Ihavenowords&Imustdesign:Towardacriticalvocabulary
forgames,Digra,Availableat
http://www.digra.org/digitallibrary/publications/ihavenowordsimustdesigntoward
acriticalvocabularyforgames/
(Accessed:6/01/2015)
Crawford.C,
TheArtofComputerGameDesign
.Availableat
http://www.scribd.com/doc/140200/ChrisCrawfordTheArtofComputerGameDesi
gn
(Accessed:6/01/2015)
Feil,J.H.andScattergood,M.(2005)
Beginninggameleveldesign.
UnitedStates:
ThomsonCourseTechnology
Huizinga.J,(1955),
HomoLudens:AStudyofthePlayElementinCulture.
Boston:
TheBeaconPress
Kelley,D.(1998)
TheArtofReasoning.
NewYork:W.W.Norton&Company
Laramee,F.D.(2002)
Gamedesignperspectives.
Hingham,Mass:CharlesRiver
Media
Schell,J.(2008)
TheArtofGameDesign:ABookofLenses.
UnitedStates:Taylor&
Francis
Tekinba,K.S.&Zimmerman,E.,(2004)
Rulesofplay:gamedesignfundamentals
1sted.,UnitedStates:MITPress.

AnnotatedBibliography
BethesdaGameStudios(11/11/2011)
TheElderScrollsV:Skyrim,
Bethesda
Softworks
Skyrimisarelevantgameexampleduetoitbeingcomprisedofmany
differentfactorstocreateagamewhichpeoplenotonlyinteractwithbutalso
emotionsareevokedfromtheplayernotonlybythechallengesposedbut
alsotherichnessofthestoryline.

Student Number: U1434630

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Module: MS4401
Coursework: CW1

Costikyan,G.(2002)Ihavenowords&Imustdesign:Towardacriticalvocabulary
forgames,Digra,Availableat
http://www.digra.org/digitallibrary/publications/ihavenowordsimustdesigntoward
acriticalvocabularyforgames/
(Accessed:6/01/2015)
GregCostikyanisagamedesignerwhohasmanyyearsofaccumulated
experienceinthefieldofgamedesigningwithseveralofhisgameshaving
wonoriginawards.Inthedocument,heattemptstodefinewhatgameplayis
alongwithdiscussinginteraction,goalsandconflict.Henotonlyreferstohis
ownextensiveexperiencesbutalsotoothergamedesignerssuchasChris
Crawford.
Crawford.C,(2007)
TheArtofComputerGameDesign
.Availableat
http://www.scribd.com/doc/140200/ChrisCrawfordTheArtofComputerGameDesi
gn
(Accessed:20/12/2014)
ChrisCrawforddisplayshisopinionsongamesbeinginteractiveartandgives
athroughdescriptiononinteractionandhowotherfactorsarerequiredto
createagame.Iftheplayersareunabletoappreciatethegame,thenthe
gamebecomesmerelyinteraction.Healsoshowsaclearcontrastbetween
interactionanddecisionmaking.Inadditiontohisownexperiences,hehas
foundedtheGameDevelopersConference.
Feil,J.H.andScattergood,M.(2005)
Beginninggameleveldesign.
UnitedStates:
ThomsonCourseTechnology
Thebookcontainsthebasicsofhowtodesignagameandelementsofit
describeaboutthepleasurethatcanbeattainedviagames,thuslinkingin
withtheopinionsofbothSchellJ.andLeblancMwhichalsogivetheirownlist
ofqualitiesthatgamesshouldcontain.
Huizinga.J,(1955),
HomoLudens:AStudyofthePlayElementinCulture.
Boston:
TheBeaconPress
Huizingaconveystheideasthatgamesarefreedominthesensethattheyare
completelydifferenttotherealworldinthewaythattheydonotaffectobjects

Student Number: U1434630

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Module: MS4401
Coursework: CW1

outsideofthegame.Hismagiccircletheoryaptlydescribeshowcomplicityou
mustbeinrelationtotherulesasyoubeginthegame.
Kelley,D.(1998)
TheArtofReasoning.
NewYork:W.W.Norton&Company
Kelleydescribesthevariousmethodstoanalyseargumentsandhowto
deducelogicallyinformationfromtheenvironment.Asargumentsand
analysesaremethodsofattaininginformation,Kelleyalsomentionhow
gamesprovidechallengesorareamethodtoattainsomethinginanalternate
waytohowonemightnormallysetouttoattaintheobject.
Laramee,F.D.(2002)
Gamedesignperspectives.
Hingham,Mass:CharlesRiver
Media
Awidevarietyoftopicsarecoveredinsidethebook,allrelatedtohowpeople
approachgamedesigningandpossiblemethodsfordoingso.Thevarious
perspectivesenablesthereaderstoseehowpeoplesopinionsdifferandthat
eachpersonthinkthatcertaincomponentsofgamesarewhatmakesthem
important,believingcertainfeaturesshouldbeconsideredessential.
Schell,J.(2008)
TheArtofGameDesign:ABookofLenses.
UnitedStates:Taylor&
Francis
Schellsbookcontainsatwopsychographics,thoseofLeBlancsTaxonomyof
GamePleasuresandBartlesTaxonomyofPlayerTypes.Inaddition,Schell
alsogivesalistofwhathebelievesshouldbeincludedinsidegamesaslisted
onp.34.JesseSchellistheCEOofSchellGameswhilstalsobeinga
ProfessoratCarnegieMellonUniversity.
Tekinba,K.S.&Zimmerman,E.,(2004)
Rulesofplay:gamedesignfundamentals
1sted.,UnitedStates:MITPress.
ThecitedsectionisdisplayingaquotefromChrisCrawfordwhichentailswhat
hebelievestobethefourmainfeatureswhichcombinetocreateagame.The
fourfeaturesarerepresentation,conflict,safetyandinteraction.The
surroundingtextdescribesvariousgamedesignersviewsonwhatagames

Student Number: U1434630

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Module: MS4401
Coursework: CW1

relationshipwithitspartsareandattemptstoanalyseeachdefinitionafterit
hasbeendisplayed.