Wednesday 12 January 2011

WEB207 - Topic 1.4 - Games

1.  Costikyan refers to Chris Crawford's 1982 book "The Art of Computer Game Design" and makes the distinction that "A puzzle is static.  A game is interactive."  But you can interact with a game without it being social - ie. single player chess games, or Solitaire, or Sim City, or Bejeweled.  I think a social game is one where a level of either collaboration or competition between individuals is involved.

2.  As Stew says on Blackboard this week:

When we strip away the whizbangery, Doom is arguably just 'Cowboys and Indians' (mechanic = shooting), Bejewelled is just 'snap' (mechanic = pattern recognition) and Pacman is just 'chasey' (mechanic = evade)

So while many of the games themselves are based on the same mechanics as pre-digital games, the fact that they can be played simultaneously across the internet with hundreds or thousands of other people at the same time makes them different.

3. I don't agree that games can change the world, fundamentally.  I tend to agree with this week's lecture, that life isn't a game and that games don't generally have consequences, but real life does and for that reason it's important to separate play from real life.  Having said that, games can teach people certain skills such as collaboration, problem solving, hand/eye coordination, etc.  An example would be fighter pilots, who play fighter pilot games to help them train for real-life flying of a plane.  But the consequences within the game if they mess up, are different to the consequences if they mess up in real life.



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