Understanding Games

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Information about Understanding Games

Published on September 2, 2008

Author: matthewjetthall

Source: slideshare.net


Understanding Games: Fiction, Rules, and Genre -- part of the chronology and history of games in 20th and 21st Century. Part of English 115F: The Worlds of Wordcraft

Understanding Games: Fiction, Rules, and Genre Cursory History of Electronic Gaming in 20th – 21st Centuries Matthew Jett Hall – worldsofwordcraft.wordpress.com

Explore the idea of a “game”  Contemplate games as both fiction and rules  Set forth some basic vocabulary and  categories to assure a common language during our discourse Journey through a time line of facts related to  gaming

Entertainment?  According to the Oxford English Dictionary  ▪ “Amusement, ▪ delight, ▪ fun, ▪ mirth, ▪ Sport” 17 entries exist for the word “game” in the  OED

“The main argument  of this book, that video games are rules and fiction” Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and  Fictional Worlds by Jesper Juul

“It is a basic paradox of games that while the  rules themselves are generally definite, unambiguous, and easy to use, the enjoyment of a game depends on these easy-to-use rules presenting challenges that cannot be easily overcome. Playing a game is an activity of improving skills in order to overcome these challenges, and playing a game is therefore fundamentally a learning experience.” (Juul, p.5)

“Fiction plays a different role in different  games and game genres, and while some players may be thrilled by the fiction of a game, others may dismiss it as unimportant decoration of the game rules.” (Juul, p.6)

“… two basic ways in which  games are structured and provide challenges for players: that of emergence (a number of simple rules combining to form interesting variations) and that of progression (separate challenges presented serially).” (p.6) Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional  Worlds by Jesper Juul

“Emergence is the primordial game structure,  where a game is specified as a small number of rules that combine and yield large numbers of game variations for which the players must design strategies to handle.” (Juul, p.5)

“In progression games, the player has to  perform a predefined set of actions in order to complete the game. One feature of the progression game is that it yields strong control to the game designer: since the designer controls the sequence of events, progression games are also where we find most games with storytelling ambitions.” (Juul, p.5)

The next section presents categories  Ask yourself two sets of questions   Set A: Rules or Fiction? ▪ Does the category illustrate games as fiction? ▪ Does the category illustrate games as rules?  Set B: Progression or Emergence? ▪ Does the category illustrate progression? ▪ Does the category illustrate emeregence?

Arcade  Adventure  Board  Console  First Person Shooter (FPS)  MMORPG  PC  Real Time Strategy (RTS)  Role Playing  Simulation  Sports 

“a (mechanical or  electronic) game of a type orig. popularized in amusement arcades.” Pac-Man  Pinball 

“Designating a role-playing or computer game in which the  participant plays a fantasy role in an episodic adventure story.” (OED) Zork  Myst 

Games played on a  physical board where players take turns. Chess  Monopoly 

“an electronic  device (usually requiring connection to a television) on which computer games may be loaded and played. “ (OED) Dead or Alive  Dance Dance  Revolution

“Designating a  computer game in which the player's view of the action is as though through the eyes of the protagonist.” (OED) Doom  Return to Castle  Wolfenstein

Massively  Multiplayer On-Line Role Playing Game Lord of the Rings On-Line  Dark Age of Camelot 

Any video game  played on a personal computer. Civilization  King’s Quest 

Video game that takes  place in real time and general involves resource management, territory management, and unit placement. Sim City  Age of Empires 

Players act out the role of  characters. Closely approximates free form drama, and generally involve a group of players together in a room or around a table. Dungeons & Dragons  d20 modern 

“The technique of imitating  the behaviour of some situation or process (whether economic, military, mechanical, etc.) by means of a suitably analogous situation or apparatus, esp. for the purpose of study or personnel training.” (OED) Flight Simulator  M1A1 Tank Simulator 

Video game that  simulates the play of traditional sports FIFA Soccer  Madden 

Oxford English Dictionary  Oxford Concise Dictionary of Literary Terms  Wikipedia  Video Games: www.mobygames.com  Zork: www.infocomm.com  Atari: www.atari.com  Movies: http://imdb.com 

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