Month: November 2014

The Sum Of Its Parts: What Makes A Game?

This one is going to be a bit technical, so I will try to keep it from getting too heady, but I think it is worth consideration. I have read a number of books and articles and forum posts and have heard a number of versions of what a ‘Game’ is and how it factors to the genre in general. The definition of a game is basically “a form of play or sport, especially a competitive one played according to rules and decided by skill, strength, or luck”. Now, there is a lot more that you can say on this issue and I will touch on some of the viewpoints. I may cover some of the same material that people have done on this before, but I will try to make it an interesting read nonetheless.

I will start with the first one that I have seen this topic is I Have No Words & I Must Design, and it starts us off by talking about what makes a game requires a number of things. Interactivity, Goals, Struggle, Structure, Endogenous Meaning. They then go on to discuss the reasons people find games appealing, which is a good read but I think secondary to this question of exactly what makes a game a game. After all, while I may approach a game for different reasons than you, I think we won’t be able to say that it isn’t a game as long as it meets our defining criteria.

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Jedi Cravings

I was watching the new Star Wars Rebels animated series the other night and I realized even though, as Yoda says, “Adventure. Heh! Excitement. Heh! A Jedi craves not these things”, they do seem to find it a lot. Every time you see them in the media they seem to be in some hot spot or another. I know that it is because we like action in our media, since watching people sitting around doing nothing interesting. A political discussion for political sake isn’t all that interesting as opposed to seeing a bit relevant to the storyline in question, so having them diplomatically talking to their opponents is not interesting unless the content is. Just look at the scenes in the Galactic Senate, would you want to feel like you were watching real political television channels?

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