Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fundmantal attributes define a game.

I really liked this part of the book.  She identifies six different kinds of games.  These are different not because of superficial attributes, but because they are fun/effective for fundamentally different reasons.  I like this so much because it has fantastic implications for designing games, gamifying other systems, and understanding the psychology behind games.  As usual, I will add my two cents for each one.

1.       Busywork games (bejeweled): something to distract you, refresh your right brain, give you rapid and frequent successes, guaranteed feeling of productivity to counteract a lack of productivity in real life.
2.       Knowledge/strategy games (crossword puzzles): large sense of accomplishment due to personal strengths. To counteract failure or lack of feedback in real world.
3.       Physical games (sports): endorphins of fatigue and challenge of competition. To counter boredom in real world.  Lots of opportunity for Fiero.
4.       Discovery games: investigate and explore new worlds (physical, virtual, knowledge) to counteract repetitive determinism in the real world.
5.       Teamwork games (ropes courses): collaboration, cooperation, division of labor, reliance.  To counter solitude in the real world. When your activity is linked to the team, you can’t quit without hurting others (peer pressure to keep going).  When rewards are linked you win or lose together, not competitively.
6.       Creative games  (Sims): make meaningful decisions that create something good (art or function). To counteract transactional activity in real world.

I used some human factors technical terms here, so if you want more information on any of these, feel free to ask in the comments (or shoot me an email).

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