Game strategies for real life events.
Jesse Schell wrote a great book called “The Art of Game Design” (2008, Morgan Kaufmann) where he’s proposing 100 different viewpoints, which one can use to design games. These viewpoints (or “lenses” as Schell calls them) can be used not only for games, but also to think of what we seek in any playful activity, experience, event or performance. You can find some more thoughts about this subject here, otherwise here are some of the quotes and ideas I find more interesting and relevant to designing real-life events:
“A game designer doesn’t care about games. Games are merely means to an end. Without the experience games are worthless.”
According to Schiller, “Play is the aimless expenditure of exuberant energy.” Maybe that’s why people are so keen on playing these days. Too much energy.
Games should be surprising, because when we are surprised the pleasure centers in our brain are activated. (see Berns GS, McClure SM, Pagnoni G, Montague PR: “Predictability modulates human brain response to response”. Journal of Neuroscience 2001 April 15)
Games should be fun.
Play is a free movement within rigid structure. (from Salen, Zimmermann – Rules of Play)
Lens of curiosity. What questions does the game ask, how to make players care and invent even more questions?
What is the endogenous value of the game (the internal system of meaning created within the context of the game).
The mechanics of a game allows the player to choose the narrative as opposed to linear experiences, where it’s chosen for you. What should these mechanics be?
When designing games it helps to have various ways of looking at them: perceiving, glancing occasionally, examining. (think how useful it would be if you’re working on a film or a performance).
One of the most important things is to listen to others. Think of what experience you want to create and see whether people are really having it.
Game should be like a toy people want to play with.
Game should generate pleasure for people.
What is the functional space of the game and who knows what inside the game.
Games should have rules, require (and hone) skills, propose goals, and each goal should have an “expected value” when one reaches it.
Game is attractive because it’s easier than real world. Players like transcendence. However obstacles are needed, to make it more exciting.
Games are controlled through the interface, so the interface should be thought of and designed in a way that it’s responsive and easily controlled.
Subtle control in the way that peopler think they did it themselves.
Games should have charactes who are very different and scattered across the field, but still dynamically transform and change throughout the course of the game.
Games should engage (and generate) communities.
Games should transform players.