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Chris Birke
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Oh, one more thing, as I'm a hopeless romantic, light speed travel to other worlds is not prohibited so long as we can exist in the form of light (and we can, theoretically.) As I understand general relativity, approaching light speed causes time dilation so that the traveler experiences time "slower" than those influenced by relative mass. Traveling as a pattern of light would freeze time for the pattern, and the passage of time would only resume once they arrived on the far side to engage with whatever sort of matter based computer system is there to re-pattern them. (This is all neglecting the possibility of exploring numbers as a universe, too...) In any case, exploration is cool. =) You see how easy it is to wander off topic without constraints? I am procrastinating...
With regard to constraints, you are right - although there's much resistance they are essential to actually engaging the topic. You can wander anywhere otherwise... For example, there's the entirety of mathematical game theory which is quite "fun" agnostic. (Unless you happen to be the sort of person who loves studying things like the prisoners dilemma...) What we're talking about here are videogames, I think - and maybe that would end dispute on the definition. I'm not sure what to call that collection though, and having established something like that limit makes using the word game ok. To engage your text more directly, I have issues with "The (1) joy of winning (2) while mastering (3) fair (4) game dynamics." It does not account for imaginative play, which is incredibly important, and it does not address reward. Someone playing minecraft isn't playing to win, and I don't think Minecraft is billing itself as an "anti-game" or representing a bizarre outlier on the games spectrum. You describe that as "achievement" but it's not, really, it's exploration. As example of another lens, when I played Quake it was absolutely as much about the community of clans, modding, and socializing as it was about shooting rockets (and shooting rockets was critical.) Emergent gameplay (such as rocket jumping) was abundant and even though rocket jumping was a hard to master achievement, the reward of discovery preceded that and came for most from outside. Games can be designed to encourage that, even without wins. World of warcraft is breaking up marriages because players are seeking victory, and chinese gold farmers aren't doing it to level up (or even for fun) and yet they too exist in the constraint of the game. Is this definition too unconstrained? I'm not sure, because even a small game can have mechanics built to drive such things (*is okCupid a game? I think so, though most disagree. It would hugely benefit from game mechanics.) Food for thought. Thanks for this, and anyone looking to define fun is a winner in my book =)
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Mar 18, 2010