I2GD:2 – Game culture

The second lecture of the online course I am taking has been released. Below are the notes I took while watching the movie clip.

0:00 – Meaning

6:20 – Experience

10:30 – Dual structure
Even the simplest game has this dual structure hidden inside. (11:19 Does he say ‘sign systems’?)

The Core is the gameplay. The heart, rules or mechanics of the game.

The Shell is the symbolic representation. What the game looks and feels like, how you experience or sense the game. Affects the experience of the gameplay. Needed to access the gameplay, core.

Experienced gamers look through the shell and focus on the core.

20:25 – Internal meanings
Like music can be interpreted as ‘romantic’ or ‘aggressive’.

23:40 – Games & rules
Distinction between different dimensions of rules (Salen & Zimmerman, first reference to the course litterature).

  • Opreational rules – The written rules of the game, the stuff you explain to others when teaching the game.
  • Constituative rules – Implied rules. The dictionary in Scrabble. The physics engine in FPS games.
  • Implicit rules – Social rules, sportsmanship.

28:37 – Magic circle
First described by Johan Huizinga.
The magic circle marks a border between the real reality and the game reality. Like a football field, actions done there are perfectly reasonable there, but not outside the magic circle.

When in a state of play you are:

  • Free and voluntary
  • Separate from everyday reality
  • Created and maintained by communities of players

31:47 – Game dynamics
Important for complex digital games.

34:41 – Forms of game and play?
Roger Caillois defined:

Types of games:

  • agôn – Challenge, combat.
  • alea – Games of chance. Randomness, gambling
  • mimicry – Role playing that tries to mimic or create illusion of other people. Simulations.
  • ilinx – Feelings of speed. Rally games or amusement parks.

Style of play (attitude):

  • paidia – Free form, improvised.
  • ludus – Strict rules based, tournament style.

Most games are a mix of several different categories.

38:10 – Two senses of ‘culture’
Something that only humans have and humans do. Something that can be passed through generations.
(Did he actually say what those two senses were?)

40:20 – Cultural roles of games
There are old games and toys.

42:45 – Subcultures
Distinct groups within cultures. Shared rituals, languages.

44:48 – Identity
Only a small part of people that play games identify themselves as gamers. There are many casual gamers, that play without being part of the subculture.

46:54 – Hegemony
Unquestioned domination of certain consensus views and values in particular cultures of societies. Certain thoughts are accepted as normal. Implicit values.
Certain games get more attention than others.

49:26 – Conclusion
Games are diverse.

50:20 – End

Reflections on lecture 2
Too many subjects in too little time. Maybe if I had read some in the books before watching I could have gotten more out of the lecture. Just leafing through the books and checking the contents did not give me any idea of a specific chapter in any of the books that was tied to this lecture.

The section on Game Dynamics seemed most interesting, but I will have to check elsewhere for more information on that.

pod.gscept.com/intro2gd_02.mp4 – Lecture two

intro2gamedesign.com/read – Literature list for the course


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