Reading Notes #1

1) I’d have to say that my favorite definition of game, after reading Salen and Zimmerman’s taxonomy of game design, is that of David Parlett. I found the other definitions of game design very complicated in the way that they defined board games, video games, computer games, etc. There were too many rules and long amounts of definition that made the definitions in general very complicated. I liked David Parlett’s definition because he basically split gaming into two sub groups: formal, and informal. ┬áThis made the most sense to me because gaming is simple to me. There is a game that you can play, like David Parlett explains, for fun as if it was playing around like two dogs. And a formal game is one that has rules and directions. Both games has a winner but one has rules to lead to a winner. This was a great, simple definition that helped me understand gaming more.

2) I would have to define a game in my own words in a very similar way: Playing to find a winner with rules. It’s simple, but true. There are many different ways that the word “game” is used, as was explained in the article, however, one that has rules is usually what we can call a game, especially like the ones that we will be making in this class.

3) For the most part, I would have to disagree with Costikyan’s point about gaming and how it is only used for finding a goal by thinking and making decisions. He explained how he doesn’t believe that puzzles are games, however, I would have to say that they are. I think that a game, again, is something that you play and that you (in a way, I guess..) win! A puzzle is a game in that way because everybody knows that the main point of the puzzle is to put it all together to create the image. You play the puzzle to finish it and once you finish it you are accomplished and can consider yourself a winner! Costikyan makes an interesting point when he talks about the game Sim City. It is true, this game has no goal and no way to win, but as Costikyan explains that a person while play Sim City creates goals for him or herself and achieves those goals by playing. However, he claims that Sim City is a toy because there is no main goal and no way to win with rules and decision making. I again would have to disagree and say that Sim City is a game. You play it, and you can win it whenever you want to. Costikyan’s point on Narrative Tension was very interesting. I would have to agree and say that a game is very interesting when there is a story and a narrative int he end. With that being said, stories usually have climax endings and this in games, makes games truly interesting and fun to play! Lastly, I think that his point about color is quite obvious. Who would want to play a boring looking, ugly game with not color and no art value? However, we can argue that some of the best games of all time are ones that were made when technology and graphic design was not so advanced as to make great looking games, like DUCK HUNT for example! However, overall, I’d have to say that color and design in games is very, very important, especially even when people judge a game by its cover.