Reading Notes #1

1.  I prefer Clark C. Abt’s definition personally. He had motioned one thing that I think is the most important elements of game; which is the ability for decision-makers, who are the players of the game, to make the decision of movements and actions while they are playing the game. Players should always have the right to do what they want under the rules of the system. Even an action game, players could still choose to jump or attack at different timing; that is a decision making. Thus, players follow the rules and limiting context to reach the goal of the game, which is one of the purposes why people play games. The rules then became the structure and one of the systems of the game to avoiding cheating and to enforce every player’s rights in multiple players games.

2.  For me, games are a kind of entertainment, a kind of activity, and a kind of learning. Depends on the purpose of the game, a game could be meaning for in training people’s brain or meaningless which is just made for killing the small chunk of times when people are bored.  However, all game should contain a system, which includes the rules, place, time, and the structure of the game. Then there is the audience, which is the decision-maker; who, then, would reach the objective part of the game, the goal.

3. I have to say that I’m totally agreed with Costikyan’s definition of games. It is certainly not just a puzzle or a toy. It is much more about the actual content of the game. Before reading this article, I had always thought that the story of the game equals the game or it might become the meaning of the game. However, this article had changed my mind on that. He talked about that ”Stories are linear. Games are not.” I have become to believe that it so true. In a sense, you could say that stories and games both start somewhat with an event and then there come the troubles and problems which players or characters have to solve by making decision. And then they all end with a goal. However, story line, to me, is just an addition, or you could say, a “color” that add on to the game system to make it different to other.  And then when the players come in the game, their decision could totally change or twist the story line.

As I have said, the color part that Costikyan had stated in the article is additional elements of a game. It could be a story, a place, a task, a system, a simple graphic design, a character, and all the objects that are involved in that game. Although some people might say that color only contains the visual elements, I think it is more than just visual, but physical, literary, and mental impacts that the game had brought to the players.