Reading Note 3


  1. A) A game that I believe to be fully balanced is chess. Both players have the exact same pieces and it is up to the player to do what they can to win; there is no chance. All the pieces on the board all have their own specific movements which give them their own benefits and drawbacks. For example, the bishop can move diagonally so that means that it will only be able to touch half of the board for the duration of the game. The queen is the strongest piece in the game and both players can utilize its abilities. Though Chess as a game is completely balanced in the end is up to the players’ abilities to level the playing field.
  2. B) A game that I would say is unbalanced is Street Fighter. Though the characters all have their own special abilities there is a clear difference between the characters stats. The amount of damage that a player can do and take is fundamentally different. Also the types of characters are different which leads to different forms of attack combos. Some character moves are physically easier to perform than others which make combos easier to achieve. The more difficult characters to use do not benefit enough from the difficulty of use making it unbalanced.
  3. C) Soul Caliber and Tekken are similar to my comments above about Street Fighter. The character types/ stats/ special abilities/ and basic moves are all too different to create a level playing field for everyone. With that said I do enjoy these games and believe they do provide a compelling level of gameplay. When it is known that someone is using a character that does have the stats to match up with another it creates some form of an underdog effect which makes it more interesting if they win.


2) Fallout 3 – Mimicry/Ludus

Monopoly, Life – Alea/Ludus

Hungry Hungry Hippos – Agon/Paida

Clue- Mimicry/Paida

Parachute- llinx/Paida


3) Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of flow is a based on the effort to get the gamer to become more immersed in the game. Csikszentmihalyi basically states that when someone is in control of their environment they feel a sense of exhilaration. He calls this an “optimal experience.” Csikszentmihalyi’s describes the preconditions for activity that will result in flow which are; challenging activities, clear goals, clear feedback, and the paradox of having control in an uncertain situation. These are all major aspects of a good game. These four preconditions combined will result in; merging of action and awareness, concentration, the loss of self-consciousness, and the transformation of time. All of these features should be considered when designing and evaluating a game.