Reading Notes #3

1a): I’m not sure if there is a game that is perfectly balanced because there are too many unseen factors based on player skill and intuition but objectively, I think a car racing game in an arcade could fit the category since all players start in the same space and have to complete the same task.

1b): An unbalanced game would be Mancala, the marble game. Usually the person who starts first always ends up winning because they have the most accessible marbles. By the time their turn is over, the 2nd player does not have many marbles to use.

1c): I think for many people, the experience of playing and the challenge of enduring through the uneven playing field gives them the excitement and joy of playing a game. A game could be fair but unentertaining but in the case for these asymmetrical games, it a compromise that provides excitement as the reward . The challenge of having that small possibility of winning is rewarding as well. Many times, players become so sucked into the game and the experience that they forget the unevenness of the game itself. Many of my friends spent countless hours playing these games without realizing how much time had passed. Once you’re drawn into something, the realities and awareness of the system dissipate.

2. Bakery Story: Mimcry

The player starts their bakery shop and is responsible to supply the store with baked goods.

Zombies: Alea, Mimicry, Ilinx, Paida

Like tag, the players start by spinning in circles and running away from the zombies who “tag” them by biting them on the shoulder.

Candyland: Alea, Ludus

Whoever gets to the end first is the winner of candy land and there are formated rules in playing this game, one may not improvise.

Hopscotch: Ilinx, Paida

Hopping on one leg but as there are challenges to skip a number, the player can get creative on how to do so.

Mafia: Agon, Alea, Mimicry, Paida

A vast mixture of different elements, it is mafia v. citizens, receiving roles is based on chance and the players must take on the character to influence each other. Players have the option to lie, manipulate, etc. as well.

3.  Flow is a concept that describes the mental aspect of a player as he/she in engaged in a game. Being drawn into a game produces feelings of pleasure, joy, focus, determination, etc. Flow can be useful in designing games that desire experience to be its priority compared to systematic logic, originality, or other focuses that game designers strive towards. Engagement in a game is a primary factor in the “success” of a game and its popularity. As mentioned above, even asymmetrical games provide that flow because players must concentrate in each aspect of the game and with the given challenges, try to overcome and succeed. Feeling accomplished is the greater sense of self that brings joy in playing a game with flow.