University of Utrecht Faculty of the Humanities Degree program: pre-MA New Media & Digital Culture Student: Mark A.

Jansen Student ID: 3637603 Title: Making the rules: the case of Halo Month and Year: February 2011 Supervisor: R. Glas

“...one of the sweetest pleasures as a game designer is seeing your game played in ways that you did not anticipate.‖ (Salen & Zimmerman, 2003, p. 540).

Table of content
1. Introduction……………………………………………………………………..1 1.1 Introducing the research………………………………………………1 1.2 Framing the object…………………………………………………….1 1.3 Defining game concepts………………………………………………1 2. Research Design………………………………………………………………2-3 2.1 Research question……………………………………………………..2 2.2 Theoretical framework………………………………………………...2
2.2.1 Participatory culture………………………………………………………....2 2.2.2 Reconfiguration…………………………………………………………...…2 2.2.3 Rules of the game………………………………………………………...….3

1. Introduction
The cause for this research is my personal experience with the First-Person Shooter (FPS) game Halo on the Xbox console platform and the specific way it was played in a social group.

1.1 Introducing the research
The research concerns the rules of the game. More specifically, it is about how and why players change the rules. Available content on online video site YouTube demonstrates that Halo is, and has been, played in radically different ways, probably not all foreseen by the game designers. Examples are „Red vs. Blue‟ and the so-called „Warthog Battles‟. The research concerns one of the many ways Halo can be played. Halo‟s design offers players “...custom rules for all the basic game types.” (MobyGames, 2011). However, not all elements of the game are adaptable nor customizable, which leads to creative solutions.

2.3 Research method…………………………………………………………….3-4 2.3.1 Group………………………………………………………………..4 2.3.2 Sample………………………………………………………………4 3. Value of the research……………………………………………………………5 3.1 Scientific value………………………………………………………..5 3.2 Societal value …………………………………………………………5 4. Analysis of the case……………………………………………………………6-8 4.1 Motivation……………………………………………………………..6 4.2 Game elements………………………………………………………6-7 4.3 In-game social norms………………………………………………..7-8 4.4 Process………………………………………………………………...8 5. Conclusion……………………………………………………………………9-11 6. Limitations of the research……………………………………………………12 7. Bibliography…………………………………………………………………...13 8. Appendix……………………………………………………………………14-23 8.1 Description of game concepts in alphabetical order……………...14-15 8.2 Interview transcripts……………………………………………...15-23
8.2.1. Interview with A. Griffioen…………………………………………….15-17 8.2.2 Interview with M. Kasper………………………………………………17-19 8.2.3 Interview with C. Kasper……………………………………………….19-21 8.2.4 Interview with N. Bakker……………………………………………….21-22 8.2.5 Interview with T. de Heij……………………………………………….22-23

1.2 Framing the object
The research concerns Halo‟s competitive multiplayer gameplay mode. More specifically, the research is about the team-based Capture The Flag (CTF) gametype, played with multiple consoles in a Local Area Network (LAN) context. Furthermore, the research only considers gameplay in the map „Sidewinder‟.

1.3 Defining game concepts
The paragraphs above contain potentially intimidating terms, such as FPS, CTF and LAN. They may seem rather exotic to the reader who is unfamiliar with them. Basic knowledge about these concepts is required for the reader in order to understand this paper. However, it is beyond the scope of this paper to review these concepts extensively. Therefore, I refer the reader to the Appendix, where I provide a short description of relevant terms.

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2. Research Design
In this section the research question, the research method and the theoretical framework will be described.

separately due its prominence in this research. Raessens uses the conceptual framework of the British tradition of cultural studies to situate the concept of interpretation. Here, cultural texts “...are viewed as open texts that different groups of viewer interpret differently, depending on social, cultural and other contexts...” (Raessens & Goldstein, 2005 p. 375) For Raessens, construction is “...understood as the addition of new game elements. This can exist as modifying existing games, or as in making entirely new games. Construction can take many forms and may seem related to reconfiguration. However, Raessens explains that “You can really speak of construction when players work with game-mods or game patches, editing tools and source codes.” (Raessens & Goldstein, 2005 p. 381). Here, the player adds elements to the system. 2.2.2 Reconfiguration According to Raessens, reconfiguration consists of two categories. First, it “...exists in the exploration of the unknown, in the computer game represented worlds.” (Raessens & Goldstein, 2005 p. 380). Second, reconfiguration is “...when a player in this process of exploration is invited to give form to these worlds in an active way by selecting one of the many pre-programmed possibilities in a computer game.” (Raessens & Goldstein, 2005, p. 380). The player selects objects and actions from a fixed set, as opposed to construction which concerns adding new elements. Essentially, this is the basis of participation, where the designer controls the fixed and finite set. The invitee, the user, has freedom in choosing and selecting options, but is limited to the spectrum, or frame, offered by the designer. The rules of a game are part of the game configuration. Since the research is about changing the rules, which is an act of reconfiguration, I will next provide a brief theoretical overview of what game rules are by means of the book Rules of Play, written by Salen and Zimmerman.

2.1 Research question
The research answers the following research question:

A. What is the motivation of game players in redefining the rules?
The question is broken down in the following sub-questions:

A1. Why were the players not satisfied with the suggested game rules? A2. What was the goal of changing the rules? A3. What did the process of changing the rules look like?

2.2 Theoretical framework
Here I describe the theoretical framework employed in this paper. The research looks at games through the lens of „games as a social phenomenon‟, after one of the chapter titles in the “Handbook of Computer Game Studies” by Raessens & Goldstein (2005). Within „games as a social phenomenon‟ the concept of participatory culture and the three domains of participation are used. These domains are interpretation, reconfiguration and construction (Raessens & Goldstein, 2005 pp. 378-381). 2.2.1 Participatory culture Although this research mainly uses the reconfiguration domain, I provide here a short definition of the two other domains in order to grasp the situation of reconfiguration. Thereafter I will address reconfiguration

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2.2.3 Rules of the game
―To play a game is to follow its rules.‖ (Salen and Zimmerman, 2004, p. 117). ―A game … can get into action only if the players consent to become puppets for a time.‖ (McLuhan, 1964, p. 259).

their interest. In turn, a game needs individuals, players, for support. Without players, there is no game. “When a game creates ambiguity, it is always within some larger frame that is clearly articulated and shared by all players. … Rules themselves must ultimately be unambiguous.” (Salen and Zimmerman, 2004, p. 137). Conflict is an intrinsic element of every game (Salen and Zimmerman, 2004, p. 250). “One core principle of conflict in games is that it is fair. Game conflict is impartial conflict: it is premised on the idea that all players have an equal chance at winning, that the game system is intrinsically equitable, that the game‟s contest takes place on a level playing field...” (Salen and Zimmerman, 2004, p. 260). Such a fair game would eliminate all extraneous variables so that the player with the most developed skills wins the game. This would give what Caillois, quoted by Salen and Zimmerman, describes as “...precise and incontestable value to the winner‟s triumph.” (2004, p. 260). However, in practice most games strive for, but hardly ever accomplish fair play. Rules are chief means to at least approach the condition of the level playing field. Players may reconfigure rules, amongst others to improve the fairness of the game.

The phenomenon of game rules is more complex than this sentence above seems to suggest at first glance. Rules are a fixed set of abstract guidelines; the game‟s formal structure. The rules determine which actions are permitted out of all the possible actions. “Players voluntarily submit to the game, they limit their behaviors to the specific restrictions imposed by the game rules.” (Salen and Zimmerman, 2004, p. 124). In effect, the game rules handicap the players. As soon as the players are in-game, they are inside the games‟ artificial context, its magic circle. Here, all players must obey the rules to participate. In sum, game rules limit player action and they are explicit, fixed, binding and repeatable (Salen and Zimmerman, 2004, p. 125). Elements of the game rules are situated on a continuum from unstated to stated. Salen and Zimmerman describe game rules on three levels, namely; implicit, constituative and operational rules (2004, p. 130). Implicit rules are the unwritten rules of a game. Essentially, this concerns proper game behavior. The constituative rules of a game are the formal structures that exist below the rules presented to players. The operational rules are the guidelines players require to play. Boundaries between these levels can be fuzzy, especially between the operational and implicit rules. Here, the context is important in determining which rule belongs where. So, which rules are really the true rules of the game? In other words, do the rules as formal structures of a game have a bearing on the game‟s formal identity? (Salen and Zimmerman, 2004, p. 134). Implicit rules are crucial, but are also similar from game to game. Thus, these are not of the essence. In turn, it is “The constituative and operational rules of a game [which] work in concert to generate the formal “meaning” of a game.” (Salen and Zimmerman, 2004, p. 134). In the end, the three levels assist in determining a clear rule set which relates to the actions and outcomes of meaningful play. When rules are ambiguous, the game is destroyed and the players lose

2.3 Research method
The research concerns a case study. The research method used in this study is qualitative field research. More specifically, participatory ethnography, since the researcher participated in the group himself. The analysis is based on semi-structured interviews with a sample of respondents from the group of players. The interviews were conducted by means of VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) telephony. The answers were recorded and transcribed. The answers are coded into four categories which will be elaborated upon in the analysis. They form the basis on which the research question is answered. Transcripts of the interviews can be found in the appendix.

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2.3.1 Group
The social group varied in size between 12 and 16 males who played together on a regular basis. In 2006 the players‟ age varied from 16 to 22 years. In 2010, all players were either having applied sciences and/or university degrees or actively pursuing them. It is important to note that the social ties of the group were formed a priori to playing Halo. The people involved were living in the same city and going to the same high school, some of them situated in the same class. Furthermore, there were also familial ties within the group, with two sets of three and two people being brothers.

2.3.2 Sample
The five interviewees were selected from the group in question, which varied in size between 12 and 16. Sampling was based on the behavior variable frequency of play, i.e. the interviewees were the most frequent players of the group.

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3. Value of the research
Halo is part of the FPS-genre which is still very popular, with recent releases regarding the Call of Duty and Medal of Honor franchises. The research is valuable for both academics as well as game designers, because it provides insights into what game players demand from the rules of the game and the opportunity to change these rules. The goal is to produce gameplay that appeals even more to game players.

3.1 Scientific value
The research provides insights into what motivates the players of the object under study to change the rules of the game. In turn, this contributes to the body of knowledge concerning participatory media culture as well as game rules.

3.2 Societal value
With new releases of violent video games such as Halo, societal uproar occurs often. The FPS-genre is criticized for displaying aggression and violence and thereby causing violence in real life. The first-person view is supposed to make things even more intense. Although this research is not after the existence of such effects, nor their intensity, it may yield insight into what gamers consider to be „meaningful play‟ (Salen and Zimmerman, 2004, p. 134). This means that there is more to a game than its visible content than suggested by the debate about aggression and violence. Games are a social phenomenon, they are “...extensions, not of our private but of our social selves...” (McLuhan, 1964, p. 266)

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4. Analysis of the case
The interview transcripts, which can be found in the appendix, form the basis for this analysis. From the answers provided by the interviewees it emerges that important factors concerning changing the rules of the game are; motivation, game elements, in-game social norms and existing social relations.

to the theory about rules by Salen and Zimmerman (2004, p. 260): “One core principle of conflict in games is that it is fair. Game conflict is impartial conflict: it is premised on the idea that all players have an equal chance at winning, that the game system is intrinsically equitable, that the game‟s contest takes place on a level playing field...” (Salen and Zimmerman, 2004, p. 260).

4.2 Game elements
―...a fair game would eliminate all extraneous variables so that the player with the most developed skills wins the game.‖ (Salen and Zimmerman, 2004, p. 260).

4.1 Motivation
―...everybody agreed that [our rules] made the game much more fun to play than the original settings.‖ (De Heij, 2010).

Why would game players attempt to change the rules of the game, i.e. what is their motivation? First, people play a game for fun. Having more fun is a great motivator in changing the rules of the game. Melvin Kasper puts it this way: “I think we had more fun playing [Halo] this way...” (2010). All interviewees mention this fun factor. Halo is no exception to the rule that conflict is an intrinsic element of every game (Salen and Zimmerman, 2004, p. 250). Halo is a competitive game and this is reflected in the answers of all the interviewees, when they say that the game should test the skills of the players. Players should be equal as in having access to and using the same tools, such as weapons. Their skills determine how they handle the tools and this is what makes someone a better player. The process described above is called ‗balancing‘ by the interviewees De Heij and M. & C. Kasper (2010). The goal is to remove game elements which are perceived as “overpowered”, such as the rocket launcher (M. Kasper, 2010). The aim is to level the playing field as much as possible, where the player's skill determines the outcome. The game should be fair, where “…all extraneous variables [are eliminated] so that the player with the most developed skills wins the game.” (Salen and Zimmerman, 2004, p. 260). The ideal of the fair game and the balancing of the game corresponds well

Game elements are closely related to the rules of the game and thus with changing them. Possession of certain game elements can give a player an advantage over others. As is described above, this is precisely the cause of dissatisfaction with the „original‟ or suggested rules. Interesting is that the changes to the game elements were not of a technical, but of a social nature. The players made an agreement where certain game elements were still available in-game, but they would all refrain from using them. This was due to the rather limited customization options of Halo's design. Therefore, the players had to come up with a creative solution. All interviewees mention that the use of power-ups, more specifically, the Active Camouflage and the Over-Shield, were outlawed. This is not surprising, given that the word 'power-up' covers exactly the function it fulfills; making a player comparatively stronger than the other players. Although this is of a temporary nature, i.e. the advantage lasts for a limited amount of time, it apparently disrupted the desired balance and fairness of the game enough to outlaw them. Two weapons, the rocket-launcher and the sniper-rifle, were another kind of game element the players voluntarily refrained from using. Again, these weapons challenged the ideal of game balance, because these weapons were overpowered compared to the default weapon; the pistol (M. Kasper, 2010). Furthermore, the players neither started off with the rocket-launcher nor the sniper-rifle already in their possession when they re-spawned; instead they had to get them from certain locations on the map. Therefore, these weapons were scarce. This challenged the principle of player equality,

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where all players have access to, and use, the same tools. De Heij mentions that the radar, which when enabled displays the location of friendly as well as enemy players near you, was also disabled (2011). Compared to the restrictions discussed earlier, this was not a social measure. The design of Halo allows you to disable the radar technically for all players. De Heij is the only interviewee who mentions the radar. This is probably due to the fact that the other interviewees forgot about this, due to time passed between playing and the research interview. Another explanation might be that the other interviewees do not conceptually consider the radar to be a game element, but instead as an interface element, for example.

time'? Therefore, it is more difficult to regulate this type of behavior. The cloudy character of camping is highlighted by M. Kasper, who states that the activity was forbidden in general, but tolerated to a certain degree when the player in question was a defender, as opposed to an attacking player (2010). The interviewees also mention restricting the act of teleport blocking. Here, a player would park a 'Warthog', a buggy-like car, on the teleport. Through this portal, players can emerge when they walk into the corresponding teleport, situated on another location on the map. When the teleporter is blocked by the Warthog, teleportation is no longer possible. The interview participants report three issues concerning what they call “the tunnels” (C. Kasper, 2010). More specifically, they refer to a location within the tunnels. This place is called 'the goods' on the map, which can be found in the appendix provided, by Esemono (2010). The Overshield and Active Camouflage are located here. However, a fence was also present in this location. This fence was the cause of trouble. The fence prevented players from taking a quick route, a shortcut, from the Blue to the Red basis. However, the player able to take this shortcut anyway had a major advantage over others. The first issue with the fence was that although it's bars, or balusters, may prevent players from taking the shortcut, the flag-carrying player was able to pass the flag on to a team-mate on the other side of the fence (Bakker, 2011). In short, the fence was there for a reason. The game was designed to prevent the players themselves from passing through the fence, but the flag was allowed to pass. Bakker explains that he dislikes this because “...an [enemy] team-mate could pick up the flag very fast and then we he would avoid walking a great part of the distance normally required to take the flag to your [home] basis.” (2011). The second issue was more like a glitch in the game, which is probably not foreseen by the designers. Here, the players found a way for their protagonist to pass the fence. M. Kasper states that: “...when there was a Warthog located on the other side of the fence, you could be teleported through the fence when you [would press and hold the X-button] and enter the Warthog” (2010). M. Kasper explains that the group outlawed this

4.3 In-game social norms
―A camper is usually frowned upon in the FPS community.‖ (Gaming Dictionary, 2011). ―There are always issues up for discussion. Camping is not allowed, but up to a certain degree, it happened nevertheless. It is hard to determine what is camping and what is not camping. That led to conflict between the two teams, screaming from one room to the room next door and back again.‖ (Griffioen, 2011).

Here I address in-game social norms, another type of 'rules'. These are addressed separately because these kind of rules are more implicit compared to the earlier game elements, which are more explicit. In-game social norms govern player behavior which involves a specific use of certain game elements and which is perceived negatively. All interviewees mention 'camping' as something which is 'not done'. Camping is an activity that known in nearly all FPS games. It is “...the action of staying in the same place (the camp) for long periods of time, usually in hiding, and just waiting for the enemy to come by. A camper is usually frowned upon in the FPS community.” (Gaming Dictionary, 2011). However, it is hard reach an agreement on when someone is camping. It has to do with staying in a certain location for a certain amount of time. But what exactly is 'a certain location' and how long takes 'a certain amount of

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action because “...once you left the enemy base, you could easily progress through the fence and the other team had no chance to stop you [from taking the enemy flag to the home base and scoring],” (2010). The third issue concerning the fence located at 'the goods' is reported by De Heij (2011). This can also be called a game glitch. He states that it was possible to “...[pick up the Over Shield, and use a rocket-launcher] to blow up a car, [a Warthog], near you.” (2010). The Over Shield would keep the protagonist alive while the explosion would push him through the fence. However, this action required having a rocket-launcher. Furthermore, the protagonist had to pick up the Over Shield in order to progress through the fence while staying alive. These two conditions were already forbidden in themselves, therefore this glitch was illegal a priori.

The fact that they continued playing indicates that they were happy with the changes. This should be the case, as the motivation of the game is to make the game better, meaning more balanced and fair for all players. Bakker agrees with De Heij that “...[our way of playing] was the most fun way of playing.” (2011). However, he is not sure whether it came into existence by means of a democratic process. Instead, Bakker says that “It came into existence over the years. It came out of nowhere. We were like, “hey, this is too easy, that's not fun, let's try that in a different way.”.” (2011). In short, Bakker says that the process resembled an informal “developmental process” more than a formal democratic process where someone would ask “...who agrees with this rule?” and when the group would vote (Bakker, 2011). Griffioen agrees with Bakker that it was “...not completely democratic.” (Griffioen, 2011). People accepted it, but it was not a formal group decision where everybody was involved. To conclude the analysis, it is important to note that the social relations of the group existed prior to playing the game Halo in this specific form. To be more specific, the players were friends who undertook many activities together. Playing the game studied in this paper is but one of those activities. Here, in-game behavior affects real-life behavior and vice versa. The players were all motivated to play by the rules. Bakker puts it nicely by saying that “Sometimes there were players who did not stick to the rules for a short while. The other players reacted quite passionately upon such behavior.” (2011). This highlights that a degree of social control was a necessary condition for this specific configuration to work, or play, out. When such control is absent, or present to a lesser degree such as when playing online, this poses issues. These can endanger the meaningfulness of gameplay.

4.4 Process
―When there are ten people who want something and one who does not, then that's too bad for that single person. I think you can call that democratic.‖ (C. Kasper, 2010).

During the interviews, the interviewees were asked whether the process of changing the rules was democratic. The quote above shows that it matters what kind of conception of democracy the individuals have, before deciding whether the process of changing the rules was democratic. C. Kasper says that the process was democratic, while Bakker and Griffioen argue that it was not. De Heij and M. Kasper state that they cannot remember whether certain people were in favor or opposing the changes, nor whether there was a discussion about it. However, by talking about discussing an issue by people favoring and opposing an outcome, M. Kasper displays knowledge of aspects which are certainly democratic. De Heij assumes that the process was democratic, because “...otherwise everybody would not want to play the game with each other every single week.” (2011). Furthermore, he says that “...everybody agreed that [our rules] made the game much more fun to play than the original settings.” (De Heij, 2011). This statement reminds us that the players play voluntarily and for fun, i.e. they are not required to play. Thus when they are unhappy about a development, such as a change in the rules, they can simply stop playing.

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5. Conclusion
As a game designer, you are never directly designing the behavior of your players. Instead, you are only designing the rules of the system. It is not always possible to anticipate how the rules will play out.‖ (Salen and Zimmerman, 2004, p. 168).

Instead, all players should start with the same tools and should keep these, so that the game is about who handles them most skillfully. People play a game for fun. In order to get the most fun out of playing, the players wanted to balance the game in order to improve its fairness. The goal of the players here was to make the game even more fun (Wright et. al., 2002). M. Kasper puts it nicely: “I think we had more fun playing [Halo] this way...” (2010). De Heij agrees by saying that “...everybody agreed that [our rules] made the game much more fun to play than the original settings.” (2011).

Here, the analysis is summarized and answers to the research questions are provided. A1. Why were the players not satisfied with the suggested game rules?
The interviewees say that the game should test the skills of the players, where the player with the most developed skills should win the game. However, the players felt that the game was more about getting the most powerful game elements than about the skills of the players in applying them. They felt that players should be equal as in having access to and using the same tools, such as weapons. This idea(l) is called balancing, where the goal is to remove game elements which are perceived as overpowered in relation to others. The ideal of the fair game and the balancing act corresponds well to the theory about rules by Salen and Zimmerman (2004, p. 260): “One core principle of conflict in games is that it is fair. Game conflict is impartial conflict: it is premised on the idea that all players have an equal chance at winning, that the game system is intrinsically equitable, that the game‟s contest takes place on a level playing field...” (Salen and Zimmerman, 2004, p. 260). Such a fair game would eliminate all extraneous variables in order for the player with the most developed skills to win the game. The aim is to level the playing field as much as possible, in short, the game should be fair.

A3. What did the process of changing the rules look like? The players disagree about whether the process of changing the rules was democratic. This might have to do with differing individual conceptions of democracy. C. Kasper states that “When there are ten
people who want something and one who does not, then that's too bad for that single person. I think you can call that democratic.” (2010). It is debatable whether such a 'majority rule' is the right, correct or best way of resolving issues, even in a democracy. However, it is likely that the process was democratic up to a certain degree, because play is voluntary. Ergo, the players would not have accepted that one person would impose a rule that would make the game less fun to play for the majority of the group. All players can have a final say, a veto, by simply stopping with playing. However, there is much in-between such an autocratic leader and a more formal democracy, where someone would ask “...who agrees with this rule?” after which the group would vote (Bakker, 2011). Bakker says that the process “...came into existence over the years. It came out of nowhere.” (2011). In the words of Bakker, the process can best be described as an informal “developmental process” (Bakker, 2011). It is important to note that the social ties of the players in the group existed prior to playing the game. The game was one of several social activities the group undertook. Therefore, they were motivated to stick to the new rules, such as refraining from using a weapon, even when that weapon was available during play. Breaking rules

A2. What was the goal of changing the rules?
Changing the rules of the game was not a goal in itself. As described above, the players found that the game was not very well-balanced, therefore they attempted to level the playing field. The rules were a means to achieve this goal. The players felt that the goals of the game should not be who possesses the best tools, such as certain weapons and power-ups.

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might lead to undesirable arguments and fights. It is an interesting question what happens to the willingness of the players to follow the rules when the context changes, an issue I turn to later.

since the players are the interpreters and thus the ones who make meaning. This means that players may want to change some elements of the game for their own reasons, for example to make the game more fair. It is impossible, or at least very hard, for the designers to anticipate all possible things players want to do with the game or how they interpret it in the first place (Salen & Zimmerman, 2003, p. 540). Therefore, they should offer many options, or game settings, which are customizable. As is described in this research, the game Halo offered quite meager customization options. This led to some creative solutions by the group of players (Wright et al., 2002). However, it is promising that Halo 3 seems to offer many more changeable settings (HaloWiki, 2011). This means that players are no longer forced to resort to social measures, but instead can rely on technical solutions. Important in this regard is how the rules are enforced. It is important to note that the group of players who were studied in this research existed as a social group prior to playing the game. They related socially, and when playing they were located in the same space, usually one or two rooms in a house. Therefore, it worked well to establish, communicate and enforce rules, even the in-game social norms. Further research might address the changes that occur when players play online over the internet, where social ties, group norms and shared physical player location can be lacking. This might ask for more 'hard', explicit game settings, since there is less trust that a stranger is willing to stick to more implicit rules. To conclude, during this research the concepts of game balancing, or equalizing, the level playing field and fairness frequently came to the fore. Interesting questions are: what lies beneath these concepts, i.e. what are the values and assumptions that that feed our desire for a fair game? Why should we level the playing field and if we agree to leveling, do we level it in the right way, i.e. do all players benefit equally? How do these issues relate to conceptions of justice? Further research should address these matters. Sniderman has published two tentative issues, Fair Game I and II, which addresses these issues and relates them to real-world issues:

A. What is the motivation of game players in redefining the rules?
Players want to have fun while playing and they will make the game more fun when they can. The game being fair is a necessary condition for having fun while playing. Changing the rules of the game is one of the means for the players to get more fun out of the game. The players felt that the game rewarded the players who came in possession of more powerful, or overpowered, tools. They did not like this, instead they were of the opinion that the game should test the skills of the players, meaning how well they handle the tools available in the game, where every player has the same tools. Making sure that the game rewards the right things is called ―balancing‖ by the interviewees De Heij and M. & C. Kasper (2010 & 2011). What underlies this balancing act is the idea of the fair game and the level playing field (Salen and Zimmerman, 2004, p. 260). A fair game on a level playing field would have eliminated all extraneous variables that might give some players an 'unfair' advantage over others. The answers to the research questions yield insights, recommendations and suggestions for further research, which I turn to now. 5.1 Recommendations and suggestions for further research
―If games have nothing else in common, they have this concept at their heart. Fairness, in other words, is a defining trait of games.‖ (Sniderman, 2004, p. 25).

Game designers produce games for players. The players play, experience and make meaning. Thus, as Salen and Zimmerman put it: “As a game designer, you are never directly designing the behavior of your players. Instead, you are only designing the rules of the system. It is not always possible to anticipate how the rules will play out.”. (2004, p. 168). This means that players participate, they co-create with the game designers,

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―If we can‘t understand why we consider certain advantages acceptable and others unacceptable in games and sports, we have virtually no chance of gaining insight into some controversial issues that seem to hang on our notions of fairness, including racial profiling by the police force, sexual harassment in the workplace, equal-pay-for-equal-work issues, the Boy Scouts of America‘s stand on homosexuals, the place of gays in the military, the use of drugs to enhance athletic performance, and so on. ―On the other hand, if we can understand what makes us judge a game situation as fair or unfair, we have a greater possibility, I believe, of coming to grips with these and other crucial questions of social justice.‖ (2004, p. 37) ―Games, then, are our touchstone. Life may not be fair, but as long as we have games, we will always have a way of measuring how unfair life really is. With the model of games, we cannot pretend that other aspects of our existence are the way they should be. More important, games provide us with an ideal to strive for. We know what life ought to be because we see the way games are.‖ They ―…are our guide, our North Star, our moral compass. If we can‘t appeal to games to tell us what is right and just and fair, there is nothing else to appeal to since the other candidates — religion, morality, law, culture — are inevitably tainted with real-world-itis, with the struggle for power and survival‖. (2004, p. 25)

Whether these claims are truthful remains to be seen. However, when we put a question mark behind certain statements, some interesting research questions emerge. These pose a research guide from which future can benefit when they address these issues.

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6. Limitations of the research
The research provides in-depth insights on a relatively „small‟ area, since it concerns a very specific combination of peripherals, software and people. Therefore, the results might be hard to generalize, at least beyond the FPSgenre. This is due to the unicity and specificity of the case and its situation within the context. Although the research concerns a case study, Halo can be considered a typical FPS game. This speaks in favor of the generalizability of the research, at least within the FPS-genre. It can be argued that the participation of the researcher in the group is a weakness, because it may cause bias (Van Gemert, 2009). Therefore, issues such as interpretation and personal factors may lead to different results when replicating the research. To complicate matters, replicating this type of research is difficult in itself, due to situational circumstances. The group in which the researcher participated played the game together between 2003 and 2006. At this the researcher had no intent of doing research, so he participated on an equal basis with the other participants. Therefore, there was no role stress of being participant and researcher at the same time. However, this brings the potential disadvantage of „going native‟ (Van Gemert, 2009). Furthermore, data collection took place in 2010, about four years after the group stopped playing on a regular basis. This period between the events and the collection and analysis may have negative effects, such as a diminished ability of the interviewees to recall events from their memory.

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7. Bibliography
Esemono (2010). A bird‘s eye view of Sidewinder. Retrieved from http://halo.wikia.com/index.php?title=Sidewinder&image=Sidewinder-jpg Gaming Dictionary (2011). Definition of camping. Retrieved from http://www.metaboli.co.uk/gaming-dictionary/defnition-of-camping.htm Gaming Dictionary (2011). Definition of camper. Retrieved from http://www.metaboli.co.uk/gaming-dictionary/defnition-of-camper.htm Gaming Dictionary (2011). Definition of LAN. Retrieved from http://www.metaboli.co.uk/gaming-dictionary/defnition-of-lan.htm Gaming Dictionary (2011). Definition of console. Retrieved from http://www.metaboli.co.uk/gaming-dictionary/defnition-of-console.htm Gaming Dictionary (2011). Definition of multiplayer. Retrieved from http://www.metaboli.co.uk/gaming-dictionary/defnition-of-multiplayer.htm Gaming Dictionary (2011). Definition of first person. Retrieved from http://www.metaboli.co.uk/gaming-dictionary/defnition-of-first_person.htm Gaming Dictionary (2011). Definition of FPS. Retrieved from http://www.metaboli.co.uk/gaming-dictionary/defnition-of-fps.htm Gaming Dictionary (2011). Definition of capture the flag. Retrieved from http://www.metaboli.co.uk/gaming-dictionary/defnition-ofcapture_the_flag.htm Gaming Dictionary (2011). Definition of peripheral device. Retrieved from http://www.metaboli.co.uk/gaming-dictionary/defnition-ofperipheral_device.htm Gaming Dictionary (2011). Definition of power up. Retrieved from http://www.metaboli.co.uk/gaming-dictionary/defnition-of-power_up.htm

HaloWiki, (2011). Retrieved from: http://halowiki.net/p/Gamesettings Magnike2 (2011). Sidewinder. Retrieved from http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/Sidewinder McLuhan, M. (1964). Games: The Extension of Man, in Understanding Media, Routledge, MA MobyGames (2011). Halo: Combat Evolved. Retrieved from http://www.mobygames.com/game/xbox/halo-combat-evolved Raessens, J. (2005). Computer Games as Participatory Media Culture. In Raessens, J. & Goldstein, J. H. (Eds.) Handbook of computer game studies. (pp. 373-388) Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Salen, K., & Zimmerman, E. (2004). Rules of play : Game design fundamentals. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Sniderman, S. (2004). Fair Game. The Life of Games: Why and How We Play – An Exploratory Journal. (pp. 24-27). 3. Retrieved from: http://www.gamepuzzles.com/tlog/tlog25.htm Sniderman, S. (2004). Fair Game, II. The Life of Games: Why and How We Play – An Exploratory Journal. (pp. 35-37). 4. Retrieved from: http://www.gamepuzzles.com/tlog/tlog35.htm Van Gemert, F. (2009). De rijke inzichten van participerende observatie. Retrieved from http://www.sociologiemagazine.nl/artikel/de-rijkeinzichten-van-participerende-observatie Wright, T., Boria, E., & Breidenbach, P. (2002). Creative Player Actions in FPS Online Video Games: Playing Counter-Strike. Game studies: the international journal of computer game research. 2 (2). Retrieved from http://www.gamestudies.org/0202/wright/

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8. Appendix
8.1 Description of game concepts in alphabetical order
Camping, Camper, Camp Camping is the action of staying in the same place (the camp) for long periods of time, usually in hiding, and just waiting for the enemy to come by. A camper is usually frowned upon in the FPS community (Gaming Dictionary, 2011). Capture The Flag (CTF) Capture the Flag is ”...a special mode usually found in multiplayer games, where two teams will engage in battle and try to take the opponent's flag in order to bring it back to their own base, while protecting their own flag.” (Gaming Dictionary, 2011). In Halo, the two teams are called Red and Blue. Console The console is “...an entertainment system, portable or not, which lets you play video games.” (Gaming Dictionary, 2011). This research concerns the Xbox console. First Person Shooter (FPS) A First Person Shooter is “...a game which puts you in the driver's (or killer) seat. You will indeed be seeing all the action through the eyes of the character you are playing...” (Gaming Dictionary, 2011). The first person game player sees “...through the eyes of the protagonist.” (Gaming Dictionary, 2011). Halo: Combat Evolved Halo is “...a first-person shooter with considerable driving elements and the first game in the popular Halo series... Halo also has a significant multiplayer component with …capture the flag with the unusual addition

that the flag takes your weapon spot while you are holding it, so shooting your way in and out of the base on your own is not an option … There is also a game editor which allows you to set custom rules for all the basic game types. All the playable weapons and vehicles from the campaign mode are available in the multiplayer maps with the ability for members of the same team to share the game's distinctive Warthog vehicle, which is essentially a small truck with a mounted gun on the back.” (MobyGames, 2011). Local Area Network (LAN) LAN abbreviates the descriptive term Local Area Network. Such as network connects computers in a common location (Gaming Dictionary, 2011). Here, the network consists of four Xbox consoles located in a house, often in two rooms due to the divide of the group into two competing teams. Map The map is the “...game universe you are in when you play a game.” (Gaming Dictionary, 2011). This research is limited to one specific map called „Sidewinder‟. Multiplayer This research concerns multiplayer gameplay. This means “...a video game that can be played by a few players ... over a network, over the Internet, or in a LAN.” (Gaming Dictionary, 2011). Halo allows a total number of 16 players to play at the same time in the map Sidewinder. Peripherals Peripherals are “...hardware (as opposed to software) extension ... device[s] used in computer science, like a mouse...” (Gaming Dictionary, 2011). Example of peripheral devices in relation to the Xbox console are the controller, network cables and the network hub/switch. Powerups

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Powerups are “...a bonus. It is an object that you can find in the game world and that will add itself to your original skill to boost it. … These can be either found in the game, by killing an enemy, or even in secret places.” (Gaming Dictionary, 2011). Health Pack The health pack restores the health of the protagonist, in-game it looks similar to a first-aid kit. Active Camouflage Active camouflage makes the player transparent, and therefore less easy to see. This power up is often referred to as invisibility, although it does not make the players completely invisible. Over-shield The over-shield in Halo is called shield because it protects you against enemy attacks. The word „over‟ designates that it is located over the health points. The over-shield restores automatically, while the health points can only be restored by picking up a health pack. Sidewinder Sidewinder is one of the 13 available multiplayer maps of the game Halo. From a bird‟s eye perspective the map resembles a horseshoe. “The main feature of this map is the ice patches on the front of the horseshoe in between the bases... On the outer edge of the map are two large cliffs that are connected to each base with teleporters. ... On the inner edge, there is a network of tunnels which lead to the opposing bases. Four power-ups can be found in the lower section of the tunnel. There is a Sniper Rifle, two Shotguns, Health Pack, Plasma Pistol, Pistol and an Assault Rifle inside each base.” (Halopedia, 2011).

Figure 1. Map of Sidewinder (Source: Esemono, 2010) 8.2 Interview transcripts Interviews were held with Arjan Griffioen, Melvin& Collin Kasper, Niels Bakker and Tim de Heij. The original audio recordings of the interviews are available upon request at the researcher. The transcripts have been annotated by the researcher. The colors correspond to important concepts in this research: Red: game elements Blue: in-game social norms Green: player motivation and goal Yellow: rule change process 15

8.2.1. Interview with A. Griffioen

Interviewer: Mark Jansen Interviewee: Arjan Griffioen Date: 25-01-2011 [Mark] Goedenavond Arjan. Goed, het is vandaag dinsdagavond 25 januari 2011 en ik spreek met Arjan Griffioen. Klopt dat, Arjan? [Arjan] Zeker. [Mark] Ok, is het in orde dat ik een opname maak van dit gesprek? [Arjan] Ja, helemaal. [Mark] Als iets niet duidelijk is dan kun je tijdens het gesprek een vraag stellen. Het interview gaat over het aanpassen van de spelregels in de multiplayer capture the flag spelvorm in de map Sidewinder van de game Halo. Ik zal je in totaal vijf vragen stellen. De eerste vraag is; welke elementen zijn verandert, met betrekking tot de originele spelregels? [Arjan] We hadden een aantal aanpassingen gemaakt. De eerste was dat je, er waren een aantal teleporters in het level, twee aan elke kant van het level en die mocht je niet blokkeren. Dat kon je doen door er een poppetje of een object op te zetten. Dat mocht niet. Er waren een aantal power-ups in het level, onzichtbaarheid en schild, dat je een extra sterk schild kreeg. Dat mochten we niet gebruiken, want daar werd je gewoon te goed door. Er waren een aantal wapens die we niet mochten gebruiken. Dat was de sniper-rifle, waarmee je heel ver kon inzoomen en makkelijk mensen kon doodschieten. De rocketlauncher, waarmee je simpel en makkelijk kills kon maken. Owja, je mocht niet campen. Rondhangen op één plek om alleen maar mensen dood te schieten en kills te maken. Je moest altijd aanvallend spelen

en voor de vlag gaan. Maar het was wel te betwisten wat campen inhield. De voornaamste dingen... hielden ook in gebruik maken van een aantal fouten in het level, maar dat mocht ook niet. Zoals mensen, in het midden van het level kon je dan tussen twee palen door dringen via een trucje en dat mocht je ook niet gebruiken. Dat waren de belangrijkste dingen. [Mark] Ok, je hebt nu een boel dingen genoemd. Mijn tweede vraag was, wat waren acties die de groep als geheel als ongewenst beschouwde? Een paar daarvan heb je denk ik al genoemd. Weet je er misschien nog meer? [Arjan] Nou, het belangrijkste was dat je niet alleen maar heel verdedigend kon spelen, met zijn allen alleen maar de basis verdedigen, je moest ook aanvallend aanvallen organiseren. Want anders kon het spel een beetje vastlopen en veel te lang duren. Je moest dus ook aanvallend spelen en je mocht niet alleen voor de kills gaan, dus je mocht niet alleen maar mensen doodschieten om een goede kills-deaths ratio te krijgen, maar je moest dus echt, zeg maar, het spel spelen om de vlag. En de dingen die ik net gezegd heb. [Mark] Ok. Kwam het wijzigen van de spelregels op democratische wijze tot stand? [Arjan] Ik ben wat later begonnen met spelen, dus heel veel van die regels waren er al toen ik bij jullie kwam spelen. Ik denk niet dat het helemaal democratisch was. Uiteindelijk besloot iedereen wel, het werd meer geaccepteerd, dan dat iedereen het er altijd mee eens was. Uiteindelijk denk ik wel dat iedereen het ermee eens was, maar ik denk niet dat het een gezamenlijk besluit was. [Mark] Ok, en wat was volgens jou het doel van het wijzigen van de spelregels?

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[Arjan] Het doel was, ik denk dat het meerdere dingen waren, één was dat het spelletje speelbaar bleef. Want als je bijvoorbeeld de wapens ging gebruiken, of de power-ups ging gebruiken, kon je gewoon te goed worden. Dus als één iemand én de goede wapens én de power-ups in bezit had, dan had hij gewoon een té grote machtspositie en werd het spelletje onspeelbaar. En ik denk ook om het spel moeilijker te maken. Dat bepaalde dingen niet zomaar meer konden gebeuren, dat je niet te makkelijk kon winnen, maar aan de andere kant, dat er wel uiteindelijk een winnaar kwam, dat het dus wel speelbaar bleef. [Mark] Ok en werd volgens jou dat beoogde doel ook daadwerkelijk bereikt? [Arjan] Ja, ik denk het wel. Uiteindelijk waren natuurlijk een aantal mensen beter dan anderen, dat heeft het spel ook altijd wel erg beïnvloed, maar aan de duur van de potjes te zien, en uiteindelijk kwam er ook altijd een winnaar uit, werd het doel zeker wel bereikt. Dat denk ik wel. Alleen waren er natuurlijk altijd wel dingetjes die te betwisten waren, wat ik al eerder zei, het campen wat dan niet mocht, dat gebeurde toch wel een beetje. Het was altijd kijken van wat is wel campen en wat is niet campen. Dat leidde wel eens tot schreeuwpartijen tussen boven en beneden teams, maar over het gros werden de regels wel geaccepteerd en werd er wel bereikt wat we zelf hadden aangepast. [Mark] Ok, dat was alweer het einde van het interview. Ik wil je hartelijk bedanken voor je deelname. [Arjan] Ik jou ook Mark, succes.
8.2.2 Interview with M. Kasper

Date: 30-12-2010 [Mark] Het is vandaag donderdag 30 december 2010. Ik spreek met Melvin Kasper. Vind je het goed dat ik een opname maak van het gesprek? [Melvin] Ja dat is prima. [Mark] Hartstikke mooi. Het interview gaat over het aanpassen van de spelregels in de multiplayer capture the flag spelvorm van de map Sidewinder binnen de game Halo. Ik ga je vijf vragen stellen. De eerste vraag is; welke elementen zijn verandert met betrekking tot de originele spelregels? [Melvin] Wat we verandert hebben is dat we bepaalde wapens hebben uitgesloten. De rocket launcher mocht niet, omdat die, voor zover wij vonden, te krachtig was, te goed was, er viel ook niet tegen te spelen. Sniper rifle hebben we er ook uitgegooid, om ongeveer dezelfde redenen. Je kon van heel lange afstand iemand uitschakelen en wij vonden dat niet echt veel toevoegen aan de game. Volgens mij hebben we uiteindelijk wel toegestaan dat je met sniper mocht scouten, zeg maar, dus je kon met de in-zoom wel mensen zien aankomen, wat dus wel een voordeel was, maar je mocht er dus niet mee schieten. Dus je had een soort van grote verrekijker met een geweer eronder. [Mark] Ok. [Melvin] Verder power-ups zoals onzichtbaarheid, invisibility, en het power-shield, dat hebben we ook niet gedaan omdat het té makkelijk was om voor een aanval even een powershield op te pakken en als je dan in een één tegen één situatie kwam dan was het gewoon niet meer te doen voor die andere partij. Dan kon je wel ongeveer evenveel skills hebben maar dan had hij zo'n power-up waardoor hij

Interviewer: Mark Jansen Interviewee: Melvin Kasper

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hem altijd won. [Mark] Ja. En waren er nog andere elementen behalve deze? [Melvin] Ja, er waren bepaalde glitches in Halo 1. Als je onderin bij de tunnels ging zitten, waar ook de power-up lag, als je daar een auto, Warthog, neergooide aan de ene kant en je kwam aan de andere kant aanrennen met de vlag, dan kon je door een muurtje geteleporteert worden op het moment dat je instapte bij die auto en dan was je dus ineens in de tunnel aan jouw kant van de baan. En dat is ook verboden op een gegeven momen omdat het gewoon totaal te makkelijk was, zodra je de basis van de vijand uit was en je in de tunnels was kwam je door die muur heen en dan konden ze je al lang niet meer pakken. [Mark] Ok. En wat waren acties die de groep als geheel als ongewenst beschouwde? [Melvin] Ja, campen in zijn algemeen, maar dat viel wel mee, dat werd wel gepikt. Omdat het ook wel werd gedaan, zeker in de verdediging wel, dat was ook niet zo storend. Wat niet toegestaan was, wat echt a-relaxt was, was campen in het hokje van de teleporters. Zeker als je dan vlak naast de teleporter ging staan wachten tot er iemand doorheen rende en dan sloeg je hem in de rug en die is dan in één keer down. Dat was zeker ongewenst. En verder het blokkeren van teleporters, dat is volgens mij ook verboden op een gegeven moment, dat mocht ook niet meer. [Mark] Ok. En kwam het wijzigen van de spelregels op democratische wijze tot stand? [Melvin] Ja, ik denk het haast wel. Ik kan het me niet meer goed herinneren of hier veel discussie over was, of hoe dit ooit bepaald is, maar volgens mij was iedereen het er wel mee eens. Omdat dingen

als rocket launchers, snipers en die power-ups toch een beetje de balans uit zo'n game wegtrekken, waardoor dus, zeker iemand die weinig skills heeft, makkelijk met dit soort wapens alsnog iemand met veel skills kan verslaan, wat we eigenlijk helemaal niet tof vonden. Dus ik denk dat het wel democratisch gegaan is, ik kan me ook niet herinneren of er mensen waren die ertegen waren of zich er tegen uit hebben gesproken ofzo. [Mark] Ok. En wat was volgens jou het doel van het wijzigen van de spelregels? [Melvin] Ja, toch bepaalde elementen uit het spel halen die, voor zover wij vonden, een beetje overpowered waren. De rocket launcher, die eigenlijk te krachtig was, een sniper rifle die te goed was, powerups die een oneerlijk voordeel gaven, dat gaf gewoon in de team battles, en ook vooral in de één versus één battles, dat het gewoon veel meer aankwam op je skills zeg maar, dan op de power-up die je daarvoor had opgepakt. Of de dikke wapens die je daarvoor had opgepakt. En dat was zeker voor verdedigers, die eigenlijk niet in het veld kwamen en dus ook geen power-ups en wapens konden krijgen, dat maakte het zeker veel spannender. Want anders was jij als aanvaller altijd sterker als een verdediger was. [Mark] Ok. En werd volgens jou dat doel ook uiteindelijk bereikt? [Melvin] Ja, ik denk het wel, ik denk dat we er meer plezier aan hebben beleefd op deze manier, dan we hadden gehad als we bazooka's, snipers en dat soort dingen hadden toegestaan. Ja ik denk dat het doel bereikt werd, het werd een meer gebalanceerde game die veel meer van skill afhing dan van powerups. [Mark] Ok. Dat vind ik een mooie afsluiting van het interview. Ik wil je hartelijk bedanken voor je deelname.

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[Melvin] Graag gedaan.
8.2.3 Interview with C. Kasper

pakken, de sniper rifle, en dingen oppakken zoals onzichtbaarheid en het over-shield. Dat vooral vooral de grootste aanpassingen geweest volgens mij. [Mark] Ok. Mijn tweede vraag was wat waren acties die de groep als geheel als ongewenst beschouwde, maar die heb je nu in feite al beschreven. Maar weet je nog meer acties die niet konden, in-game? [Collin] Nou, even kijken, onderin de tunnels had je twee spleten, zeg maar, dan kon je heel snel door naar de andere kant als je daar je auto naast zette en eruit sprong, of erin sprong, dan kon je er heel snel doorheen en heel snel met de vlag weg. Dat mocht ook niet. [Mark] Ok.

Interviewer: Mark Jansen Interviewee: Collin Kasper Date: 30-12-2010 [Mark] Vandaag is het donderdag 30 december 2010. Het is tien minuten over half zes in de avond. Ik spreek met Collin Kasper. Collin vind je het goed dat ik een opname maak van het gesprek? [Collin] Ja dat is prima. [Mark] Hartstikke mooi. Als iets niet duidelijk is kun je tijdens het gesprek je vraag stellen en dan zal ik die proberen te beantwoorden. Het interview gaat over het aanpassen van de spelregels in de multiplayer capture the flag spelvorm in de map Sidewinder van de game Halo. Ik zal je in totaal vijf vragen stellen. [Collin] Allright.

[Collin] Bovendien was het dan ook heel moeilijk om de overshield en de onzichtbaarheid te ontwijken. En, ja, daarom mocht dat ook niet. [Mark] Ja, want die lagen op dezelfde plek. [Collin] Ja.

[Mark] De eerste vraag is; welke elementen zijn verandert, met betrekking tot de originele spelregels? [Collin] We hadden een paar elementen die verandert zijn. Dat is dat je bepaalde wapens niet mocht oppakken. Dat je geen overshield en geen onzichtbaarheid mocht oppakken. En, dan hadden we nog een paar sociale regels zeg maar, dat had niks te maken met items op de map, maar dat waren dingen die je niet mocht doen, die not-done waren. Dat zijn dingen als teleport-blocking, dus je mocht niet je auto op het uiteinde van de teleport zetten zodat die geblokkeerd was. Je mocht niet in de teleporter in het hokje blijven staan, zodat je iemand direct in de rug kon slaan als die erdoorheen kwam. Even kijken hoor... Verder mocht je van wapens oppakken niet de rocket launcher

[Mark] Ok. Kwam het wijzigen van de spelregels op democratische wijze tot stand? [Collin] Ik denk vooral wel, omdat de meeste mensen het ermee eens zijn geweest. Maar het verschilde natuurlijk wel, sommige mensen zullen wel graag overshield's hebben gehad in die game, maar dat waren er dan te weinig om de rest van de groep er rekening mee te laten houden. Als je gewoon tien mensen hebt die het wel willen en eentje niet, dan is het pech voor die ene persoon. Ik denk dat je dat democratisch kunt noemen.

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[Mark] Ok. [Collin] Graag gedaan. [Collin] Denk ik. Maar het zullen er misschien wel verschillende zijn geweest. Per regel zal dat anders zijn geweest. [Mark] En wat was het doel van het wijzigen van de spelregels? [Collin] Het doel was dus om het spel eerlijker te maken. Om iedereen gelijk te maken in het spel. Je kon niet dingen of pakken waardoor jij een oneerlijk voordeel zou krijgen ten opzichte van de ander. Iedereen zou elke keer elkaar tegen moeten komen en precies gelijk moeten zijn aan elkaar. Of net, je had nog wel verschil tussen de shotgun en de assault rifle, die hadden dan net weer kleine positieve en negatieve kanten aan elk wapen, daar had je nog wel wat speling in. Maar voor de rest was iedereen gelijk aan elkaar als je elkaar tegen kwam. Daardoor gaat iedere speler op zichzelf, wordt iedere speler op zichzelf getoetst en niet aan hoe sterk hij is in het spel maar hoe goed hij is in het echt. [Mark] Ok. En werd dat doel ook uiteindelijk bereikt? [Collin] Ik denk dat het doel wel bereikt werd, maar dat is voor mij persoonlijk natuurlijk, ik denk dat het doel wel bereikt werd, ik vond het gewoon hartstikke leuk en de potjes werden echt knetterspannend ervan. Het allertofste wat ik ervan vond was dat alles neerkomt op die vlaggen en hoe goed je was ten opzichte van anderen. In plaats van dat je een rocket pakte en iemand in één keer naar de kneiter schoot, zeg maar. [Mark] Dat vind ik een mooie afsluiting van het interview. [Collin] Dankjewel. [Mark] Ik wil je hartelijk bedanken voor je deelname. [Mark] Ok. En wat waren acties die de groep als geheel als 20
8.2.4 Interview with N. Bakker

Interviewer: Mark Jansen Interviewee: Niels Bakker Date: 05-01-2011 [Mark] Het is vandaag woensdag 5 januari 2011 en ik spreek met Niels Bakker. Niels, vind je het ok dat ik een opname maak van het gesprek? [Niels] Jazeker. [Mark] Mooizo. Als iets niet duidelijk is kun je een vraag stellen en dan zal ik het proberen uit te leggen. Het interview gaat over het aanpassen van de spelregels in de multiplayer capture the flag spelvorm in de map Sidewinder van de game Halo. Ik zal je in totaal vijf vragen stellen. [Niels] Ok. [Mark] De eerste vraag is; welke elementen zijn verandert, met betrekking tot de originele spelregels? [Niels] Toen wij het speelden, bedoel je? Dus wat we deden is dat je niet op één plek mocht blijven zitten zodat je iemand kon opwachten, dat noemden we dan campen. Wat ook niet mocht is teleporters blokkeren. Verder had je van die powerpacks dat je onzichtbaar of extra schild kon krijgen. Dat was ook verboden om op te pakken. En je mocht geen snipers of rocket-launchers gebruiken, wat eigenlijk lange-afstand wapens zijn. Volgens mij was dat het.

ongewenst beschouwde? [Niels] Nou, misschien ook eigenlijk alles wat ik net noemde. En daarnaast misschien dat je de boel gewoon kapot slaat. Als je boos bent. Dat was ook wat ongewenst. Menig man verloor zijn, hoe noem je dat, zijn controle tijdens het spel. Dan werden ze nogal snel boos op zichzelf. Dus dat was ook niet helemaal leuk voor de sfeer. Maar echt in het spel denk ik toch wat we net gezegd hebben. Misschien was het ook niet altijd wenselijk dat er iemand achterbleef op de basis. Dat zorgde wel voor wat ergernissen. Dat werd op een gegeven moment ook gewoon geaccepteerd. Volgens mij was dat het. Ja, wat ook wel vervelend was is dat men de vlag, door het hek kon gooien. Dat herinner ik me opeens. Althans, dat vond ik een beetje laf. Dan liet je de vlag los en dan viel die aan de andere kant van het hek op de grond. Dan kon een teamgenoot die heel snel oppakken en dan sloeg je een heel stuk af van de afstand die je normaal moet lopen om de vlag naar je basis te brengen. [Mark] Ok. [Niels] Is dit een beetje wat je zoekt? [Mark] Het is een prima antwoord, als jij het zo vind is het ok. Je hebt het over een hek, waar bevond dat hek zich? [Niels] Het level was een soort hoefijzer en daar zat een doorgang, zeg maar het midden van het hoefijzer, daar was een gebergte en dat had een doorgang, een tunnel, die bovenlangs liep. Maar ook beneden had die een hekwerk precies in het midden. En dat hekwerk bedoel ik. [Mark] Ok, en wat was het doel van het wijzigen van de spelregels? [Niels] Ik denk dat het vooral de bedoeling was om het spel wat meer

gericht op echte kunde te laten, want die mass-destruction wapens, die waren, zo'n bazooka, die schiet je ergens achter iemand op de grond en dan is 'ie ook dood. Terwijl een pistool, dan moest je hem wel echt raken. En als je er heel goed in was dan kon je dat met drie schoten af. Het gaf toch net meer dat je kon ontwijken en wat meer een one-on-one gevecht hebt wat echt ergens over gaat. En verder, het doel was dat het eerlijk bleef. Daarom mocht je die packs niet pakken, want anders is het drie schoten en dan ben je dood, of vijf ofzo, en met zo'n pack is het dan opeens tien schoten. Dat gaat nergens over. Dus dat was een beetje het idee, want dan is het geen eerlijke strijd. [Mark] Ok en werd volgens jou dat doel ook daadwerkelijk bereikt? [Niels] Het doel werd zeker bereikt. Ik denk dat wij zo een hele leuke tijd hebben doorgemaakt. [Mark] Kwam het wijzigen van de spelregels op democratische wijze tot stand? [Niels] Dat durf ik eigenlijk niet te zeggen. Dat is gewoon ten stand gekomen in de loop van de jaren. Eigenlijk uit het niets. Zeg maar van “dat gaat wel heel makkelijk zo, dat is eigenlijk niet zo leuk, laten we dat eens een keer niet doen, laten we het een keer anders proberen”. Dan kwam je erachter dat het het spel bevorderde. Het is meer een groeiproces geweest dan dat er echt gezegd werd “wie is er vóór deze regel?”. Op een gegeven moment dacht iedereen wel dat het de leukste manier was om te spelen. En er zijn natuurlijk altijd wel mensen die zich even niet aan de regels hielden, nouja, dat werd dan ook passioneel uitgelegd. [Mark] Ok, dat was alweer het einde van het interview. Ik wil je hartelijk bedanken voor je deelname.

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[Niels] Graag gedaan jongeman.
8.2.5 Interview with T. de Heij

[Mark] Ongewenst, dat betekent dus dat mensen erop reageerden als je dus zo iets deed wat niet de bedoeling was. [Tim] Teleport campen, snipen en rockets gebruiken. We gebruikten ook geen overshield en geen invisibility. Geen power-ups. [Mark] Ok en kwam het wijzigen van de spelregels op democratische wijze tot stand? [Tim] Ja heel democratisch want iedereen was het erover eens dat dit spel veel leuker maakte dan de originele settings. Omdat rockets en snipers toch wel makkelijk te hanteren waren en wij speelden vooral met het pistooltje, daar kreeg je grote pistool battles van. Ja en de rocket is gewoon een groot n00b wapen, dat gebruikten we daarom dus niet. Ik denk dat het heel democratisch tot stand is gekomen anders zou niet iedereen elke week weer het spel met elkaar willen spelen. [Mark] Ok. Wat was volgens jou het doel van het wijzigen van de spelregels? [Tim] Het spel leuker maken, interessanter. Ook wat moeilijker. Zonder de radar en zonder de rockets. En uiteindelijk wat gebalanceerder, want met de powerups en die sterke wapens, als iemand die in het bezit had, die was eigenlijk niet meer te verslaan. Dus volgens mij is daaruit het idee geboren om het allemaal af te schaffen. [Mark] Ok, en werd volgens jou het beoogde doel ook daadwerkelijk bereikt? [Tim] Ja zeker, dat werd zeker bereikt. Iedereen had de beschikking over dezelfde wapens, je kreeg ze bij het begin namelijk, zo werd het spel heel eerlijk en was je op basis van je eigen skill niveau wat

Interviewer: Mark Jansen Interviewee: Tim de Heij Date: 03-01-2011 [Mark] Het is vandaag maandag 3 januari 2011 en ik spreek met Tim de Heij. Tim, vind je het ok als ik een opname maak van dit gesprek? [Tim] Jazeker. [Mark] Mooi. Het interview gaat over het aanpassen van de spelregels in de multiplayer capture the flag spelvorm van de map Sidewinder binnen de game Halo. Ik zal je in totaal vijf vragen stellen. Mocht er iets niet duidelijk zijn dan kun je dit tijdens het gesprek aangeven dan zal ik het uit proberen te leggen. Mijn eerste vraag is; welke elementen zijn verandert met betrekking tot de originele spelregels? [Tim] Wij gebruiken geen rockets, geen snipers, geen radar, er mocht niet gecampt worden bij de teleporters, dat was het eigenlijk wel volgens mij. Er was één cheat in de map die wij speelden, Sidewinder, dan kon je een auto opblazen, tegen je aan, dan kon je door een muur geblazen worden. Dat hebben we een tijdje wel gespeeld, maar toen werd het te makkelijk en toen hebben we het afgeschaft. Dat zijn er vijf die ik nog duidelijk weet. [Mark] Ok, en wat waren acties die de groep als geheel als ongewenst beschouwde? [Tim] Teleport campen dus, dat heb ik eerder genoemd. Snipen. Wat is ongewenst, kun je wat specifieker zijn?

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bepaalde hoe goed je was en niet wat voor wapens je droeg of wat voor powerups je te pakken had. [Mark] Ok, dankjewel, dat was alweer het einde van het interview. Bedankt voor je deelname. [Tim] Geen probleem.

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