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Extract!from!“Game!Design!for!Cultural!Heritage”! Foteini!Valeonti!©!2012! www.valeonti.com!

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SECTION!I:!

GAME!DESIGN! !
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A.!Defining!games!–!a!debate!
! ! Over! the! years! a! plethora! of! philosophers! and! game! designers! have! attempted! to! define! games.! Given! the! fact! that!their!existence!spans!on!more!than!two!millennia1!one! would! expect! over! all! these! years! a! definition! for! such! a! popular! activity! would! have! prevailed.! It! might! have! been! the!subject!of!adjustment!and!optimisation!over!time!but!the! core! of! the! definition! would! have! been! the! same,! as! it! has! happened!with!other!phenomena!that!exist!since!the!ancient! times!such!as!drama.!Defining!games!however!proves!to!be!a! complex! task! and! in! this! chapter! a! variety! of! definitions! about! games! is! examined,! leading! to! the! definition! that! appears! to! prevail.! ! Jesper! Juul! a! contemporary! researcher! on! the! field! of! game! design! in! his! paper! “The! Game,! the! Player,!the!World:!Looking!for!a!Heart!of!Gameness”!(2003)! offers! a! thorough! research! on! definitions! of! games! and! the! following!research!has!been!based!on!his!work.! ! Dutch!anthropologist!John!Huizinga!(1950)!defined!game!as! a!free!activity!standing!quite!consciously!outside!”ordinary”! life! as! being! ”not! serious”,! but! at! the! same! time! absorbing! the! player! intensely! and! utterly.! It! is! an! activity! connected! with!no!material!interest,!and!no!profit!can!be!gained!by!it.!It! proceeds! within! its! own! proper! boundaries! of! time! and! space! according! to! fixed! rules! and! in! an! orderly! manner.! It! promotes! the! formation! of! social! groupings,! which! tend! to! surround! themselves! with! secrecy! and! to! stress! their! difference! from! the! common! world! by! disguise! or! other! means.! Building! upon! Huizinga’s! definition! French! sociologist! Roger! Caillois! (1961)! defined! a! game! as! an! activity,! which! is! essentially:! Free! (voluntary),! separate! [in! time!and!space],!uncertain,!unproductive,!governed!by!rules,! makeabelieve.! In! 1982! Chris! Crawford! a! worldaknown! computer! game! designer! in! his! book! “The! Art! of! Computer! Game! Design”! argued! that! games! share! four! common! factors:! representation! ["a! closed! formal! system! that! subjectively! represents! a! subset! of! reality"],! interaction,! conflict,! and! safety! ["the! results! of! a! game! are! always! less! harsh! than! the! situations! the! game! models"]! (Crawford,! 1982).!! ! Juul! (2003)! offers! a! more! precise! definition! stating! that! a! game! is! a! ruleabased! formal! system! with! a! variable! and! quantifiable! outcome,! where! different! outcomes! are! assigned!different!values,!the!player!exerts!effort!in!order!to! influence! the! outcome,! the! player! feels! attached! to! the! outcome,! and! the! consequences! of! the! activity! are! optional! and! negotiable.! Other! contemporary! experts! on! the! field! avoid!giving!a!single!definition.!! !

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! ! 1!The!first!recorded!Ancient! Olympic!Games!were!in!776!BC! (Ancient!Greece,!2011).!

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Dr.!Jane!McGonigal!a!worldarenowned!game!designer2!in!her! recent!book!“Reality!is!Broken”!(2011)!following!Crawford’s! example,! instead! of! using! one! definition! for! games,! she! outlines!the!characteristics!they!appear!to!have!in!common.! According!to!McGonigal!a!game!has!four!defining!traits:! 1. The! goal;! the! specific! outcome! that! players! will! work! to! achieve.!It!focuses!their!attention!and!continually!orients! their! participation! throughout! the! game.! The! goal! provides!players!with!a!sense!of!purpose.! 2. The! rules;! which! place! limitations! on! how! players! can! achieve! the! goal.! By! removing! or! limiting! the! obvious! ways! of! getting! to! the! goal,! the! rules! push! players! to! explore! previously! uncharted! possibility! spaces.! They! unleash!creativity!and!foster!strategic!thinking.! 3. The! feedback! system;! it! tells! players! how! close! they! are! to! achieving! the! goal.! It! can! take! the! form! of! points,! levels,! a! score,! or! a! progress! bar.! ! Or,! in! its! most! basic! form,! the! feedback! system! can! be! as! simple! as! the! players’! knowledge! of! an! objective! outcome:! “The! game! is!over!when..”!Realatime!feedback!serves!as!a!promise!to! the! players! that! the! goal! is! definitely! achievable! and! it! provides!motivation!to!keep!playing.! 4. Voluntary!participation;!it!requires!that!everyone!who!is! playing! the! game! knowingly! and! willingly! accepts! the! goal,! the! rules! and! the! feedback.! Knowingness! establishes! common! ground! for! multiple! people! to! play! together.! And! the! freedom! to! enter! or! leave! a! game! at! will! ensures! that! intentionally! stressful! and! challenging! work!is!experienced!as!safe!and!pleasurable!activity.! ! The!above!definitions!attempt!to!identify!similarities!across! games!or!traits!they!appear!to!have!in!common,!but!as!Raph! Koster!argues!in!his!book!“A!Theory!of!Fun!for!Game!Design”! (2005)! an! epitomy! in! the! field! of! game! design,! all! these! characterisations! fail! to! help! designers! find! “fun”! a! concept! directly! related! to! gaming.! ! Koster! in! his! book! takes! this! debate! of! defining! a! game! a! step! further,! looking! for! an! answer! in! the! exploration! of! the! way! the! human! brain! functions.! Based! on! Koster’s! findings,! which! are! analysed! later! on,! this! report! attempts! to! prove! in! the! following! chapter!that!games!are!nothing!more!than!tasty!food!for!our! brains!and!as!McGonigal!argues!(2011)!positive!psychology,! the! science! of! optimal! human! functioning! of! what! makes! people! flourish! and! thrive! or! simply! feel! happy! (wellbeingwizard,!2009),!is!the!purpose!of!game!design.!The! next! chapter! aims! to! crystalise! the! relation! between! games! and!the!feeling!of!happiness.!!
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2! Dr.! Jane! McGonigal! is! the! New! York!Times!bestselling!author!of! “Reality!is!Broken”!(2011)!whilst! in! the! past! she! has! created! and! deployed! awardawinning! games! and!secret!missions!in!more!than! 30! countries! on! six! continents,! for! partners! such! as! the! International! Olympics! Committee! and! the! World! Bank! Institute.! Her! games! have! been! featured!in!The!New!York!Times,! Wired,! and! The! Economist,! and! on! NPR! and! CNN.! (JANEMCGONIGAL,!2011)! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

“ Games are ‘tasty food’ for the human brain. ”
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B.!Endorphins,!pattern!recognition!! and!learning!
! ! Koster’s! exact! definition! of! games! is! the! following:! “The$ human$ brain$ is$ a$ voracious$ consumer$ of$ patterns$ [..].$ Games$ are$ just$ exceptionally$ tasty$ patterns$ to$ eat$ up”.! This! chapter! aims!to!crystallise!the!link!between!pattern!recognition!and! the! euphoria! it! causes! to! its! players! with! the! research! featured! below! being! based! on! Raph! Koster’s! “A! theory! of! fun!for!game!design”!(2005).!Koster!clarifies!in!the!book!that! his! research! is! based! on! the! findings! of! cognitive! neuroscience! that! in! comparison! to! traditional! cognitive! theory,!which!did!not!reference!biology!at!all,!it!attempts!to! relate!information!flow!to!how!the!brain!actually!works.!! ! 1.!Endorphins’!release!as!the!reason!humans!“feel!good”! ! According!to!neuroscience!theory!every!feeling!we!have!is!a! “neuroachemical! event”! (Johnston,! 2011)! during! which! a! cocktail! of! chemicals! is! being! released! in! our! body.! For! example! the! feeling! of! danger,! stress! and! anxiety! relates! to! the!release!of!adrenaline!and!cortisol,!chemicals!that!narrow! people’s! focus,! sharpen! their! thinking! and! temporarily! increase! their! strength! to! enable! them! to! get! out! of! this! situation.!Euphoria!on!the!other!hand!relates!to!endorphins,! the! body’s! natural! opiates,! which! are! being! released! during! laughter,! relaxation! or! exercise! (Johnston,! 2011).! Koster! (2005)! argues! that! the! feeling! of! happiness! relates! directly! to! the! release! of! endorphins,! which! can! be! caused! by! aesthetical! appreciation! (e.g.! listening! to! exceptionally! powerful!music),!by!physical!stimuli!(e.g.!having!an!orgasm)! or! by! chemical! manipulation! (e.g.! having! cocaine).! The! release!of!endorphins!in!the!human!body!can!be!experienced! by! the! pleasurable! chills! one! gets! down! the! spine! or! by! instinctively!breaking!out!into!a!smile.!! ! 2.!Learning!as!a!cause!for!endorphins’!release! ! According! to! Koster! one! of! the! subtlest! releases! of! endorphins! comes! at! the! moment! of! triumph! when! one! learns!something!new,!or!masters!a!task.!Jean!Piaget's!theory! of! cognitive! development! states! that! humans! cannot! be! "given"! information,! which! they! immediately! understand! and! use.! Instead! humans! must! "construct"! their! own! knowledge,! which! they! build! through! experience.! Experiences! enable! them! to! create! schemas,! mental! models! in! their! heads! they! will! later! refer! to! (Cognitive! Constructivist! Theories,! 2011).! By! definition! this! “construction”!of!knowledge!is!the!learning!process1.! !

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1! Learning! is! defined! as! knowledge! or! skill! acquired! by! instruction! or! study! (Meriama Webster,!2011).!

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! ! ! Based! on! Piaget’s! theory! when! humans! are! faced! with! new! ! or! unfamiliar! information! they! refer! to! previously! learned! information,!i.e.!existing!schemas,!in!order!to!make!sense!of! it.! When! humans! fail! to! understand! this! new! information! based!on!their!existing!knowledge,!Koster’s!interpretation!is! that!they!fail!to!recognise!a!pattern!in!it.!For!as!long!as!they! cannot!find!a!pattern!they!perceive!this!information!as!noise.! The! moment! humans! manage! to! see! a! pattern! is! the! first! step! of! the! learning! process.! According! to! Koster! this! is! the! intellectual$understanding!and!takes!part!at!the!first!level!of! the!human!brain,!the!conscious!thought.!! ! The! recognition! of! new! patterns,! being! part! of! the! learning! process,! causes! the! release! of! endorphins! in! the! human! body.! Taking! as! an! example! literature! and! the! work! of! Sir! Arthur! Conan! Doyle,! in! each! one! of! his! stories! the! readers! get!lost!in!the!mystery!being!unable!to!identify!a!pattern!and! subsequently! come! to! the! solution.! Sherlock! Holmes! on! the! other!hand!is!the!one!that!manages!to!connect!the!dots!and! reveal! the! concealed! pattern! in! the! chaos.! Once! Sherlock,! near! the! end! of! the! story,! uncovers! the! mystery,! readers! cannot! help! it! but! break! into! a! smile! enjoying! the! fact! they! were!able!to!see!the!underlying!pattern!of!the!story!and!if!it! was!an!exceptionally!good!one,!feel!the!chills!down!the!spine! –!!“Obvious,!my!dear!Watson”.! ! Exercise!–!Intuitive!Understanding! ! The! stage! that! follows! one’s! ability! to! recognise! a! pattern,! according! to! Koster,! is! the! creation! of! schemas! based! on! these! newly! grasped! patterns! that! fit! within! the! context! of! one’s!existing!knowledge.!Using!a!term!coined!by!Jean!Piaget! this! is! called! assimilation,! defined! as! the! process! of! taking! one’s! environment! and! fitting! it! into! preaexisting! cognitive! schemas.! Assimilation,! according! to! Koster,! takes! place! at! the!second!level!of!the!brain!that!has!to!do!with!its!intuitive! part.!Humans!cannot!access!this!level!directly,!however!one! way! to! provoke! this! procedure! of! turning! patterns! into! schemas!that!can!be!then!fit!into!one’s!existing!knowledge!is! practise.! An! indication! of! brain! working! on! assimilation! is! when!one!is!dreaming!about!a!newly!learned!skill!or!subject.! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Seeing!Patterns!–!Intellectual!Understanding!

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Routine!–!Reactive!Mind! ! When!assimilation!is!over!and!all!the!patterns!humans!have! grasped! have! been! turned! into! cognitive! schemas! and! are! already! fitted! into! their! existing! knowledge,! the! learning! process! is! over.! Next! time! humans! encounter! similar! information! the! brain! will! refer! to! these! cognitive! schemas! and! will! not! go! through! the! learning! process! again.! This! process!is!instinctive!and!takes!place!at!the!third!level!of!the! brain,! which! is! the! instinctual! or! reactive! mind.! ! The! pleasure! caused! by! learning! subsequently! lasts! until! assimilation!is!over.! ! Definining!games!based!on!neuroscience! ! Coming! back! to! Koster’s! theory,! humans! enjoy! learning! because! it! triggers! the! release! of! endorphins! in! the! body.! Hence!games!are!feeding!players!with!concealed!patterns!to! recognise! one! after! the! other,! aiming! to! keep! them! in! a! constant!state!of!learning!in!order!to!prolong!the!release!of! endorphins!for!the!whole!course!of!the!game.!Concluding!the! definition!given!in!this!report!a!simplified!version!of!the!one! given!by!Koster!above.!! ! ! ! Games are activities designed to make people ! happy. Their aim is the frequent release of ! endorphins in the human body by keeping the ! players in a constant state of learning or in other words in the recognition of new patterns. ! ! ! Summarising! humans! crave! for! pleasures! i.e.! the! release! of! endorphins.! An! activity! that! triggers! this! neuroachemical! event! is! learning! i.e.! the! ability! to! recognise! new! patterns.! Through!assimilation!it!is!only!a!matter!of!time!when!these! newly!grasped!patterns!will!be!turned!into!schemas!and!will! be!fitted!into!one’s!existing!knowledge.!Once!assimilation!is! over!whenever!humans!encounter!similar!information!in!the! future! they! will! refer! directly! to! these! schemas! bypassing! the!pleasure!of!the!learning!process,!as!they!will!make!sense! of!the!information!instantly.!Games!aim!to!keep!players!in!a! constant!process!of!learning.! ! !

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C.!Game!mechanics!
! ! One! could! argue! that! being! able! to! define! games! and! their! purpose! helps! only! little! a! game! designer! to! develop! an! immersive!and!thrilling!experience.!For!Shakespeare’s!Hunt! in!order!to!achieve!developing!an!enjoyable!game!at!a!more! practical! level! game! mechanics! were! used.! This! chapter! analyses!the!definition!of!the!term!followed!by!a!list!of!game! mechanics.!The!last!subject!featured!in!this!chapter!is!game! demotivators!and!reasons!of!boredom!in!a!game.! ! Definition! ! Similarly!to!the!debate!on!the!definition!of!games,!there!is!a! plethora! of! definitions! for! game! mechanics’! as! well.! Migel! Sicart! on! his! article! “Defining$ Game$ Mechanics”! on! Game! Studies! journal! (Sicart,! 2008)! offers! a! thorough! research! of! past! definitions! of! the! term.! Game! designer! Richard! Rouse! defines!game!mechanics!with!the!goal!of!teaching!the!basics! of! game! documentation! of! game! design.! For! Rouse,! game! mechanics! are! "the! guts! of! a! design! document",! since! they! describe!"what!the!players!are!able!to!do!in!the!gameaworld,! how! they! do! it,! and! how! that! leads! to! a! compelling! game! experience"! (Rouse,! 2005).! A! similar! pedagogical! approach! is!taken!by!Fullerton,!Hoffman!and!Swain!(2004),!who!define! "game$ procedures”,! a! similar! concept! to! mechanics,! as! "the$ actions$or$methods$of$play$allowed$by$the$rules$(…)$they$guide$ player$behaviour,$creating$interactions".! ! The!above!definitions!are!broad,!defining!game!mechanics!as! almost!every!possible!action!players!can!take!throughout!the! game.! However! as! a! term! it! is! more! commonly! used! to! characterise! constructs! of! rules! intended! to! produce! an! enjoyable! gaming! experience! (Wikipedia,! 2011).! By! some! such! rules! are! also! called! game$ dynamics! (Biggs,! 2010)! or! motivators!(Moseley,!et!al.,!2009).!This!is!also!the!definition! followed!in!this!report,!where!game!mechanics!are!rules!that! offer!an!enjoyable!game.! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

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Review!of!resources! ! During!the!design!process!of!Shakespeare’s!Hunt!a!thorough! research!on!the!subject!was!conducted!in!order!to!decide!the! mechanics! that! would! later! be! integrated! in! our! game.! The! longest!list!of!game!mechanics!(Biggs,!2010)!as!of!today!has! been! published! on! TechCrunch1,! the! popular! technology! journal,!which!features!the!extended!list!of!game!motivators! used! in! the! locationabased! game! SCVNGR2.! Another! documentation! of! game! mechanics! is! provided! by! the! Gamification! Encyclopedia3,! which! provides! a! wiki4! for! that! matter,! where! users! are! able! to! contribute! new! rules! and! optimise!the!existing!ones!!(Gamification!Wiki,!2011).! ! Game!mechanics!H!a!list! ! Below! there! is! a! list! of! fundamental! game! mechanics! appropriated!by!a!plethora!of!commercial!games.! ! Achievements! ! and! Reward:! Achievements! are! a! virtual! or! physical! representation! of! an! accomplishment.! They! are! a! way!to!give!players!status!amongst!their!peers!as!well!as!to! add! challenge! and! character! to! a! game.! Achievements! are! often!considered!"locked"!until!users!have!met!the!series!of! tasks! that! are! required! to! "unlock"! the! Achievement.! For! example!foursquare5,!a!mobile!locationabased!game,!awards! “Badges”!for!players!when!they!are!visiting!real!world!places! (Gamification!Wiki,!2011).! ! Influence!and!Status:!The!ability!of!one!player!to!modify!the! behaviour! of! another! player’s! actions! through! social! pressure! (Biggs,! 2010).! ! Status! can! act! as! a! motivator! as! a! player!is!being!recognised!for!his!achievements!by!his!peers.! ! Progress:! A! mechanic! in! which! success! is! displayed! in! a! granular! fashion! and! measured! through! the! process! of! completing!itemised!tasks!(Biggs,!2010).!!! ! Appointment:! A! mechanic! in! which! to! succeed,! one! must! return! at! a! predefined! time! to! take! some! action.! Appointment! dynamics! are! often! deeply! related! to! interval! based! reward! schedules! or! avoidance! dynamics! (Biggs,! 2010).! An! example! and! a! game! that! made! this! game! mechanic! popular! is! FarmVille,! in! which! players! grow! their! own! farm! and! have! to! get! back! to! the! game! to! water! their! plants!at!predefined!intervals.! ! ! ! ! ! !

! 1!Available!at!! !!!!http://www.TechCrunch.com! ! ! 2!More!information!available!!!!!! !!!at!http://SCVNGR.com! ! ! ! ! 3! Gamification! is! the! process! of! applying! game! mechanics! on! fields! other! than! gaming.! A! plethora! of! businesses! use! techniques! used! in! traditional! games! to! increase! brand! engagement! and! customer! loyalty! e.g.! point! systems! for! Starbucks’! membership! scheme.! The! Gamification! Encyclopedia! as! is! name! indicates! aims! to! be! the! encyclopedia! of! gamification! relying! heavily! on! usera generated! concent.! It! is! an! initiative! of! Gamify! Inc.! a! company! that! offers! game! mechanics! as! a! service! (Gamify.it,!2011).!

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4! Wiki! is! a! piece! of! server! software! that! allows! users! to! freely! create! and! edit! Web! page! content! using! any! Web! browser! (What! is! a! Wiki,! 2002).! Wikipedia,! the! onaline! encyclopedia!is!the!most!famous! and! widely! used! wiki! (Wikipedia,!2011).!

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5!More!information!available!at! !!!!http://foursquare.com! ! 6!More!information!available!at! !!!!http://farmville.com!!

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Satisfying! Work:! McGonigal! argues! satisfying! work! starts! with! two! things:! a! clear! goal! and! actionable! next! steps! toward! achieving! that! goal.! Having! a! clear! goal! motivates! players! to! act,! as! they! know! what! they! are! supposed! to! do.! Actionable!next!steps!ensure!that!players!can!make!progress! toward! the! goal! immediately.! In! the! case! when! one! has! a! clear!goal,!but!is!unable!to!see!the!actionable!steps!toward!it,! then!that!is!not!work.!It!is!a!problem!(McGonigal,!2010).! ! Demotivators!and!boredom! ! Moseley!and!Whitton!(2009)!at!the!European!Conference!for! Games! along! with! a! set! of! motivators! listed! also! facts! that! would! demotivate! players.! ! Their! research! focused! on! Alternate! Reality! Games1! however! the! demotivators! below! that!can!be!found!in!games!of!all!genres!are:!! ! 1. Unfairness,!when!a!player!stops!having!trust!in!the!game.! 2. Lack!of!interest,!when!one!is!not!interested!in!the!subject! featured!in!the!game.! 3. Undemanding!or!too!demanding!gameplay,!both!cases!of! which!lead!to!boredom.! ! Boredom! in! game! design! has! been! covered! thoroughly! by! Koster!(2005).!His!definition!of!a!good!game!is!the!one!that! teaches! everything! it! has! to! offer! before! the! player! stops! playing.! Listing! reasons! of! boredom! in! games,! Koster! mentions!the!following:! 1. Using!a!characterisation!of!Moseley!and!Whitton!the!first! reason! of! boredom! according! to! Koster! is! a! game! being! undemanding.!In!this!case!the!player!masters!the!game!in! a! very! short! amount! of! time! and! then! dismisses! it! as! trivial!(Koster,!2005).! 2. Using! another! characterization! of! Moseley! and! Whitton! Koster’s!second!reason!of!boredom!is!lack!of!interest.!His! explanation! is! that! players! might! understand! that! there! is!great!depth!to!the!possible!permutations!in!a!game!but! these!are!below!their!level!of!interest!(Koster,!2005).!One! might!understand!there!is!great!depth!in!tennis,!but!finds! the!overall!subject!uninteresting!or!of!no!use.! 3. The! third! reason! of! boredom! is! a! game! being! perceived! as! noise.! Defined! above,! noise! is! information! in! which! humans!fail!to!see!a!pattern.!The!game!is!then!considered! ‘too!hard’.! 4. Next!reason!of!boredom!is!when!the!tasks!for!a!player!to! master! are! being! revealed! at! a! very! slow! pace.! Players! then!dismiss!the!game!as!trivial!too!early!(Koster,!2005).! ! ! ! ! !

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! 5. When!on!the!other!hand!the!tasks!for!players!to!master! are! being! revealed! at! a! very! fast! pace! then,! one! might! lose!control!of!the!game!and!perceive!it!as!noise.!Moseley! and! Whitton’s! characterisation! for! this! case! is! that! the! game!is!being!too!demanding.!! 6. The!last!reason!of!boredom!is!players!master!everything! that! has! been! given! to! them.! In! this! case! Koster! notes! they!have!exhausted!the!fun,!consumed!it!all.!They!have! beaten!it.! ! Game! mechanics! have! been! integrated! in! Shakespeare’s! Hunt! in! order! to! motivate! players! progress,! whilst! the! reasons! of! boredom! and! the! demotivators! were! also! taken! into! consideration! throughout! the! game’s! design! process.! The!next!chapter!is!an!analysis!of!“Shakespeare’s!Hunt”!and! the!decisionamaking!behind!it.!

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Extract!from!“Game!Design!for!Cultural!Heritage”! Foteini!Valeonti!©!2012! www.valeonti.com!