The desirable qualities of a game
I've been reading "Man, Play and Games" by Roger Caillois and saw this list of the qualities of a game:
- The need to prove one's superiority
- The desire to challenge, make a record, or merely overcome an obstacle
- The hope for and the pursuit of the favour of destiny
- Pleasure in secrecy, make-believe, or disguise
- Fear or inspiring of fear
- The search for repetition or symmetry, or in contrast, the joy of improvising, inventing, or infinitely varying solutions
- Solving a mystery or riddle
- The satisfaction procured from all arts involving contrivance
- The desire to test one's strength, skill, speed, endurance, equilibrium, or ingenuity
- Conformity to rules and laws, the duty to respect them, and the temptation to circumvent them
- And lastly, the intoxication, longing for ecstasy, and desire for voluptuous panic
Caillois splits games into three partitions (or combinations of them): Agon (competition); Alea (chance); Mimicry (simulation); Ilinx (vertigo).
What I find interesting is that these were written in 1958 and they are still applicable. I have found the book good so far for analysing what and why people play online.
It's All In The Game blog (c) 2005-16 by Jez Nicholson