Rules in Computer Games Compared to Rules in Traditional Games

DeLeon Chris
2014 DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies

Michael Liebe argues that Salen and Zimmerman's interpretation of Huizinga's magic circle does not apply to computer games. Liebe's insight reveals not only a different relation for computer games to the magic circle, but also hints at a difference in the nature of rules in computer games. Jesper Juul's comparison of non-digital sports to simulations of those sports highlights a missing aspect in understanding how rules in computer games are of a different nature than those of non-computer games: rules as flexibly defining real-time spatial interactions. Rules in computer games are more like laws of physics, rules in non-computer games are more like laws of society. Besides meta rules such as tournament arrangements, only a handful of "rules" - as the word is applied to non-computer games - exist for nearly all computer games. Moreover, such rules are largely the same: use standard input, and don't alter the game.


The Ethics of Computer Game Design

Sicart Miguel
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

Every choice implies responsibility. Responsibility implies ethical values imprinted in those choices. Computer games have been considered “a series of interesting choices” . Is it possible to think of games as moral objects? Or, more precisely: is the design of computer games morally accountable? Computer game design is the craft of gameplay, the challenge of creating a balanced and enjoyable game. In a way, computer game design is the art of creating interesting, entertaining choices. What are the ethics this activity imprints in computer games? What are the ethics of game design? This paper will argue for the analysis of computer games as moral objects because of the ethical values that can be imprinted in their design. Understanding the importance of design as a creative ethical activity, will allow the analysis of computer games’ rethorics and the ways they are or could be used for conveying engaging ethical experiences. Understanding the morality of the digital expression can show us both the ways for new expressions, and the moral being of computer game as a form of art.


Challenge Balance and Diversity: Playing The Sims and The Sims 2

Iversen Sara Mosberg
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

How can we begin to empirically analyse computer games as dynamic systems that seek to motivate and facilitate meaningful and pleasurable player activity? This paper suggests that the concept of ‘challenge’ offers a promising starting point for such inquiries. First the notion of challenge will be briefly introduced. Then the The Sims and The Sims 2 will be analysed and compared with regards to their challenges in order to highlight some of their distinct characteristics as games and to identify some of their differences. These games are interesting in terms of challenge because they, according to a narrow definition of games, are borderline games due to their lack of clear overall goals and a winning condition. Still, challenge seems to offer a fruitful frame of understanding, thus showing promise as a foundation for an extended definition of games.


Place Space & Monkey Brains: Cognitive Mapping in Games & Other Media

Champion Erik
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

This paper attempts to ground the relationship of architecture to game space, suggest ways in which real world design of places can help the design of game spaces, and distinguish between our experience and recall of episodic space as scene via film and literature, to our experience and recall of sequential and interstitial space in three-dimensional games. The following argument is based on informal feedback of game players, formal observations of navigation in virtual environments, and from discussions with researchers of medical visualization technologies. My hypothesis is that having an ergodically embodied sense of self (such as in computer games) enhances sequential spatial memory over traditional non-ergodic forms of entertainment (such as adventure books with survey maps, or traditional cinematic media). My proposed method of evaluation for analyzing and evaluating spatial cognition in an interactive virtual environment (such as a computer game), is to use brain scanning equipment.


OceanQuest: A University-Based Serious Game Project

Parker J. R. Chan Sonny
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

A case study of a game design project is presented, in which both traditional game goals and educational goals exist. One way to create a design that respects both sets of goals is illustrated.


Killing Like a Girl: Gendered Gaming and Girl Gamers’ Visibility

Bryce Jo Rutter Jason
2002 Computer Games and Digital Cultures Conference Proceedings

Approaches to gender and computer gaming have been dominated by textual and content analysis at the expense of broader understandings of gaming. This paper examines computer games through gendered game content, game spaces and activities. The paper suggests that despite the popular stereotype of the computer gamer as an antisocial male teenager, there is increasing evidence of female gaming. This suggests the need to examine the relationship between gender and this activity in greater depth and within everyday contexts. The authors examine the possibility of computer gaming as a potential site for challenging dominant gender stereotypes, relating this to the production and consumption of contemporary leisure.


Gameplay Rhetoric: A Study of the Construction of Satirical and Associational Meaning in Short Computer Games for the WWW

Madsen Helene Johansson Troels Degn
2002 Computer Games and Digital Cultures Conference Proceedings

This paper maps out the construction of non-narrative rhetorical meaning in short computer games. Setting off from the recent emergence of short satirical computer games on the World Wide Web, it observes that at least some computer games do have potentials as a medium of artistic expression; that regardless of the possible narrative powers of computer games. Drawing on Leonard Feinberg's categories of satire and George Lakoff's theory of metaphor, the article describes the basic rhetorical mechanisms of satire and association in computer games and suggests that satire and especially allegorical association in this context appear as two sides of a common theme: the call for immortality and the mastery of computer games.


The Study of Computer Games as a Second-Order Cybernetic System

Kücklich Julian
2002 Computer Games and Digital Cultures Conference Proceedings

The following paper is part of a larger analytical study of various contexts of computer games. Here, I elaborate on the method on which I base my study of the semiotic process constituted by playing a computer game. This method is derived from a critique of earlier approaches to the field from the perspective of literary and media studies. While most of these approaches employ a twolevel model with undeniable roots in structuralist narratology, the model suggested here is based on the constructivist concept of viability. This presupposes a change of perspective from "naïve objectivity" to informed subjectivity.