Rules in Computer Games Compared to Rules in Traditional Games


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.