Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Mafalda on game design and theory - Part 2

- My dad told me how chess works: the pawns go in the first row...
- um-hum.
- ... Then, in this row, you place the king and the queen...
- How come? It should be the other way around.
- First the king and the queen, and then the pawns.
- No, dad told me the pawns come first.
- Is your dad socialist? No? He's socialist,ain't he?

From "Toda Mafalda", by Quino - All rights reserved

Unlike Felipe, Mafalda seems much more interested in the symbolic aspects of chess than in its mechanics. It could be said that, if dealing with game studies, she would be a narratologist while he would be a ludologist.

Of course, the 'narrative' is much less important to chess than its mechanics, serving more as an illustration the rules. As Espen Aarseth argues in the book 'First Person : New Media as Story, Performance, and Game', Felipe can see 'beyond the avatars' that represent him in the game.

Mafalda, on the other hand, seems to enjoy another dimension of the game: the environment, the story being told. Also in videogames, those elements could contribute to meaningful play.

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Copyright, Chico Queiroz