Monday, June 12, 2006

Commented Interview on game design

This is not an integral translation of that interview, but only one of the questions I've commented on my portuguese-writen website,

What does one need to be a "games creator"?

Chico Queiroz - If you play games, you´re potentially a "game creator". You think about things that could have been made better, new rules. Today, you can even transform them using tools made available by game companies. What you really need is some time to learn and some creativity - something most game enthusiasts already have.

Although this point ("those who play can make it") sounds exaggerated and even simplistic, I believe it still makes more sense when applied to games than other activities. The borders between game producers and players are quite open: Modification tools are made, distributed and even supported by companies. Plus, it could be said that a game often forces players to analyse and explore several of its aspects. Through this reflection, the player can understand - even if unconsciously - the basic functioning of the game in question.

In What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, James Paul Gee summarizes some qualities, or principles, that make games suitable for teaching many things, including the mechanics of the game and its components. Those, I believe, are the same qualities that can make the transition from player to producer easier than other media. Old news, I know, but it's always good to remember that.

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Copyright, Chico Queiroz