Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Ambiguous Feedback

I would love t get a set of drinking chess. In case you don't know what that is, this is what it looks like (photo taken from eBay, will take down if asked):

It plays just like regular chess, except that when you capture something, you must drink the alcoholic beverage inside the shotglass that serves as the piece you got.

suddenly, this game reminded me of a passage from a recent post by Gonzalo Frasca on how winning a game does not equals fun:
"However, try to pay attention at people playing party games, especially those involving performance such as DDR or Eye Toy: there's always some player who is really bad at the game but turns his goofyness into his strength."

My point is: from an objective point of view, drinking the beverage is a negative feedback: it makes you dizzy and it's more likely to make it hard to focus on the match. Right. But it could also be regarded as a reward, right? And something that helps you relaxing during such a tense game. A little bit like in Frasca's example, mild drunkenness can be an advantage - if not inside the game itself, at least within the social context surrounding it.

Punishment or reward? I bet that, after capturing a couple of pawns, players will show mixed reactions to the drinking feedback, not sure if they should be happy or worried.

And maybe this kind of ambiguity is something that should be more explored in games.


Patrick Dugan said...

It should be capturing a piece causes your opponent to have to drink, so you can use a secondary strategy of getting your opponent drunk by easy pawn kills.

chico queiroz said...

Nice twist. That would transform the drinking part into positive feedback, then. Of course, unless you are the one supplying drinks. ;)

Hey, maybe you should combine drinking chess with your latest card game, Drink 'til S/he's Cute...

Copyright, Chico Queiroz