Friday, September 15, 2006

Article + Wiki + Lists (on free playing)

The Article

It's amazing how I managed to ignore this article for so long.

Playing and Gaming: Reflections and Classifications, by Kampmann Walther, discusses the differences and connections between those two distinct kinds of ludic activity.

Here is a selected passage (the emphasis in bold is mine):

"(...) gameplay should work to assure the circularity of different orders of complexity without doubting its own make-believe. Gaming should not be troubled by playing. Rather, we should be concerned about finding the most sufficient and entertaining way to proceed appropriately."

Interesting. Could we say that, in a way, playing should also not be troubled by gaming?

The Wiki

I found about this article on this Wiki, which kindly links to and my MA project at Gamasutra, amongst other articles on toyplay, creative play and related subjects. The wiki is called Knights and seems to be a Scandinavian educational resource website. If anyone knows more about it (I can only guess the obvious words, such as Kalender and Artikler) please let me know.

The Lists

Well, that wiki is a great resource for play and non-games research, so I thought I should place a similar list on this website, which is now located on its right side. It lists books and articles on the subject (some links were borrowed from Knights, and I hope they borrow some from me as well).

I am also thinking of adding a list of non-games - I have posted on many during this months, so it shouldn't be hard to start it.

I will welcome any suggestions from you, both for the resources list and the games list.


Patrick Dugan said...

You know, this makes a lot of sense in light of a gamasutra article published recently. The author said that without risk there is no game, and went on to dismiss an interactive product without risk as a theme park ride that is inferior. But I think the difference is more profound. Instead of risking re-load, risk change, risk not having your play experience turn out as you want. But don't punish people for playing, quicksave whoring is a fetish of game design.

Hmmm, this is a dangerous line I'm walking.

Chico Queiroz said...

Hum.. thanks for the hint: I was not aware of that gamasutra article.

That reminds me that Greg Costikyan also dismissed Electroplankton some time ago as 'pointless' for not having goals.

Well, in a way he is right: there is not really a 'point'. But I don't know if that makes risk-less products inferior.

But I should include this perspective on the lists, anyway...

Patrick: "risk not having your play experience turn out as you want"

You mean that for players or designers?

Ulrik said...

Hi there,
We are 4 MA students from the IT University in Copenhagen doing our final thesis. The wiki you mention is ours.
The wiki is really only intended as an internal tool for us to share our research, thoughts and observations with but we are very pleasantly surprised to see that it has been discovered by the outside world.
We have just agreed to translate it into english so you as well and everyone else who might find it interesting can follow our work. Please bare in mind though that everything up there is very much work in progress :)

The subject of the thesis is about what we have chosen to call toyplay and goalplay. The aim is to research these terms and eventually come up with a game concept + a prototype which aims to combine the two gametypes in a interesting and a hopefully successfull way.
So far the two main games we have been talking about using as a starting point are The Sims and Diablo.

We started on the project on September 1st this year and the hand in date is March 1st 2007. We'll obviously upload the thesis when its done.

(Extract from the "official" project description)
Our theoretical and practical starting point for the thesis are the terms Toyplay and Goalplay.
With Goalplay we mean a goal-oriented game-type, wherein the player’s motivation is to reach set goals.
With Toyplay we mean a process-oriented game-type, where there is no set goal, and where the player use the game more as a toy to improvise, experiment, and be creative with.
The methods we will be using will be to
- Investigate theoretical fields concerning Goalplay and Toyplay
- Analyze games which represent the two terms
- Use theoretical research and game analyses to define Goal- and Toyplay
- Use game analyses to figure out what concrete game features create Goal- and Toyplay
- Use theoretical research, game analyses, and prototypes to find a way to combine Goal- and Toyplay in the practical game design task at hand
- Create a game design based on our investigations

Our aim is to let the practical and theoretical parts of the project function together in an organic and iterative way, meaning that theoretical thoughts and points provide creative input in the game design and in creating prototypes, while our practical work will have an effect on our understanding, definition, and evaluation of the terms Goal- and Toyplay.

Anyway - cool you found us, and thanks for mentioning us :)

Astrid Madsen, Rasmus Harr, Morten Svendsen and Ulrik Limkilde

Chico Queiroz said...

Hello "raum" (the Wiki is named after your initials, isn't it? :))

That's a very exciting project you're working on! Please, do not hesitate in contacting me if there is any way I can help. You already know where my MA project is (Insular, the gamasutra-located one), so feel free to take a look at its Literature Review section - that might be helpful. The sidebar of my blog also has some useful links that were not included in your Literature section.

Also, it's great news that you are translating your page to English - I will certainly keep watching it!

All the best, and good luck with your project!


Copyright, Chico Queiroz