Rules rule the game.

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Half-Real by Jesper Juul (what a cool name) has been a really good read so far. This book you can compare closer to a text book then the past books we have read in this class. The similarity to a text book has made me enjoy it more actually. I am used to my biology books; reading exact theories and/or guidelines. For example, I liked reading his classic game model. I understood exactly what he meant when he was telling us what basic guidelines something needs to be considered a game. The classic game model was the perhaps the most interesting part of the book so far. He proposes six distinct features a game must have to be considered an actual game. I have applied a few games that I have played to those rules to see if they would be considered a game and they were. Perhaps these are the beginning guidelines to get video games considered an actual art, not just a medium.

"Game rules are designed to be easy to learn, to work without requiring any ingenuity from the players, but they also provide challenges that require ingenuity to overcome."

Game players do not even realize how much rules control the games that we play today. We do not question them. If we go to the end of a map and can not go past a mountain we do not question the game, we just know that we can not pass that mountain. What is nice about video games though is that the rules are set by the computer. When you play made up games such as tag with you friends, everyone has a different set of rules. Video games however have defined rules which both players can not question and it makes the game a lot more fair. Let us look at the definition of ingenuity. Dictionary.com says it means, "the quality of being cleverly inventive or resourceful." So basically that quote is saying that the players should not have to create the rules, but the rules should be difficult enough that overcoming the game should be challenge. What fun is there in a game if you do not have to try?

Juul (Preface to Ch 3)

2 Comments

Derek Tickle said:

Ashley, I also agree that "Half-real" by Juul was a very interesting read. The classic game model was also something that I had never heard before reading this. When completing the J-Web essays I found it important to compare the classic game topics to a specific game that we knew. I choose the video game "Turok." What a great quote you selected because it explains exactly why rules are in video games. I had not thought about video games and everyday games where the rules are made up. This is important to consider because video game rules are defined and no one can question them. I agree very much with your entire blog entire. It is true, "what good is a game if you don't have to exert any effort?" Games that have a challenge allow the player to have fun because even though you may lose a level once or twice you keep trying until you win!

Brandon Gnesda said:

Hey Ashley!
I enjoyed your comment about games providing the rules as opposed to real life games such as tag. Its easy to forget the convenience of having rules provided to us without question. You move on to talk about the difficulty of games and you ask what fun is a game if you don't have to try. I would counter that with another question. Is there such a thing as a game being too challenging? Would a game that was difficult enough to cause numerous failures still worth playing?

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