Juul, Half-Real

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    I found Juul's book to be a very informative book that provided me with a very different perspective on the videogame genre. I especially found the discussion of stylized simulations to be interesting, especially once Dr. Jerz introduced the concept in a workbook activity. I was able to reflect upon the concept of games being an adaptation of real life, something I had really never considered before. Authors must omit certain details that he feels to be less important in order to really capture the overall idea of a game. For instance, pressing "X" to swing a bat is by no means a true reflection of how difficult it actually is in real life. As Derek mentioned in his entry video games are infinite as compared to life which presents deadlines. Would we enjoy a game where it took months to build a building in SimCity? Would we play games that reflect the difficulties of real life? Or are games good the way they are, using the general scope of something to highlight the best parts of an activity? 

2 Comments

There's an old joke about a king who kept telling his royal cartographers he wanted a map of his kingdom that was more and more detailed. Finally they had to produce a map that was scaled at one mile equals one mile. The point is that any simulation loses detail, but if you select the right details, the benefit is increased clarity. Putting a baseball skin on a button-mashing game will appeal to people who like the iconography and sounds and ambiance of baseball, but it doesn't really have much to to with the sport.

Thanks for the feedback about the workbook being useful. I hope they don't seem to be pointless busywork -- I really do try to highlight topics that I want you to think about, so you'll be prepared to talk about them later.

Derek Tickle said:

I really like the question that you presented, "Would we play games that reflect the difficulties of real life?" My answer to this is probably not. I think that video game players like to have that so called "instant reward." If players had to wait months to develop a road system in "SimCity" than they most likely wouldn't play it. The next question you stated said, "Or are games good the way they are, using the general scope of something to highlight the best parts of an activity?" I agree with this question because games are good the way they are. They usually highlight the best parts of an activity. I thought your beginning sentence was very interesting. About pressing "X" and how much different it is in real life. This really shows how video games present that instant satisfaction. After reading your blog I thought of a question. Do you like video games that use the regular controller or a joystick or another controller? Some games require another form of a controller such as Guitar Hero which uses a guitar. When thinking about that question do you think it is better to use a controller with an "X button" or use another form of a controller?" These are just some ideas I thought would be interesting to think about.

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