Wright's Theories

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Games (both video and traditional) are tricky to study because they are so multidimensional. There are so many different ways you can approach them. The design and production of games involves aspects of cognitive psychology, computer science, environmental design, and storytelling just to name a few. To really understand what games are, you need to see them from all these points of view.

Will Wright, in A Theory of Fun for Game Design

Wright's on the right track here. It's really a lot to let sink in. Video games are more than just a means for entertainment. I don't think we realize how many dimensions, like Wright said, make up a video game. I'm sure people don't realize how much code goes into creating video games, because they're too focused on the end result. As for the storytelling aspect of the game, that's usually what gets us hooked. This is where the interaction comes into play. Without a good storyline, we really wouldn't have the drive to continue to play. The environmental design of a particular video game is essential as well, because gamers really appreciate a crisp and clear environment to play in. The more realistic, the better. I can still remember the first time I played a game on the Xbox 360--the water looked so real, I felt like I could touch it. 
I like what Wright's saying about us needing to view games from all dimensions in order to fully understand it. If you don't know the ingredients, how are you supposed to know what it's going to create?

7 Comments

Cody Naylor said:

I enjoyed this point as well. While I play some of my favorite games, I seldom think about the amount of time and effort that went into creating the experience.

Keith Campbell said:

I, like Cody, really liked this point too. I rarley ever think about what went into creating the game I am playing because I am so focused on playing it. If I do wonder how the game is created it only last a second or two while the next part of the game is being loaded.

Jeremy Barrick said:

I went into that in my own blog. No, video games are not just entertainment. There is a science to them as well. Way overlooked.

Susan Carmichael said:

Keith, that's funny that you think of how the game was created while the game is loading. I am usually worrying about what new enemy I will have to defeat.

Matt Takacs said:

Usually the idea of "how was this made" and "wow, that's a cool effect" are in the back of my mind when I'm playing. First and foremost, I'm concentrating on whatever enemy I have to defeat, just like Susan said above.

Jessie Author Profile Page said:

Sometimes I'll catch myself just in absolute awe of the graphics sitting before me. I have a great appreciation for realistic graphics. The more realistic, the better--usually.

Keith, I have to say that I don't usually think about how the game was made while the screen's loading either. If I think about it at all, it's usually when I'm just beginning to play a new game. The opening cut scene says a lot for me. But, I'm generally more interested in how video game technology has progressed from one video game to the next. The Halo games' graphics are an excellent example of this.

Cody Naylor said:

I think it would be interesting to watch a video on just how long it takes to program the complex games that we play today... Dr. Jerz?

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Cody Naylor on Wright's Theories: I think it would be interestin
Jessie on Wright's Theories: Sometimes I'll catch myself ju
Matt Takacs on Wright's Theories: Usually the idea of "how was t
Susan Carmichael on Wright's Theories: Keith, that's funny that you t
Jeremy Barrick on Wright's Theories: I went into that in my own blo
Keith Campbell on Wright's Theories: I, like Cody, really liked thi
Cody Naylor on Wright's Theories: I enjoyed this point as well.