Video Gaming (EL 250)

6 Jan 2006

What is Fun?

I've put together this 4 1/2 minute audio lecturette on Koster and fun. I hope it will help focus the discussion.

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How do video games match up Koster's definition of fun as a learning experience? And why are cheat codes so popular? Two questions proposed by Dr. Jerz in his lecturette.

I have an answer to these questions. First off video games match up with Koster's definition of fun as a learning experience by teaching with fun. Without realizing it, one is learning life skills by doing the missions that the game asks of the player. It connects to Koster's definition because these activites help get the blood pumping and help with the production of endorphines due to the excitement the game has to offer. I think that cheat codes are popular because once a game is mastered manually a player may want to see what elements can be unlocked in the game that the player couldn't get to before. Wouldn't this also cause endorphines? It would open up new levels that would be like playing the game over again.

Posted by: Kayla Lukacs at January 9, 2006 12:45 PM

Good point, Kayla! The goal that the game designer sets as the winning goal may not be the goal that a particular player most enjoys. But if game designers do implement hidden levels that are only unlocked through secret codes that are not part of ordinary play, then they are rewarding a meta-play -- making a game out of beating the game.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at January 9, 2006 02:47 PM
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