Theory of Fun


I’ve just read Mr. Incredibly Gifted Raph Koster’s book Theory of Fun for Game Design. He really does have a gift to combine his academic background with the practicalities of design. The book also explained very clearly to me what the ludologists are on about it (yes….I’m slow). He says that games are not stories, rather, games are about finding the pattern hidden behind the story. Koster is excellent at using Chess and Checkers as examples throughout the book, like here…what does the story have to do with these two games? Is there any narratological value that you’re playing the queen in so and so move? Very relevant point and extremely correct, although with the development of games like Fahrenheit, the story is becoming more and more relevant. So seeing the relevance of the two arguments I would like to suggest that this dilemma can just be solved by the acknowledgment that there are games that are independent of story and games that are dependent of stories. I know it seems ridiculously simple and I’ll probably change my mind as soon as I post this, but wouldn’t that be a solution? Of course it brings with it a whirlwind of trouble when chategorising the two…but this has to make sense somehow.
The book is a must for anyone studying games…he’s got so many good points you literally sit there with a lightbulb blinking constantly…enough to make me dizzy. The layout is genius as well.
He proposes that the fun in games is the learning process. And with a few exceptions I tend to agree. But I think I’m gonna have to dwell on it a little bit more before I really analyse this argument (yes dearest Mr. Patient and Sweet Advisor, I know the clock is ticking).
Sorry…I just utterly confused myself again and I need to take a closer look at the book! I really need to sort out these rambling thoughts in my head!
Main point however, buy this book!!!!! Raph Koster is smart and he definately knows how to articulate his ideas and knowledge, best book I’ve read on the subject (I still have a few to go though)!!

Gamers Relief


I’m not sure how this works….but it seems a site has been created for gamers to donate money towards Katrina victims, called Gamers Relief. I think it’s sweet that gamers are showing a united front and I think this has to be one of the first times I’ve seen an organisation that unites gamers. It’s interesting and putting all emotions aside, I wonder if this is going to be a trend from now on. Will we soon see Gamers Against Censorship or how about a Gamers scholarship program? I, honestly don’t know everything, so if such a thing already exists, please excuse me. I can’t wait to see what happens next. I applaud all this involvement and I’m hoping to see great things evolve from this. I can’t wait to see how much money they all manage to raise.

Charity and games


So this is really starting to become a trend isn’t it? Bungie is the latest on the list. They’ve designed a really cool t-shirt, well…not completely lame, anyways…to raise money for The American Red Cross and their work in New Orleans.
I feel like there’s gonna be a little war in the gaming industry to see who comes up with the best idea for raising money for this gruesome tragedy. Or I say war, could it maybe be a game? I can’t wait to see what Rockstar comes up with!

Americans and their adverosity

I’m sorry…I mean I feel for New Orleans….I really do. Not only are the damages of Katrina devestating but the cleanup and rescue is just heartbreaking, there’s just gonna be some hell to pay soon!
But I can’t help feeling a little disgusted by Sony’s Everquest II Donation rally. The press release is really something and it annoys me that they’advertise their own ‘good will’ by saying that for Everquest II players affected they ‘will be suspending billing until such time as they are able to play again’. I just hate it when large corporations use their own generosity as cheap advertising. While I’m a big supporter of the Second Life Relay to The American Cancer Society I feel like Sony is kinda just riding the wave….and then it just seems inscincere.
Am I being awfully picky and winy here? I don’t know!