Thursday, 8 March 2007

4. Pleasure Pain and Play

In general, games are fun activities to do. Some which are meant to be pure entertainment and others are meant to tell a story or moral. Like watching a TV show or a movie, it brings a story line and a plot which veiwers, or in this case players, are meant to follow and finish. Some games end with open endings, which is similar to what some movie plots end.
There are three theories to the aestetics of play, reward flow and iteration.

3. Homo Ludens

The term 'play' is a rather braod subject that has many definitions to it. Playing a game, in particular, is fun and has pleasurably moments but some feel it may also bring addiction to the gamer subconsciously. These days, playing a video game at home has become very popular and has brought many reprecussions to it. Due to the wide spread of the Internet, players are not only teenagers and children, but the social group is getting more and more attraction and is now consisting of people aging 20 years and older (Kris, 2005). Because of this, the games made are being more violent and mature, some not appropriate to small children and teenagers. The gaming industry has become huge, standing to gain $10.1 billion in revenues per year. This caused a huge variety of games to be made and distribusted to seek a larger demographic (Kris, 2005). In our module, the game Samorost 2 is a puzzle game that might appeal to a large audience as it is simple in concept and violence-free.
The Magic Circle is having a safty zone surrounding the player while playing, any uncertainty may result in having an expansion to the game making anything or any person part of the game and being exposed to dangers around (Montola, no date). The Lusory Attiude is having that state of mind and knowing that you as a player are in the Magic Circle and knowing your boundries and the 'frame' in which the player is in during the game (Jesper, 2003). In the game 'GTA Sans Andreas', the Lusory Attitude can be tricky in ways of straying away from the frame or the purpose of the game, but the guidlines and storylines of the game that appear every once in a while are what guides the player and keeps him/her grounded.

-Jesper Juul: "The Game, the Player, the World: Looking for a Heart of Gameness". In Level Up: Digital Games Research Conference Proceedings, edited by Marinka Copier and Joost Raessens, 30-45. Utrecht: Utrecht University, 2003

- Kris, O. (2005), Game enthusiasm rises up from the basement, Avertising Age, Vol. 76, Issue 37. Retrieved from the World Wide Web on Feb. 26th, 2007 from:

2. Ban These Evil Games

In order to understand what rhetoric gaming is all about, we should try to look at games from a different point of veiw that projects the iconic or symbolic actions and images in the game as messages urging and promoting us to listen to them and identify them (Walz, 2003). Rhetoric is another word used to convey the meaning of 'persuasive'. Persuasive or rhetoric gaming is the messgaes encoded in each game or level trying to get to the user and be understood by him/her.
In some cases, this message proves to be quite damaging and might cause offence and violence to its recievers. Many have blamed the violent games that children have been in contact with such as Manhunt and Doom. The game Manhunt has been accused of being behind the murder of a teenager by a friend. The media pointed fingers at the game and it has been banned from many countries around the world iincluding the UK (Daily Mail, 2004 ). This story has caused a moral panic at the time, making video games the bad guy in the whole story and having the community in general reveiwing their willingness to welcome computer and digital games into their homes.
Another example is the digital computer game 'Doom II'. Its been represented as voilence-filled game, containing weapons blood and monsters as a few basic elements within the game. The purpose of the game is killing all gun-bearing humans and slaying monsters using weapons that the player has. The sole aim is survival and in order to survive, one must kill and pure blood. Which i think is the main rhetoric message, along with entertainment as the main one.


- Daily Mail, Published and Last Updated on Sep. 3rd 2004. Retrieved from the World Wide Web on March 9th 2007 from:

- Persuasive Games, (2006), Retrieved from the World Wide Web on March 9th 2007 from:

- Thorsen, T. (2004), Manhunt Blamed for Uk Murder, Game Spot UK, Retrieved from the Word Wide Web on March 9th 2007 from:

- Walz, S. (2003), Delightful Identification & Persuasion: Towards an Analytical and Applied Rhetoric of Digital Games." In: Copier, Marinka and Jost Raessens (eds.): Level Up. Proceedings of the 1st International Digital Games Research Conference. Utrecht: University of Utrecht Press. pp. 194-207. Retrieved from the World Wide Web on March 9th 2007 from:

Monday, 26 February 2007

1. Why Play Games?

People play games to waste time, or challange themselves mentally or for just the pure pleasure of playing a game. The definition of what a "game" is was hard to pin down, Wittgenstein had one concept which was one of the first to try to identify the actual meaning of it. He tried to relate the idea of 'family resemblance' to the concept at hand. How each member of the family could look and act differently than the other, but really that person has some component in him/her which makes them similar to the other members of the family. We could look at games in the same manner as well, each game differs and has different elements and characteristics that makes them all different, but they all have similar components that make them belonging to 'game' (Crowther, no date).
We can see this for example in these two very different games, "Supaplex" and "Samorost 2", both are puzzle games, although Supaplex is more of a modernised version of "Pacman" while "Samorost 2" is more of an adventure puzzle. Both have rewards for the player that keep him/her happy and wanting to play more to reach the ending.
I think what makes people want to play games more is concentrated amounts of advertisements everywhere that encourage the playing of games and the new gadgets and equipments that seem to be developed every so often, creating a "must-have" gadget obsession of the month.

- Crowther, R. (no date), Explain Wittgenstein's concept of 'language games' and/or 'language as tool', Retrieved from the World Wide Web on Thursday 8th of March 2007 from: