IAT 210 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: List Of Playstation Home Game Spaces
SchoolSimon Fraser University
DepartmentInteractive Arts & Tech
Course CodeIAT 210
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IAT 210 Risk Game Analysis Worksheet (10%)
Name: ____Steven Wei__________________
Student Number: ____301218580_________
Using the online version of Risk that was posted in Canvas (http://www.game-remakes.com/play.php?id=476) and
discussed in class for your examples, please answer the following questions in complete sentences. (2-3 clear and
thorough sentences for each question are generally sufficient). Keep your responses with the appropriate question
number. When complete, please rename the file “lastname_firstname_risk.doc” (with your first and last name)
and upload to Canvas in Assignments. This is due online by 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 4.
1. Define the magic circle. How does the game designer create a magic circle in the online
“The magic circle is defined as a finite space that marks the boundaries of a game space
either concretely or abstractly. The magic circle creates a safe space for players and establishes
a difference between the virtual world and the real world as they interact however they wish
with the environment and those around them. The magic circle is only broken through breaking
the rules or diverting away from the normal mode of play (cheating)” (Salen & Zimmerman,
2004, p. 3-4).
Therefore, looking at the game of risk the designer establishes the magic circle through many
ways; the plot, currency (units), and the game board itself. To explain further the plot outlines
that you are a conqueror/commander and have control over a certain amount of area. This
alone already tells the player they are role playing and distinguishes them from the real world.
Secondly, the currency also adds to the magic circle in that it allows players to control over
units to take over land that isn’t owned. This is where the idea of safety comes in, the player is
not actually taking over all of North America for instance in real life however in the virtual world
Lastly the game board itself adds to the creation of the magic circle in that the designer
allows players to interact with the different lands they own by giving players the option to
fortify or build onto the map however they wish. On the contrary, if the player is playing online
the computer acts as the magic circle as it outlines the safe space, whatever happens in there
only effects the virtual and not the player nor the real world.
2. Explain the terms discrete and continuous. Which of these best describes the game
board in Risk?
“Discrete pertains to the idea that actions within the context of the game is individualistic in
nature and different from the rest. An example would be the game of tic tac toe, it is discrete in
that we care about the boundaries and each individual action has a meaning attached to it. On
the contrary, continuous means that players can freely manipulate objects however they wish
but within a set boundary. For example, in the game of pool, the balls can be hit however the
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player pleases to achieve the end goal” (Salen & Zimmerman, 2004, p. 41-43). In the game of
risk there is aspects of both, the discrete portion falls in the phases where players can do as
they wish with their units by placing them throughout the map, however the continuous
element comes into play when players build onto each other’s moves by placing units in
response to an action of a previous opponent, attacking, defending, etc. This progresses the
game through the allotted rounds.
3. What is meant by the term bounded? In what way is Risk bounded?
The term bounded can be defined as having some sort of limitation and therefore are
confined to a certain area or state, in the case a game board. In the game of risk the way
players are so called bounded is through their decision making, this is limited through the
number of units have at their disposal, the finite amount of time to make their move, as well as
their cognitive ability to overcome obstacles. As well, they are also bounded in the sense that
all their actions are confined physically within the board and nowhere else, otherwise there is
no meaning to their actions.
4. Are there sub-spaces in the game? Explain.
The subspace in the game of risk would be linked to the idea of the dice roll, when fighting a
real war for instance one may not know the power of their so called enemy and so the element
of surprise is always the case. Even with a substantial amount of units may be defeated with a
handful of experienced units.
5. Define game objects. List and describe the game objects in Risk.
“Game objects are anything a player can visually and physically interact with in the virtual
world they are in, such as power ups or enemies” (Salen & Zimmerman, 2004, p.46). In the
game of risk the game objects are many different game objects; the game board itself which
outlines all the places in the world the players can take over, the colored dots that defines the
owner of that territory, the cards possessed by the players after each turn which gives a
particular power up, the units the player has at his/her disposal to fortify their conquered lands,
and the dice that a players utilize to determine their fate in battle. All these objects work
together to immerse the player and allow them to assume the role as a general in the game.
6. Define attributes. What are the attributes of the game objects in Risk?
“Attributes is defined as a quality or characteristic that is a part of the players themselves or
given to the character the player is role playing as” (Salen & Zimmerman, 2004, p.46). For
example, in a role playing game such as Skyrim an attribute could be the strength of your
character or agility, etc. In the game of risk the primary attributes are the strength of the
players in terms of number of units on the field as well as on reserve, the control of the units
around the board, and the amount of territories owned.
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