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IAT 210 Final: final notes

Interactive Arts & Tech
Course Code
IAT 210
Michael Nixon
Study Guide

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Week 1
4 types of interactivity:
- Cognitive: Interpretive participation; psychological connections/interactions had with the
- Functional: Utilitarian participation; structural interactions/ie with a book: how thick is the book,
how thick are the page, how many pages long
- Explicit: Participation with designed choices and procedures; choices, random events, dynamic
- Beyond-the-object: Participation within the culture of the object; fan culture
14 forms of fun
Contrast functional to explicit interaction in minecraft:
- Functional: moving with wasd on the keyboard, using mouse to click things, but different on
different platforms
- Explicit: breaking blocks to build other things, killing and eating pigs
Week 2
The magic circle
- More psychological than physical
- Created by the players themselves
- Starts the game/ends the game
Characteristics of play
- Free activity, not serious, no material interest, no material interest, uncertain outcome, outside
of life, immersive, bounded, fixed dictates
Roger Caillois
- Game modes:
o Ludus: controlled play, rules and limits
o Paidia: spontaneous play, free improvisation
- 4 categories:
o Agon: competition
o Alea: chance based
o Mimicry: roleplaying
o Illinix: sensations
Defining Games

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- Meier: A game is a series of interesting and meaningful choices in pursuit of a clear and
compelling goal
- Costikyan: A game is a form of art in which participants, termed players, make decisions in order
to manage resources through game tokens in the pursuit of a goal
- Suits: playing a game is the voluntary effort to overcome unnecessary obstacles
- Salen and Zimmerman: A game is a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict,
defined by rules, that results in a quantifiable outcome
- Crawford: a game is comprised of representation, interaction, conflict, and safety
- Parlett: a formal game has two-fold structure based on ends (a winning condition) and means
(rules by which you win)
How does Pokemon Go create the Magic Circle effect?
- Creates the magic circle by immersing players into a world where pokemon are “real”
- You open the game, you open the magic circle, and you are in a different world
Week 3
Winning Condition
- Known as the “ends”
- Ends and means existing = constraints that are concrete, interesting, repeatable, fun
Emergent systems
- Generate unpredictable patterns of complexity from a limited set of rules
- Good game = emergent systems with many possibilities
MDA model
- Mechanics: basic components, essential rules, pieces and their abilities
o Objects (nouns), attributes (adjective), actions (verb)
- Dynamics: higher level of mechanics over time, larger patterns created by game and player
- Aesthetics: desirable emotional responses by the player
Week 4
- Fixed, binding, repeatable
- Operational: written rules
- Foundational: underlying formal structure, more abstract
- Behavioural: good sportsmanship
Characteristics of the flow state
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