IAT 210 Study Guide - Quiz Guide: Johan Huizinga, Roger Caillois, Role-Playing Game
SchoolSimon Fraser University
DepartmentInteractive Arts & Tech
Course CodeIAT 210
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Week 1: introduction Class
3 approaches to Game Studies:
— 1. Social Science = What do games do to people?
— 2. Humanities = What meanings are made through games?
— 3. Engineering = How do we create better games? What makes a game good?
What is a game? = “games have been defined and redefined many times over, and there seems to be no end to the
continual process or any agreement about the definitions”
— Playful activities (including games) can be places along a continuum between PAIDIA= unstructured and
spontaneous play (free and open) and LUDUS = structured and controlled play with specific rules (rule-based)
— Games can be understood according o their position relative to these two extremes (Caillois, 1961).
— A Game = is a system in which players engine in an artificial conflict, designed by rules, that results in a quantifiable
outcome (Salen and Zimmerman, 2003).
— Common elements = game designers, philosophers, etc. tend to agree on at least two elements: 1) Games have rules 2)
Games have a goal
— Attitude: why do people accept a games rules? usually, simply to make the game possible. Rules are treated as if
they are real and have real consequences.
Week 2: A brief history of Games
iclicker question: Which game designer said “a game is a system in which players engage in artificial conflict, defined
rules, that results in a quantifiable outcome? = Sid Meier
Games- some concepts — Main game scholars: Roger Caillois Man, play and Games (1961) & Johann Huizinga, Homo
Ludens “Man the Player” (1938)
GAME = a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict, defined by rules, that results in a quantifiable
outcome” Common elements—> Games have rules & Games have a goal
How games transport us into new worlds —-> MAGIC CRICLE = the space in which the normal rules and reality of
the worlds are suspended and replaced by the artificial reality of the game works. In a very basic sense, the magic circle of
a game is where the game takes place. To play a game means entering into a magic circle, or sometimes creating one as a
game begins. (you ignore your real life by playing games and is replaced by an artificial reality, as we are escaping
something we may not like in our own life and reality and we are having fun being immersed in the game). This is not
only true for games, but can be applied to any activity you enjoy in life. The term magic circle was coined by Dutch
historian Johann Huizinga (1972-1945). In Homo Ludens, Huizinga wrote:
— The magic circle of a game is the space within which the game takes place
— The idea of special place in time and space created by a game
— The space is enclosed
The magic circle of a game is the boundary of the game space within this boundary the rule of the game play out and have
The Lusory attitude = is the tae of mind required to enter the play of the game. To play a game, a group of players
accepts the limitations of the rules because the pleasure a game can felt. Players agree to be in the magic circle lusory
attitude so play can occur. Playing a game requires a certain attitude, with the willingness to adopt the rules and
willingness to cooperate in keeping fun. Without the attitude the game breaks down and is spoiled.
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Once inside the magic circle
— you are immersed in the game,
— you got our of your everyday routine,
— you are experiencing a fancy world with its own rules,
— cheating is bad, breaking the circle, even worse
— the game ends when the circle is broken
Players describe the magic circle — e.g. Backgammon- paragraph explaining and describing the magic circle by
stating the game rules
Modes of Play by Roger Caillois— he described games under 4 classificiations: ( 4 district forms of play, games based
on the mechanics of the game)
— 1. Agon = translated to “Conflict” e.g. fighting games, street fighter ( mainly competitional conflict). The goal
to eliminate the other player, RANDOMNESS (most casino games) e.g Chess
— 2. Alea = translated to “Chance” e.g. Russian Roulette, Battleship, Black Jack (mainly used with dice)
— 3. Ilinx = translated to “Disorientation”, disorientation as an entertainments. A temporary disruption of
perceptions, as with vertigo, designs or disorientation changes of movement e.g. ring around the Rosie, rollercoasters.
— 4. Mimicry= stimulation of role playing e.g. Dragoon Age
— PADIA = play e.g. random feats and challenges (AGON) flipping a coin (ALEA), make-believe games (MIMESIS),
childhood spinning games (ILINX)
— LUDUS = games e.g. structured contests and tournaments (AGON), lotteries & bingo (ALEA), Role playing games
(MIMESIS), Blind Mans Bluff game(ILINX)
iclicker question: Which mode of playing is represented by Chess? AGON
A bit about INTERACTIVITY - (Games have higher interactivity than a novel or book, this is why more people are
addicted to gaming, rather than a tv show or movie) Game design theorists Salen and Zimmerman argue that games can be
interactive in different ways:
— Cognitive interactivity = “interactive participation”, psychological, emotional and intellectual participation
between a person and system e.g complex imaginative interaction between a player and an adventure game. you get
emotional watching a movie. When you are playing an adventure game you are interacting with the story in your mind
(can make the game addictive by using these 4 concepts)
— Functional interactivity = what the player is actually doing. “utilitarian participation”, functional, structural
interaction with the material components of the system e.g. interface, buttons, response time, legibility of text. e.g
appearance, game pieces, controller, console (e.g. vibration in the controller used to enhance the emergence of that player
into the game) BUT not as important as explicit interactivity
— Explicit Interactivity = the player is always making a choice. This is most important interactivity.
“participation with designed choices and procedures”, intentional interactions like working with choices. Given an
objective, you ave some options (but usually limited by rules) as to how to reach it; things change based on your choices.
We do not have this type of interactivity within novels or movies.
— Beyond-the-object interactivity = What the player does outside of the game, also known as “Meta-
interactivity”, This is “cultural participation”, it is interaction outside the experience of a single designated system.
Interactive on a cultural level, meaning it has relation to cultural themes, texts and social practices outside the game itself.
Also: participation within the culture of the object. e.g video game conventions, fan culture, creating a gaming
iclicker question: Which type of interactivity is used to describe the attending of game conventions? META-
Game Types - Lindsay Grace, a video game designer, artist and professor classified games to 6 types: (broad, general
classification). This is a modern classification (2004)
— 1. Action Games = games that offer intensity of action as the primary attraction. The required skills needed is
strong reflex responses e.g Shooters (e.g. Doom), Stealth (e..g Metal Gear)
— 2. Adventure Games = Games that offer exploration and puzzle solving as the main attraction and include a
story. The skill required include reasoning, creativity, and curiosity. e.g. Monkey Island
— 3. Puzzle Games = games that offer puzzles as the primary attraction to games e.g. Tetris
— 4. Role playing Games (RPG) = games that offer the player an opportunity to immerse themselves int he
player characters situation. This includes a rich story e.g The Witcher
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— 5. Stimulation Games = the primary game play element of stimulation is its ability to match the real world
situation. This includes re-enactment and social situation stimulation e.g The Sims (a life situation game series, build a
city, buy a house, start a family)
— 6. Strategy Games = entertain through reasoning and problem solving e.g. Command and Conquer e.g
Ancient Games History — There are 4 pillars of Ancient Games:
— 1. Fun and amusement
— 2. Mysticism (e..g religion, gods, or something supernatural)
— 3. Skill
— 4. Chance (dice)
— Ancient Egypt = e..g Senate (similar to Backgammon) This game originated in Egypt, probably before 3000
BCE. We do not really know the rules, but it is believed to be a race with throwing sticks used as a chance device. The
Meaning: we believe the game is related to the afterlife, as people who are lucky were considered to be blessed by the
— Ancient China = e.g. Go. This gam originated in china, earliest evidence in 500 BCE. Modern Go: Japan,
17th century CE. The Rules: are that players place stones on the board to claim territory. Opponents’ stones can be
captured by surrounding them. The Legend: Go was invented by Chinese emperor Lao Di as a teaching tool for his son.
— The Roman Empire = — South America —India = e.g Chess. This game originated in India before the 6th
century CE. The Rules: pieces are moved around the board until you trap your opponents King. The meaning: the pieces
have analogies to different military and political powers, making the game a stimulation or commentary. (Variants exist
around the world)
Week 3: MDA Framework
BONUS MARK: Machinima - you can crete a short story (one or two minutes) using Machinima technique. Machinima is the use of
video games to create cinematic production.
DIGITAL GAMES HISTORY
— The Birth of Video Games: Turochamp (chess stimulator) by: Alan turing and David Champernowne Date: 1948 (3 years after
world war 2) Importance: it was the first code written for a video game, before that all games were traditional or physical board
— The Birth of Video Games: Bertie the Brain by: Joseph Kates Date: 1950 Purpose & Importance: the game was designed as a
demo tech as there were no personal computers (as they were huge machines and were mostly located in government, educational
institutions and were not used by regular people). The purpose was to introduce and demo the use of the computer to others (computer
— The Birth of Video Games: OXO by:Alexander Douglas Date: 1952 Purpose: was one of the first video games
— The Birth of Video Games: FIRST VIDEO GAME Tennis for two (tennis match back and forth) by: William Higinbotham Date:
1957 Purpose: the first video game and controller he designed two console for a two player game (very simplistic, simple mechanic)
Importance: No personal computer at that time, was used in exhibition, not available to the public to buy (considered the first true vide
game because it was interactive)
— The Birth of Video Games: ARCADE GAME Computer Space by: Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney Date: in 1972 purpose:
Game was available in public spaces such as malls, it was the first arcade video game
— The Birth of Video Games: ARCADE GAME Pong manufactured by: Atari date: 1972 Arcade video game, Monitor was very
cheap, making it cost efficient as well as easy to use and manufacture.
THE HISTORY OF VIDEO GAME CONSOLE: (8 generations of console 1972-present)
— First Console: Odyssey manufactured by: Magnavox Date: 1972 Importance: it was the first video game console that you could
buy and play at home (first generation console)
— Early Game console: Atari VCS/2600 was the first major game console. The most popular games to play was Pitfall and River
Raid ( Alex Kidd in the Enchanted World, Sonic) (Second generation)
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