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IAT 210 Study Guide - Summer 2018, Comprehensive Midterm Notes - Video Game, Fantasy, Wi-Fi


Department
Interactive Arts & Tech
Course Code
IAT 210
Professor
Randa Aljohani
Study Guide
Midterm

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IAT 210
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
Fall 2018

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Introduction
What is a Game
Games have been defined and redefined many times over, and there seems to be no end
to this continual process or any agreement about the definitions Arjoranta, 2014.
The Beginning
Playful activities (including games) can be placed along a continuum between paidia and
ludus.
Paidia: unstructured and spontaneous play (free and open).
Ludus: Structured and controlled play with specific rules (rule-based).
Games can be understood according to their position relative to these two extremes
(Caillois, 1961).
Game Definitions
A game is a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict, defined by rules, that
results in a quantifiable outcome. (Salen and Zimmerman, 2003).
A formal game has a twofold structure based on ends and means: Ends is a contest to
achieve an objective. (The Greek for game is agon, meaning contest.) Only one of the
contenders, be they individuals or teams, can achieve it, since achieving it ends the game.
To achieve that object is to win. Hence a formal game, by definition, has a winner; and
winning is the end of the game in both senses of the word, as termination and as object.
Means has an agreed set of equipment and procedural rules by which the equipment is
manipulated to produce a winning situation. (David Parlett).
Reduced to its formal essence, a game is an activity among two or more independent
decision-makers seeking to achieve their objectives in some limiting context. A more
conventional definition would say that a game is a context with rules among adversaries
trying to win objectives. (Clark C. Abt).
Play is a free activity standing quite consciously outside ordinary life as being not
serious, but at the same time absorbing the player intensely and utterly. It is an activity
connected with no material interest, and no profit can be gained by it. It proceeds within
its own proper boundaries of time and space according to fixed rules and in an orderly
manner. It promotes the formation of social grouping, which tend to surround themselves
with secrecy and to stress their difference from the common world by disguise or other
means. (Johann Huizinga).
Free: in which playing is not obligatory, if it were, it would at once lose its attractive and
joyous quality as diversion; Separate: circumscribed within limits of space and time,
defined and fixed in advance; Uncertain: the course of which cannot be determined, nor
the result attained beforehand, and some latitude for innovations being left to the player’s
initiative; Unproductive: creating neither good nor wealth, nor new elements of any kind;
and, except for the exchange of property among the players, ending in a situation
identical that prevailing at the beginning of the game; Governed by rules: under
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conventions that suspend ordinary laws, and for the moment establish new legislation,
which alone counts; Make-believe: accompanied by a special awareness of a second
reality of a free unreality, as against real life. (Roger Caillois).
Common Elements
Game designers, philosophers, etc. tend to agree on at least two elements:
o Games have rules,
o Games have a goal.
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