A Model of Play

 Posted by (Visited 7624 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: ,
Apr 212009
 

A Model of Play is a fascinating poster (available as a PDF or as images) that takes what seems like a very game-grammar point of view on the concept of play — even freeform play.

In play, one of the primary goals is to have fun — to continue engaging in the conversation that creates fun. Individuals choose the means for achieving that goal; they choose the topic of conversation, for example, which game to play. Within a topic, they choose different strategies and pursue a series of sub-goals, adjusting means according to their effectiveness. Goals and sub-goals and associated means form a tree (or web) of possibilities for action.

Among the grammar principles that are mentioned is the notion that play always requires two, even if the second person is a “virtual person.” The notion that interactivity is inherently a conversation can be traced back to at least Chris Crawford, of course.

Also cool is the “step by step” logic version found here, which builds the poster argument by argument.

  4 Responses to “A Model of Play”

  1. For something more concrete, they have this:

    http://www.dubberly.com/concept-maps/how-to-play-baseball-project.html

    And I’m sitting here thinking, “Look! Look! Skill chains!”

  2. Hmm, it doesn’t seem to have any way to plan how you’re going to plan something, the reason being that planning and acting are considered to be separate (whereas planning is actually just like acting, but on a plan).

    Of course, given that planning about planning was the subject of my PhD, I would say that…

    Richard

  3. The notion that interactivity is inherently a conversation can be traced back to at least Chris Crawford, of course.

    Wilbur Schramm was talking about communication as interaction in 1954. Paul Watzlawick based his work in 1967 partly on that idea, too. In 1990, Michael Motley referenced communication as interaction as well.

    Scientists treat communication as transactional nowadays, as opposed to interactional or linear. This website has diagrams for all three models.

  4. By the way, if you want to read an interesting take on games, read Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshall McLuhan (1964). Click the link and search for the phrase “games are popular art”. Start reading from that point onward.

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