Games Design @ Hull School of Art and Design


November 13, 2015

Games Design – The Prisoner Dilemma

Video Source:

The Prisoner effect/dilemma is used in most games (especially games that are online). It is a choice related issue that can change the end result of a game depending on which each character chose.

The example we know shows us how the dilemma works in jail, basically stating that each person that got arrested has a choice of two options; to either stay silent or tell them it wasn’t you and blame it on your friend. If one of the prisoners accuses their friend and the other one stay silent, the one that stayed silent would get 3 years in jail and the other one would go free, whereas if they both stay silent they will both go to prison but only for 1 year. If both prisoners accuse each other they will go to prison for 2 years each. Below is an easier way of understanding.

Prisoner 1     Prisoner 2            Prisoner 1     Prisoner 2        Total

Choice                                                       Years in Jail

Accuse P2     Stay Silent              0 years           3 years        3 Years

Stay Silent    Accuse P1               3 years            0 years       3 Years

Stay Silent    Stay Silent             1 year               1 year         2 years

Accuse P2      Accuse P1               2 Years            2 Years      4 Years

As you can see the better option would be to both stay silent because the result ends up spending a year in prison each, however, if you know that the other person will stay silent you could accuse them and go free therefore making the other person deal with the consequence of having to spend 3 years in jail.

The reason we use this ‘Prisoner Dilemma’ is because we don’t know what our team members or the other team are thinking and this Dilemma comes into effect whilst playing games such as Grand Theft Auto 5, Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Elder Scrolls Online, Star Wars Battlefront, StarCraft etc.

I mainly understand ‘The Prisoner Dilemma’ in the game Grand Theft Auto 5 (when you play it online). When I have been online people have walked up to my character and tried to speak to me or contact me or invite me to a mission; the prisoner dilemma comes to play as I have the choice to either ignore him/join him and the other choice is to kill him, vice versa he has the same options. I choose to kill as you don’t want to risk it therefore they died and lost some of their money. Here are some examples of Grand Theft Auto Bounty Kills (Bounty Kills count as the prisoner dilemma as you have the choice to ignore the person or go after them to kill them).

Grand Theft Auto 5 Bounty Kills

Video Source:

Overall I think that this effect can occur randomly and the end result will be unknown unless it is planned as a team. You have to go with your instinct and choose whether to silent and ignore everyone or kill your enemies. (Revenge is also a possibility).

Games Design – Casual vs Hardcore gaming

Games Design – Game Ideas

Our brief consists of us defining what Casual gaming is, developing thumbnail sketches of game concepts for specific age groups and finally creating a Project Proposal/High Concept Document which may also include a critical evaluation which can then be presented to the class.

Gaming Culture

Gaming has been around for years, and over the years it has developed incredibly. Everyone has their own opinion and some people prefer the old media whereas some people believe that new is better. In most cases we can agree that games can bring us together as a community, however some people think that gaming is bad for us. Everyone may have different opinion but we all know gaming exists and some of us don’t even realise we play games daily without even realising.

There are many different ways to game. Usually the way you game determines a gamer title for you. There are such gamers as:

  • Casual Gamers
  • Hardcore Gamers
  • Applied/Serious Gamers
  • Traditional Gamers

Casual Gaming

When someone is a casual gamer it can be interpreted in different ways depending on the person. Most people think a casual gamer is someone who has a little interest in gaming but is not too dedicated/willing to play a game every single day. Whereas some people get offended by that and think that a gamer should always be dedicated and put time and effort into games. Usually casual games are usually quite simple or a mobile app; whereas a hardcore/serious gamer know more about the games and the companies as well as knowing about a wider range of game styles. Casual Gamers play games such as Candy Crush, Farmville and 1010!

Candy Crush.jpeg




Hardcore Gamer001

Hardcore Gaming

A hardcore gamer is someone who is dedicated in playing games and has a very large interest in a large variety of games. Hardcore gamers usually spend most of their money on games or the merchandise from that game, visit shops and game conventions to make friends as well as buy game related items and also I believe that hardcore gamers try to relate games to real life. Games that hardcore gamers play usually consist of a game series such as Halo, Bioshock, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto etc.

Applied/Serious Gaming

Applied or Serious Games are not well recognised; most people don’t even realise that they are playing one of these types of games. This style of game is generally a game that educates as well as entertain. These games come in a wide variety as some won’t even feel like games as they become boring and are seen as more of a task. I would say Brain Training games and Simulators would categorise as Serious Games because they educate and prepare you for things you may encounter in the real world.Brain Training Simulator

Traditional Gaming

From board games to the classic arcade games; what would you class as traditional? In my opinion I think that both of these type of games are traditional, I also believe that it depends on your age. As an example of the age theory I believe in you need to think about what games you played as a child compared to your grandparents. My grandparents enjoyed Chess, Jenga and as they got older they enjoyed the classic games such as Pacman and Mario whereas I see traditional games as PlayStation 1 games or GameCube etc.

What do you think to gaming cultures? And what type of gamer are you? Feel free to comment below this blog post.


Gameboy colour001 Gamecube









Glossary – Parallax

A Parallax is used in a lot of games and most times you won’t even notice until you focus. Parallax Scrolling is used to create a certain atmosphere within a game; the use of this aesthetic style can increase the rate of movement of the character and also enhance game play. I really like games that feature Parallax Scrolling as it makes the game unique and also some games use the parallax scrolling towards their advantage as enemies can be included in one of the layers/backgrounds and also some games give the chance for the player to take the character into the background; therefore making parallax scrolling go from a game aesthetic to a game mechanic as the character is interacting with the background.

Games that feature parallax scrolling include Abes Oddysee, Hercules, Little Big Planet, Stick Hero, Mickey and the Castle of Illusion, Mario and Sonic etc.


mario nes

gaming new whoops tasty nailed

playstation mickey mouse ps3 psn playstation network

Blog at

Up ↑