For three of our game theory lessons we have been split into groups of three. Each group will spend one lesson playing either board games, PC games or console games then in the next lesson the groups will swap roles. My group is listed below along with a link to their blog:
Kelly-Ann Bright: https://brightkellyann.wordpress.com/
Laura Skipworth: https://queenavorwordpresscom.wordpress.com/
Harry Javan: https://harryjavan.wordpress.com/
Mark George: https://markgeorge26.wordpress.com/
Our group played PC games first.
DinoRun played by Kelly-Ann
Kelly-Ann played a game called DinoRun which is in fact a game that was made purely to entertain computer users when their internet is either being slow or not responding. The game is really fun and addictive and gets it game mechanics from games retro arcade games in the fact of avoiding enemies and objects as your character runs. The game features a dinosaur in which you press the space bar to make him jump; the dinosaur runs automatically (all you need to do is jump to avoid things). Also the art style is very simple and computer based, it looks 8 bit.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi was the founder of Flow Theory and when incorporating flow theory into this game I would probably say this game gives you the feeling of either boredom or relaxation. I say boredom because of the repetitiveness of the game and relaxation because of the fact of the game is trying to prevent you from being bored whilst waiting for your internet to load up.
It features Agon (competition) from Roger Callois categories of play however I don’t feel like it features Alea, Illinx or Mimicry.
Also there are no achievements, no violence, no change of environment yet I do believe it could fit into the socializers section of Richard Bartles theory of player types as when trying to get a high score we try to compete and we socialize with others to find out their high score.
Fitting this game into the 8 categories of fun by Marc Leblanc I would say challenge as once the game goes on it can be quite challenging; without this aspect the game would not be able to end and it would get rather boring.
I wouldn’t really say the game relates to Maslows Hierarchy of Needs, however when Kelly played the game she had a sense of love/belonging as she really liked the little cute dinosaur character.
Here is the link to the game, if you have any thoughts or opinions on the matter please feel free to comment below on my blog post: http://apps.thecodepost.org/trex/trex.html
Pokémon Revolution Online played by Laura
Laura plays a game called ‘Pokemon Revolution Online’ which is a fan made Pokemon Multiplayer Online game in which players can talk to each other, trade Pokemon and battle just like the original Pokemon games.
I would say there is a level of boredom in my opinion yet sometimes a state of flow. The game is rather large and can play different depending on which way you play it and which starter Pokemon you pick; also if you are new to the game it may be rather exciting whereas if you have played the games for so long and collected all of the Pokemon you may be lost with what to do next and therefore get bored. However, many people have found this game to put them in a state of flow as it links in with so many other game theories as seen below.
There is definitely some Agon (competition) when it comes to Pokemon as the game features the chance to collect creature called Pokemon and the more you have means you are a better Pokemon Trainer, Alea (Chance) is also included as you don’t know when or where you will come across a Pokemon. Illinx (Disorientation) could be featured in the game as when in a battle certain attacks can affect your Pokemon and the screen may move or icons may appear above the characters head to show disorientation. Mimicry is another feature as many people like to cosplay as these characters within the game also you get to create your character.
When looking at Richard Bartle’s Player Types I wouldn’t say Killer as a player type within this game as when you are in a battle characters don’t die and there isn’t really much violence; however I would say achiever, socializer and explorer player types can be found playing this game as the game is open world, achievement is when you collect Pokemon or win battles and socializer would be for when players talk to each other and trade.
Looking at the 8 categories of fun I would say all of them fit into this game and that is why this game can easily fit into the theory of flow.
Sensation – The game is so immersive and fun to play.
Fantasy – The Pokemon are fantasy as they don’t exist in real life (however I feel a lot of people wish they did) also the world you play in could exist in real life although it still has its little elements of fantasy throughout the game.
Narrative – There is always a story to be told with the Pokemon games, however I don’t think that narrative is the most important part of the game series as most people just play the game to catch Pokemon and take no interest in the story itself. As well the game has a television series in which narrative is more important.
Challenge – It certainly is a challenge as some areas are not accessible and Pokemon can be hard to find and hard to catch. I find trying to remember everything a task as you need to keep track of your Pokemon health, inventory as well as your tasks and quests.
Fellowship – People who like Pokemon definitely get along as a group. On our course I know that the first year group all get along through their knowledge of Pokemon because they can venture together, battle and trade. It is a great way to add socialization to a game.
Discovery – Within this game you discover items to keep in your inventory for future use, Pokemon is obviously the key point of discovery and also uncovering all of the islands and areas for you to explore. Discovery plays a large part in most games and especially this one.
Expression – The game features expression in the fact that you can prioritize which Pokemon you level up and fight with.
Submission – The game gives you much freedom and some tasks so simple that you feel relaxed. You can do battles to level up your Pokemon and even do pageants in which you enter your Pokemon for their personality and appearance.
Within Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs I would say that Pokemon could fit in the self-actualisation stage of the hierarchy of needs as there are senses of morality, problem solving and acceptance. A lot of players love this game so much that they try to bring it to their everyday life and now they can with the Pokemon Go app.
Operant Conditioning is within this game as when the player achieves something they gain positive reinforcement as they get XP (experience points). When they lose a battle they can’t use downed Pokemon which would be negative reinforcement.
Here is the link for this game: https://pokemon-revolution-online.net/
Happy Wheels played by Harry Javan
This game was very popular when it came out especially as a youtuber (known to be quite famous now) named Pewdiepie advertised the game even more by posting a gameplay video. The game is most popular for its funny ragdoll features and chance for creation.
I think the game differs depending on the environment and the character as some characters drive different vehicles which may have different effects such as driving faster or being bulky to get past obstacles. I played the game and felt a sense of boredom as the game doesn’t always work successfully. Some of the games have been made by other players. At times I felt anxiety because I knew what I had to do but I just couldn’t do it and had to restart the level all the way back to the beginning.
There is Agon (competition) within this game as your task is to get to the end of the level and some do better than others, we then get competitive and try to complete as many levels as possible. There isn’t any Alea (chance), Illinx (Disorientation) or Mimicry.
I believe that all player types are mentioned as there is a lot of cartoon gore as your player and even NPC’s can die gruesome deaths (Killer), Achiever is when the player completes a level, socializers is when players make gameplay videos and socialize with members of the public to give feedback on the levels and explorers is testing out all of the given levels.
I feel that out of all of the categories of fun there are only two that fit with this game. These categories are Challenge and Discovery. The main reason people play this game is to discover all of the levels. To discover the levels you have to get to the end to see what happens. This makes this tough though as the challenge can be highly difficult.
I feel that the hierarchy of needs comes into place when safety is involved. A lot of the game is based on morals, some of the characters are elderly or children and when a challenge is failed they an die a gruesome death, some question if it is morally wrong to place this game.
The game features a lot of positive and negative reinforcement. When in a level you might replay it lots of times just to succeed and get to the end, positive and negative reinforcement help us get to the end for example if you was to fall down a hole you would replay the level and jump over that hole.
Here is the game if you want to play it. Please again feel free to give any feedback you have down in the comments below: http://www.totaljerkface.com/happy_wheels.tjf
League of Legends played by Mark George
This game is a top down game in which you create a team, fight and level up. As a team you compete in battles that can last over an hour and complete objectives and achievements. The game competes against the World of Warcraft franchise as they have their similarities.
I have never played the game as even though it is free there are so many add-ons that are in need of getting to make the game interesting. I’m not much of a PC gamer but I know that a lot of people get into so much flow that they will play the game continuously for hours. It goes to show that being in a state of flow can be dangerous as there has been numerous reports of people getting injured and even death has occurred due to too much gaming. One guy had a heart attack from lack of sleep, food and water as well as gaining stress throughout gaming also another person passed away after completing a gaming marathon due to a blood clot. Although gaming may not be the main cause it still contributes when you play games way too much. (Read the full article here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/man-dies-after-playing-league-747660)
These categories of play fit into this game as Agon (competition) is obviously the battles that take place, Alea (Chance) the items you come across and the enemies you meet, Illinx (Disorientation) isn’t in the game as far as I know but Mimicry is a large part of this franchise as many people choose to cosplay as characters from the game.
All player types work with the game as you kill enemies, achieve objectives, socialise with other players and explore an immersive world.
The game features most of the categories of fun including sensation, fantasy, challenge, fellowship, discovery, expression and submission, however I’m not too sure on the narrative but it is known to have characters that have a great character background to make the game even more immersive.
To sign up to the game ‘League of Legends’ follow this link: https://signup.euw.leagueoflegends.com/en/signup/index?ref=en_uk_goos&gclid=Cj0KEQiAv4jDBRCC1IvzqqDnkYYBEiQA89utoozG0keUVuoFcKZnKN-YEbvuhZI4jxh7e3ksgcecFRwaArxY8P8HAQ&realm_key=euw
Life is Strange played by Hannah Bales (Me)
This game is a Role Playing Game and Puzzle Game. You play as a girl named Max Caufield (an 18 year old student) who has just arrived back in her home town. She keeps having visions of a storm that is going to happen and doesn’t know what to do. She ends up discovering a power in which she can reverse time ever so slightly to alter actions gone wrong. Throughout this game you have to choose between the rights and wrongs and depict the games true ending.
I find the game quite fun to play as I like to play third person RPG games because you get to relate to the characters and feel all sorts of emotions that your player also feels. The game can be so immersive because when you have the choice of a certain way to end the game you somehow feel a sense of determination in which you feel the need to end the game correctly (even though there can be many endings and possibly no right or wrong answers). There are many characters you get to know and the game also turns into a detective game when you try to uncover different personalities.
I think the game definitely uses Skinners Operant Conditioning as a bad choice could lead to a bad consequence whereas a good option will lead to a good result. Also I feel like the game does appear on the flow theory chart a lot as the game can put you in a state of flow, but you can get bored as it can be quite repetitive, however, we continue to play the game as we are curious to how the game will end and what happens next; this is achieved by the game being made episode by episode.
To play the game login to ‘Steam’ and download it from the ‘Steam Store’.