Home > Articles

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Summary

After all these interwoven and sometimes contradictory definitions, you might be wondering why this book has spent so much time exploring the definition of the word game. I have to admit that in my day-to-day work as an educator and game designer, I don't spend a lot of time wrestling with the definitions of words. As Shakespeare points out, were a rose to be named something else, it would still smell as sweet, still have thorns, and still be a thing of fragile beauty. However, I believe that an understanding of these definitions can be critical to you as a designer in the following three ways:

  • Definitions help you understand what people expect from your games. This proves especially true if you're working in a specific genre or for a specific audience. Understanding how your audience defines the term can help you to craft better games for them.

  • Definitions can lead you to understand not only the core of the defined concept but also the periphery. As you read through this chapter, you encountered several different definitions by different people, and each had both a core and a periphery (i.e., games that fit the definition perfectly [the core] and games that just barely fit the definition [the periphery]). The places where these peripheries don't mesh can be hints at some of the interesting areas to explore with a new game. For example, the area of disagreement between Fullerton and Midgley about whether a game is a closed system highlights the previously untracked ground that in the 2000s grew into alternate reality games (ARGs), a genre centered on perforating the closed magic circle of play.15

  • Definitions can help you speak eloquently with others in the field. This chapter has more references and footnotes than any other in the book because I want you to be able to explore the philosophical understanding of games in ways that are beyond the scope of this one book (especially since this book focuses on the practicalities of actually making digital games). Following these footnotes and reading the source material can help improve your critical thinking about games.

The Core Lessons of This Book

This book teaches you how to design a lot more than just games. In fact, it teaches you how to craft any kind of interactive experience. As I define it:

An interactive experience is any experience created by a designer; inscribed into rules, media, or technology; and decoded by people through play.

That makes interactive experience an intentionally expansive term. In fact, any time that you attempt to craft an experience for people—whether you're designing a game, planning a surprise birthday party, or even planning a wedding—you're using the same tools that you will learn as a game designer. The processes described in this book are more than just the proper way to approach game design. They are a meaningful way to approach any design problem, and the iterative process of design that is introduced in Chapter 7, "Acting Like a Designer," is the essential method for improving the quality of any design.

No one bursts forth from the womb as a brilliant game designer. My friend Chris Swain16 is fond of saying that "Game design is 1% inspiration and 99% iteration," a play on the famous quote by Thomas Edison. He is absolutely correct, and one of the great things about game design (unlike the previously mentioned examples of the surprise party and the wedding) is that you get the chance to iterate on your designs, playtest the game, make subtle tweaks, and play it again. With each prototype you make—and with every iteration of each prototype—your skills as a designer improve. Similarly, after you reach the parts of this book that teach digital development, be sure to keep experimenting and iterating. The code samples and tutorials are designed to show you how to make a playable game prototype, but every tutorial in this book ends where your work as a designer should begin. Each one of these prototypes could be built into a larger, more robust, better balanced game, and I encourage you to do so.

Moving Forward

Now that you've experienced a bit of game design and explored various definitions of game, it's time to move on to a more in-depth exploration of a few different analytical frameworks that game designers use to understand games and game design. The next chapter explores various frameworks that have been used over the past several years, and the chapter that follows synthesizes those into the Layered Tetrad framework used throughout the remainder of this book.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020