Experiences in Games
In his book, Man, Play and Games, author Roger Caillois categorises games into four classifications according to the types of experiences they create (2001).
Games that have Make-Believe Experiences are games that give the players the chance to do something they cannot do in real life. In The Force Unleashed games, players can use powerful Force abilities and lightsabers to take out stormtroopers.
Chance Experiences are found in games where the outcome is unpredictable. Games like Dungeons and Dragons and Gambling are chance games.
Vertigo Experiences are found in games were focus is extremely important and can result in the player losing track of time due to being fully immersed. This can be found in any game if it has good flow and the player gets invested. In my case, I experience this when playing Doom or Minecraft.
In his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi explains that flow is when one is completely involved in an activity for its own sake (1990).
Competition Experiences lie in games where one must defeat and dominate his /her opponents. Games like basketball, football, Rocket League, etc. are examples in which the experience is purely competitive.
CAILLOIS, R. (2001). Man, play and games. Urbana, Ill, University of Illinois Press.
CSIKSZENTMIHALYI, M. (1990). Flow: the psychology of optimal experience. New York, Harper & Row.
Our game Cholesterun is a runner for both mobile and pc. The players are in control of Fredu, a Maltese glutton who constantly eats pastizzi. One must tap or press the space bar in order to make Fredu jump to escape the diet planner doctor that his wife forced him to make an appointment with.
This is a very ludic game, there is no place for exploration you just tap to jump and avoid obstacles whilst collecting pastizzi for points. There the only one of Bartle's Player Types that fit this would be achievers because they would always want to get a high score.
It breaks mental models associated with real life. The fat main character can eat as much pastizzi as he wants and stays alive but will lose by eating fruit which in reality would be a positive and healthy thing to eat.
The game has a clear goal eat pastizzi and tap to jump over obstacles. When it comes to feedback as soon as you tap or press space the character jumps immediately, when a pastizz is collected you get points, and when you get hit by fruit or fall in hole you lose the game. the game is pretty balanced it is not too hard as you just jump to avoid obstacles, however, you must time them carefully.
Fear is an emotion we feel in response to a stimulus which cause us to avoid it. Fear of something causes what is known as the fight or flight response. This is triggered to preserve our survival.
Video games in the horror genre are mostly set in the dark to use the player’s fear of the unknown against them. In the game Outlast you are to investigate an insane asylum in the dark. The main character is a journalist; he is unarmed but has a camera with night vision to allow him to see in the dark. The battery also runs out which gives you something else to fear.
Five Nights at Freddy’s at is another very popular horror game that puts you in the role of a restaurant night guard who must survive “five” nights without getting killed by possessed animatronics that cheer up children during the day. I must admit that the jump scares were not the prominent source of fear in this game. I built a rush of adrenaline and felt anxious because of the fact that I was stuck in an office were I could not move, only being able to look left and right or on the camera, and had a limited amount of power that I needed to use efficiently all while having to keep track of the animatronics movements.
These kinds of vulnerability are what makes these games great horror games. Unlike Resident Evil games, these two horror games restrict your ability to fight, and in the case of Five Nights at Freddy’s, even the flight response is taken away. They leave you at the mercy of your wits and your skills in resource management in an environment that is unnerving and hostile.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.