"If you have some control over it, and it affects the player's experience, you should either design it, or think very hard about why you're not going to." This also applies to things that are Not Games, too.
It must not be magic, or else it won’t feel real.
I guess I’m saying sufficiently-advanced technology should be distinguishable from magic." This is a lovely pulling-together of things from Matt J, and really manages to express the notions of "physics" and "rulesets" that I always enjoyed so much.
The video of my talk from Interesting North is now online. Well, they beat me to finishing my transcript – which didn’t include the adlibs and diversions anyway.
Things Rules Do is twenty minutes that looks at games of all forms, and the rules and systems that make their skeleton. It’s about the weird things that rules can do, beyond “tell you how to play”, such as inspire mastery, encourage deviance, and tell stories. It was written for a general, interested audience – not specifically for gamers – and covers a few topics close to my heart. You might like it.
And, of course – thanks to Tim and the team for their work in getting this online.
I’m going to be speaking at Interesting North in Sheffield in November. My talk – which is only about fifteen minutes long, if I recall right – is going to be called something like Five Things Rules Do, and, at the moment, is summarised thus:
The thing that make games Games isn’t joypads, or scores, or 3D graphics, or little bits of cardboard, or many-sided dice. It’s the rules and mechanics beating in their little clockwork hearts. That may be a somewhat dry reduction of thousands of years of fun, but my aim is to celebrate and explore the many things that games (and other systemic media) do with the rules at their foundation. And, on the way, perhaps change your mind at exactly what rules are for.
Contents subject to change, but I think it’ll be a fun one – and a great event. Perhaps see you there!