Contests Explained

I have described the four essential "forms" of interactive entertainment, based on four distinct values that these four types of play produce. You can get a more in-depth introduction on these forms by reading this, but I'll quickly break it down here. First, you start off with a "bare interactive system" - this is an interactive system that has no goal. I call this the toy. Add a goal, and you have a puzzle. Allow for measurement, and you have a contest. Obfuscate the gamestate (allowing for decision-making) and you have a game. I would say that the vast majority of people roughly agree with me on the first two forms, toy and puzzle. This makes sense - it makes sense that we would understand these forms first, because they are the simplest. (more…)

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