What is game?
by Jessica Park
In the blockchain industry, ‘games’ are areas of potential. Recently, EdenChain has released six game dApps in test versions via E-Testers Program. From the stage of planning to development of the game dApps, I had to constantly learn about ‘games’ and I must admit I enjoyed learning about games and researching the trending game dApps. The diary blog is where every EdenChain team member takes turns to write on any free subject that highlights their work. In this diary blog, I would like to share briefly about what I have found the most interesting to learn about games.
What is a game? In a daily basis, we are confronted with problems. And we try to solve those problems. A game is a process of solving a problem. If you think about it, don’t games throw some problems that we need to solve every time? You are required to break your friend’s record or perform the quests required by the NPC. Like our lives, a game is a process of solving problems. The only difference is that a game is a “voluntary’ problem-solving process. In many cases, we are not forced to play games. We volunteer to jump in and solve the problems that games offer.
If we are forced to play games, it would be no longer enjoyable. An employee at a game company, for instance, could likely feel that playing a game can be classified as doing work. ‘Playing’ is a separate act from ‘labor’. The game exists in ‘playing’. Adult carrying a heavily loaded box is “labor” but it becomes a play when a child carries a box to mimic the adult’s behavior. This can be explained with “mimicry play” that I will explain more in detail in the following paragraphs.
By solving problems that we encounter problems in life, we gain a ‘life experience’. Regardless of its success or failure, it’s a crucial process in life. What kind of experience do we try to gain from games? It’s ‘fun’. A child feels fun mimicking an adult’s behavior.
What is ‘fun’ based on? According to L’homme de le sacré (1934) written by Roger Caillois, there are four types of play that you can refer to.
The first is Agon, a type of play with fair rules and competition. The best example is sports or chess games. In its original form, arm wrestling or running is categorized as Argon.
The second is Mimicry. This is a type of play that imitates a behavior or someone. Typical examples of the Mimicry type are puppets and war games that we played in our childhood. These days, kids perhaps play the Avengers game.
Next is Alea which means ‘coincident’ in French. It is a game related to the probability that what happens is what affects the outcome of the game. Lottery, gambling games, and coin flips are some of the examples. The psychology of expectation in astrology is also based on this type of fun. One of the keywords of Alea is ‘anticipation’ which provides fun in play.
The fourth is ‘ilinx’ which means ‘whirlpool’ in Greek. ilinx is a type of immersive play that requires a high level of concentration. Examples include circuses, roller coasters, skiing, and mountain climbing. One of the keywords that ilinx has is ‘challenge’.
The diary I wrote today can be called the ‘introduction’ of game theory. Of course, this would also be a very beginning of creating games. This theory plays a crucial role in determining what type of experience we give our players. Roger Caillois said playing was the most important element of human understanding. Perhaps, favorite games we play could explain a lot about us than a few pages of your introduction essay. In my next diary blog, I would like to continue sharing my game dApp projects. Please look forward to the next diary from Tech team!