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游戏中的“趣味”定义到底是什么?

发布时间:2013-01-24 10:22:06 Tags:,,,,

作者:Oscar Clark

尽管我们一直在谈论趣味的重要性,但是我们却很少真正花时间去理解像“乐趣”和“游戏”等术语的真正含义。

这是我经常会略过的一些内容,有时候还会引用Rafe Koster的“快乐之道”。但是我也害怕我们有时候会因为过急而简化了真正的乐趣,并最终错失那些对设计有帮助的细微差别。

A Theory of Fun(from strangedesign)

A Theory of Fun(from strangedesign)

我经常使用半科学语言将乐趣描述为人类成功创造一个模式或克服一个挑战所散发出的多巴胺或血清素。但是否只是这样而已呢?

早在1938年,Johan Huizinga便将游戏描述成是“日常生活之外的一种独立活动,能够吸引玩家完全投入其中。”

当我们不再抱着怀疑态度,并全身心投入游戏世界中时,自由感便会懵然而生;不管是面对短暂且有趣的休闲游戏还是需要投入更长时间的硬核主机游戏。

免费模式

还有人说游戏是一种“不带物质利益”的活动。

不管你是否同意这种说法,这都引出了一些有趣的问题,如博彩游戏是否适应这种游戏理念?MMO游戏中的“打金”现象是否会破坏乐趣?用户生成内容是否属于游戏的一部分?

如果我在游戏中花钱是否就打破了这种幻想?

在我们的全新免费领域中,最后一个问题特别中肯,因为它是关于花钱是否会破坏乐趣。这是许多免费模式批评者所发出的控告,我也经常对自己误解他们不能理解这一模式感到愧疚。但不管怎么说,我们都需要正视这一问题。

不断提醒玩家去购买东西只会阻碍我们“吸引更多玩家投入其中”。但是当我们着眼于原始数据时会发现,这种推广方式其实是有效的。

我们同时还需要让玩家知道自己在游戏中花钱是值得的,从而不会破坏他们对游戏体验的幻想。

社交化

Huizinga还说道:“游戏将推动社交群体的组成,他们将通过伪装或其它方式将真正的自己隐藏起来,并突出自己的与众不同。”

我之所以觉得这一观点如此有趣不只是因为它早于Facebook和电子游戏出现前便存在着,它甚至早于《龙与地下城》等游戏好几年便诞生了。我还觉得这一理念能够用于解释过去几年里游戏的发展。

让我们想想硬核玩家是如何将共享记忆与相互关系附加于特定的平台和角色之上。就像如果我说“The Cake is a Lie”(在《传送门》中,游戏主角将在人工智能Gladous指引下完成一串谜题,而Gladous称完成所有难关后会有cake奖励),那么玩过《传送门》的人应该都知道我想表达什么,他们肯定对此印象深刻。

我想仍旧有许多人不知道我在说些什么。这种内在了解是我们在玩游戏时所掌握的乐趣元素,并且这也是我们在社交游戏设计中很容易忽视的内容。

小众群体

当Zynga和Playfish出现并带领那些非硬核玩家的人一起进入游戏中时,游戏玩家也发生了改变。

Facebook游戏变成了主流游戏,玩家们都可以在此尝试各种社交体验。

但是那段时间也出现了许多问题,我并不打算在此重新描述—–不过有一个问题与这一主题相关,即Facebook并不能帮助玩家区分游戏中与现实中的自我。

“附属于小众群体”让我们损失了许多乐趣,即使我们能够获得更多可一起游戏的好友。

伪装

在1958年发表的《Definition of Play》中,Roger Caillois进一步延伸了Huizinga对于游戏的描述,并表明了怀疑也是游戏过程中一个重要元素。如果游戏中不存在不确定性,那么玩家就没有继续游戏的必要了。

这同时适用于游戏技能与运气中,因为如果玩家未能达到有效的平衡,游戏也就没有乐趣可言;这与游戏中不存在失败或成功的机会一样糟糕。

如果游戏中存在一定空间让玩家能够影响最终结果,那么他们便能够在游戏过程中找到乐趣。例如,玩家在玩《FarmVille》的乐趣并不在于创造自己的农场,而是源自独自创造的过程。

Caillois宣称,“伪装”也是游戏过程中一个非常重要的元素,不管是假装接受角色还是接受益智游戏的规则。

为了在任何游戏中做到这一点,我们就需要让玩家愿意暂停对于游戏规则的怀疑。因为只有这样做,玩家才能真正释放自己而尽情享受游戏乐趣。

情感回应

我的立场始终都是,乐趣是人类对于游戏最基本的情感回应,而我们的行为只会随着时间的发展而出现表面上的改变。

也许现在的我们已经拥有了掌上设备和云端计算,但最终我们所面对的游戏仍是一种自由的活动,并不会牵扯到任何物质上的利益。

乐趣并不受外界的迫使。它需要独立于常规世界而存在,并且通常情况下它都是与一些不确定的结果维系在一起,而我们也总是希望与其它玩家分享这种乐趣。

理解这一点,并考虑其中所蕴含的内容以及更复杂的商业模式和市场营销问题便能够让我们的设计工作变得更加有趣。

本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,拒绝任何不保留版权的转载,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

‘So what exactly is ‘fun’ anyway?’ asks Applifier’s Oscar Clark

by Guest Author

Okay, I know this is a cliché but while we always talk about the importance of fun, we rarely take the time to understand what terms like ‘fun’ & ‘play’ actually mean.

It’s one of those things I always skip over, perhaps quoting Rafe Koster’s inspiring ‘A Theory of Fun’ in passing. However, I fear we try too hard to simplify what fun is, and in the end miss out on the nuances that can help us design better.

I often apply semi-scientific language to describe Fun as the dopamine or serotonin release from the successful resolution of a pattern or the successful overcoming of a challenge. But is that really enough to work with?

As far back as 1938, Johan Huizinga talked about play as “A Freestanding Activity quite outside ordinary life [...] absorbing the Player intensely and utterly”. Think about that for a minute.

There is a freedom that comes when we suspend our disbelief and allow ourselves to dwell in the world created by a game experience; whether that is just for a few brief delightful moments of casual play or for the hours we set aside for our favourite hardcore console game.

The profit prophet

The definition continues by saying that Play is an activity with “no material interest or profit gained.”

Whether you agree with that statement or not, it does provoke some interesting questions, such as where does gambling fit in with this concept of play? Does the phenomenon of gold-farming in MMO games break the fun? Is the creation User Generated Content part of play?

And if I have to spend money in the game does this break the illusion?

This last question is particularly pertinent in our new freemium era, because it asks whether the need to spend money might be detracting from the fun. It a common accusation raised by many F2P detractors and I’m often guilty of assuming that they don’t understand the model. However, we should take this seriously.

Constant reminders to buy things can undoubtedly stop us from “absorbing the Player intensely and utterly.” But when we look at the raw data we see that these kind of push promotions are really effective.

We have to find the balance between the need inform players that it’s worth investing their money in the game without breaking the illusion of the game experience.

Going social

Huizinga went on to say that play “promotes the formation of social groupings that tend to surround themselves with secrecy and to stress their differences from the common world by disguise or other means.”

I find this perspective fascinating not least because this predates Facebook and computer games in general, but it even predates games like Dungeons & Dragons by decades. I also think that this explains much of the evolution of games over the last few years.

Think about the way hardcore gamers attach their own shared memories and affinity to specific platforms and characters. For example if I say “The Cake is a Lie,” most of you reading this will know exactly what I’m talking about and may even have strong memories of a particular song.

There are a lot of people however, who won’t have a clue what I’m talking about. This kind of inside knowledge is an important aspect of the fun we gain when we play and it’s a factor we easily overlook in social game design.

Niche interest

Of course the audience for gaming changed when Zynga and Playfish came along to show people who weren’t hardcore gamers that they could join in too.

Games on Facebook very nearly became mainstream by allowing us to access a relevant social experience for us all.

There are lots of issues that have come about since that time and I’m not going to rehash them all here – but the one relevant to this topic is that Facebook doesn’t allow us to easily differentiate between our playful selves and our everyday selves.

We have lost a little of the pleasure from ‘belonging to our own niche’ that comes from fun; even if we have gained the ability to have many more playing friends than ever before.

Land of make believe

In the 1958 work ‘Definition of Play’, Roger Caillois, expands on Huizinga’s description of play and suggests that doubt is a vital part of the process of play. If there is no uncertainty, then play simply stops.

This applies to games of skill as well as luck, because if the players aren’t sufficiently balanced, there is no pleasure in the game; as much as if there is no chance of failure or success.

Although it is possible that some fun can be achieved through the process of play if there is room for personal impact on the outcome. For example, the fun of playing Farmville is not found in the creation of your farm, but in the journey of making it your own.

Caillois asserts that ‘Make Believe’ is also an important aspect of the process of play, whether that is the adoption of a role or avatar in play, or simply the acceptance of the rules of play of a puzzle game.

To achieve this in any game we have to create reasons for the player to suspend their disbelief or cynicism about the game rules. Only once the player does that can they let go and really enjoy themselves.

Remains the same

I guess my point in all of this is that fun is a basic human emotional response to play and the principles of our behaviour have only superficially changed over time.

We may have handheld devices and cloud computing, but in the end we still play as a free activity, with no care for material profit.

Fun is not something that can be forced. It requires a separation from our normal world to exist, usually framed in some commonly agreed rules with some level of uncertainty to its outcome and it’s something we want to share with other players.

Understanding this and allowing us to consider the implications this raises as well as the harder questions of business models and marketing is what makes our job as designers so much fun.(source:pocketgamer)


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