社交游戏设计师能不能从孩子的玩耍中取经呢？各人自有凭断。我从Mike Sellers的博客 “Online Alchemy”中读到一篇有趣的社交游戏设计文，如果你有兴趣，不妨链接一下。他的博文分析了游戏性表现在流行的社交游戏和个人在游戏过程中的心理发展轨迹之间的密切关系。从游戏设计和商业的角度来说明，非常有趣。
欲知详情，请继续阅读本文，很快你就会明白为什么我对游戏的意义及其在人类行为中的基础作用兴趣盎然。游戏纯属娱乐，却有其生物学基础，而且对人类的生存繁衍具有进化方面的贡献。Sellers 的博文探讨了Mildred Parten在上世纪三十年代发表的一份研究，他在研究中观察了儿童在玩游戏中的成长。简而言之，有6个玩耍阶段分别对儿童的身体、认知和社交发展。以下是个别游戏玩法中的一些发展阶段：
平行游戏：在当前的社交游戏如《Farmville》、《Pet Pupz》和《 Mob Wars》，玩家虽然有了“邻居”，但游戏还是相当独立。即使玩家能够和其他人联系，也能观察别人的游戏情况，但在游戏玩法方面而言，你几乎完全是“孤军作战”。这类游戏开始向联合游戏靠拢。
Psychology of Play, Social Games and Game Design
BY Michael Fergusson
Can social game designers learn something from child’s play? You be the judge. I came across an interesting social game design article from Mike Sellers and his blog, Online Alchemy, and I thought I’d share the link with you. Sellers’ blog post examines the close relationship between the emergence of gameplay in popular social games and the path of individual psychological development of play. Why is this so interesting from a game design and business perspective?
If you’ve been following my blog, then you know how interested I am in the meaning of play and its fundamental role in human behavior. It’s not just for fun, but it’s a biologically based, evolutionary contribution to human survival and development, a crucial vehicle for cultural learning and cultural transmission. Seller’s blog post discusses a 1930′s study published by Mildred Parten looking at the development of play in children. Simply put, there are 6 stages of play that correspond to a child’s physical, cognitive and social development. Here are some the developmental stages of individual play:
* Solitary play: Playing by yourself (ignoring others around you)
* Onlooker play: Noticing others around you, but not playing with them
* Parallel play: Implicitly recognizing the play of others around you, doing some of the same things and playing in the same cognitive space, without open social interaction. (Think of two kids building sand castles near each other that resemble each other, even though they never said a word or joined together at all.)
* Associative play: Light social interaction with others nearby, but without involving play as a topic or structure
* Cooperative play: socially interacting and organizing using play as a structure on which to build these interactions. Note that this implicitly includes competitive play, as the social structures involved necessarily require in-group (our team) and out-group (the other team) interactions.
According to Parten, as we develop as humans our forms of play become more social and common. We tend to play less alone and want to cooperate and compete during gameplay. As Sellers points out, if we examine the emergence of social games, we can see similarities in this regard:
* Solitary play: Bejeweled, tower defense, most early casual games. The game design and moving parts were simple and easy.
* Onlooker play: the addition of leaderboards, “who’s playing now”, and other features that, while they don’t give you the opportunity to be “playing” with others, or even observing their actual gameplay, at least give you some indication that there are other people out there playing at the same time.
* Parallel play: current social games such as Farmville, Pet Pupz and Mob Wars, where you may have “neighbors” but the game play is largely solitary. While you’re able to associate with other people and even observe their play, in terms of the gameplay you’re almost entirely working on your own. These games do however start to edge up into Associative play.
* Associative play: your play involves interacting with other people directly, and their play is one of several factors that effects yours. Foursquare would be an example, as well as higher levels in Mob Wars and Farmville.
* Cooperative play: think of people forming teams for the purpose of playing the game and these interactions enabling the formation of communities. Think of games where complementary roles —as well as shared goals and complex in-group/out-group interactions are part of gameplay.
As you can see, there’s plenty here for game designers to consider! What about games where the play within the game evolves through the various levels of sociality as you progress? What about games where individual players can decide independently how deeply they want other players to effect their play? What are your thoughts? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Fergusson has been a fighter pilot, a terraforming engineer, and a zombie hunter, and that was just this morning! He learned to touch type by hunting sharks, and has travelled the entire Oregon trail without getting scurvy. He also believes that playing is one of the most meaningful and productive things we can do. Michael is the innovator, business poet and mastermind behind Ayogo Games, Inc., a company that was recently named Hottest Digital Media Company in Canada by a jury at NEXTMedia for the work they did creating mobile and social games that improve people’s health in meaningful, measurable ways. Michael lives in Vancouver with his wonderful wife and four amazing children and very happy to be alive at this particular time in history.（source: ayogo）