Aspects of Play: Connect Four

As part of the module, the task was to look into the various types of games within the 3 specific bands of play. The band this game I shall be discussing ‘Connect Four’ belongs to is Board Games.

When playing Connect Four, I found that it belonged to the following categories of play in relation to Roger Caillois’ theory of play; Agon

In terms of Mimicry, the player doesn’t have a playable character to mimic their responses, it’s simply a game designed so that two players battle it out to ‘Connect Four’ in a row using the game structure. Agon is present within the game in the form of the competition that is created between the two players battling it out to be the first to connect four in the game, an element of this is also the tactics behind the player attempting to block the other players moves before they can be the one to connect four. Illinx isn’t present within the game because there isn’t any direct moments that cause the player to be disoriented, the only known reason for this would be if the player was colour blind to the colour of the discs. Alea doesn’t play apart of the game because of the lack of random occurrences within the game, the only thing that could be misconstrued as ‘random’ would be if the player misplaces a disc in the wrong slot and grants the other player victory, but that isn’t inherently the games fault, it is human error.

In terms of the elements in this game that I liked, I really liked the tactical aspect of the game in terms of trying to block your opponent from getting four in a row. Also this tended to be quite challenging in itself because the more you block your opponent, the less chance your giving yourself of winning, your just stopping your opponent from getting there first.

State of Flow, was it achieved?

Yes. I found that when the game is played at a relatively quick pace it can be very flow inducing when it comes to focusing on trying to beat your opponent but also trying to win. The downside to this is the fact that it didn’t last very long and this game wasn’t designed to be played with a game speed in mind, so it has the tendency to play out for far too long.

If I were designing a game similar to this, I would create a measure to ensure that the games are played with a quick pace to ensure that it remains a fun game to play, rather then a 2 hour session of mental warfare against your opponent.

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