Aspects of Play: Guess Who?

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 ‘Guess Who’ belongs to is Board Games.

When playing Guess Who, 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 take control of a character but instead has a pre-selected face of a person that they must conceal, respond to their opponents questions of their character and remove people from their board accordingly to criteria such as “Does your character have blonde hair?” would have all blonde characters turned face down if not true and the deduction would be that your character isn’t blonde. Agon comes in the form of trying to beat your opponent in being the first to guess the others chosen character before hand. Illinx doesn’t appear within the game because nothing is inherently disorientating the player. Alea doesn’t appear within this game either because of the fact that it’s simply player vs player with no random aspect of occurring.

In terms of the elements in this game that I liked, I really liked the intuition aspect of the game in which you try to guess the opposing players character.

State of Flow, was it achieved?

No. Although a fairly short game, the competitive factor of it is particularly trivial in the regard of a challenge and the fact that you’re just guessing elements and characteristics of characters also on your board doesn’t really use my skill-level whatsoever, it’s simple guessing.

If I were designing a game similar to this, I would include more elements within the characteristics of the character that you’d have to deduce and include a penalty for an incorrect guess so that the player isn’t at an advantage or standstill if they guess incorrectly and are punished accordingly, like B.F Skinner Operant Conditioning of which he explains that rewarding good behaviour and punishing bad behaviour can lead to good behavioural patterns.

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