Aspects of Play: Missile Game 3D

As part of the module, the task was to look into various types of games within the 3 specific bands of play. The band this game I shall be discussing ‘Missile Game 3D’ belongs to is Internet Based.

When playing Missile Game 3D, I found that it belonged to the following categories of play in relation to Roger Caillois’ theory of play; Mimicry and Illinx

In terms of Mimicry, the player takes the role of a missile running down a launch tube, avoiding visual obstacles to make it to the end of the tube. Illinx comes from the disorienting factor of the game being in a first person perspective running through said tube and avoiding the obstacles that gives a motion-sickening feel to the player on occasion. Agon isn’t present in a lot of regards within this game, it could be stated that the sheer factor of wanting to go as far as possible could be misconstrued as an agonistic element but that directly isn’t inherently competitiveness. Alea doesn’t particularly play apart of the game as the levels are usually slightly different iterations of the same level at different speeds, the player is in control of the missile at all times so the chance of random events occurring to sway the flow of gameplay is small.

In terms of elements within the game I liked, I really liked the fact that the game felt so inherently natural to play from the get-go because of its simple concept of simply dodging obstacles. Additionally I liked the fact that the game was simple enough to the point of which, the only person at fault for failure was the player themselves and enforced B.F Skinner’s attitude of operant conditioning were upon death, the player would have to start the entire level again until either losing all lives (3) or continuing to play onto the next level with the same amount of lives left, but with the sustained feeling that failure would be costly.

State of Flow, was it achieved?

Yes. I found myself drifting very easily into flow with this game seeing as it required an intense amount of immediate focus and concentration to dodge obstacles and avoid defeat. I was surprised at how addictive it became, even after death to pursue getting as far as possible.

If I were designing a game similar to this I’d increase the replayability factor for it. As it stands, the game is very addictive and can induce flow very easily but once the player learns the rhythm for the missiles descent, it won’t be long before the player beats the game and no motivating factor remains for the player to continue.

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