This week in our third meeting of the Playing 4 Keeps program, Global Kids youth leaders spent time on Gamestar Mechanic completing the quest games. Several participants who have logged on from home have advanced and even started designing some of their own games! Afterwards, we focused on two game design concepts: games vs. play and emergence.
I chose a volunteer to create a simple game on Gamestar and as a group, we discussed the difference between “games” and “play”. We concluded that “play” is simply about doing something entertaining and fun, but a “game” has elements like goals, obstacles, and rules. However, just because a game has all of those elements does not make it a fun game.
We then discussed the concept of “emergence”, which is that complex systems develop out of a smaller set of simpler interactions. Youth brought up examples of games like Pac-Man, Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds, Tetris, and chess to talk about emergence. They mentioned that those games all have simple rules or actions, but when they interact with each other, they become difficult, complex, and interesting games that are also incredibly addictive.