I'm reading an interesting book: VIDEO GAME SPACES - image, play and structure in 3D worlds. I've found a very good approach about the interface between the game and the player(s).
The author theorizes about a "five planes" idea. These planes are:
1. rule-based as defined by the mathematical rules that set, for example, physics, sounds, artificial intelligence, and game-level architecture. Players do not have to understand the logic of the code but of the mediated game world. "Beyond the fantasy, there are always the rules" (TURKLE, 1984, p.83);
2. mediated space as defined by the presentation, which is the space of the image plane and the use of this image including the cinematic form of presentation;
3. fictional space that lives in the imagination, in other words, the space "imagined" by players from their comprehension of the available images;
4. play space, meaning space of the play, which includes the player and the video game hardware; and
5. social space defined by interaction with others, meaning the game space of other players affected (e.g., in a multiplayer title).
The author synthetizes this idea in the image below:
The book is about video games but I think it's a good model to analyze any kind of game. And you? What do you think about that?
NITSCHE, Michael. VIDEO GAME SPACES - image, play and structure in 3D worlds. Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2008.
TURKLE, Sherry. The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1984