quarta-feira, 29 de abril de 2015

About formal analysis of gameplay

To construct meaning and understand the complex relationships of gameplay and player, it’s necessary to observe the ludic universe with an accurate vision. Gaming research helps us find some answers for this intricate industry, creating better experiences. In this context, it’s fundamental to remember that “(g)ames are seen as data and the research build understanding on games and how they work, provide experiences or information to its players” (LANKOSKI; BJÖRK, 2015, p.6).

One methodological form to observe the binomial relation gameplay-player is formal analysis. Formal analysis of gameplay, specifically in games, takes a basis in studying a game independently of context or platform, that is, without regarding which specific people are playing a specific instance of the game; although a specific group of players (independent of age, gender or social class) can be considered for the analysis, it’s important to highlight these are descriptions of players used for analyzing the gameplay and not descriptions of their gameplay (LANKOSKI; BJÖRK, 2015, p.23).

As an example, we can bring to our discussion the analysis of an analogical game (dice, card, board) and its rulebook to discover nuances about the underlying system. In this case, a formal analysis could be done purely by observing the gaming components and together with the understanding gained by playing; the experience of the players and how gaming dynamics operates processes in this context is another important point of the analysis (LANKOSKI; BJÖRK, 2015, p.23).

There’s a lack of books about methodological principles for games, but recently a very good one was launched for free on the Internet. Its name is “Game research methods: an overview”, a very complete compendium with many good articles that certainly will enlighten your thoughts about gaming research. CLICK HERE to download.


LANKOSKI, Petri; BJÖRK, Staffan (Eds.). Game research methods: an overview. Halifax: ETC Press, 2015.

3 comentários:

  1. Este comentário foi removido por um administrador do blog.

  2. Thanks for the recommendation. I think the Lankowski and Bjork will be a good read. I agree that more ludic meta-scholarship - studies on how to study games - is needed.

    1. Thanks Stuart! I'll try to write more about this subject. =)