The Purpose of Games
Game Design > The Purpose of Games
Game-play are common across countries and cultures. Even animals indulge in
play as they simulate real conflict. Humans can have many reasons why they play
or why they set other people playing.
When playing or designing games, it is always a good idea to think about what
people are getting out of the game and how it may change their mind in some way.
Here is a large set of purposes that give reason for gaming.
- Games as Comfort: repeating recognizable patterns,
Games as Time-Wasting Just
Games as Learning: discomfort, new skills, improvement, progression.
Games as Self-Development: social, risk management
Games as Conflict: Winning and
Games as Hope: gambling,
Games as Hedonism: just for
the pure pleasure
Games as Therapy: healing inner
Games as Escape: fantasy, better than movies, visceral,
- Games as Need-Fulfilment: Getting what you can't get elsewhere.
- Games as Social
Facilitation: Helping along the conversation.
- Games as Bonding: Connecting
people as one.
- Games as Being: As the person you really want to be.
- Game as Purpose: Providing
meaning and intent.
- Games as Experiencing: That
make you happier.
- Games as Discovery: Self,
others and things.
- Games as Storying: With plot, characters and so on.
- Games as Real-izing: creating reality in real-time.
- Games as Prisons: Lock-in,
control and more.