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The Camaraderie Principle

 

Disciplines > Game Design > Principles > The Camaraderie Principle

Principle | Action | Discussion | See also

 

Principle

People find pleasure in the company of others.

Action

Give opportunity for connection, collaboration, competition and social interaction.

Create a system whereby people self-select or can find others with who they will get on. For example games that require particular abilities automatically filter for people with those skills. Other games give scope for players to choose different roles.

Discussion

We all have a need for a sense of identity which we often get through connecting with others, forming relationships and working together. As we join identities, our own sense of identity grows as we feel we the connection as an expansion of our self.

Games are often vehicles for social interaction. We play them as much for the camaraderie and connection with others as for satisfying our competitive instincts and need for arousal.

In two-player competitive games such as chess, we seek to beat the other person. There may not seem to be much camaraderie in such formats, yet the common love of the game and consequent conversation gives plenty of scope for friendship.

In team games, a common enemy (the opposing team) or common goals (eg. winning the tournament) gives clear, shared purpose that binds the team together.

When ex-soldiers are asked of their greatest moments, even years later they cite the shared experience and hardship, where comradeship was the reason they fought, far more than national pride. Likewise when others look back, it is relationships with others that make the best memories. Games simulate this shared interest and stress, albeit with less personal risk, while creating a similar social dynamic.

See also

Relationships

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