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Sentiology.
by Glenn Storm on 01/21/10 09:15:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Previous Post: Beyond the Magic Circle

This has been a long and deliberate presentation; building step-by-step from rather abstract concepts toward a comprehensive experience model that can be used practically in the evaluation and analysis of aspects that relate to the craft of Game Design in particular. The last sections have been dealing with that practical application to reveal a relative consistency between the system of Experience as asserted and the common knowledge and best practices from this craft as it stands today. Further application of this experience model to aspects of this craft that are not yet commonly understood may result in discovery and development of new design methodologies and stimulate the evolution of Game Design.

Potential directions of study and exploration using this experience model as a guide include:

  • Formal description of other concepts of Game Design in terms of the system of Experience, such the ludological concepts of Intentional Play from Doug Church and Improvisational Play from Clint Hocking.
  • Comparitive analses between a wide range of experience design domains; such as how a state of trance, as identified from various sources, relates to a state of Immersion, or what knowledge from improvisational theater can apply to the problems of interactive narrative design.
  • Development and evolution of specific heuristics that target prevalent challenges for Game Design in the industry today; transforming the more elusive and subjective tasks into more targeted and graceful ones.
  • Formally challenging conventions of Game Design and proposing new standard practices with supportive reasoning, particularly for those aspects which have suffered from a lack of objective analysis previously.
  • Identifying unknown aspects of experience design and performing exploratative tests to better understand the scope of the field and to take full advantage of that new territory.
  • Throughout this presentation, the discussions that followed each post included many intriguing questions related to this study. Many interesting relationships to other disciplines have been suggested. Review of those discussions should reveal a number of potential directions of study and exploration.

Conclusion

This was a reasonable attempt at a formal presentation of one designer's personal understanding of a system of Experience. The hope has always been that it can lead to interesting discussions and further reasoning on the nature of experience and the effects that external forces have upon it, particularly as that understanding pertains to the field of Game Design. Everyone should feel encouraged to continue to discuss or debate the assertions made in this presentation as part of an ongoing evolutionary effort.

Acknowledgements

Personal thanks go to the authors, designers and scientists referenced, those who helped to shape the style of this presentation, and those who helped to formalize these ideas; namely a colleague at the ICT, Kelly Christoffersen. Of course, thanks go to those who have been following and contributing to the ongoing discussion on many of these posts during the course this presentation; namely Christopher Wagg, Luis Guimarães and Bart Stewart.

Sentiology?

Sentiology: The Study of Experience

Perception and Cognitive Models

Memory and Prediction

An Experience Model

Reliability

Understanding and Attention

Efficiency

Stress

Motivation and Satisfaction


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