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Fichamento: "The Art of Computer Game Design" Capítulo 1

Atualizado: Jun 8

Livro: "The Art of Computer Game Design"

Autores: Chris Crawford

Editora: McGraw-Hill/Osborne Media

Capítulo: "What is a Game?"

Link Oficial: https://web.archive.org/web/20050828212401/https://www.vancouver.wsu.edu/fac/peabody/game-book/Coverpage.html

PDF Grifado:

Art of Computer Game Design
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Inicio este fichamento com uma breve observação: visto que as páginas do livro não contém numeração, utilizarei da numeração apontada pelo "Adobe Acrobat Reader DC" como referência.

"If we desire to understand games and game design, we must first clearly establish our fundamental orientation. We must define what we mean by the word “game.” We must also determine the fundamental characteristics of all games." (pg. 6)

"The parlance of games has insinuated itself into our language to refer to activities that are not truly games." (pg. 6)

"First, our liberal use of gaming terms promotes an exaggerated perception of our own understanding of games." (pg. 6)

Devido a popularidade e o impacto dos jogos em nossas vidas, tendemos a compará-los a outros elementos da vida cotidiana.

Para muitos a vida é um jogo, a guerra é um jogo, e assim por diante. Contudo, se tudo for um jogo, nada, de fato, é.

Logo, faz-se necessário encontrar a definição para esse conjunto oculto no qual os elementos que o compõe são jogos.

Tendo isso em mente, podemos traçar o objetivo de definir o que é um jogo. Encontrar os limites, por mais cinzentos que sejam, entre um jogo e um não-jogo.

"Complete amateurs whose only relevant skill is programming undertake to design games with no further preparation than their own experience as game players." (pg. 6)

Jogos não são mecânicas, nem códigos limpos e bem otimizados.

São interações lúdicas significativas. Ou seja, sistemas interativos que limitam e distorcem a realidade de maneira lúdica no qual toda interação tenha um significado como causa e efeito da mesma.

Um conjunto de "if"s e "else"s são só trechos de código quando não inseridos em um contexto lúdico significativo.

"We have applied the principles and concepts of gaming so widely that we have watered down their original meanings." (pg. 6)

"There is no longer a clear focus to the concepts we seek to understand. Game designers have no well defined set of common terms with which to communicate with each other. Discussions of game design frequently disintegrate into arguments over semantics." (pg. 6)

Faz-se necessária a construção de um linguajar apropriado para as discussões teóricas acerca dos jogos.

"The line of demarcation between games and competition illuminates one of the fundamental elements of all games. I distinguish the two by the degree of interaction between players. [...] the runners in a race do not interact with each other. Each is racing only against the clock; the presence of other runners should be immaterial." (pg. 7)

"I conclude that the simplest competitions, those in which each person strives to perform some task optimally without direct interaction with the other competitors, do not constitute games but competitions." (pg. 7)

"A competition that does allow interaction is a game." (pg. 7)


"First, a game is a closed formal system that subjectively represents a subset of reality. [...] By 'closed' I mean that the game is complete and self sufficient as a structure. The model world created by the game is internally complete; no reference need be made to agents outside of the game." (pg. 8)

"Some badly designed games produce disputes over the rules, for they allow situations to develop that the rules do not address. The players must then extend the rules to cover the situation in which they find themselves. This situation always produces arguments.

A properly designed game precludes this possibility; it is closed because the rules cover all contingencies encountered in the game." (pg. 8)

"Formal: By formal I mean only that the game has explicit rules." (pg. 8)

"System: [...] A game’s collection of parts which interact with each other, often in complex ways." (pg. 8)

"Subjectively Represents: Representation is a coin with two faces: an objective face and a subjective face. The two faces are not mutually exclusive, for the subjective reality springs from and feeds on objective reality." (pg. 8)

"In a game, these two faces are intertwined, with emphasis on the subjective face." (pg. 9)

"Clearly, though, something more than a simple blasting of alien monsters is going on in the mind of the player. [...] for the moment it is entirely adequate to realize that the player does perceive the game to represent something from his private fantasy world" (pg. 9)

"Thus, a game represents something from subjective reality, not objective. Games are objectively unreal in that they do not physically re create the situations they represent, yet they are subjectively real to the player" (pg. 9)

"The agent that transforms an objectively unreal situation into a subjectively real one is human fantasy. Fantasy thus plays a vital role in any game situation. A game creates a fantasy representation, not a scientific model." (pg. 9)

Games versus Simulations

"The distinction between objective representation and subjective representation is made clear by a consideration of the differences between simulations and games. A simulation is a serious attempt to accurately represent a real phenomenon in another, more malleable form. A game is an artistically simplified representation of a phenomenon." (pg. 9)

"A simulation is created for computational or evaluative purposes; a game is created for educational or entertainment purposes" (pg. 9)

"A game is not merely a small simulation lacking the degree of detail that a simulation possesses; a game deliberately suppresses detail to accentuate the broader message that the designer wishes to present" (pg. 9)

Jogos são representações de um subconjunto da realidade. Portanto, devem se utilizar de simplificações para representar o subconjunto ao invés de tentar implementar uma simulação do mesmo.

Subset of Reality

"The choice of matter in the subset is the means of providing focus to the game. A game that represents too large a subset of reality defies the player’s comprehension and becomes almost indistinguishable from life itself, robbing the game of one of its most appealing factors, its focus." (pg. 9)

Summary of Representation

"A game creates a subjective and deliberately simplified representation of emotional reality. A game is not an objectively accurate representation of reality; objective accuracy is only necessary to the extent required to support the player’s fantasy. The player’s fantasy is the key agent in making the game psychologically real." (pg. 10)


"Some media for representing reality are static. A painting or sculpture depicts a snapshot of reality frozen in time. Some media are dynamic; [...] Movies, music, and dance are dynamic in this way. They are able to represent the changing aspect of reality more richly. But the most fascinating thing about reality is not that it is, or even that it changes, but how it changes, the intricate webwork of cause and effect by which all things are tied together." (pg. 10)

Games versus Puzzles

"One way to understand the nature of the interactive element of games is to contrast games with puzzles and other non interactive challenges" (pg. 10)

"The key difference that makes one activity a game and the other activity not a game is the interactive element" (pg. 10)

"The difference between games and puzzles has little to do with the mechanics of the situation; we can easily turn many puzzles and athletic challenges into games and vice versa." (pg. 10)

"Games can include puzzles as subsets, and many do" (pg. 10)

O designer de puzzles cria caminhos a serem percorridos para se alcançar o objetivo. O designer de jogos cria regras que limitam as possibilidades de o jogador alcançar o objetivo.

Enquanto nos puzzles é necessário seguir o caminho do designer, nos jogos pode-se seguir qualquer caminho que não infrinja as regras criadas pelo designer.

Games versus Stories

"A story is a collection of facts in time sequenced order that suggest a cause and effect relationship." (pg. 10)

"Frequently, the facts presented are deliberately fictitious, because the facts of a story are intrinsically unimportant." (pg. 10)

"Indeed, the entire concept of fiction (“an untruth that is not a lie”) only makes sense when one realizes that the facts presented in the fiction are themselves unimportant. The cause and effect relationships suggested by the sequence of facts are the important part of the story." (pg. 10)

"a story is a vehicle for representing reality, not through its facts per se, but through the cause and effect relationships suggested by the sequence of facts." (pg. 10)

"Games also attempt to represent reality. The difference between the two is that a story presents the facts in an immutable sequence, while a game presents a branching tree of sequences and allows the player to create his own story by making choices at each branch point." (pg. 10)

"The audience of a story must infer causal
relationships from a single sequence of facts; the player of a game is encouraged to explore alternatives,
contrapositives, and inversions. The game player is free to explore the causal relationship from many
different angles." (pg. 10)

Os fatos de uma história são inúteis por si só. Não representam nada. A representação surge das relações de causa e efeito que conectam as sequências de fatos que compõe a história.

The Art of Computer Game Design - Chapter 1, Page 11
The Art of Computer Game Design - Chapter 1, Page 11

"Indeed, the player expects to play the game many times, trying different strategies each time. A story is
meant to be experienced once; its representational value decreases with subsequent retellings because it presents no new information. A game’s representational value increases with each playing until the player
has explored a representative subset of all of the branches in the game net." (pg. 11)

"So too, is a story static where a game is dynamic" (pg. 11)

"Stories enjoy a particular advantage over the current generation of computer games: the element of surprise." (pg. 11)

"Among computer games, only adventures provide this element of surprise. Unfortunately, the surprise can only be created by limiting the player’s freedom of action so as to guarantee that the player will encounter the surprise under the proper circumstances." (pg. 11)

"However, the ability to formulate surprise requires an ability to analyze the player’s actions, deduce his expectations, and generate
a believable plot twist that confutes his expectations without frustrating him." (pg. 11)

Games versus Toys

"Games lie between stories and toys on a scale of manipulability" (pg. 11)

"The storyteller has direct creative control over his
audience’s experience; the game designer has indirect control; the toymaker has almost none." (pg. 12)

Histórias conduzem cada passo da audiência, enquanto jogos os dá o caminhos e as regras para segui-los. Já os brinquedos são livres de qualquer regra, objetivo e caminho.

Significance of Interaction

Interaction is important for several reasons. First, it injects a social or interpersonal element into the event. It transforms the challenge of the game from a technical one to an interpersonal one. (pg. 12)

"Second, interaction transforms the nature of the challenge from a passive challenge to an active challenge." (pg. 12)

"The key distinction between a game and a puzzle is the difference between creating your own solution and discovering the designer’s solution." (pg. 12)

Nature of Interaction

"Interactiveness is not a binary quantity; it is a continuous quantity with a range of values. Puzzles have little or no interactiveness, while games have more interactiveness. This suggests that interactiveness is an index
of “gaminess”." (pg. 12)

"What is important about the modes of interaction is not their mechanical quality but their emotional significance.

PONG is insipid because I can’t express much of my personality through the medium of a bouncing ball. 

Bridge is better because it includes within its interaction elements of teamwork, deception, and cooperation." (pg. 12)

"I can better imprint my personality traits onto a game of bridge. Thus, degree of interaction provides a
useful index of “gaminess”." (pg. 12)


"A third element appearing in all games is conflict. Conflict arises naturally from the interaction in a game.
The player is actively pursuing some goal. Obstacles prevent him from easily achieving this goal. If the
obstacles are passive or static, the challenge is a puzzle or athletic challenge. If they are active or dynamic, if they purposefully respond to the player, the challenge is a game." (pg. 13)

Games without conflict?

"A number of attempts have been made to design “nice”
games cleansed of conflict. Such games emphasize cooperative efforts rather than conflict. They have not
been successful commercially; this suggests that few people enjoy them." (pg. 13)

"More importantly, these games are failures because they are not games in the first place." (pg. 13)

"Conflict can only be avoided by eliminating the active response to the player’s actions. Without active response, there can be no interaction. Thus, expunging conflict from a game inevitably destroys the game." (pg. 13)

"While it is impossible to eliminate conflict from a game without destroying the game, it is possible to include cooperative elements by shifting the conflict. Members of a team can cooperate with each other in the team’s conflict with another agent." (pg. 13)

"Without at least the illusion of purposeful reaction to the player’s actions, the game collapses." (pg. 13)

Summary of Conflict

"Conflict is an intrinsic element of all games. It can be direct or indirect, violent or nonviolent, but it is
always present in every game." (pg. 13)


"Conflict implies danger; danger means risk of harm; harm is undesirable. Therefore, a game is an artifice for providing the psychological experiences of conflict and danger while excluding their physical realizations." (pg. 13)

"In a world of relentless cause and effect, of tragic linkages and inevitable consequences, the disassociation of actions from consequences is a compelling feature of games." (pg. 13)

"This is not to imply that games are devoid of consequences. The penalties for losing a game can sometimes be a significant deterrent to game play. Losing to another person always entails some loss of dignity." (pg. 13)

"A second penalty for losing is the less of any reward that might have been gained by winning. In almost all games the reward penalty structure is positive. That is, the loser is not punished for losing, the winner is rewarded for winning. The loser’s only loss is any investment that he made to enter the game, such as a bet or entry fee." (pg. 13)

"Gambling presents us with some difficult problems related to the issue of the safety of games. Gamblers risk money or goods on the outcome of a random or near random process. Losers forfeit their bets and winners reap a large reward. Hence, gambling presents a real financial risk to the player. However, two extenuating circumstances intervene: first, the recreational gambler risks very little money; second, some gamblers deny to themselves the laws of chance. They indulge in the fantasy of control. The proper intonation in the shake of the dice, the correct twist on the handle of the slot machine these things make the difference, or so they tell themselves. Thus, recreational gambling, while somewhat deviant from the mainline of game playing, probably deserves inclusion in the fold of games. Serious gambling, however, involving large sums of money expended more for anticipated financial gain than for recreation, lies on the far side of the gray zone." (pg. 14)

"Summary of Safety

Games provide safe ways to experience reality. Special cases abound, but the central principle remains: games are safe. In this chapter I have presented a set of characteristics that defines what I mean by the word “game”. For the most part, I have emphasized the characteristics intrinsic to the games themselves rather than the motivations of the players. Such separation of game from player is artificial and misleading, for neither exists without the other. In the next chapter, I turn to look at the players of games and their motivations." (pg. 14)


O link original (https://www.vancouver.wsu.edu/fac/peabody/game-book/Coverpage.html) se encontra desativado.

Entretanto, por ser um livro gratuito, dei-me a liberdade de buscar pelo link oficial na ferramenta online Wayback Machine, que contém um histórico de alterações de diversas páginas web, incluindo a https://web.archive.org/web/20050828212401/https://www.vancouver.wsu.edu/fac/peabody/game-book/Coverpage.html.

Portanto, por ser um registro da página oficial, acredito que não estou incorrendo em nenhum tipo de pirataria (caso contrário, favor entrar em contato).

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