Thursday, May 21, 2009

Class 6: Social Play

Well done on the first set of project presentations!
You have also learned about social play and the social ritual of play.

The presentations touched on some very interesting aspects, and I did not want to interrupt, but sorry that I did: because of Rob's great comment, I had to quickly mention the difference between parallel and non-parallel play; thanks to the last group who let me 'use' them to explain the concept.

I would like to dig a little bit deeper here, to help clarify if you have some questions about it (I am only figuring it out slowly myself):

Think of 3 activities: (Note: they are all competitive)

This is a parallel game, or 'race', as the player have no 'direct' way of influencing the other player's physical performance. There is no 'offense' or 'defense'. The players face the same direction. The players' spaces are physically separated (by a white line).

Aussie Rules
This is a non-parallel game, or 'match'. The player has a 'direct' way of influencing the other player's physical performance (you can chose to kick goals or prevent goals, the defenders in American football are an extreme example: their only job is to defend, they will never score). There is 'offense' and 'defense'. The players face each other (especially at the start). A player can only be as good as the other opponent allows him to be. The players share a space. The players experience bodily feedback from opponents.

Different to traditional sports such as Aussie Rules above, but it is still a non-parallel game: The players face each other, but they do NOT share a space, (the net separates them). However, they share a ball: this allows for 'offense' and 'defense'. The players still experience bodily feedback from opponents, but 'through' the ball as proxy.

Social implications
So does that mean that only Aussie Rules is social? No, as Rob will hopefully confirm, a 400m game is also social: I predict that his personal best was probably achieved in a race with others, possibly amongst a large crowd: the social presence of others affects your physical performance (can be negative, too, see stage fright), so it was a social experience.
But these sports experiences are also not the same socially. We can only conclude that they are social, and different. But what we can do is acknowledging these differences, and considering them in our designs.

How? (Mark might ask)
By realizing that there are 2 spaces in exergames (at least in most of the ones we play):

1. The exertion space: this is the space in which we exert our body.
This space can be social, for example when playing with others in the same room, but the experience is (so far) pretty much always parallel: we never physically interfere with the other player. You can imagine a 400m-line drawn between each Wii player, and you get the idea.

2. The virtual space: this is what happens in the virtual world, displayed on the screen.
This space can also be parallel (see 400m Wii Olympics: parallel in both exertion and virtual space), mimicking the parallel exertion activity in the exertion space.
OR: you, as the designer, can change this, and make it non-parallel: for example, your Wii Olympics avatars can run into each other and push each other over to win. OR: Wii tennis: the shared ball is virtual. Or Wii Aussie Rules: the virtual space is shared.
With these examples you can see why Wii tennis is easier to design than Wii Aussie Rules in terms of input control: in Wii tennis, you only have to accept that there is no physical feedback from the virtual ball (the feedback transcends from the virtual back into the exertion space), in Wii Aussie Rules, the physical feedback that is missing is from the ball and the other players, and accomodating that is harder.

And this is why we have to know about this, as we need to consider these social aspects of different sports experiences in our designs:
For example, by knowing that parallel exertion play turns into non-parallel virtual play, we can accommodate for its shortcomings:
  • we need to think how to compensate for the lack of physical feedback
  • but also the fact that the players do not face each other anymore while thinking about
  • how they can still experience offense and defense
  • ...
Think of Breakout for Two: if each brick would immediately break when hit the first time, it would be a parallel game (in the exertion and virtual space), but because the bricks are shared and only break and score a point when hit three times, the virtual space offers non-parallel play, allowing for offense and defense.

Technology does allow accommodating people with different preferences (parallel or non-parallel sportspeople), but also to mix these different sports styles to allow for new experiences, such as turning a 400m race into a 'match', allowing people with different physical capabilities to play together, play over a distance, ...
and these are the opportunities for you as designers!
So grab them!

Did I get this right Rob?

See also as example:


Please post your project URLs as separate blog entries and allow for comments.
Read the papers for next week.
Comment on today's lecture here.
Grade each project you have seen in its respective blog entry's comments. (You should know by now what makes a great game, so use that knowledge and its terminology)
Provide an explanation if you feel comfortable and think it is helpful.


  1. woo first...........woo?
    presentations were good as always and im very glad that i now have only one group activity to worry about rather than 3 much stress anyway i really enjoyed what floyd said about parallel games and non parallel games and have read what has been posted about it i recomend you read it dont just skim over it cause its long

  2. It seems impossible to say that one type of socialization is better than another. It's clear that being in a room with someone make it a lot easier to become friends or whatnot with them (like that video Floyd showed us of his wall-ball game- those got up and moved were a lot more comfortable with one another than the people who just used a mouse/keyboard). However, this doesn't mean companionship in a game like WoW isn't equally as entertaining. In WoW you work together to obtain a goal. Most of the time direct competition (pvp) doesn't lead to any sort of friendship - this is also true of official sports. Bonding and friendship often comes from working within a team to accomplish a goal. If the triumph or loss is a shared one - bonding occurs. You can also think of the fans at football like this. They don't actually PLAY. They never even touch the ball, nor might they ever have met the players, or even lived in their supporting team's town. Yet people of the same team talk to each other when the actual players get a goal or the opponent's team scores. Sociality is a lot more complex than just the players within the game.
    As one of the groups pointed out (sorry man, I forgot your name!) the atmosphere created by fans can be found in games too. Like with the Street Fighter 3 competition, it's clear that people can get just as excited about videogames as they stadium events.
    Whoever likes DDR should watch Dance Dance ImmolationPretty much it's a mod of Stepmania (DDR). If you miss a note you get huge flames in the face. Players must wear fire-protective suits.
    @Floyd about videogames taking the danger out of things like boxing, and opening up the audience - they can also do the opposite! Take a reasonably safe game like DDR and make it so you could get burnt.

    Now lets move on to talk about obesity!
    Although I disagree that 'screen culture' is the number one cause of obesity, it is a major contributor. That said, it was inevitable it would be integrated into society as technology progressed (...unless you're Armish). If you want to figure out why kids aren't playing physical or team games anymore, you can't say even the majority is from video games/screen culture. Like I said in the lecture, 40 years ago, kids would go out and make their own cricket teams in the street, they'd vs the neighbors and play all day. Now days kids have better things to do; such as homework. Not only that, parents are busier. So their children don't get healthy meals, their parents don't have time to take them to basketball, and the kids can't go out on their own because they might get kidnapped or something. But look at what technology has allowed those kids to do - even though they can't go outside and play with the neighbors, they can still chat with their friends on msn, and play multilayer games online. The traditional physical interaction has evolved with technology and become much more. Sadly, the death of traditional playing/games means kids don't get exercise like they used to. So either parents need to find time to do something physical with their kids (go on bike rides together), or find some alternative option. What is there? Exergames! All the safety and possible sociality of other online games, but with the added benefit of fat-be-gone.
    One last thing - people have studied playing games together and sociality attached to that, but what about non-physical social groups, like bands or book clubs?
    I was in my high school concert band for many years, and found many good friends there. But we never run or jump. But where does this fall in the keyboard vs. ball experiment of Floyd's? Arguably, all we're doing is listening to a conductor and following instructions on a page - I didn't even need to look at the other players, let alone talk to them (though I did need to hear what they were playing).
    My point is that it's the context of the social situation that allows you to make friends. The medium itself is irrelevant.

    Hehe sorry about that huge rant.

  3. yet another interesting class. good to see the different groups projects too.
    One thing i thought about was with the obesity thing. while games can play a part in why obesity is becoming more of an issue (i heard Australia actually overtook America in the number/percentage of overwieght kids. If it is percentage though america has a bigger population than Australia) but i also think that a lot of it is A, part of that childs genetics and B another key factor is the parenting of kids. i dont know what its like to be a parent obviously but i think that parents are so busy these days that they dont have as closer bonds with their kids to be able to say "look im concerned with your heal so im going to limit you with your gaming, or make conditions like "you can play games if you do sport twice a week" or something.

    Also a little comparison to do with energy. (keeping in mind the street fighter video that was shown)
    If i play WOW in a group of people, its fun but there is less energy and its a more "sit around" style. While if you get a bunch of mates playing brawl or guitar hero, there is a lot more energy and everyone gets into it. people can be entertained watching the game without playing it. especially when there is like one guy kicking everyones arse, then everyone starts to cheer for the underdog. When the "whooping" guy finally loses, everyone is like "WOOHOO BUY HIM A BEER" Blah blah hahaha. thats my experiance so far anyway

    -Mad Mick

  4. Yes it feels good to be free of another pressure, being of course the presentation on Thursday.
    Most people probably would have noticed i kinda lost track and 'dropped the ball' a few times during my part. - Probably because i was trying to follow on my notes and keep it within the time limit- neither of which i did :?
    So i didn’t get a chance to provide an anecdote that went with the image of two brothers playing together,-the one that i compared with a group of characters in WOW-...
    When i feel like playing a game, i have a habit of always asking my brother if he wants to play with me. I ask even when the feeling of playing a game comes with thinking about a single player one, because to me any game with him is better than one alone, I would even choose to play a game I didn’t even like, if it was with him compared to playing a game I did like, by myself.
    There are also times when I’m bored and really want to play a specific game, if my brother doesn’t want to play i would not play at all, rather opting for another activity, even when there is the possibility of playing that same game single player.
    What’s weird is that I rarely enjoy playing games alone and rarely choose to play games at all if there’s no one to share the experience with. However, if my brother, for example, is in the room (not necessarily doing anything) I could enjoy playing a game.
    I thought about why this may be, and came up with a number of reasons, but am not sure which would apply to me or anyone else. I wont reveal these explanations because I don’t think I can support my explanations, but also because I want to think them through and make sense of them – I’m not sure if I have fully understood all of these reasons.
    Hmmm if I can actually come up with an explanation that I am happy with I may post it up… probably shouldn’t hold your breath though

    But what I was trying to say is that sometimes people play games, not for the entertainment or escape but for the social bond that sharing a game or playing together can create – this includes the meta-game where the whole ‘game scene’ is a chance to get together, laugh, catch up and enjoy each others company – often made better with a few drinks and snacks.

    i hope my point is clear now - see you thursdie :)

  5. I really like the idea that exergaming and online play is getting to the point where you can run a footrace with someone you've never met, or play tennis with them.

    If you think about Floyd's example of a game where you run against another player on a treadmill or something like that and you have a screen, you're including social activity, interpersonal competition, physical exertion and a whole range of factors that you wouldn't get if you were say, playing Gears with someone on the couch.

    And much unlike a social interaction tool like Secondlife or any other online world where you have an avatar and control them on a linear base like everyone else (by which I mean you all have the same basic physical movement and ability), these physically interactive games take into account the level of dexterity and fitness each individual has, which increases our emotional involvement and thus our desire to win!

    Which is what games are about. Not fun, WINNING!

    It's an important step in gaming and one which is bringing us closer to the virtual worlds that William Gibson presents us with in Neuromancer etc.

  6. I agree with most statements in peoples posts. But putting aside such facts I reckon you can have fun with any game. Vitual/interactive or standard. Depends on the attitude, taking into account you are with a group of people with a positive flair, you'll have a great time.
    One of the keys to having a banging night out with your mates in general is this principle.
    I suppose this is only to a certain degree, but it does elevate the fun.
    Anywho, I think this social interactivity will inevitebly get stronger as the years pass.

    When Floyd mentioned gaming crowds (ie Street Fighter championships), and if it could equate to that to of a full MCG, I must say I was quite disturbed. Dearrrrr god, I hope I never see a packed MCG for any sort of game tournament... well here at least. Leave that for Korea and it dominant Starcraft E-Sports. Gaming is cool nevertheless but it does not deserve an attendance that large... in my opinion, others may differ...

    PS @ Mariah LeCarey; Gears is always rockin no matter the situation. :)

  7. I guess I have to "harp" back to issues confronted in the first lecture when discussing social aspects of play. That is, semantics and differences of interpretation.

    As everyone is unique and different, so too are their definitions of what defines sociability. For example, a person who grows up loving playing computer games may find it extremely social to play a computer game with a friend. Others, who for example may enjoy talking and "mingling" may on the other hand be abhorred by this idea of sociability. It's all personal preference really.

    Mariah LeCarey, you stating that games are not about fun but about winning is an opinion that I disagree with wholeheartedly and is extremely representative of the competitive, capitalistic, individual focused society that we seem to live in today. I would personally like to change that form of society to a more co-operative one. Games like Little Big Planet are based on a form of social play which allows this more and I personally encourage it.

    As a favourite author of mine, Jeanette Winterson, once wrote:


    Also, I love the Neuromancer trilogy but I am slightly abhorred by the concept of Gothiks constantly jacked into a virtual world, addicted and no longer interacting face to face with living, breathing, feeling souls.

    Once again, thanks for listening folks,

  8. PS: Do people know that historically, games were often used to pass on knowledge forbidden at various times... the tarot & mahjong are common examples of this.

  9. me again... good presentation to all!!! Particularily liked the BINGO ;)

    Why do children play???

  10. Darn you people with your finished group assignment! I'm still stressing lol.

    Anyway, good class. Those quick presentations are always interesting; so many good ideas in such a short time can never be boring.

    The main thing I contemplated during and after the lecture was the idea of 'which games are more fun?'. As I began to say during class, there can be no distinction as to which game type is actually better; personal or virtual connection.

    The very fact that both variations exist and are incredibly popular suggest that both are highly useful forms of socialization, albeit for different reasons. We all have different needs at different times of our lives based on instinct, personality and circumstance. Sometimes playing a game with friends is a fantastic way to light up your day, other times sitting at home on your computer talking to people with ridiculous avatar names can be a good way to chill out.

    I don't see any reason to make a distinction as to which one of the variations is better, as we all know that both are highly popular and just a whole lot of fun : P. I think the best thing we can do is strive towards making better games for either or both game types and continue to consider what each type can bring to the industry.

    With the obesity dilemma, I have to say that video games, currently, do little in the way of encouraging exercise. Most of the people who I've seen getting very involved in games like Wiifit tend to be people who would be spending their time exercising anyway. Though I do applaud the way it forces players to exert in order to achieve. I must say that arcade games seems to be the best option if we really want players to exercise during gameplay. It seems most people turn to consoles as a form of respite, on the other hand arcade games are a way of getting pumped, often with friends, and the idea of performance is so much easier to implement. You make all the exercise games you want, but it won't do anything if nobody wants to play them.

    When all is said and done though, I doubt I’ll ever be focused on making exergames. I simply do not see the great point in making people exert during a pastime they typically partake in to relax. Not that it’s a bad market; people always like the option and, like I’ve said, have different needs. I just don’t think it appeals to me. I lean towards the ‘mind’ in ‘mind-body conflict’ : P.

    Also, I agree with Pranee! Though I didn't realise it till just then, I don't think I've ever come up with a design for a game without it being fun-orientated rather than competition-orientated. I’m not big on competition, so yay for people getting along! : D
    P.S. Hope you had a good run Floyd : ).

  11. Another enjoyable lecture. The stand out part, as always Floyd's insights and teaching. It's great to have my mind shown news ways of thinking about things critically. Learning the principles and elements of gaming. Something that games studio could use a bit of...

    But I digress, the class presentations were also interesting, and a good way of building up students public speaking abilities. The subject matter was great, but sometimes let down by shyness, ill prepared presentations and the like. But overall they were great.

    The social aspect of gaming is one of the greatest things about it. Video games have always been a social activity from the very beginning. To do a Pranee I'll pass on some information that may not be known, but video games evolved from a hacker culture in Cold War research facilities. Mainly from boredom. But these games were passed on, and were multiplayer games. Such as 'Spacewar', in which players controlled a blip on a oscilscope screen, and fired torpedoes at each other.

    Pranee makes a very good point about games being social, and the greatest example I can think of is also Little Big Planet. There are 'races' in the game, but even my friends and I found these a socially rewarding experience, and would help each other through them, rather than compete against each other.

    Maybe games can encourage social change, as Pranee suggest.... great post by the way... I'll stop riding your succesful post now.

    The game presentations were well done, and generally of a high quality. It's good to see the thought put into these games, and especially considering Floyd's teachings of the physical game design elements.

    Speaking of design elements. Floyd's parallel and non parallel mini-lecture was great. It has helped our group understand more some of the features we were trying to implement, and allow us to have confidence in the process of adding these features in.

    Understanding the make-up of a game can greatly help you design each segment, and judge it critically based on knowledge, whether it would work or not, and why.

    I would also like to comment on the comparison between playing games social with friends together, and playing online with friends, or aquintances. There was a lot of questioning whether one was more enjoyable than the other, and the speakers presented no real definite answer. Although the argument leant towards gaming in the same place as a better social experience.

    Connecting through networks, such as the internet allow social interaction in games over a distance, and ideas such as Floyd's soccer breakout game, or boxing game are great. As they involve the whole body in this process, helping to feed many different criteria that make us socially, emotionally and physically involved.

    By getting the whole body moving, your instantly increasing the production of seratonin and other wonderous feel good chemicals and hormones. Seeing the other person on the screen is also great, as you can view there reactions, their physical exertion, and try to compete with them (Although, it could be a co-operative exercise and have the same effect). These physical actions and reactions help invest the players emotionally, and feel a greater connection than watching someone's WoW avatar run around, and bits of text flashing up.

    I can liken this to a time when away at a festival with friends, boredom got the better of us, so 6 of us ended up hitting a tennis ball with raquets against a wall of an indoor basketball court for hours. No competition, just hitting and running. The vast space allowed for little limitation, and lots of movement. I believe this impacted greatly on the social aspect of the game. It was thoroughly enjoyable, dare sare more so than any individual game, or social video game I've played.

    I've written too much

    Overall this was a great lecture for understanding the social aspects of gaming.

  12. Cherie; Dance Dance Immolation was too cool!

  13. as usual, floyd deliver another interesting class.

    parallel and non-parallel game that is shown in the last class, racing together in a different geographical distance but still able to interact with each other with a headphone that is connected to a bluetooth GPS is a great and unique idea where whenever you overtake your jogging patner, his/her sound would come from behind and the other way round, if he/she is faster than you, then his/her sound would come in front of you.

    also, jogging together with someone would motivate and increase the socialization among each other.


  14. Ok I've got a few things to say.

    First up all people are competitive. It's instinctual to want win. I'm not saying it's always about technically winning, but there is almost always a target that defines success. (unless your Rob and his mates hitting a tennis ball against a wall)

    Second up, Dan. I totally know what you're talking about. I love playing games with my brother. I think it's about the shared/sharing the experience. Would anything be as fun if you had no one to tell/share it with? I couldn't imagine doing something amazing, like climbing up a huge vertical cliff and not being able to tell anyone at all. I'd feel "well, what was the point?"

    I think playing a game against someone else is fun because it evokes the the primitive competitor inside. Or maybe that's just me because I love competing.

    Also, I think playing a game with some is equally as enjoyable because of the shared achievement. Guitar Hero World Tour is awesome fun with a full band, if anything it's better than single player. I guess the social aspect of band play is a large part of what makes it so enjoyable. But I also think that sharing the achievement with someone else is equally as powerful.

    Now that I've said all of that I guess what I'm saying is at the end of the day humans are just incredibly social creatures who have an instinctual drive to win. (in most cases).

    The parrallel / non-parrallel concept was very interesting. I don't think it's something I've thought to much about consciously, but in the future I'll definitely be aware of it.

    GW 3132428

  15. Good lecture, the illustration of the 400 meter run being changed into a physical game idea I thought was really good and thought provoking in terms of what it is that makes a lot of games fun including, I thought, first person shooter titles and what motivates people to play them/makes them enjoyable. Being able to fight in deadly action, shoot at people, drive tanks ect. but without any risk of pain or death.
    The lecture also offered good points relating to social play within games that i can see having a good practical application to the design of games in future. The influences one player can have on another (such as to run further in your ‘jogging at a distance’ idea) is one such example of things that I’m glad I’ll now be able to keep in mind when thinking about how to design a game and, more specifically, ways this impact can be utilized to enhance it.

  16. Hey hey.

    Today’s lecture was rather good. I enjoyed the presentations from the 3 groups. It was interesting to see what they came up with. I just finishes marking their work.

    The part I enjoyed most was at the end when Floyd spoke about the parallel and non-parallel play in games. This part I really enjoyed. I don’t have anything to say about it just yet because I’m still thinking it over but this part really caught my interest. It’s these deeper conversations that explore human behaviour that I believe will be very beneficial for us.

    And as for drawing on the carpet, well… I hope our new lecturer is as good as you Floyd, we will miss you ;)

  17. Logan Gray s3235083May 27, 2009 at 10:19 PM

    very nice class in my opinion, the games concepts were very interesting and intuitive. As for the challenge of competition, it will always be there, people will be bored playing a game by themselves but all of a sudden , when someone else is involved it becomes much more interesting, it has been like this.... well since the beginning of mankind probably. i really enjoyed the "jogging over a distance idea, although it is not often that you go running at the same time as someone else and use these headphones, ( what i mean is youd probably make that extra effort to go see the person and run WITH them instead of buy these headphones) but the conceptual thought behind it really intrigued me. well done with the trailer too, you looked like you were really sweating!
    anyways, see you tomorrow night,

    Logan s3235083

  18. Jogging over a distance was nice. Maybe even an additional application could be made, for when no one is available to jog with, even over a distance. You could have a data record of their speed over distance, and apply the same principle. Or even as was mentioned, using GPS, track a route, and know the exact timing and location of the person you are tracking.

  19. rad lecture as usual (is there really any point to saying "good lecture" anymore? i think it sort of goes without saying now.)
    I really enjoyed hearing the groups present their ideas and it's cool how everyone has come up with such different games (from rock climbing to paper routes to hamster rolling, i mean clearly we all rock.), can't wait to hear the rest of the presentations in the coming lectures.

    the jogging over a distance idea is really clever, because when racing it's often knowing there's someone catching up on you that makes you push harder. It reminds me a bit of that virtual haircut thing;

    lastly, as you know i'm not the wii fit's biggest fan, with that in mind, i highly recommend everyone watch this;

  20. I found the topic really interesting, I'd like to read more about it. If only I had enough time though, which is why I'm keeping this comment short.

    Presentations were fantastic. Floyd's match/race example was interesting, I had never considered that logic before.

    There's a question that's been running around in my mind for a while now. For a game to be counted as a "social game" does the other player(s) have to be physically present (ie. next to you)? Because we're always comparing social games with, for example, World of Warcraft, which is considered the complete opposite. Isn't the user playing/interacting with other users in WoW too though?

    So what makes a game social? Is it the level of interaction? The way you interact? The medium you use to interact? The distance between players? Or is it just the "feeling" that we get, the "oh yes, this is social" feeling? Is it-

    [connection to server terminated due to statement regarding "keeping comment short"]


  21. I enjoyed each presentation, they were very detailed and each person did fantastic at getting there points across.

    At first i did not understand what floyd was tryin to explain to us about parallel an non parallel game's. Gradually i was able to grasp what he was trying to say an i found it interesting the way he compared the two.

    I really like the way he explains things, helps me visual it rather then tryin to work it out in my head.

  22. Video games cause people to be obese? Isn't that the point of creating an exer game that people would actually want to play while at the same time losing weight in the process?

  23. After this lecture, I understand more about game theory and ideas. That influences gamemakers could have more idea in game designing . I could think to make a game more logic .I wondered when i want to design a game: "should i use parallel rule or sharing ( non-parallel)rules in game".

    I love exertion game , always vote for it. You play game to entertaining, relaxing , enjoying fun and to exercising. I agreed with Gan. what game you want to play between exertion game and video game> which one is more benefits?

    Nothing to say more because I have many assignment to finish..


  24. I enjoyed Floyd point about the parallel and non-parallel play in games. Iv been running and playing contact sports for many years and i never look at it like this!! It was a great in-site into how we can use these social mechanics to effect our game play!

  25. Hello, its Nicholas Lim here.

    I like how parallel games and non-parallel games were explained. Thanks Floyd!

    Up to this point I have always acknowledged that such concepts were present, where for example multiple players are directly at odds with each other face to face or indirectly opposing each other or rather, vying to come up on top. Now I actually have a term to denote the two concepts and styles of gameplay without having to explain the whole thing!

    Concerning Mariah LeRoy's comment on "Which is what games are about. Not fun, WINNING!":

    I believe that games are about having fun, entertainment, competition AND winning. I also feel that fun is had when you are playing and after you win or your team wins. So, to be specific, in my opinion on this matter, games are not all about just winning and pwning and my skill > your skill sort of thing.


    That is a perfect answer. I think that the playing experience including all the losses and victories and shenanigans and gameplay definitely brings players back for more and more, so as to further experience more things through the game(s), regardless of platform and medium, exergame or not!

    That's all I wanted to properly comment on now, folks.

    Nicholas Lim

  26. Andrew DemetriouMay 28, 2009 at 11:27 AM

    this thread is nao about chuck norris... i mean...

    i enjoyed floyd's examples and unusual logic (parallel running race thing). it gave me some brain food and something to chew on on the train home.

    by the way,, i think some people are taking the arguement of exergaming a little too seriously. its another strand of gaming, it wasn't meant to be replacement for exercise!

    i'm done (:


  27. The highlights:
    -The lady from next door
    -Floyd drawing on the floor - tell that to the lady next door!
    -Parallel and non-parallel games- that's a very interesting way to look at it
    -And all the obvious things that have already been mentioned

    -Kalonica Quigley

  28. 'Jogging over a distance' = One of the poorer game ideas I've heard of. When I jog I listen to music to keep me motivated. I've noticed a lot of people do this as well. I've also asked some mates of mine if they'd like to hear me panting, wheezing and struggling for breath inside their head while they're trying to jog. Surprise, surprise they all said no. They'd prefer to listen to music.

    I think there is absolutely no appeal in being kept motivated by a person you can't even see. You are more likely to be kept motivated by a person actually, physically running next to you because you can't escape from them. But with 'Jogging over a distance' all you'd have to do is turn off the headset and ta-da you're free. It shouldn't be that easy, jogging is about getting or maintaining your fitness and you are more likely to do this with a person or group of people running with you instead of a voice in your head.

    If you want to race someone, meet them face to face in a park and do it. It's more social and more fun to rub it in their face when you beat them.

  29. Great lecture, though specifics of the lesson somewhat fail me due to having done two presentations on the day. The parallel vs. non-parallel aspect of games was quite fascinating, and certainly an important thing to consider in the future of game design. Thinking about it too much is kind of resulting in a royal mindfuck though.

    RE. Jogging over a distance. A nice idea in theory, don't know how much of a success it'd be in practice. Different people will obviously have different tastes and approaches to exercise (my personal one being a resounding "D:"), but for those who enjoy the social aspect of exercising with other people but for some reason or another are unable to do so, this "game" will probably be very appealing. But for those who prefer solo exercise, or treat exercise purely as a means to achieve physical fitness - probably not.

    Nothing really wrong with a specific target group though, as you've pointed out.

    Personally I wouldn't use it, as for me, the idea of exercising with competition is super off-putting. Having the other person surpass me so far to the extent that I no longer hear them over the headset would just be depressing.

    PS. @Pranee: Yay Jeannette Winterson! She is 9000 shades of brilliant.

  30. Fun lecture! I liked seeing everyone's game ideas.

    I also thought the two groups of 7 did a great job!

    Another great Maths and physics lesson.


  31. Adrienne 0____^ 3236467May 28, 2009 at 2:37 PM

    Adrienne, 3236467 0___^

    Parallel and non-parallel games? 0.o AIIEEE, my brain. No, the explanition was really comprehensive, cheers for that Floyd. ^.^

    As far as jogging over a distance is concerned: why the hell bother? Just freaking go out and jog, there's so much you miss by using a game to replace it: the fresh air, the annoying kids in the park, the dog crap you accidentally step on, and passing hot chicks ^.^ for the guys. Besides, if they didn't want to jog before, why would they if hteres a game to do it? I find the exergame thing a great idea, but its not really meant to be another option, I don't think. In any event, it shouldn't replace what we already do just so some corporation fat cats can reel in more cash...unless I get a cut of it, mwahahahahaha.

  32. Ben Taylor s3168518May 28, 2009 at 2:39 PM

    A really interesting class, I enjoyed a lot of the points that were brought up. These classes always have such great debates.

    The Jogging over distance thing seems, to me, to be a bit silly, I mean, its cool that you can hear them running past you and stuff, but it would just be easier to get a hands free headset and cell phone would do the job just fine. Even a walky talky and a microphone would be fine.

    Long days and pleasent nights. Ben.

  33. i dont really understand where people are coming from facing confusion around paralell and non-paralell games; paralell games are where the two competitors perform exactly the same task and the conflict is left up to whoever performs the task the best. during non-paralell games on the other hand, competitors must perform a task which is challenged by thier competitors. for example in tennis, one player serves with the goal of scoring. The competitor challenges this attempt to score by returning the ball with the intent of scoring themselves. the cycle continues until one player is successful, and in effect, the other is unsuccessful. in paralell games such as running, it is not required that one party is unsuccessful in thier task for the other party to win. both competitors can complete their task of crossing the finish line however there is most often only one winner.

    SAFE! :P

  34. Ciao a tutti!

    The idea of morals/rules with games really isn't black and white but it is not grey either. (self defeating statement...perhaps)

    The rules in games, aka the virtual world and the world that we exist in are very differnt. Sure if you killed someone in real life you will go to court, trial...and eventually jail, you will be wrecked with guilt and remorse (unless you are psychotic). However, take a game like the GTA series. You can kill as many people as you want, yeh, you get the whole star count and maybe if you are feeling particulary homicidal you might achieve the most wanted and have the entire law enforcement on your a$$ but it does not have the same consequences as REAL LIFE...what about Halo...the obejct of the game is to kill your oponent, that is the rules, you don't follow the rules and someone will pwn you. The main point of video games is to achieve some form of escapism from the real world, thus we create other virtual worlds that alike to our interests. They allow us to enter a dimension other than the one we live in, FREE from morals and rules that we are usually governed by. If you against killing you obviously are not going to play COD or Socom, but Catz or Psychonauts where you are not subjected to do that, yet still enter a new world where there are other morals/rules in everyday life you do not have to worry about and vice vera. If you want to let off some steam, you can go into a FPS or combat style game and vent your agression and frustration on some poor unsuspecting avatar without the emotional obligation of having to deal with letting that same frustration out on a REAL person. There is no excuse to confuse the virtual world and reality. You can't go out and kill your mother and say to the jurers on your murder trial...'I didn't mean to really kill her...i thought she would of respawnd' Because if that were the case, i would suggest getting youself checked out by a professional ^^
    I guess the point that i am trying to make is that the sooner people stop relating video game violence, rules and other assests to that of the real world, the sooner we can move into a more civalised world.

    Another point that one of the groups made was obesity and video games.
    Look at nerds...sorry for the sterotypical reference, but because they are so immersed in what they are doing they do not have time to binge on food. That is the same with the hardcore gamer you are not going to be sitting there eating chips and twisties if you are 111% involved in getting the sword of Azeroth. Eating junk food is a personal preference, it is not a video game related choice. The action of buying the food that makes you fat is the option that the individual makes, more likely, the same individual that bought the game. For instance, put a bowl of carrot sticks and twisties AND a glass of water and pepsi next to each other; then ask the gamer to chose a bowl and drink that they want while playing the game...there is your answer. It has NOTHING to do with gaming. The option is there, it is a matter of perference and CONVIENIENCE (that being junk food easier to gain access too and consists of no prepreation) so stop being lazy! NOTE: laziness == obesity...videogames != obesity

    Anyway that is all I can say on the last lecture, too much games studio >_<

    Lauren =]

  35. Presentations were excellent. Looking forward to the next ones!

  36. Scott Battye S3201290May 28, 2009 at 10:49 PM

    It was a nice lecture last week, I think the points rased by people both in the lecture and above have already stated what I would have said had they not been said already.

    @David Biro: Mariah LeCarey?
    @Lauren: It's also good for getting away from political correctness and all that shit, since in a game there's not really a lot that can done about you shooting a rat or ending the world.

  37. Even though it's late, I'll still make my comment.

    The role of exergames in translating parallel gameplay to non-parallel gameplay is really interesting, and not something I had hitherto considered. But it's probably one of the main features of exergames that makes them interesting. I suppose you could also translate non-parallel gameplay into parallel gameplay as well - although it is hard to see why you would want to.

    I agree with the contention that Jogging Over a Distance is a bit superfluous. I see the idea - introduce social aspects to a solo activity - but the sole addition of a voice connection is insufficient to stand in for an actual physical presence.

  38. Amanda Joy BaileyJune 4, 2009 at 1:58 PM

    In the beginning i was like paralell non paralell i do not understanddd argghhh but then it was made clear to me floyd you are awesome i want maths and physics for the rest of my time at uni, sa fun!!! video games do not make people obese. you get fat because either you are born with a condidtion or you are a lazy twat with nothing to do with your life but sit on the couch all day eating doritos and smoking splif. trust me i know, this was once my life goal. when you play a video game there is no time to eat junk food. although the smoking part could make the game more fun (: yes exergames could be made for people to lose weight but its not because the video games made them fat in the first place.

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  40. George SelemidisJune 7, 2009 at 2:50 AM

    I don't entirely understand the concepts of parallel and non parallel, as I think there is a gray area with that theory. I think that even in a race it can become non-paralell. As for example running by youself on a track might cause you to run at a consistent pace, where running with other people on the same track, if you see an individual in front of you or beside you, that might prompt you to push youself to the physical limits. In fact I think one thing that needed to be talked about was the competition factor in all games. Competition and rivalry makes people want to play games more and is a major part of social gaming.

  41. I agree that it is incredibly difficult to differentiate types of socialization. Physical socialization is clearly the more traditional form of communication. One that has been tried and tested for many generations. One barrier that has plagued communication however has been distance, it began with the phone, covering one facet of communication and it is now evolving into games like Floyds ball wall game. Where people can interact physically over long distances.
    The most logical conclusion is that although some people are able to create friendships etc in a non tangible form, most cannot. In the same way you would be uneasy purchasing a product over the internet you couldn’t physically inspect.
    Even in MMO’s anonymous players can only socialize to the confines of the game world. Only two friends entering into a mmo together can enjoy the social aspects and are namely because they are left to operate it as a common communicative device.

    Despite the ability to see one another like in Floyd’s wall ball game, people would still need to meet, to feel as connected as they otherwise would. So are human interactions heightened by games that contain physical interaction? Absolutely. Is this the complete definition or compromise for virtual socialization? No, without a tangible ground it is incomplete.

    However the atmosphere that is created by competition in gaming of any sort is uniform.

  42. As usual, another awesome class.Also, the presentations were great in my opinion. It was interesting to hear the groups present their ideas.

    "Jogging over a distance " was an excellent idea. It seem as if two joggers from separate cities are actually slogging it out together.The advantage over just whipping out a cellphone is that as one runner goes faster, their voice appears to be coming from further ahead to the other runner, which could presumably help motivation. I used to jog, u know, long time ago... I don't really like the idea of talking to someone else while jogging because I used my lungs to breathe heavily in such a workload..we know that people tend to breathe harder when exercise, and when people breathe like that it's almost impossible to speak...Of course, anyway, it is a clever idea and we can feel more fun in exercising.

    Also, i like the explainations of parallel games and non-parallel games. Before that i cant figure out clearly the differences between them.

    That's all i thought on this lecture. Thanks!

    Jiajing Zhang (s3213125)

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  44. In terms of game design, exploring the physical space and the virtual space is a must. We have to understand what we're trying to mimic or create.

    If 'jogging over a distance' can create connectivity between running partners then I wonder what the future can hold for all sorts of sports. Maybe the same technology can be used for swimmers or skiers, etc.

    Sama (3239506)