Gaming Theory

Pet Project Idea: Social Study through gaming.

The concept is to create a fairly decent game along standard archetypes. The better quality of the game, the better. The game should be designed, coded, tested, refined, and completed as would be standard for any game of its kind.

The twist is this: there will be a clearly labeled "WIN THE GAME" button on the screen at all times during play. Before the game starts, there will be a clear statement of intentions. Clicking the "WIN THE GAME" button will win the game instantly. It will also record the time spent playing before the button was pressed. This information will be gathered on a website for public display.

I think this would be a very interesting social experiment, particularly in gathering information about the habits and mentality of gamers.


360 Trooper said...

Interesting idea. The problem is that it would be too tempting for the designer to create a ball bustingly hard game (ala I Wanna Be The Guy), effectively turning the game into an endurance trial rather than a sociological experiment. If the game is fair (even hard in a fair way) then it might work. But having a "win the game" button is an invitation for the designer to turn this into a test of one's masochistic tendencies.

Or you could just play an Alliance paladin in WoW before the next expansion. They tend to get "Win the game" buttons around that time.

Scott said...

Yeah 360 Trooper is right - it's all about balancing the gameplay so that it is inherently fun, challenging, and entertaining. If it's just frustrating or bad, you're simply motivating the player not to play, and to just push the button.

of course, part of the experiment could be to alter the variables with the goal to determine which gameplay elements result in a game that is so inherently fun to play that you wait as long as possible to push the button.

Elements such as story, characters, etc could also alter the desire to push the button or not. Definitely a very interesting idea. When can I play it?