The contextual study task 6 is to read the article and write a short summary of the ideas that the authors opposed and how are they relevant to analysing games. This is also the time to practice using Harvard referencing and quotes.
MDA is a form way to break down games; they talk about how you can break a game into three sections. These sections are created by the game designers with the player in mind. this can also be seen in reverse when the game is played. These three sections are Mechanics, Dynamics, and Aesthetics. which are said simply be Rules, System, and Fun.
Aesthetics is one of the best ways to break down the game. Using the Aesthetic themes will give you a brief understanding what the game’s intentions are and what is the rough target audience for the game. For example, the theme; “Discovery, game as uncharted territory”(Hunicke, Leblanc, and Zubek, no date, p.2). Would tell us the games intentions are to get the play to see and try new thing this could be said in a target audience to 3-20-year-olds as that is the age range you would develop new skills and try new things. There for you can find a games intentions when applying it to the Aesthetic themes.
Mechanics and Dynamic can be connected together; from what I understand Mechanics create Dynamics. “The mechanics of shooters include weapons, ammunition and spawn points. which sometimes produce things like camping and sniping”(Hunicke, Leblanc, and Zubek, no date, p.4). After playing a game for a period of time, players can see patterns in the games Mechanics which means they can take advantage of them; creating strategies that are turned into dynamics of the games. For example in Destiny there are spawn points in the crucible games; players locate these to spawn trap their enemies by killing them as soon as they enter the game. This is a good way to analysis a game because you can see this an advantage for players and a disadvantage for other players, so developers can discover these Dynamics and put in place more mechanics to fix the older ones like moving the swap point fever away from each other to decrease the spawn trapping in the game. Making it far, keeping the players interested as no one will play if they know they will lose.
Using MDA is a good way to understand what a games intentions are, and how it works to keep players interested and continue playing. Using Mechanic, Dynamic, and Aesthetics you can get a formal understand how a game work and interacts.
- Hunicke, R., Leblanc, M. and Zubek, R. (no date) MDA: A formal approach to game design and game research. Available at: http://www.cs.northwestern.edu/~hunicke/MDA.pdf (Accessed: 8 November 2016).