My notes after reading “MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research” by Robin Hunicke, Marc LeBlanc, Robert Zubek
The MDA Framework – Mechanics, Dynamics, and Aesthetics – was developed as part of the Game Design and Tuning Workshop at the Game Developers Conference.
The MDA framework formalizes the consumption of games by breaking them into their distinct components:
Rules -> System -> Fun
And establishing their counterparts:
Mechanics -> Dynamics -> Aesthetics
A Design Vocabulary
Mechanics describes the particular components of the game, at the level of data representation of algorithms.
Dynamics describes the run-time behavior of the mechanics acting on player inputs and each others’ outputs over time.
Aesthetics describes the desirable emotional responses evoked in the player, when the player interacts with the game system.
Each component of the MDA framework can be thought of as a lens or a view of the game.
From the designer’s perspective, the mechanics give rise to dynamic system behavior, which in turn leads to particular aesthetic experiences. From the player’s perspective, aesthetics set the tone, which is born out in observable dynamics and eventually, operable mechanics.
Sensation – game as sense-pleasure
Fantasy – game as make-believe
Narrative – game as drama
Challenge – game as obstacle course
Fellowship – game as social framework
Discovery – game as uncharted territory
Expression – game as self-discovery
Submission – game as pastime
Dynamic Models – Dynamics work to create aesthetic experiences.
Challenge is created by things like time pressure and opponent play
Fellowship can be encouraged by sharing information across certain members of a session
Expression comes from dynamics that encourage individual users to leave their mark: systems for purchasing, building or earning.
Dramatic Tension comes from dynamics that encourage a rising tension, a release, and a finale.
Mechanics are the various actions, behaviors, and control mechanisms afforded to the player within the context of the game. Together with the game’s content (levels, assets, and so on) the mechanics support overall gameplay dynamics.
Google Tech Talk – January 24, 2011
Presented by Sebastian Deterding
Google Tech Talk – August 8, 2011
Presented by Nadya Direkova
“We hear often of the “high expectations” schools must have of and for their students, yet we seldom hear of the expectations students have of their schools. Students’ expectations constitute the new “rules of engagement” in the relationship that young people want with their schools.” via @LeavingtoLearn
In 2005, author David Foster Wallace was asked to give the commencement address to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College. However, the resulting speech didn’t become widely known until 3 years later, after his tragic death. It is, without a doubt, some of the best life advice we’ve ever come across, and perhaps the most simple and elegant explanation of the real value of education.
We made this video, built around an abridged version of the original audio recording, with the hopes that the core message of the speech could reach a wider audience who might not have otherwise been interested. However, we encourage everyone to seek out the full speech (because, in this case, the book is definitely better than the movie). -The Glossary