3 Replies to “Studied”

  1. I think there are definitely two identifiably distinct but closely related genres of game here. The “Cloudmakers” style of game, being essentially co-operative, largely online and reasonably open-ended, is distinguishable from those competitive, offline, evening/weekend games which claim descent from “Midnight Madness” and which might be termed Puzzle Hunts – the Go Game, the Stanford Game, the MIT Mystery Hunt and so forth. Admittedly the distinction is getting rather more blurred as the former include more meatspace stunts from the latter, but they are separate sorts of experience. (Unfortunately there isn’t very much of the latter in the UK yet – I’ve run a couple of small hunts at UK board game conventions and know a few guys who are interested in similar things, but that’s about as far as it goes.)

    By the way, I have been following your triumblogate of various sizes through your RSS feeds for some time now. Great work and keep it up!

  2. I think you’re right about the distinction. An easy way to distinguish the different types of games is to ask a simple question: Does it have a story? That’s what separates games such as the Go Game and The Stone from others such as Majestic and the AI game.

  3. Mmm – I would respectfully disagree. Many of the weekend-long games (eg the MIT Mystery Hunt, the Stanford Games and so forth) have stories which play themselves out in the duration of a weekend. (Or a long weekend in the case of this year’s MIT Mystery Hunt.) Now it may be closer to the truth to suggest that the extended games are in some sense /more/ about the story and the game world than the puzzles and the weekend games are /more/ about the puzzles than the story, but I think it would be wrong to assign the weekend games to the storyless category. 🙂

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