Thursday, 26. May 2005

Robert Zubek's dissertation online

It's been a while since I last visited Dr. Robert Zubek's blog; in the meantime, he put up his dissertation. Congratulations. 200 pages. Too much for one sitting. Got to page 23 today; the last thing I read:
However, the designer cannot shape the dynamics or aesthetics directly - only the mechanics are available for manipulation.
Not sure I agree. What if I substituted "dynamics" with "plot", and "aesthetics" with "character"?

Must read further.

Update 26.May, 12:10: I've been dreaming about this shit tonight. Nobody could understand the equation Spectator = Actor even in my dream! How bad is that?

See, as long as I accept what I take to be its Premise, MDA (PDF format) makes perfect sense. What I mean with Premise can be written like this:

Premise 1: Designer - creates -> Game <- consumes - Player

My interpretation of this line of text - is it the one that the authors (Robin Hunicke, Marc LeBlanc, Robert Zubek) intended me to have? - is that it shows me three systems, two of which are acting on a third: one by creating it, the other one by consuming it. In this case, MDA theory explains the system that is acted on, labeled Game, perfectly well to me.

However, my Premise is:

Premise 2: Actor <- acts on -> Actor

This leaves no room for MDA theory per se. However, that theory performs an essential function for Creators, and a System based on Premise 2 will have to be shown to perform the same function.

I will have to show how I transform Premise 1 into Premise 2.

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