In this lecture, we'll discuss the game world, that is the world in which the player plays. In the previous lecture, I introduced the Design, Play, Experience Framework. We'll be using this as a guide over the next few lectures. The focus for today will be on storytelling and game play. As the game world has both elements of storytelling and game play. Let's start with a quote. "In a time, in a place, as a game designer, you play the role of a 'god' with the power to create new worlds in which your players will exist." This was said by the legendary game designer Will Wright, who's known for creating some of the most interesting game worlds in games like Sim City, The Sims, and Spore. We'll do a few game design challenge activities today as we discuss game worlds. Some of these challenges will be thought challenges such as analyzing a game and some may require some activity, such as playing or designing a game. Many may require both thought and activity to get the most out of them. Please participate in the activity if you can. Here's the first. Let's play a game called 3-To-15. The rules are quite simple. Write out numbers from 1-9 as you can see on the bottom here. This is a two player game, so two players will alternate. You'll have to find a friend or you can mock play, test it yourself. On your turn, pick a number from 1-9, you may not pick a number that's been already picked before. If you've claimed a set of any three numbers that sum 15, you win the game. For example, let's say I go first, then I pick two, and then my partner goes and they pick six, then I pick five, then they pick four, and then I pick three. For some reason you can see now I've got three numbers total, but they don't add to 15. Then my partner picked seven, and then I pick eight. Now I've got four numbers, but I can take a set of three of those that add to 15. I can pick two plus eight is 10, plus five is 15, and I win the game. It's a fairly simple game, go ahead if you want to pause the video, try this game out, play it a few times, see if you can come up with a good strategy and then come back and we'll talk a little bit about this game. Take a moment and think, what does the game 3-To-15 remind you of? Let's see, it's a two player alternating turn game where your goal is to get a set of three items to achieve victory. The result of each game is a win, loss, or a tie game. This sounds a lot like Tic-Tac-Toe to me. You know the child's game or you have a three-by-three grid and you try to get three X's are three O's in a row. In fact, if you take the numbers and arrange them on the grid as thus 3-15 and Tic-Toe are essentially the same game. For example, if I chose two, and then my partner chose six, then I chose five and then my partner chose four for some reason. Obviously, I should have picked eight here, but in the math-based 3-To-15, I chose three because I wasn't very good at math. Then the partner pick seven, which also wasn't a very good move, as you can see here, visualized on the Tic-Tac-Toe grid, and then I picked eight and that achieved victory. How are these two games different? The difference is in the representation of the game world. We've got the grid of Tic-Tac-Toe versus the line of numbers, and 3-To-15, we've got the visual cells spaces in Tic-Tac-Toe versus the numbers themselves, in 3-To-15, we've got the X's and O's in Tic-Tac-Toe versus the boxes and circles as I represented them in 3-To-15, and of course the game mechanics in Tic-Tac-Toe are mapped visually versus mathematically in 3-To-15. In summary, the primary difference between these two games is the game world. Let's formally define what a game world is. Ernest Adams said, "A game world is an artificial universe, an imaginary place in which the events of the game world occur." Let's look at another simple game, Rock-Paper-Scissors. The rules state that two or more players pair up, in synchronization the players say one, two, three and then throw. On throw, each player makes one of the following hand shapes, either a rock, a paper or scissors. I'm sure all of you have played this at some time in your life. The game is resolved by using the following three-way intransitive relationship. Rock crushes or beats scissors, scissors cuts or beats paper, and paper covers or beats rock. Take a moment to think about the following questions. Does Rock-Paper-Scissors have a game world? If so, what is the game world? Of course, there's a game world defined by the mechanics of the game. There's even a storytelling component of Rock-Paper-Scissors derived from the relationships of the characters in the game. In fact, the backstory of Rock-Paper-Scissors was expanded upon and made into a Children's illustrated book by Drew Daywalt and Adam Rex called The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors. When you're playing Rock-Paper-Scissors, you really care about where your opponent's hands are. If they are counting in sync with you, if they're revealing their handshape at the same time as you, and so on. This psychological state of being immersed in the game is sometimes referred to as the magic circle of the game. You give yourself over to the rules of the game, play within those rules, care that the others in the circle are playing within those rules as well. The game world helps to find the psychological state of being for the players. Once the game is over, the players leave the magic circle and stop caring about the rules of the game. Further, there's also the concept of breaking the magic circle. This is similar to the concept of breaking the suspension of disbelief in a narrative. Breaking the magic circle diminishes the experience of the game. It could be caused by a player not following the rules, otherwise known as cheating, a player not being immersed in the game world, also known as not role-playing, maybe some technical glitch in the game or any number of other interruptions. Overall, the idea of creating a strong magic circle is an important one for game designers. In fact, Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman in their book, Rules of Play, define the term lusory attitude to describe this. The lusory attitude is the state of mind required to enter into the play of the game. To play a game, a group of players accepts the limitations of the rules because of the pleasure a game can afford to them. Once again, this concept is very similar to the concept of willing suspension of disbelief we see in storytelling. But this term uniquely applies to games as it integrates the players interactions into the game.