Game analysis

Game analysis

provided are read very thoroughly and that the overall essay is not composed of simple-straight forward sentences that is only descriptive and not analytical . In the essay instructions could I ask that you have a read of TIPS/HINTS below?

Task 3. Game Analysis

write an academic analysis of a game of their choosing. The analysis of your chosen game should consist of two approximately equal length parts:

Part 1 : In his article “Tools for Creating Dramatic Game Dynamics” Marc LeBlanc presents a formal approach to understanding games. Use the concepts and ideas presented by LeBlanc to offer a formal analysis of the chosen game. This analysis should address issues such as: how complex are the dynamics of the game? What are the game mechanics that create these dynamics? How do these elements contribute to the player’s experience of the game? How could the game design be changed to make the game more interesting?

Part 2 : Choose another reading from the list below. Use this reading to further analyse the game in the context of this topic. Show how this approach offers new academic insights into the game. (nb this should not be the reading that you choose for task 2b). You should discuss with your tutor what you are planning to do.

General Notes

Your analysis should use these two readings (LeBlanc + another) as conceptual lenses with which to examine your chosen game. It should be written in a scholarly form (with references); drawing on material covered in the lectures and readings, as well as other sources you have researched yourself. (As a guideline you should reference at least 4 of the readings (including the above two) and at least 2 other sources)

THIS IS NOT A CONVENTIONAL GAME REVIEW. You need to focus on analysis rather than description. You don’t need to comprehensively analyse the entire game, it may be preferable that you focus on one particular aspect of the game. It is important that you state at the beginning of your essay what it is that you are planning to do.

One approach to this task if you feel confident, is to combine the two halves into one integrated analysis. So in a sense, your analysis would look at an overlap between the two readings. For example, you might look at the unfolding dynamics of the complex relationship between the makers and players of an online game using an intersection between LeBlanc and Morningstar & Farmer’s article “The Lessons of Lucasfilm’s Habitat”. Or you might combine LeBlanc with Jenkin’s “Game Design as Narrative Architecture” to look at how a particular configuration of space in the game facilitate a specific set of game dynamics. These are just made up examples, but you still need to use LeBlanc as one of the readings. If you decide to go this path, you should definitely discuss it with your tutor.

possible readings for part 2
Shuen-shing Lee (2003) “I Lose, Therefore I Think”, A Search for Contemplation amid Wars of Push-Button Glare

Henry Jenkins (2004), Game Design as Narrative Architecture

Jesper Juul (2004), Introduction to Game Time / Time to play – An examination of game temporality

Douglas Edric Stanley (2012) Exhausting Gameplay

Joshua Tanenbaum Jim Bizzocchi (2009) Rock Band: a case study in the design of embodied interface experience

Jussi Parikka, Jaakko Suominen (2006) Victorian Snakes? Towards A Cultural History of Mobile Games and the Experience of Movement

Markus Montola (2005) Exploring the Edge of the Magic Circle: Defining Pervasive Games

Helen W. Kennedy (2002) Lara Croft: Feminist Icon or Cyberbimbo? On the Limits of Textual Analysis

Ian Bogost and Nick Montfort (2007) New Media as Material Constraint: An Introduction to Platform Studies

Laurie N. Taylor (2006) Cameras, Radios, and Butterflies: the Influence and Importance of Fan Networks for Game Studies

Frans Mäyrä (2010) Gaming Culture at the Boundaries of Play


In the article “Tools for Creating Dramatic Game Dynamics”, it talks about Negative Feed Back and Positive Feed Back. Negative Feed Back means that a game contains a feature which gives losing players an advantage over the leading players to provide tension/climax. For example in a game called Mario Kart, the losing player who is coming last in the game has an increased chance of picking up items to shoot at the player at the front of the race. Another example of negative feedback is in a fighting game such as Tekken 5 or Dead or Alive Beach Volley Ball. When the losing player reaches a health % below a certain threshold they receive a power up which boosts their attack by a certain factor. Thus summing up, Negative feed back provides advantage to losing players. While Positive Feedback is when the winning player gains even more of an advantage and thus creating a snowball effect. For example in a game such as Warcraft, when a player over takes another players base, they now have full control of their resource, providing them with even more of an advantage.

Suggested games:
As this game can easily be used in conjunction with the article:

Helen W. Kennedy (2002) Lara Croft: Feminist Icon or Cyberbimbo? On the Limits of Textual Analysis

Again, this is just a suggestion. If you have played a game that you wish to write upon, you can. However if you are not a gamer nor have not played any video games which you can use to write this essay, watch gameplay vidoes on YouTube of the Dead or alive beach volley ball.