Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ZA Critique: Bejeweled 2

This was originally a concept I was working on earlier to try and identify game design archetypes that weren't so heavily male oriented. I got to a point where I was comfortable with the one that Bejeweled and other match 3 games revolve around, the chaos archetype, but eventually opted for a different approach.

Our psychological relationship with randomness is a very deep and unconscious one. According to Jungian chaos theory, people are drawn to putting together randomized systems simply because that is what the brain does everyday. My favorite quote (the piece is rife with them) was about how it's like waking up and finding out that it's raining. You have to put together the scrambled pieces and Bejeweled 2 taps into that.

I'm not sure this archetype covers something like Diablo 2 item drops or MMORPG's though. There is a fundamental difference between sorting through chaos and pulling the lever on a slot machine, but I'm not sure what. I tried reading some stuff on gambling addiction but they practice a similar method to AA in that abstinence is the best cure. As a consequence, there isn't much discussion on why people gamble but I'm all ears if someone has any thoughts.

Juul and Kapalka explaining the design and certain choices, the chaos argument, and my own rambling.

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