Lab 1.1: Diplomacy and Socializing
Diplomacy in a game is when players can make deals with one another. For this to be the case, there needs to be some way for one player to help another. One way is to have a built-in mechanic for helping one another. Another way is to have non-exclusive goal, like the goals in Secret Mission Risk. Alliances don't have to last the entire game; in fact, they rarely do. Arguably, two players trading resources, even if they remain bitter rivals, are really in a short-lived alliance.
Socializing is what happens when player talk to one another on a personal level, either about the game or something tangential. If you did the Unit 0 Wizard Quest (and if you didn't, you should still watch the video because it's really good), you already know that games bring people together. Some games concentrate too much on "realism" or "design" and not on how useful the game is to the actual players. The most successful games allow—or encourage—socializing during play.
Play one of the games provided in class and then create an artifact that answers the questions below. Be sure to support your answers with evidence. If you miss the class day, you'll need to play one of the games offered in class (ask for the list, as it's subject to change) or get a tabletop game approved by your instructor.
- What game did you play? How would you describe it to someone who's never heard of it? What did you think of it?
- How does the game fit our formal definition of a game?
- Did the game include diplomacy? How can players help or hinder one another directly? What incentives do they have to do so? What other games that you've played have a similar diplomacy mechanic? How could there have been more diplomacy in the game?
- Did the game allow you to socialize? Why or why not? Did socializing (or the lack thereof) make the game more or less fun?
- What makes a game more fun, diplomacy or socializing? What makes a game more engaging?