Objectives

Authored by: Louis-Martin Guay

The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies

Print publication date:  December  2013
Online publication date:  January  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415533324
eBook ISBN: 9780203114261
Adobe ISBN: 9781136290510

10.4324/9780203114261.ch24

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Abstract

Playing a game always involves achieving some objectives. These can be divided into three types: formal objectives, learning objectives and experiential objectives. This tripartite classification can help designers and researchers see objectives in most games as part of a complex system that defines the player experience. First, I will discuss the difference between terms such as “objectives” and “goals,” then describe what an objective can be, and finally I will propose an overview of the definition and classification of those objectives in video games. The formal/learning/experiential repartition of objectives can lead to further research in the following of the Mechanics–Dynamics–Aesthetics (MDA)-type of applicable concepts for designers and scholars (MDA is a concept that Hunicke, Leblanc, and Zubec proposed in 2004). As Ian Schreiber write in his blog Game Design Concept:

The game designer only creates the Mechanics directly. The Dynamics emerge from the Mechanics, and the Aesthetics arise out of the Dynamics. The game designer may want to design the play experience, or at least that may be the ultimate goal the designer has in mind … but as designers, we are stuck building the rules of the game and hoping that the desired experience emerges from our rules.

(Schreiber, 2009)

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