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The Wonder Found in Abstract Games

The Wonder Found in Abstract Games
A short essay
By The Ultimate Editor

Though there is a large sense of wonder found in games with good themes, the wonder instilled by the very fact that short of actually doing the actions in the real world, you will never get a closer or better experience with any of the other mediums. So than what is the appeal or wonder of an abstract game with no theme? It is something that themed games usually have difficulty attaining as real world or imaged situations do not lend themselves to it. That is, simple actions with large far-ranging effects. In most popular abstract games the key mechanism allows for many things to change based upon a simple action. In a game of chess the players may setup a large and complex series kills and counters but the move of one piece can upset the whole game. Or in a game of Othello the placement of one chip can change a large number of not only chips but possible moves and counter moves. This is where the wonder of the abstract game leys. In the fact that all outcomes of a single choice are difficult to see until they occur and your opponent has a chance to respond. The games truly give players more than they put into it at the start. The thinking and pondering over possible moves and grander strategies gives these games the powerful wonder of play. Different but most certainly comparable to the wonder of experience found in themed games.

The ultimate editor

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Mon May 15, 2006 12:52 am MST by Macho

Comment This Article was written with board games in mind. But reading it once more I see it does apply quite well to abstract video games. The games you listed all fallow the formula well. As for musicís connection perhaps writing music could be compared to the wonder of play but just hearing music Iím not to sure about. I know in abstract video games music is of key importance in the presentation, games like Rez use music to appeal to the viewer just as much as they use visuals.

Mon Dec 5, 2005 3:06 pm MST by TUE

Comment Is there a relationship between abstract games, and say, classical or instrumental music? What are good examples of abstract games? Perhaps Tetris, Fantavision... How about Pong, Asteroids, Breakout?

Sat Dec 3, 2005 11:09 am MST by Anonymous

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