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Dr. Pulsipher details the difference in board/card games and video games.

Board game designer Dr. Lewis Pulsipher talks about the psychological differences between a single player video game and your average board or card game.
From Dr. Pulsipher's blog:

There are two parts to playing mainstream board and card games. One part is figuring out the system, learning how to manipulate the game mechanics to achieve the ends you desire. In poker this is very simple, in chess very difficult. So in chess, some people become competent with the system, many fewer become experts, and there are several "levels" of expertise; in poker a great many people are experts in the system. In general, card game systems are much simpler than boardgame systems, and boardgame systems are still simple compared with many video games.

In most non-electronic games, figuring out the system is straightforward, though in more strategic games, some people never figure it out. And others quit before they figure it out. Many contemporary Euro games cater to the latter players, by ensuring that, after one play, most players have (or think they have) figured out the system fairly well.

Essentially, what the good doctor is saying, is that when we play the average board (or card) game, such as Chess, we first learn the system of play. Such as learning how the pawns, knights, bishops, etc. move on the board. A single player video game is also similar in this regard. We learn how to jump, and then when to jump. We learn which ropes to swing on, where the power-ups are, and the right sequence of moves to take out a pre-programmed boss character.

The interesting thing comes on in the form of an opponent in a game. In a game such as Chess, you will then have to adapt the system to overcome your (mostly) unpredictable adversary, giving the game a psychological component. However, when it comes to video games, Dr. Pulsipher says, "traditional one-player video games have no psychological component, only a system component. In a sense, they are puzzles more than games. Once you figure out the system, that's all there is."

You can check out the full article over at Dr. Lewis Pulsipher's blog.

Your friendly neighborhood Falcon,
John "Falcon" Ayers

The Falcon's Nest
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J. "Falcon" Ayers
Dr. Lewis Pulsipher's Blog

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