Leading Game Theorist and Author of the website and book, Half-Real, Jesper Juul was on Gamers on Game September 26, 2011 to talk about what are games, the impact of failure and do-overs in games, time in association with games and the future of game theory. He called in from New York City. Jesper is a researcher at the Danish Design School and an affiliate at New York University Game Center.
The website and book, published by MIT Press in 2005, Half-Real, work in tandem with each-other. In the website, Jesper has a a dictionary of video game theory. With the dictionary, he hopes to provide a resource for students, researchers, teachers, and game players looking for terminological clarifications and pointers to further reading.
Along with being an author, Jesper has a blog, the Ludologist, is a teacher, lecturer, and gives talks about:
- General video game theory
- Rules and fiction in video games
- Games and storytelling
- Time in games
- Games and other media
- Video game design (including practical exercises)
- The future of video game theory
I came to know Jesper in 2007 when I was first researching video games and game theory. His dictionary was a boom to my studies and has the best definition of “games” that I found. The sentence should be seen as an evolution of game theory and is shown at the end after 7 other definitions such as Huzinga’s from 1950 .
Here is Jesper’s definition from chapter 2 of Half-Real:
“A game is a rule-based system with a variable and quantifiable outcome, where different outcomes are assigned different values, the player exerts effort in order to influence the outcome, the player feels emotionally attached to the outcome, and the consequences of the activity are optional and negotiable.”
During the show we discussed each clause of this long and important sentence.
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