'Skills That Are Waiting to be Turned Into Games'

Illustration for article titled Skills That Are Waiting to be Turned Into Games

Wii Fit has gotten a ton of attention recently; reviews, criticism, and complaints have all cropped up in the wake of its release. Over at Lost Garden, Wii Fit is a launching spot for a broader game design discussion: Wii Fit and its ilk aren't exception, they're "merely the tiny tip of an immense iceberg. Almost any human skill, be it physical, cultural, political or economic can be turned into a game that enlightens and enables." Assuming, of course, it can fit a couple of criteria:

It turns out that most learnable skills can be turned into a game. However, there are constraints. A skill must meet the following criteria before it can be turned into a game:

1. Decomposable into simpler skills

2. Skills can be nested

3. Skills can be arranged in a smooth learning curve

4. Skills are measurable

5. Performance can be rewarded

6. Skills are locally useful.

As with anything posted at Lost Garden, it's a thought provoking little essay; while this sort of stuff will have little impact on the hardcore among us, one wonders what designers will come up with next — and how.

What actitivies can be turned into games? [Lost Garden]

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DISCUSSION

I don't like how every game is about "killin some d00dz" or it isn't a "real" game. Don't get me wrong,it's not that I'm being prudish or Jack Thompsonish or whatever,it's just that I've allready killed some dudes in games. I mean,90 percent of games out there,there's combat. I'm even talking about stuff like Mario and whatnot.

I'm not saying that any of these "casual" games is as immersive or "full" as a typical core game,but they're a step in the right direction. Things like Phoenix Wright or Trauma Center are at least something different. Maybe there could be,say,a lumberjack game,and the "boss" is just a really tough tree,or a cactus. OK,shitty example,but you get the point. It doesn't have to come down to army,space army,ninjas,or cartoon monsters.

The only limits to what type of experience you can have in a game are the limits developers and gamers place themselves.