Brutally unfair tactics totally ok now: On self-effacing games and unachievements

Wilson, D 2011, 'Brutally unfair tactics totally ok now: On self-effacing games and unachievements', Game Studies: the international journal of computer game research, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 1-1.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Brutally unfair tactics totally ok now: On self-effacing games and unachievements
Author(s) Wilson, D
Year 2011
Journal name Game Studies: the international journal of computer game research
Volume number 11
Issue number 1
Start page 1
End page 1
Total pages 1
Publisher Game Studies
Abstract In this paper, I use a party game that I co-designed, Brutally Unfair Tactics Totally OK Now (B.U.T.T.O.N.), as a case study to suggest some alternative possibilities for the design of digitally-mediated play and games. Specifically, I argue that that intentionally "broken" or otherwise incomplete game systems can help nurture a distinctly self-motivated and collaborative form of play. I propose two terms: "unachievements" and "self-effacing games," which help articulate the specific qualities that distinguish broken games like B.U.T.T.O.N. from more traditional digital games. In addition, I situate these games in terms of Henning Eichberg's concept of the "impossible game" and Bernie DeKoven's notion of the "Well-Played game." In drawing our attention not just to players, but also to the relationships between them, Eichberg and DeKoven offer us provocative clues on what it might mean to design for togetherness.
Subject Computer Gaming and Animation
Computer-Human Interaction
Keyword(s) Achievements
Broken games
Cheating
Design research
Folk games
Game design
Indie games
Physical games
Togetherness
Unachievements
Copyright notice © 2011 Game Studies
ISSN 1604-7982
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