Anbei ein paar Zitate, die eine Annäherung an das erlauben sollen, was wir als Spiel (Freies Spielen und Regelspiele) wahrnehmen. Wie bei Heinz von Foerster bereits anklingt: Die Definition mag genau so viel über den Definierenden, seine Kultur und Profession aussagen, als über den definierten Gegenstand.

“Each person defines games in his own way – the anthropologists and folklorists in terms of historical origins; the military men, businessmen, and educators in terms of usages; the social scientists in terms of psychological and social functions. There is overwhelming evidence in all this that the meaning of games is, in part, a function of the ideas of those who think about them.”
– E.M. Avedon in “The Structural Elements of Games” in “The Study of Games”, Sutton-Smith and Avedon, Eds., New York 1971, p.438

Definition des Spiels

«A voluntary activity or occupation executed within certain fixed limits of time and place, according to rules freely accepted but absolutely binding, having its aim in itself and accompanied by a feeling of tension, joy, and the consciousness that it is different from ordinary life.»“
– Johan Huizinga (1938), Homo Ludens.

“Play is a subset of voluntary behaviour involving a selective mechanism which reverses the usual contingencies of power so as to permit the subject a controllable and dialectical simulation of the moderately unmastered arousals and regulations of everyday life, in a way that is alternatively vivifying and euphoric.”
– Brian Sutton-Smith: “Die Dialektik des Spiels”, 1977, S.64

“Play is that voluntary action which has a dialectical structure and which potentiates reversible operations.”
– Brian Sutton-Smith: “Die Dialektik des Spiels”, 1977, S.98

«Play can be recognized by the more or less large-scale change in the relation of equilibrium between the reality relation and the ego. One could thus say: if adaptive activity and thought produce an equilibrium between assimilation and accommodation, then play begins at the point at which assimilation begins to dominate accommodation. (…) Play is thus practically pure assimilation.»
– J. Piaget: Gesammelte Werke, Bd. 5: “Nachahmung, Spiel und Traum”, quoted in Claus Pias:”Action, Adventure, Desire”
[Accomodation: Changing your impression from the world according to new experiences. Assimilation: Interpreting the world according to your experiences and attitudes.]

«A game is a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict, defined by rules, that results in a quantifiable outcome.»
– Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman (2004), “Rules of Play”

«A game is a form of art in which participants, termed players, make decisions in order to manage resources through game tokens in the pursuit of a goal.»
– Greg Costikyan (1994), “I have no words & I must design”

«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 attached to the outcome and the consequences of the activity are optional and negotiable.»
– Jesper Juul (2005), “Half-Real. Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds”, p.37

“When you strip away the genre differences and the technological complexities, all games share four defining traits: a goal, rules, a feedback system, and voluntary participation.”
– Jane McGonigal (2011), “Reality is Broken”, p. 29

“Playing a game is the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles.”
– Bernhard Suits (2005), “The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia”

Spiel und Ästhetik

«Der sinnliche Trieb will, daß Veränderung sei, daß die Zeit einen Inhalt habe; der Formtrieb will, daß die Zeit aufgehoben, daß keine Veränderung sei. Derjenige Trieb also, in welchem beide verbunden wirken (…), der Spieltrieb also würde dahin gerichtet sein, die Zeit in der Zeit aufzuheben, Werden mit absolutem Sein, Veränderung mit Identität zu vereinbaren.»
– Friedrich Schiller (1795), „Über die ästhetische Erziehung des Menschen“, 14.Brief

«Mit einer Erweiterung gewinnt die Feststellung “Dies ist ein Spiel” etwa folgendes Aussehen: “Diese Handlungen, in die wir jetzt verwickelt sind, bezeich­nen nicht, was jene Handlungen, für die sie stehen, bezeichnen würden.”»
– Gregory Bateson, “Eine Theorie des Spiels und der Phantasie” in Bsteson (1982): “Ökologie des Geistes”, S.244

“Because all art entails posing questions and puzzles – tough ones, ethical ones even. And games will never be mature as long as designers create them with complete answers to their own puzzles in mind.”
– Raph Koster, “Theory of Fun”

«The storyteller has direct creative control over his audience’s experience; the game designer has indirect control; the toymaker has almost none.»
Chris Crawford (1982), “The Art of Computer Game Design”

„Peter designs a game by starting with the emotional range and dilemmas he wants the player to face and then he backtracks and looks at themes or technologies to achieve that result, which is quite different from what other designers do.”
– Will Wright über Peter Molyneux

“I know it by the definition of the vast majority of games. They tend to involve (1) point and shoot in many variations and plotlines, (2) treasure or scavenger hunts, as in “Myst,” and (3) player control of the outcome. I don’t think these attributes have much to do with art; they have more in common with sports.”
– Roger Ebert (2007), “Games vs. Art: Ebert vs. Barker”

Wünschenswerte Spieleigenschaften und Spieldesign

“Designers of games have occasionally expressed concern that “professional standards” be maintained by games to uphold the professional honor of this growing subdiscipline. Perhaps they mean that only “qualified” persons should design simulations and games. That may be, but one might just as well insist that only qualified persons write poetry, drama, and novels. I personally have confidence in the ability of games players, particularly those absolutely tough-minded subteenagers, to reject superficial, dull, and spurious games. Furthermore, games are even more effective as a learning mode when designing them than when
playing them, so we should not deny even the least qualified student this learning experience because of fanciful ideas about expertise. Let gaming be pervasive, let it flourish in good forms
and ill, and the best will emerge. This is no art of the experts but a universal language common to all cultures, ages and conditions.”
– Clark C. Abt (1987): ”Serious Games.” University Press of America, p.114

“Simplification is the vital difference between a game and a simulation. The object of a computer simulation is to model a real system as closely as possible in order to study its behavior under different conditions. The object of a computer game is to entertain, and other considerations are secondary. Reality is complex and difficult. Games are supposed to be easy and fun. To get from one to the other, you have to simplify.”
– Ernest Adams, Electronic Arts

«(…) it can seem that games contain a built-in contradiction: Since play is normally assumed to be a free-form activity devoid of constraints, it appears illogical that we would choose to limit our options by playing games with fixed rules. Why be limited when we can be free? The answer to this is basically that games provide context for actions (…)»
– Jesper Juul (2005), “Half-Real. Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds”, p.18

“A simulation bears the same relationship to a game that a technical drawing bears to a painting.”
– Chris Crawford, “The Art of Computer Game Design”

“…the point at which a player chooses to repeatedly play a game they have already mastered completely, just because they like to feel powerful, is the point at which the game is betraying its own purpose. Games need to encourage you to move on. They are not there to fulfill power fantasies.”
– Raph Koster

“We ended up with a game that I didn´t know how to win. I didn´t know which were the best strategies or tactics, even though I designed all the game´s systems. That is what makes a good strategy game.”
– Julian Gallop über “X-Com”

“A good game is one that you can win be doing the unexpected and making it work.”
– Andrew Rollings

“Remember: The serious games wants real life; the casual gamer wants it to be like the movies.”
– Bob Bates

«No serious game can be successful if the players do not understand its rules, their objectives in the game, the consequences of their action, and the reasons for these consequences. In this sense, serious games should differ from more conventional games. They should respond more to the conscious decisions of the players than to an outside element of chance.»
– Clark C. Abt, “Serious Games”, 1987, quoted in Michael and Chen (2005) „Serious Games“

“There is a well known saying among designers in the educational games business: ‘If you want to take all of the fun out of it, get a bunch of educators involved.'”
– Kurt Squire, „Game Based Learning“, p.36

«In strongly opposing the world of play to that of reality, and in stressing that play is essentially a side activity, the interference is drawn that any contamination by ordinary life runs the risk of corrupting and destroying its very nature.»
– Roger Caillois, “Men, Play and Games”, chapter “The Corruption of Games”, p. 43

Ethische Fragen:

«The ideology of a game is in its rules, its invisible mechanism, and not only in its narrative parts. Thus a global innovation of this medium will be very difficult.»
– Paolo Pedercini from Molleindustria (translated from German)

“Is the difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist simply that the person using the terms believes, in one case, the cause is right and not in the other? In these games, such thoughtful questions are not abstractions, they are part and parcel of the fun and interaction of playing.”
– J.P.Gee (2004) in Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen (2005): “Beyond Edutainment. Exploring the Educational Potential of Computer Games.

«Interactivity is one of the core features that differentiate games from passive media like film. In a game we play a role. Most of the time, the roles we play in games are roles of power. Space marine, world-class footballer or hero plumber. Isn’t it about time we played the role of the weak, the misunderstood, even the evil? If videogames remain places where we only exercise juvenile power fantasies, I’m not sure there will be a meaningful future for the medium.»
– Ian Bogost, Watercooler Games

«Games are perhaps the only medium which allows us to experience guilt over the actions of fictional characters.»
– Will Wright (“The Sims”), quoted in Henry Jenkins (2003), “Meaningful Violence”

«The gap between those who want games to entertain and those who want games to be art does not exist. Because both entail posing questions – tough ones even, ethical ones, even. And games will never mature as long as the designers create them with complete answers to their own puzzles in mind.»
– Raph Koster, “Theory of Fun”

“With ‘Fable’ something fantastic happened: One administration official in some european country got one copy of the game to rate it, and it came back as ‘Of moral value for all ages’ – and I thought to myself, that couldn’t be, they’re chopping off people’s heads in the game! We sent it in again and it turned out that this man had played the game well behaved and good, he never came to see these gruesome things! He just saved people and was nice!” (translated from German)
– Game designer Peter Molyneux on ‘Fable’

“If your only tool is a hammer, all problems will look like nails.”
Dijkstra, Maslow etc.

Spielzeuge vs. Regelspiele in diesem Seminar

Eine kurze Klärung: Es geht in diesem Seminar hauptsächlich um Regelspiele (“Ludus”), weniger um ‘freies’ Spielen bzw. die nicht-regelgebundene Verwendung von Spielzeug (“Paidia”, s. Roger Caillois (1961): “Man, Play and Games”) – obwohl es einen Augenblick der Regellosigkeit und des Rausches, des Experimentierens und Explorierens geben muss, wenn ein neues, mit-teilbares Regelspiel erschaffen wird:

“Playing is a complex sequence of anarchistic toying, innovative game creation and rule-complying gaming, of turning aspects of reality into virtuality.”

“Playing is about choices and the communication of these choices: What I choose to do within a game – and that I choose to be in a game in the first place.”

“Games themselves consist of two layers: a static regulative-narrative frame as a result of game creation, and the course of individual games performed within, as result of players playing the game.”

“If a given game represent a simplified version of a medium – including an (artificial) cultural background in the form of background story or base
metaphors – then a played game represents a unique expressive exchange within this medium: the rules may limit the choices available, but cannot foretell which trail of decisions will be made by the player, while narratives motivate the player and justify certain directions of this course.”

“While classic media deliver structured information, games provide a structure for the experimental formation of structured information.”

– Wey-Han Tan (2009): “Playing (with) Educational Games: First and Second Order Gaming.”


  • Definiere auf deine eigene Weise “Spiel” – nicht generalisierend, sondern als Manifest. So, wie du es gerne einsetzen oder angewendet sehen möchtest.

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