Chapter 5. Creating Dialogue

In any conversation, we need someone to talk with. Without a player, a game is just a set of instructions, whether executed by a computer or human beings who learn what cards to draw on their turn. An unplayed game is like a piece of sheet music: you can see its potential and imagine what it might be like brought to life. You can grasp from notation or rules that it’s complex and maybe glimpse its nature. Instructions need someone to carry them out to leap from untapped potential into a living, changing experience. To deepen our practice of playing games, we have to think about our own role in shaping what happens—and understand how our role as game designers intersects and tangles with the choices of players.

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