CHAPTER 2

DEFINING SYSTEMS

With a foundation in systems thinking, you can now build a more formal and specific definition of what systems are. Here we explore how systems are organized and how new things and experiences arise from their disparate parts.

Doing so gives you the foundational concepts and vocabulary needed for analyzing and designing systemic games.

What We Mean by Systems

As you have seen, systems are a familiar yet often only vaguely defined concept. By carefully examining what “things” actually are, this amorphous concept becomes clearer. As you saw in Chapter 1, “Foundations of Systems,” systems are things, and things are systems. Systems are literally all around us. They make up the physical world we live in and the social world ...

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