Chapter 16

Mechanics, Dynamics, and Aesthetics: The Application of MDA


Games, mechanics, dynamics, aesthetics, objects, actions, conclusions

It’s not the meat; it’s the motion.

—Maria Muldaur


The mechanics of a product and the dynamics of use determine the aesthetics of the product experience.

Mechanics are the essence of any software product. Simply stated, the mechanics of a product are what it can do (functions) and what actions (behaviors) the user must perform to activate those functions and what goals are implied or promised by the product. One also might think of mechanics as the “objects” (virtual or real), the rules of operation, and the goals (end states) that are achievable with the product. For software products ...

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