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Chris Crawford on Game Design by Chris Crawford

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Dimensions of Conflict

We humans have evolved a myriad of dimensions of conflict. After all, if you can't beat your opponent in an existing dimension, why not make up a new dimension in which you can beat him? Thus human creativity has been bent toward the development of all kinds of conflict, and designers now have only to pick over this feast to find one dimension capable of providing interesting possibilities.

Physical

This is the oldest and most fundamental dimension of conflict. Bash the other guy on the head, kick him in the butt, or punch him in the nose. People have been resolving their disputes in this fashion since, well, before they were human. Early on, we humans applied our tool-making skills to the problem and invented “the weapon”—a ...

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