Chapter 11

Mechanics in Milieu

“All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.”

—Johann Sebastian Bach

Most game analysis tried to examine an experience as a hermetically sealed object. Games are lists of rules, after all. Analyzing those rules and how those rules work in conjunction seems to be a reasonable approach. Leaving random number generation aside, a game should run the same way given the same inputs for a player in 1987 Japan and 2017 United States. In this chapter, we will discuss some examples where an examination of a game is meaningless outside the social and/or cultural setting of its players.

Taste and Distaste

One of my favorite board game designers is Richard Breese. He largely makes ...

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