13. Mechanics, Dynamics, and Aesthetics (MDA)

This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.

—OSCAR WILDE

Games have an interesting problem. If you ask someone what a book is about, generally the answer comes in one of two forms: plot and theme. The plot in the Harry Potter series is about a wizard confronting an evil power from his past. Lots of events happen: He gets his invitation to Hogwarts, he makes friends, he fights a giant snake, and so on. The theme of Harry Potter is about learning your place in the world and dealing with death. Both of these (plot and theme) are accepted ways to talk about the essence of what a book is. This works with other storytelling media: You can reflect on what a movie is about by talking about its plot and ...

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