Is a Videogame Its Source Code?

Oct 24, 2009

A Brief Discussion with Jesper Juul

Games are made of rules. Videogames are not.

That is at the center of the discussion I had with well-known videogame professor Jesper Juul, based on his old blog post that I ran into through Ian Bogost’s DiGRA 2009 keynote.

It began on his blog: My initial discussion of the question.

The main points of my argument are collected here.

2013 Update

I’ve written more on the subject in the years since, some of which have become the more popular entries on this blog, including, in reverse chronological order:

Rules in Computer Games Compared to Rules in Traditional Games – This is my most up-to-date entry on the topic. I’ve prepared this as a YouTube video showing slides with voiceover, adapted from the talk for my research paper at DiGRA 2013, so it’s also one of the easiest to absorb or share.

Videogames and Rules – Here’s a somewhat more academic and thorough approach than my other posts, or at least an early attempt in that direction.

Games are artificial. Videogames are not. Games have rules. Videogames do not. – Though more polarizing and rough than my other posts on the subject, it’s also my initial entry on the matter. I’ve included it here for sake of completeness.

(Originally posted as Vol. 7 Sec. 3)

Este artículo está disponible en español. Traducción por cortesía de Andrés de Pedro.

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