Week 8: Social utility of my card game.

In my card game I wanted to create a game that got people to bring out that competitive edge that some games now don’t really capture while also making it fun and light. The social utility of my game was going to be about bringing the competition and strategy that comes with games like chess and adapt it into a card games and also give players a sense that every moment counts and that how you play is so crucial to your victory that you must play ahead and get you thinking of how you will use your opponents head against them.

Along with this i wanted to make it friendly competition and make the game a place for fun social interaction between the players. In the article “Chores Are Fun: Understanding Social Play in Board Games for Digital Tabletop Game Design” by Yan Xu, Evan Barba, Iulian Radu, Maribeth Gandy and Blair MacIntyre they state that   the “key ingredients of successful social interaction, including bodily presence, mutual focus of attention and synchronization of emotions are all seen in tabletop board games.”(Xu,2011) And through this way that board games facilitate social interaction i wanted to adapt the idea of manual focus and attention into a fun game to play.

Because my game is a turn based game where players have to make quick decisions and plan ahead it really uses the idea of work and play that is heavily used in the article and shows that even through a turn based game where one player is playing at a time, the other player is also playing a different game completely. They are thinking about how much time they have left on their clock, the cards in their hand and their opponents, how they will win the game and how the remaining cards on the field are going to help them. Another quote from the article says that, “During the game, players share common interests about the game, its rules and their gameplay. Every player can comment on or laugh about these topics, the accumulated interaction history that reinforces synchronization of emotions among players. With a turn-based structure, players take turns becoming the group’s attention center; when it is not a player’s turn, there are different ways that they can engage with the group’s activities, such as learning new rules, checking results during others’ turns, reflecting on someone’s move or partially participating in the decision-making for another move.”(Xu,2011)

The idea of players having a synchronised emotions is key to the game and its social utility as the game would work a lot better if both players are invested in the game and are both thinking about how they will play to the best they can and that leads to a game where people are going to want to come back and bring it back to the idea that this game an be extremely competitive while also being fun.


Chores Are Fun : Understanding Social Play in Board Games for Digital Tabletop Game Design

3 thoughts on “Week 8: Social utility of my card game.

  1. Your take on tabletop games is fascinating – I’ve never considered just how much social interaction takes place when playing these sorts of games. Thank-you for bringing it to my attention! Even simple games, like Uno, create camaraderie and generate emotions amongst players and I think we really take for granted how powerful that truly is.

    The idea of players have synchronized emotions is an interesting one, and something I haven’t seen in a lot of games. I tend to only see the brutal, rollercoaster emotions games like Monopoly create (or these: http://kotaku.com/the-top-5-board-games-that-really-will-ruin-friendships-1443867215) So I can’t wait to see your finished product!


  2. Hey James,

    I find this to be really helpful for writing my own blog and trying to work out the social utility of my card game. Just thinking about the social interaction that takes place when you’re playing these kind of turn based games is really interesting to think about when looking back on my own playing experiences. Synchronised emotions is something that i think is key and I can relate to the feeling of feeding off of other players and “reading the room”, so to speak, and making sure everyone is invested in the game.

    Keep up the good work!


  3. I think you’re very right here, social interaction when playing a board game can be really special. They become a very easy experience to share in and contribute to because of the idea of shared emotions you referenced. Will be cool to see how you incorporate these ideas into your game in its final stages, good luck!


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