Besieged – Social Utility

Taking skills like strategy and sportsmanship from the board into the real world

The core concept of Besieged, what I hope people will take away from the experience, is a battle of wits and strategy. Underneath the historical fantasy aesthetic and relatively simple rule set, the game gets its longevity and social utility from its encouragement of lateral thinking and reading your opponent to achieve success. For that reason, I think it is similar to Chess. While Chess has relatively simple rules on paper, the main takeaways from the game are exercising the brain, healthy competition, and management skills. There is a huge difference between knowing the rules, and mastering the strategy.

Chess
Chess

As a game with such a strong emphasis on strategy, there is the notion that some of the stricter rules in games like Chess can be overlooked for the sake of a better gaming experience. For example, there is a rule that once you touch a piece you must commit to the play. While this is an official rule, it can sometimes be neglected to inspire learning the game and having a more fulfilling experience playing the game. Robert Graber, in his journal article on learning business lessons from Chess, suggests Chess has important social utility encouraging ethical and sportsmanlike behaviour, succeeding honourably rather than getting cheap victories by exploiting the errors of the opponent. He states ‘it makes for a more interesting game if one can win as a result of superior strategy, rather than by taking advantage of the other person’s careless mistake.’ According to Graber, the opportunities Chess offers for learning sportsmanship and how it rewards winning honourably directly influences the application of those skills in the real world.

Strategy
Strategy

I feel my game would also benefit from this attitude as it is an experience that aims to make players feel a sense of accomplishment when they manage to outwit their opponent. Obviously the rules are important. The mechanics of the game wouldn’t function without rules. But I believe some digression from the players over semantics can massively improve not only the replayability and diversity in experience, but also the rewarding feeling a player can get from being victorious.

 

References:

Graber, R 2009, ‘BUSINESS LESSONS FROM CHESS: A DISCUSSION OF PARALLELS BETWEEN CHESS STRATEGY AND BUSINESS STRATEGY, AND HOW CHESS CAN HAVE APPLICATIONS FOR BUSINESS EDUCATION’, Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal, Vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 79-85

2 thoughts on “Besieged – Social Utility

  1. Although very few of our DIGC310 cohort will go on to be cunning military commanders, there is a more traditional utility that surrounds games like your’s and that is of military leadership training. Although the practical utility of your project is the healthy engagement and exercise of one’s mind, there has always been a historical utility of using analogue war games – namely chess – to help assist military commanders. The Indian’s initially utilized this practice back in the 6th century, followed by the British a thousand years later, the Americans in the Civil War and then by the German’s issuing a similar military game to officers in World War 1.

    Although incredibly niche and specific, the utility of war games has arguably influenced the world we live in and shouldn’t be understated. Here’s a BBC article on the topic http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32542306

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I think in chess, despite how atrocious I am at it, you can tell when someone is much better and not just taking advantage of a single slip up, but when they have longer running strategy, it is clear which player is the best. I like a deep strategy game, and wish you the best of luck in developing this further past this class.

    Liked by 1 person

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