In this podcast, I discuss the player-author contract. An interactive work sets up a trust between the player and the work’s author. This takes the form of a contract which, when violated, can cause the player to reject the work.
The work can be played by the player.
- Violated by games which are unexpectedly incompatible with the player’s system.
The entire work can be played by the player.
- Violated by “game-breaking” bugs as in Battletoads and Pac-Man
Through playing the work, the player can affect the progression of the work.
- Subverted by “Rameses“
- The events in the work are governed by a set of rules.
- Violated by some Choose Your Own Adventure games
The rules of the work do not change without warning.
- Subverted by Karoshi 2.0
Any player failure can be avoided by player actions.
- Violated by really hard games.
- Subverted by I Wanna Be The Guy and similar games and custom levels.
- The author provides some goal that the player can pursue.
- Violated or subverted by Noctis.
- Let me know if you know a game that violates or subverts this!
The music for this episode is “Broken (DURDEN version)” by DURDEN and featuring Trifonic & Amelia June, and is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 license.