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Collaborative games: Lessons learned from board games
Simulation & Gaming (2006)
  • Jose P Zagal, DePaul University
  • Rick Jochen
  • Hsi Idris
Collaborative mechanisms are starting to become prominent in computer games, like massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs); however, by their nature, these games are difficult to investigate. Game play is often complex and the underlying mechanisms are frequently opaque. In contrast, board games are simple. Their game play is fairly constrained and their core mechanisms are transparent enough to analyze. In this article, the authors seek to understand collaborative games. Because of their simplicity, they focus on board games. The authors present an analysis of collaborative games. In particular, they focus on Reiner Knizia’s LORDOFTHERINGS, considered by many to be the quintessential collaborative board game. Our analysis yields seven observations, four lessons, and three pitfalls, that game designers might consider useful for designing collaborative games. They reflect on the particular opportunities that computers have for the design of collaborative games as well as how some of the issues discussed apply to the case of computer games.
  • board games,
  • collaboration,
  • collaborative games,
  • cooperation,
  • computer games,
  • decisions,
  • game design,
  • individuals,
  • lessons,
  • multiplayer games,
  • Lord of the Rings
Publication Date
Citation Information
Jose P Zagal, Rick Jochen and Hsi Idris. "Collaborative games: Lessons learned from board games" Simulation & Gaming Vol. 37 Iss. 1 (2006)
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