A Gameplay Model for Understanding and Designing Games

A Gameplay Model for Understanding and Designing Games

Erik Hebisch (Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management IAT, University of Stuttgart, Germany) and Ulrich Wechselberger (Institute for Computational Visualistics, University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1634-9.ch014


The study of video games involves many characteristics such as story, artwork and sound design. While it is possible to describe these qualities of a game in great detail, the same can generally not be said for the interactive qualities. This article argues that gameplay is the fundamental characteristic of a game and can be studied independently from the other qualities. The authors present a definition of gameplay and its components that enable the study of gameplay on an abstract level. They show how to use their definition for designing the interactions of a simple casual and a serious game, for analyzing the gameplay mechanics of an existing game and how this impacts on the study of interactivity in video games.
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In search of a workable definition for what makes a game what it is we turn to the theorists.

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