Saturday, 15 October 2011

Agon, Alea, Ilinx, & Mimicry

Agon, Alea, Illinx, and Mimicry are four distinct forms of game types proposed by Caillois(Newman, Videogames, London, p. 22-26), influenced by Huizinga. These four forms of game play can be combined and are not restricted to one genre or the other.

Agon: Competition.

Alea: Chance or randomness.

Ilinx: Movement.

Mimicry: Simulation, role-play, fantasy.

Here are some examples of videogames that use some of these terms.

Tekken (image courtesy of namcobandaigames.com)

















Game type elements
: Agon (competition between players or versus npc) and Ilinx (character movement to dodge or gain advantage).


Dead Island

















Game type elements
: Mimicry (science fiction but realistic characters), Alea (chance of encountaring a horde of zombies and finding supplies/weapons), and Ilinx (Survival crucial to movement of character).

Tron game


Game type elements: Ilinx (movement of line to destroy other player and to survive).

From Dust

Game type elements: Mimicry (make-believe world), and Ilinx (ability to manipulate the player's surroundings). The outcome of the game is Ludus, the player has ability to move things and problem solve.

4 comments:

  1. While the term "ilinx" is frequently translated as "movement", in Man, Play and Games, Roger Caillois describes ilinx as "vertigo", which is to say, promoting a feeling of dizziness (the phrase Caillois uses is "voluptouous panic"). There is a copy of Caillois's book in the library, but you can also find a couple of extracts in the Salen and Zimmerman's edited collection, The Game Design Reader (see pp. 122-155).

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  2. Yes I was torn when to say a game used "ilinx" or not since most games do have movement. I'd have to agree with Caillois view of "ilinx" as "vertigo" since it targets a more distinct emotional response, rather than "movement" which is basically roaming or interacting with the world to change their view or just the action of movement.

    Now applying this, I think could describe a game I know that has that. I'll update this later.

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  3. I just came across this, so I know its a few years late... :P
    Another interesting interpretation of ilinx/vertigo is related to dizziness/motion/body play, but includes the accompanying change of perception. Arguably something like the Xbox kinect or Wi controllers where you physically move around, or maybe even 1st person shooters where your focused reality is the view of the character not your livingroom... What do you think? :)

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  4. http://www.freemahj.com/free-mahjong/
    While the term "ilinx" is frequently translated as "movement", in Man, Play and Games, Roger Caillois describes ilinx as "vertigo", which is to say, promoting a feeling of dizziness (the phrase Caillois uses is "voluptouous panic"). There is a copy of Caillois's book in the library, but you can also find a couple of extracts in the Salen and Zimmerman's edited collection, The Game Design Reader (see pp. 122-155).

    ReplyDelete