Play Motifs (used to be Playstates) has been a series of blog posts attempting to map play and video games but it never touched on the whole cycle of game development, release, and player adoption. So I have created a new concept called Play Accords to capture this.
Play Accords got its genesis through two earlier blogs I wrote: Layered Dissonance and Immersion Accords. Those two blogs teased out some ideas that were interesting and as I thought about, could be combined to create a model that captured the game dev cycle. The Play Accords consists of five steps as follows:
- Inspiration – These are the genres, Play Motifs, mechanics, and more that capture the imagination of developers.
- Developers – These are the people who a drawn to respond to what inspires them. They take that inspiration and engineer it to fit into a brand new video game. This new video game in turn attracts players.
- Players – These are the people who play the developer’s video game. They are diverse and include fans, fandoms, critics, scholars, and theorists. Players represent the critical ingredient to the video game reaching its most complete state for when a video game is put in hands of player this creates something new.
- Alchemy – This is the process of the player and developer creating something new. Like the medieval practice of alchemy, this is a transformation of one thing into another. This transformation gets manifested as an exchange (commercial, non-commercial, and scholarly) and it changes both developers and players.
- Synthesis – This is the process of transformation for both players and developers. Players may be inspired to become developers to explore new interpretations of the video game while developers will synthesize the feedback from players. This dynamic creates a new Play Accord that becomes a source of inspiration. We now return to first step.
I find this kind of conceptual play to be meaningful and fun and hope others may find this useful. Regardless, it helps me better understand how things fit together. In many ways working through this concept of Play Accords was my own demonstration of the model.