Olympic Edition: Games as Performance

Could you score a musician?  Should you?

Watching the Olympics in Vancouver, I’m struck by the figure skating.  Figure skating is easily the most popular of the winter sports.  It fits our definition as a competition, not a sport, but it has something to usual.  It has a rigorously scored artistic component.  Like gymnastics, rhythym gymnastics, and yes guys, skateboarding and snowboarding, there’s an actual score and evaluation for artistry of the competitors.  They are rated on expressiveness and musicality.

They perform.  We call them performers, not players.

We talk about games as expression, striving for art  Hocking and many others describe the game space as a platform for expression.  Here is a cousin built on it.

And yet, we know it’s all really about the jumps.  The skill elements are worth twice as much as the We want to skip ahead when they fall.  We know they can’t win, no matter how artistic they are.  And that’s how it should be – they didn’t have the skill.  Right?

Otherwise, how could you judge?  Would it still be a competition?  Remember the outpouring 8 years ago, when a Canadian pair lost the gold medal the audience thought they deserved to win?

And yet we flock to the artistry.   There’s a lot more to appreciate in snowboarding then snowcross.

Open design spaces, elements that are strung together to create scores, planning and practiced choreography.  Think competitive Tony Hawk.

What separates us is the interaction between players.  This interaction limits expression, but it doesn’t prohibit it.  Maybe these competitions can serve as a model for games.

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2 thoughts on “Olympic Edition: Games as Performance

  1. Pingback: The REMA Model part 5: Mastery games | Game of Design

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