Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gamer Knowledge

The other day I when we were playing a game with some friends, Krista said something about them not having "gamer knowledge" and that is why the game seemed more difficult for them to pick up. I teased her about making up terms and we moved on. However, the more I've been thinking about it, the more I think she is right.

I want to define a couple terms here (yes, definitions of language is what makes the world go 'round. Also, money makes the world go 'round. And God. A lot of things have been said to make the world go 'round). So the first term is Gamer Knowledge, as my wife so termed it is the knowledge of many different games, their mechanics and rules. I want to compare this to Gamer IQ, which is another term I've heard. Gamer IQ to me would be how quickly someone understands the strategies and nuances of a game. So not the rule set or the mechanics, but the point of the game.

So if you or I don't have gamer knowledge or gamer IQ, that doesn't make you a stupid gamer, but both come with time. However, only to a point. I think gamer knowledge isn't natural, all of it comes from playing a variety of games. Gamer IQ on the other hand, is partially natural and partially learned. The more games you play, the more your gamer IQ grows and expands, but part of it just comes to you. You learn the rules and you just know how to win or at least be very competitive.

The reason I've been thinking about this is because of the results of one of the blind play tests of my game (I'm not calling it Den of Thieves anymore, just don't know what I'm calling it). The people who played it aren't what I'd call gamers. They were doing me a favor and play testng it and took it in a completely dfferent way than I would have ever thought (which is exactly what I want from playtesters!). It really showed me that I wrote the rules with a certain gamer knowledge expected from the players, so I had to clarify in my rules to fix them so that people who haven't played a lot of the games that I've played would be able to understand them quickly and cleanly.

So there you go. Gamer knowledge and gamer IQ. Get you some of the former to increase some of the latter. Or just play some games for fun, which is the best reason to play.

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