Tag Archives: readings

Thoughts on Zimmerman’s four concepts

Narrative, Interactivity, Play, and Games: Four naughty concepts in need of discipline  by Eric Zimmerman

It was an interesting read to see someone lay out varying definitions of these 4 terms (some more familiar than the rest), discuss them in depth, highlight the overlaps and limitations before eventually tearing apart the very definitions and explanations he had built. It felt like we know these words, yet not really.

What struck me most was the point regarding play. Zimmerman urges creators not to forcefully direct a play experience but rather to design a system and structure with the potential for play. We as creators cannot incite play but can instead create an environment which encourages and supports it.

Zimmerman also highlights how there is a narrative to be found in all media, games and creations. It teaches us a new way of viewing creative products, searching for the overall stories and ‘micro-narratives’ in each move, sequence and activity.