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Friday, January 20, 2006

Innovation and Evolution in Game Design

Raph Koster has a great piece about evolution and how it relates to game design:

What evolution is really about, rather than progress, is adaptation to conditions. Should our world stop requiring higher level cognitive function (which would, of course, involve some sort of truly massive catastrophe), then we might well evolve to have vestigial brains. We would instead evolve other characteristics that helped us to survive. I think few of us would term this “progress” for the human race.

The evolution of virtual worlds has not been a story of progress; rather, it’s been noted for years now that it’s largely a story of recapitulation. Lessons learned once have to be learned over and over again; many of the games we play today have direct antecedents in text designs. Depending on the value judgements you could make, it could be stated that there has instead been regression, rather than progress.
-- Innovation, evolution, and adaptation

Brilliant stuff.

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