Roger caillois

When designing a game one thing to consider is the type of player that will be interested in playing it, this is essential as it allows you to identify your target audience more accurately. We can split players down into Roger Caillois’s theory,  which consists of four categories –

  • Agon – Competitive

Counterstrike, Starcraft, Overwatch, Battlefield etc. All these games have a competitive elements to them which attracts players of this kind. Games such as these, generally have a competitive mode with leagues/ladder were players have a skill rating and move up if they are winning and down if they are losing. Starcraft for example, has league system which consist of Bronze, Silver, Gold, platinum, Diamond, Master, Grandmaster. Having players separated into certain levels such as this allows the game to be more balanced and fair, but also creates and incentive for players to play more as they want to be the best and reach the highest level.


Here you can see the Starcraft league icons. Within the Leagues there are also divisions which can be identified with subtle changes which, the higher you are the better your icon with the star being the best in that league.

  • Alea -Chance

Riegns, Hearthstone, Monopoly, Fallout etc. Many games include chance but some more than others. Fallout for example, is an realtime RPG which means that you have a chance of missing a shot when shooting an enemy. You can see this clearly when entering a mechanic called “V.A.T.S” were the game pauses and you can see the percentage of hitting the shot, which leaves it to chance when you choose the action. The not knowing in in times like that creates a frill, the unknown of what is going to happen and when something does go your way you feel a certain amount of joy. The ludic also comes into play here, as you loose control once you shoot in V.A.T.S then regain control after the action has happened which creates the feeling.



Here you can see the V.A.T.S screen with the percentage icons


  • Ilinx – Disorientation

GTA, Portal, Prey, Forza etc. Games with disorientation/vertigo can often at times create the feeling of realism or thrill. A game such as GTA replicates this by allowing you to get drunk, which then makes you disorientated causing the screen to wobble and makes it harder to shoot, drive and continue playing as normal until it wears off. Portal is another game that comes to mind, which is I would argue a master of vertigo in games. Putting a portal on the floor and on the roof on the other side of the map, then being able to fall through the floor and come out higher than you was is a great feeling of vertigo and feels great each time you do it. I also put prey on there, which is a first person shooter and allows you to walk up walls and on the ceiling which again, is a disorientating feeling. I believe players like the feeling as it gives them ability to simulate a feeling which they can not achieve in real life.



Portal 2 physics example


  • Mimicry – Copy

The Witcher 3, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, EVE Online, skyrim etc. Games such as these are appealing because players can project themselves onto the person they are playing as. Skyrim allows you to customise your character, change the way they look from hair colour to the eye position among various other aspects. By giving the player tools such as this, it allows the player to create themselves in the game which then creates a more personal connection. It makes them care more about the events that happen within the game, who they are talking to and how they act. For example, you will probably feel more guilty being bad and killing people if you see your own character doing it as you can see yourself in the gameplay.



Character customization in Skyrim



I also need to read into this pdf in order to get more information for the essay next week -


Image credit –

Starcraft –

Portal 2 –

Skyrim –

Fallout –







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