The game I chose to play the last few weeks is called Flight. The game is centered around a letter which is folded into a paper airplane. The airplane makes its way around the world and carries the messages of several different people. To play you simply line up your shot and launch the airplane into the sky. There are a few objectives to the game. The player must keep the airplane in flight for as long as they possibly can, and if able to, collect different rewards scattered through the sky. It is also imperative that the lane is flown with skill because the longer and farther the plan goes the more money you earn. Money is used to buy several different upgrades that aide in flying the plane. Flight is a strategic game that was pretty fun to play. The game had challenges, but wasn’t too difficult. There was also an aesthetically pleasing element to it. This game has wonderful artwork and and overall beautiful design.
Flight is a very fun game to play. In the beginning, getting the right strategy of how to throw the plane was a little difficult. Did I need to throw it high into the sky and collect as many star points as possible? Should I throw it straight forward and try to go for distance? These were the questions I had to consider. As the game went on I had to adjust my strategy to the upgrades I would buy. There were several upgrades I could buy and they all had the ability to be bought again at a higher price and for more money. So not only was I seeing better results in my play as a result of the upgrades, I was also incentivised to play more to earn more money to buy more upgrades. The upgrades included rudder control, better model, and stall saver. Flight can be categorized as a game using Caillois definition from “The Definition of Play and Classification of Games”. It states games are:
Free: in which playing is not obligatory; if it were, it would at once lose its attractive and joyous quality as diversion.
Separate: circumscribed within limits of space and time, defined and fixed in advance.
Uncertain: the course of which cannot be determined, nor the result attained beforehand, and some latitude for innovations being left to the player’s initiative.
Unproductive: Creating neither goods, nor wealth, now new elements of any kind; and, except for the exchange of property among players, ending in a situation identical to that prevailing at the beginning of the game.
Governed by rules: under conventions that suspend ordinary laws, and for the moment establish new legislation, which alone counts.
Make-Believe: accompanied by a special awareness of a second reality or of a free unreality, as against real life.
The game is free, no one made me play it or pay for it. It is separate, in a little world created by the designers. It is uncertain, every time I throw the plane I do not know if it will be successful or not. The outcome is solely based on my performance. It is unproductive, nothing came from me playing this game except a sense of joy. It is governed by rules, you have to attain a certain amount of meters to advance to the next level. It is make believe, there is really no way a paper airplane could transform to a super efficient flying machine that travels the world.
Flight is a beautiful game. Does that mean it is art? According to Leo Tolstoy it is a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feelings, and indispensable for the life and progress toward well-being of individuals and of humanity. Flying a little paper airplane is pretty fun. Watching the plane fly through the air, building and trees whipping by in a speedy manor, gave me the sensation that I, too, was flying. There was a little bit of an adrenaline rush present when I went on a long run that didn’t seem like it was ever going to end. I assume this is a similar sensation all who play the game, or games where the player speeds through, experience. I could relate to anyone who has played a game that makes them feel as if they are flying and connect to them on a different level. Flight made me experience a feeling that many other can relate to, therefore it is art.
Jesper Juul. (2005). “Video Games and the Classic Game Model” in Half-Real: Video Gamesbetween Real Rules and Fictional Worlds.
Tolstoy, Leo. What Is Art?New York: Bobbs-Merrill Co., Liberal Arts Press, 1960. Print.