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Unlike passive forms of entertainment like movies, books, or television shows, video games offer players an active role in shaping the experiences they encounter.

Manik Sahu, Blogger

July 21, 2023

6 Min Read

As a passionate Game designer and gaming content creator, I have always been fascinated by the unique and captivating nature of video games. Unlike passive forms of entertainment like movies, books, or television shows, video games offer players an active role in shaping the experiences they encounter. In a world of pixels and code, gamers become adventurers, warriors, and heroes, diving headfirst into fictional universes where their decisions and actions hold the key to success or failure.

The Interactive Medium of Video Games

At its core, a video game is an interactive medium of entertainment. It transcends the boundaries of traditional media, inviting players to become part of the narrative and engage with the virtual world on a personal level. While movies and TV shows allow us to be mere spectators, and books transport us to different worlds only in our minds, video games let us inhabit those worlds actively.

When you pick up a controller or touch a screen to play a video game, you're not just watching someone else's story unfold; you are an essential character in that tale. Your choices, skills, and strategies shape the outcome of the game. It's a dynamic relationship between the player and the virtual environment, fostering a sense of agency and ownership over the experience.

As you explore the vast landscapes of open-world games, navigate intricate puzzles, engage in strategic battles, or immerse yourself in emotionally charged narratives, you are not merely a spectator but an active participant in the unfolding drama. This interactivity sets video games apart, drawing players into a world where they can influence events, solve problems, and conquer challenges in their unique way.

The Birth of AROG: A New Perspective on Games

Now, let's embark on an intriguing journey into a concept I personally crafted -”the AROG framework. This framework is designed to help us gain a deeper understanding and definition of video games.

With the aim of decoding the essence of games, this framework offers a comprehensive breakdown of the fundamental elements that shape the concept of a game.

As a game designer, I have always wondered about the various explanations for "WHAT IS A VIDEO GAME," and my creation of the AROG framework is a result of this curiosity. It serves as a brainchild of this very discussion and aims to shed light on the captivating nature of video games.

A - Avatar & Abilities

In this interactive world of games, every player needs an identity - a persona through which they interact with the virtual environment. This is where the "Avatar" steps in. Your avatar is the in-game representation of you, the player, within the game world. It can be a character, an object, or even just your fingertips.

But avatars are not just empty shells; they possess unique "Abilities" that define their role and capabilities in the game. Whether it's the superhuman leaps of Mario, the stealth skills of an assassin, or the strategic thinking of a commander, these abilities enable players to interact with the game world and tackle challenges in distinct ways.

R - Rules

What gives a game structure and meaning? It's the "Rules." Every game is governed by a set of rules that dictate how the game functions, what actions are permissible, and what consequences follow specific decisions. Rules establish boundaries, prevent chaos, and provide a

framework for players to engage with the game world.

Consider chess, where each piece follows a unique movement pattern, or racing games that have specific driving mechanics. These rules not only create challenging gameplay but also establish a sense of fairness and balance in the game's universe.

O - Obstacles

Now, every journey needs hurdles to overcome, and video games are no different. Enter the "Obstacles." These are the challenges, puzzles, enemies, and barriers that players must navigate using their avatar's abilities while adhering to the rules.

Imagine platforming games where precise jumps are needed to avoid dangerous pits, or adventure games that require deciphering cryptic puzzles to advance. Obstacles add depth to the gameplay, making it more engaging, and rewarding players for their strategic thinking and dexterity.

G - Goals

Every great story needs a purpose, and games are no exception. "Goals" provide players with clear objectives to strive for throughout their gaming experience. These can range from saving a princess, surviving a zombie apocalypse, or completing a mission.

Goals not only give players direction and motivation but also deliver a sense of accomplishment upon their achievement. It's the joy of scoring a goal in football, reaching the end of a level in Mario, or conquering a difficult boss in an RPG.


Examples of AROG Elements in Games

Let's explore how the AROG elements manifest in some popular video games:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

    • Avatar & Abilities: Link, the heroic protagonist, possesses various weapons, abilities, and magical powers that aid him in his quest to save Princess Zelda and defeat the malevolent Calamity Ganon.

    • Rules: The game follows an open-world structure, allowing players to explore and interact with the vast landscape of Hyrule, while adhering to the day-night cycle and weather effects that affect gameplay.

    • Obstacles: Throughout the game, Link faces formidable enemies, challenging puzzles in dungeons, and environmental hazards that require clever thinking and resource management.

    • Goals: The ultimate goal is to rescue Princess Zelda, defeat Ganon, and restore peace to the land of Hyrule.

Zelda.jpg

  • Dark Souls

    • Avatar & Abilities: The player creates a customizable character, each with distinct attributes, skills, and playstyles. The avatars’ abilities determine how they combat enemies and overcome challenges.

    • Rules: The game is notorious for its punishing difficulty, where death is a common occurrence. Players learn from their mistakes, adapt their strategies, and overcome obstacles with perseverance.

    • Obstacles: The world of Dark Souls is filled with formidable foes, intricate level design, and traps that test players’ skill and resolve.

    • Goals: The main objective is to defeat powerful bosses and ultimately unravel the mysteries of the dark fantasy world.

Dark_souls.jpg


Defining What is a Game with the AROG Framework

An activity in which players assume the role of an avatar, wielding unique abilities, and navigate the virtual world by adhering to a set of rules while overcoming obstacles strategically to achieve specific objectives, known as goals, is called a game. Through the AROG framework, games become a canvas for interactive storytelling, empowering players to shape their destinies and forge unforgettable adventures.

In Conclusion

Video games are a form of entertainment unlike any other -” a realm of interactive storytelling and engaging challenges that grant players agency in shaping their destiny. Through the AROG framework, we have unveiled the essence of video games, breaking them down into fundamental elements that define their captivating nature.

As you embark on your next gaming adventure, take a moment to appreciate the AROG elements at play, from your avatar's unique abilities to the thrilling obstacles you overcome, all while pursuing your ultimate goal. Embrace the power of interactivity and immerse yourself in the enchanting worlds that video games have to offer. Happy gaming!

About the Author: Manik Sahu - AsasinoManik

This article was crafted by Manik Sahu, a passionate game designer and content creator known as AsasinoManik. Checkout my portfolio & social media channels at Linktr.ee/asasinomanik to explore more game design insights and collaborate on exciting projects. Happy gaming!

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