Gameplay Antagonism

Ivan Moldavi on Gameplay Antagonism

Dec 20 2005

As I mentioned, Alyucha Vadrusov touched on the true, in my opinion, reason for gameplay antagonism. One must always maintain the realistic view that this is just a game. The reason someone like me plays any game is to win. Now, the tricky part about is that there are no clearly defined win-loss scenarios for the game as a whole. An invader army may “win” a battle by taking a region for an update period but that hardly translates into winning the game. So the first step in properly establishing ones own gameplay methodology is to establish what it means to win this game. After this is established it becomes much easier to create not only an antagonism strategy but a whole persona.

So, what does it mean to me to win? Winning, in my opinion, in means being able to move to any region in the game and know that within a specific self determined amount of time I can bend it to my will and cause it to either flourish or crumble. Winning is having a reputation for being one of the biggest jackasses in the game and yet being asked my opinion on important issues because in many cases I am one of the best resources for gameplay interactions. Winning, in regards to me, is simply being Ivan Moldavi. Fortunately for most of you, who didn’t grow up in an environment where you were told from the very earliest stages of your life that you are superior to everyone else, most of this can be mimicked relatively easily. On the most basic level, even for those that constantly cry “My region first” or “My friends first”, the game breaks down into a simple flowchart:

The game, for each of you and each of Them, rotates around this chart. Some use emoticons, some use overly verbous speeches, but everyone, everyone uses this chart. Everyone uses someone always in this game. It might as well be the motto.

Once you come to the realization of this then the rest is relatively easy. Antagonism comes naturally to you when you realize that those you are manipulating are themselves manipulating others, and would manipulate you if given the opportunity and proper incentive.

So, my definition is simple:

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In the gaming arena, antagonism is the realization that all players that one comes into contact with are of potential use, either immediately or in the future, and that it is imperative to discover the motivating stimuli for them in order to effectively utilize their usefulness. Further, antagonism can be defined specifically as the strategy used to determine those stimuli and used to motivate the targeted player into a course of action that will either further ones own aims on “winning” the game or will cause the targeted player to take a course of action that will be a detriment to it’s own gameplay, thus taking them out of contention as a possible future threat.

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