Computer games (CI) have taken a strong place in computer software. In Western countries, this is an entire industry. In our country, CIs are planned as the main component of software for domestic computers. In the production sphere, CIs will be used as training simulators, as well as one of the means of psychological unloading of personnel. The important place will be taken by games and in training (one of the forms of computer training programs). In psychology, CIs are used as diagnostic and training methods. In themselves, CI as an object of use in other areas of human activity and as a new cultural phenomenon becomes the object of study of psychology.
Let us analyze the structure of a typical computer game in terms of its internal structure and functioning during game interaction. The result of this analysis may help to come closer to understanding the laws of the creation of CI, as well as to evaluate and classify them.
Concept of playing activities
The concept of play and play activity is generally too broad to carry out any meaningful analysis. Therefore, we limit our consideration to real-time computer games on a personal computer (PC) for one player without the use of special equipment additional keyboards, mice, joysticks, etc.
A game of this kind, from the point of view of the player, is a definite task – it has the conditions, the goal and the means to achieve it. Problem solving is a process controlled by players in real time according to established rules. The course of the process is evaluated according to the established criteria.
We distinguish three functional components in CI: the gaming environment (IC), interaction with the player, and the assessment of the game situation. With an obvious connection and interdependence, they can be considered as independent.
The game environment is a collection of all objects and connections in the game and the laws of their change. In other words, IP is the basis, the “world”, in which the game action develops. Thus, in chess, the game environment will be a combination of which includes: a board, two sets of figures, the rules for moving figures on a board, and also the rules for taking (and transforming) figures. In the popular “Landing on the Moon” CI, the gaming environment will be a vector describing the parameters of the ship landing on the moon (mass, fuel, height, speed), as well as some equation relating these parameters. For the common IC “Pacman” IP is a maze in which characters move: one controlled by the player, and several “enemies” controlled by the program.
Interaction with the player is a combination of means provided to the player for changes in the game environment, i.e. for actions and changes in the IC, which occur when the player presses certain display keys. Note that real-time games differ from puzzle games by just this component: in real-time games, the time period between clicks significantly influences the course of the game.
The assessment of the game situation is the ratios and conditions that define the task for the player in the game. This includes a system of points and penalties for game actions, a description of the initial and final game situation.
Of these components, the most important, of course, is the gaming environment. If it is found successfully, then by changing other components, you can create a version of the game with certain properties (tempo, complexity).