A phenomenon when qualities of the entity are not due to qualities of its parts but as the result of interactions between them.

Games as systems of rules

Complex systems often display some forms of emergence and usual examples are taken from nature (waves, snowflakes, insects' colonies) or from social sphere (stock exchange, works of art). Games are notorious for their emergent properties as rules are usually simple, but their interactions weave out new perceived entities. You can find some emergent qualities also in music, even at the very basic level of physics of sound.

Some games are based exclusively on emergence, but it's not always the case as some rely more on pre-defined content that is interactively discovered by players during the game. Game scholar Jesper Juul calls that type 'games of progression' although it doesn't fit music games that well. Quite often such games will have a clear division into stages and if we mean music games, stages will be connected by some kind of transition.

Because of the relative lack of pre-defined content, it's harder to treat games of emergence as authored pieces (usually 'algorithms' or 'procedures' don't receive copyright protection), and at the same time this type of game requires quite a lot of work to prepare because extensive playtesting is needed to make sure the game is balanced.

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