In an article entitled “Game Thinking,” Martin Pichlmair posits that if you want to understand gaming, you have to understand the underlying principles behind it:
Games are rules systems that only flourish upon interaction. The dynamics and aesthetics of play is what we design them for. In design thinking, the notion of “wicked problems” was introduced to describe those mostly user-centric problems that are so hard to solve in a step-wise problem-solving manner. Rittel and Webber described wicked problems in 1973 as problems where the following list of conditions is met:
- There is no definitive formulation of a wicked problem.
- Wicked problems have no stopping rule.
- Solutions to wicked problems are not true-or-false but good-or-bad.
- There is no immediate and no ultimate test of a solution to a wicked problem.
- Every implemented solution to a wicked problem has consequences.
- Wicked problems do not have a well-described set of potential solutions.
- Every wicked problem is essentially unique.
- Every wicked problem can be considered a symptom of another problem.
- The causes of a wicked problem can be explained in numerous ways.
- The planner (designer) has no right to be wrong.
Basically any situation a designer comes up with, Pichlmair says, comes as a result of addressing a wicked problem so that interaction can be fostered. Think about it. Think. About. It.