Metaphysical Game

Although I don’t play computer games so much except pinball game, I think that the more metaphysical a game is, the more interesting and exciting it should be. Metaphysical games or abstract games I call here include board games like Shogi, Chess or Go, or Pinball game. I feel there have been a lot of video games that compete reality. Those games are what I call ‘skeuomorphic games’, which are just contrary concept of what I name ‘metaphysical game’ here. Though I have seldom played those kind of skeuomorphic games, I don’t think they inspires me anything, just like 3D movies haven’t at all. For games to be interesting and exciting, they don’t have to look ‘real’. That has very little to do with how they are interesting and exciting.

Now, how about metaphysical games? The key point for a game to be metaphysical is to be minimal.

To be minimal

Metaphysical games naturally pursue its minimalism. In other words, to be minimal leads them metaphysical.
I think Go is the most minimal board game just with a board with grid and black and white stones. It represents ancient war only with those materials and simple rule. With them, players have invented countless number of tactics and strategies. So is Shogi or Chess. It hasn’t necessary for them to be real, each stone or piece doesn’t have to have a real figure looking like soldiers, or they haven’t need to get weapons to clear stages.

Focusing on nitty-gritty

Indeed, it shouldn’t be necessary for pieces to look like soldiers even if they really try to represent. That is not so important point. Getting rid of the adhesion to the reality would give you room to focus on more important stuff. The most important stuff for players here must be to enjoy, to be inspired or to be excited. They should focus on them not to be charmed by cutting-edge fine CG. They are absurd clutters.
What will you get with getting rid of those clutters? For a war game, it may be strategy to beat enemies. For car race game, it may be developing your driving skill. They are nitty-gritty of games. For games to be minimal gives them room to focus on nitty-gritty.

Avoiding interpret constraint

Players fundamentally can freely interpret what they feel. Games shouldn’t constrain their interpretation of what they are seeing. Having elaborated shapes takes away pleasures to take players’ imagination from them. It’s all enough for elaborated shapes to be only in player’s mind. They just should be metaphysical.

Minnerasia as a metaphysical simulation game

Minnerasia has been designed as a metaphysical simulation game in the context discussed above. I have been taking care to get rid of skeuomorphism to leave room for players’ interpretation and imagination. In order for Minnerasia to be metaphysical simulation game, I have been taken extreme care of followings;


To get rid of the adhesion to the reality gave me rooms for express concepts that were very hard to visualize. Now I can leave interpretations to players if I’m not afraid of misunderstandings. (And no, I’m not afraid. But rather, I make them welcome.)

No concrete goal

Though this is true not only for ‘metaphysical’ simulation games, some simulation games have no concrete goals.

Non pre-established

This is the most important point for a game to be metaphysical. Nothing need to be real on looking or actions.

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