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Measuring Drama in Goose-like Games

Abstract

For games of complete information with no chance component, like Chess, Go, Hex, and Konane, some parameters have been identified that help us understand what makes a game pleasant to play. One of these goes by the name of drama.

Briefly, drama is linked to the possibility of recovering from a seemingly weaker position, if the player is strong enough. This is an important requirement to prevent initial advantages to be amplified into unavoidable and thus uninteresting victories. Drama is a feature that arguably good board games should have, since it is relevant in the perception of the play experience as pleasant.

Despite its intrinsic qualitative nature, we suggest the adaptation of the concept of drama to games of pure chance and propose a set of objective criteria to measure it. Some parameters are here used to compare Goose-like games, which we compute via computer simulation for some well-know games. A statistical analysis is performed based on the play of millions of matches done by computer simulation. The article discusses correlations and patterns found among the collected data. The methodology presented herein is general and can be used to compare other types of board games.

Open access