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Games and Learning Alliance: Network of Excellence for Serious Games
Triadic Game Design
Balancing Reality, Meaning and Play

Designing a game with a serious purpose involves considering the worlds of Reality and Meaning yet it is undeniably impossible to create a game without a third world, one that is specifically concerned with what makes a game a game: the play elements. This third world, the world of people like designers and artists, and disciplines as computer science and game design, I call the world of Play and this level is devoted to it. The level starts off with some of the misperceptions people have of play. Unlike some may think, we play all the time, even when we grow old-this was also very noticeable in designing the game Levee Patroller as the team exhibited very playful behavior at many occasions. From there, I go into the aspects that characterize this world. The first concerns the goal of the game. This relates to the objectives people have to achieve within the game. This is constituted by the second aspect: the gameplay. Taking actions and facing challenges is subsequently constituted by a gameworld, which concerns the third aspect. And all of it is not possible without the fourth and final aspect, the type of technology that creates and facilitates the game. The four aspects together make up a "game concept" and from this world such a concept can be judged on the basis of three closely interrelated criteria: engagement, immersion, and fun.