MDA & 8 Kinds of Fun

I am choosing Pokemon Diamond to examine how mechanics under dynamics create different kinds of fun.

The most prominent mechanics of Pokemon are the Pokemon themselves. Because they are so fantastic and the games come out before the cards (unless you win special card tournaments), the want to find more new exciting Pokemon leads to a dynamic of catching lots of them. The mechanic of the Pokedex, that leaves new Pokemon a mystery until you find and catch them, also aids in this dynamic. Pokemon moves/powers and their special types are another mechanic. This creates a dynamic of exploring new ecosystems and towns to diversify your Pokemon team’s skills and match ups in battle. This goes hand in hand with the other biggest mechanic, Pokemon battles. Pokemon battles lead to dynamics of earning gym badges, beating rivals, and eventually wanting to become the champion.

The other dynamic that comes out of the way these mechanics work together is the story that leads trainers to do specific tasks to move on past a certain “level.” There are side characters like professors and allies and random strangers that want to battle that move the story along but also hold trainers back a bit to help them level up to a necessary point.

These all help create many different types of fun. There’s fantasy, created by the new Pokemon and their fantastic powers. Narrative, that comes from the “bonds” you create with your Pokemon and the rivals you battle and the friends that you make along the way, as well as the storyline that directs the player along. And there is of course Challenge that is mainly formed in battles and developing Pokemon to be stronger weapons.

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