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Chris Crawford on Game Design by Chris Crawford

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Dimensions of Challenge

Every challenge forces us to bring to bear some combination of skills. In many recreational challenges, that combination tends to zero in on particular skills. The primary challenge for a competitor in a ski race is a matter of physical strength and coordination, but other skills such as reading snow, judging distances, and gauging speeds are also vital.

Most recreational challenges are centered on particular mental skills. It is true that physical sports require superb musculature, but in very few sports—running and weightlifting, for example—is musculature the primary factor in success. In most sports, the precise control of that musculature is more important to success. Thus, we can characterize most challenges by the ...

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