Non-digital and Digital “Skipping Rope”: a comparative game analysis

This short analysis addresses two variations of the game Skipping Rope to argue that the adaptations from a physical to a digital version of certain games maintain the goal of the activity but change their complementary elements and their effects on the players. This hypothesis is tackled by exploring seven categories in which it is possible to identify more differences than similarities. The analysis of these seven levels contributes to the understanding of the whole gaming experience as a system (Salen & Zimmenar, 2004).

An exploration to the core attributes of the game reveals how the requirements of the physical version are more demanding than the digital’s. Traditional Skipping Rope requires certain space, corporal energy and a rope, whereas its digital version only demands a computer and software. With regard to the arrangement of the participants, one can see how the traditional version, which is a group activity of minimum three people, is turned into an individual competition where one person is able to manage every dimension of the experience. This fact overlaps with a third aspect: the level of socialization. While the traditional Skipping Rope encourages social contact (this is not necessarily seen as teamwork), its virtual adaptation is individual-oriented.

A more abstract component of the comparison has to do with the demand of particular skills in the player(s). Under this category, it is evident the need of footwork, strength and rope manipulations in the traditional Skipping Rope while on the other hand, the virtual versions simply requires a talent to click on the right place, in the right time. The correct application of these skills guides the player(s) in the direction of some rewards such as physical fitness and health, in the case of the traditional version, and a save of physical energy in the digital adaptation. Such journey towards the prize is based on the idea that both games deal with imperfect information due to the uncertainty behind the moves of the opponents (Salen & Zimmenar, 2004). Such enemy can be another player, a computer or even the rope itself.

Likewise, a sixth category shows another similarity, this time related to the final satisfaction of the gamers. Both versions can produce entertainment and do it in an equal manner, but it is only the seventh and last dimension of comparison the one that goes beyond the features of the two mediums to see how they share the same goal. The principle of “skipping” is always what confronts the enemy of this experience, no matter whether the obstacle is characterized by a real rope or a digital image in the screen.

Works cited

Salen, K., & Zimmenar, E. (2004). Rules of play: Game design fundamentals. (p. 670). Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Other references:

Skipping rope Pucca theme:

Skipping rope Simple theme: