Player Manipulable Rules

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Most modern games allow the player the chance to customize his or her gameplaying experience. This customization is usually limited and highly constrained and defined by rules we call player manipulable.

Examples of these types of gameplay rules include the ability to change the difficulty setting of a game, select a handicap, or even select the type of game that wants to be played. For example, capture the flag or deathmatch.

Strong Examples

Halo 2

Halo 2 is a perfect example of manipulable rules. In campaign mode, you are choose between four different difficulty settings including Easy, Normal, Heroic, and Legendary (the hardest). Also in multiplayer there are tons of options when picking a match. One can choose a time limit, life limit, access to radar, weapons on map, starting weapons, choice between one or two starting weapons, and tons of other things that would take too long to list. Also the objective of the match can be changed, and anything from capture the flag or king of the hill can be played, allowing for extremely diverse gameplay within just one game.


The game Snood is a strong example of a game that has Manipulable Rules. Before each game, you can pick the difficulty of the level. Ranging from Child to Evil.


The Halo series is an extremely strong example of Manipulable Rules. The game allows players to choose not only the difficulty of the game for a single-player experience, but also allows players to manipulate everything in the multiplayer game. For example, characters can change the number of kills needed win the round, the weapons that appear, the time limit, the map, and various other aspects of gameplay.

Perfect Dark (N64)

Perfect Dark is a strong example of player manipulable rules because you can choose your own guns, stage, how many sims you want, your character's look, whether you want slow motion or one hit kills, paintball setting, etc. One can combine different categories to vreate a very fun scenerio to play. One example would be to be playing co-op, to have knives and fists for weapons, and to have only two other sims, but the enemy sims would be your evil twins (scary situation).

Gears of War (Xbox 360)

Gears of War allows players to choose the difficulty of the campaign and whether they're playing single player or split-screen co-op. The multiplayer game allows the person hosting to choose the map, switch weapons, # of rounds, game type, friendly fire on/off, etc.

Weak Examples

X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse

X-Men Legends II is a weak example of Manipulable Rules because although you can't select the difficulty of the game during the story mode of the game, but in the "Danger Room" section, you can decide on the match-up, location and type of battle to be played.

World of Warcraft

A weak example of Manipulable rules is the game World of Warcraft, for the Personal computer. Players can change various aspects of the game, such as a character's personal appearance and weapon choice, but has little if any control over the rules that govern the realm players participate in.

Spyro (2): Ripto's Rage

Ripto's Rage is a very weak example of Manipulable Rules because there is a very limited ability to customize the playing experience. Only at the end of the game after the boss is beaten and all the gems and talismans are gathered, can the player step through a power-up and get the Super Flame option which can basically own everything if a new game is started on top of the old one. Besides the power-up, the only customization (changing Spyro's color, head size, or switching from 3D to 2D) available is through various codes.

Donkey Kong Country

Donkey Kong Country for SNES is essentially a platformer game. There are no rules that can be changed to give the player a handicap. The one thing it does have are a few codes that can be entered during the start up of the game that give you an advantage in lives. In this sense, cheat codes are a way of allowing the player to manipulate the rules, even though this isn't "officially" allowed and the codes have to be found using some alternate method. (ie, they don't come as part of the game documentation, rather, you need to get a strategy guide or a website)

Street Fighter III (Arcade)

This is a weak example of manipulable rules because you can only select which fighter you want to use. You can choose between two opponents which one you will face, but you cannot select the stage or difficulty.


The player doesn't get to choose what rules they want to obey or disobey, they may only choose the difficulty at which they play and the color of their current bullets.

Goldeneye 007 64

Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64 is a weak example because game rules are limited to the confines of the story. Bond's missions are linked to either killing someone or fetching some kind of information. The enemies missions are to kill Bond. There is not way for Bond to change this nor does he have any control of the tasks he must complete and therefore gameplay.

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