Finger Physics gets more predictable as you play, yet at the same time it becomes harder. Understanding the mechanics of the game is the first step towards game progression. The second is being able to replicate what you know about the mechanics to work into your favor. For example, I understand the different ways that shapes can fit together in order to make them stay on a platform, but when the platform is continuously changed it becomes difficult to succeed. The mindset that one is placed in reminds me of the procedural and computational thinking section of my Digital Studies 101 class. During this section we discussed algorithms in depth and how they are omnipresent in our society. Finger Physics represents algorithms in multiple ways.
Initially, there must have been an algorithm that the developers used in order to create the game. Whether this was in the process of creating the different level obstacles, designing the backgrounds, or in the coding of the game itself, an algorithm was present in the development. In order to solve the puzzles, the player must also use an algorithm, albeit this may be an unconscious process. The player needs to invoke computational thinking in order to progress through finger physics as we need the game mechanics knowledge to guide our actions. The “I know this will happen if I do this, so let me try this action” method of thinking is an algorithm as it bases itself on rules. One of the videos that we watched in that class titled “How algorithms shape our world” discusses the myriad of ways in which our world is controlled by algorithms. While I had not thought of it at the moment, this too applies to videogames.
We are told that there are rules in games and that there is certain way to play. This is a textbook game algorithm. Even in games that are marketed as “free roam”, algorithms continuously present themselves. In order for an action to occur there must be a set of steps that lead up to that action; in videogames this is every action. Jumping, shooting, crawling, running are all possible through algorithms. That being said, I would like to raise the question: are videogames just algorithms? On a basic surface you may not agree, but delving deep into the tools that make the game possible causes the player to reconsider. Finger physics is a prime example of algorithmic and procedural thinking, of figuring out how objects relate to one another and how they interact.