Humor in videogames

Plants and zombiesIn designing a videogame, using humor stunts is a great temptation. There is a core problem with that: funny things are funny once, and videogames are made of loops and must allow for several game plays of the same game.

A way to escape the “not funny any more” trap is emergent humor, springing from the mechanics.

Humor can be integrated in games as:

1. Humor through the components of the game (elements, names)
2. Humor through situations generated by game mechanics
3. Humor is in the framework that makes players bring humor in

There are some, very few, funny movies that remain funny watching them several times. Why? The equivalent in movies of a solid mechanics? The answer is not trivial.

This theme is discussed in depth in the Ludology podcast The joke’s is on you.


Stolen stuffSome of the games dealing with humor quoted in the podcast:

The Kingdom of Loathing

Apples to Apples


Cards Against Humanity

Cosmic Encounter

Cosmic Encounters

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