I think that Flanagan’s second notion that critical play can mean “Toying with the Notion of Goals” is most aligned with the area that I want to explore in this course. Many mainstream games rely on players implicit or intuitive understandings of game patterns that are common across games and built up over time to communicate the goal of a game. A classic example is a 2d side scroller: when people who are familiar with games are presented with the set of visual metaphors common to side scrollers, they instantly know they have a duty to explore what’s off screen to the right. When our characters have health bars, we generally assume our objective is to preserve that health and stay alive. These small mechanics or interactive elements are steeped in background context for players, but the games in this category play on that context and the expectation it creates to make the player reflect in different ways.