Gameplay is atomic.
When refined, fused and delivered in a weaponised form great gameplay flattens onlookers and leaves shadows of awesome burned into their minds.
That also means it must be handled with care (and may entail interest from legislators, or the rabid press).
But most of all it means that gameplay is made up of a huge number of discrete smaller elements. Call them ludemes, and tip your hat to Stephen Dawkins, call them game-play mechanisms or something else entirely, each individual element of each system that makes up a game contributes to the experience, and they all need to be considered.
I have some ideas about how to approach that, how to understand the complex relationship between us as game designers and the players who tear our prized creations to bits, and sometimes appreciate them. About how we communicate through the medium of the game.
But I’m just a television guy from the 1950s, so your mileage may vary.
Now for a word from our sponsors, and then we’ll talk about how “Gameplay is communication“.
*Tests indicate fewer than one mutant per thousand