- Sensation: aesthetics, sense-pleasure
- Fantasy: make-believe, fiction
- Narrative: story, game as an unfolding story
- Challenge: obstacles, difficulty, etc
- Fellowship: social framework
- Discovery: exploration, uncharted territory, learning
- Expression: creativity, soap box, customization
- Submission: escapism, mindless pastime
Fantasy. I would suggest that the vast majority of digital games have this. There are completely abstract games like Tetris that are obviously fun, but I would say these types of games are the exception. Most games have some kind of fantasy, even if it's just a dressing of an otherwise abstract game (or colour, as Costikyan put it). Have to remove red blocks because they're miserable without knocking over green happy blogs? Fantasy through personification of otherwise inanimate objects. Have to play a spy who is trying to collect intelligence on terrorism? Fantasy through role playing. Playing the Sims? Still fantasy - you are putting yourself in someone else's shoes or seeing what happens when you change your own life, even if slightly.
Narrative. Again, I think a lot of games have narrative, though strictly speaking, probably not as many as have fantasy. After all, you can have aspects of make believe or fiction without actually telling a story, as in the case of the red block remover linked to above. It's a little unclear whether this aspect of fun is including games with implied back-stories as well, or if it's trying to capture the pleasure of having a well thought out story that is told as part of the game.
If a game can have fantasy but no narrative, can you have narrative with no fantasy? The answer for me was almost no, that you couldn't, if we take fantasy as fiction. Of course narrative does not have to be fictional in general, but in a game, when is it not? One suggestion in class was that you can tell a story about playing a game that is not fictional, but this didn't count in my mind. Any story element embedded in any game I could think of was fictional.
... until I was finally able to prove myself wrong. The one counter-example I could think of was Truth or Dare.
Can you think of any other examples of having narrative in a game that is not fictional in some way?