Dan Cook on Lost Garden, dissecting the use of random elements in game design and their effect on player mastery.

One of the fundamental elements of any game is how the player learns to distinguish useful patterns from environmental noise. Without a mental model of how a system works, most games appear random or at least arbitrary.

When you use randomness as an opportunity for mastery over noise, I think you’ll find that games of luck become highly meaningful games of skill.

Yep. Moderation in all things.