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How would you define games?

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Hi guys,

I would just like to know what your interpretation of games are; what makes a game a game? I would like to refrain from providing my own interpretation since it might influence what you will write :). Try not to just post something you got from the dictionary, wikipedia or google lol. Looking forward to your definitions, God bless :)

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Not a complete definition, but I believe a game must:
- Be fun. Otherwise it's work or something else other than a game.
- Involve the player making decisions (with decisions defined loosely enough to include dexterity-based actions like shooting and jumping.)
- Have a victory or loss condition (either will do; if there is a loss condition, victory can mean continuing to avoid losing.)

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In my opinion there are two types of games. Entertainment. And Art Games.
All Games are art but, 'art games' are more...artistic and creative. I love art games because the stories are life changing (over exaggeration) and the games can be completed in less than 10 minutes. And I also love the art in most art games.
Entertaining games usually don't have a good story because the theme is too common or the player can't relate to it. i.e. Call of Duty. Theme: Kill People.
But not all entertaining games are bad games or need a story because I love most puzzle games.

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Assuming we are not just talking about videogames, any definition of "game" is going to have to encompass a broad spectrum of things from jacks and tiddly-winks to latest triple-A console games. So the definiton will necessarily be so general that it is almost contentless.

Generally, games are sets of physical artifacts and/or abstract cultural artifacts (such as lists of rules) that human beings find enjoyable to interact with in socially-defined ways. I actually don't think this is a circular definition in that I think human beings have probably evolved a drive/instinct that makes interacting with physical artifacts in complicated ways enjoyable as a reward system for tool use, so what we find enoyable to interact with is a real empirical question that could be answered through well-designed experiments. I mean, ask yourself, for example, why is something like Tetris fun?

My definition doesn't distinguish between games and toys, however. Edited by jwezorek

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A game is a fun way to test one's skill at something.

I wouldn't say that a game needs to have a victory/loss condition, because there are many persistant games out there where there is no death and no limit to success.
It does not need to involve decision making (card game: war) (in this case it tests one's skill at luck, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but I'm using skill loosely here)

A game could just be two people competing to make good art. Totally subjective, no winner, no loser.

Also doesn't need to involve other people (card game: solitaire)

A game is a fun way to test one's skill at something.

But then, a game isn't necessarily fun. My brother had tried to get me to join a couple of games, but I did not find them fun. They are games, nonetheless.

So a game is just a way to test an aspect of someone?

This would include school tests. I guess we could say school tests are games that are just not fun. But that's a super-broad definition of game... anything would be a game then.

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It depends on the context, but I usually tend to use the game theoretic definition: A game consists of a world where actors can interact with according to some rules in order to active some kind of payoff or outcome.

I also think Chris Crawfords makse some useful distinctions between art vs entertainment, games vs toys, conflicts vs puzzles, and conflict vs competitions.

More interesting definitions can be found at [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game[/url]

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