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Definition of a game

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#21 felisandria   Members   


Posted 03 August 1999 - 08:07 AM

*accesses the WWWebsters site*

Main Entry: 1game
Pronunciation: 'gAm
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English gamen; akin to Old High German gaman amusement
Date: before 12th century
1 a (1) : activity engaged in for diversion or amusement : PLAY (2) : the equipment for a game b : often derisive or mocking jesting : FUN, SPORT
2 a : a procedure or strategy for gaining an end : TACTIC b : an illegal or shady scheme or maneuver : RACKET
3 a (1) : a physical or mental competition conducted according to rules with the participants in direct opposition to each other (2) : a division of a larger contest (3) : the number of points necessary to win (4) : points scored in certain card games (as in all fours) by a player whose cards count up the highest (5) : the manner of playing in a contest (6) : the set of rules governing a game (7) : a particular aspect or phase of play in a game or sport b plural : organized athletics c (1) : a field of gainful activity : LINE (2) : any activity undertaken or regarded as a contest involving rivalry, strategy, or struggle ; also : the course or period of such an activity (3) : area of expertise : SPECIALTY 3
4 a (1) : animals under pursuit or taken in hunting; especially : wild animals hunted for sport or food (2) : the flesh of game animals b archaic : PLUCK c : a target or object especially of ridicule or attack -- often used in the phrase fair game
synonym see FUN

mmm. better? *grin*

#22 ghowland   Members   


Posted 03 August 1999 - 09:29 AM

The purpose of defining this is from the perspective of the designer, I think from the perspective of a layman there is a very loose category of what a game is, as the individual components are irrelevent to most people.

For designers to take the same sort of loose definitions when actually bothering to define it would be ignoring the actual meaning of what is involved in a game from a comprehensive perspective (as opposed to a outside trivial one). What it takes to be formally called a game, where a game is different than other entertainment devices, etc.


[This message has been edited by ghowland (edited August 03, 1999).]

#23 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   


Posted 03 August 1999 - 11:27 AM

Define the color green.

After some reflection, you might say that it is a certain agreed-upon subset of the possible wavelengths of light, located just between the yellow and blue parts of the spectrum. But...does that leave us any closer to understanding what green is?

This is, in part, a semantic problem. Lingustics shows that although semantic analysis is possible by breaking things down, in a limited sense, some things just don't break down well. A good example is a dictionary in which you have to look up other words to understand what the entry for a word actually means. It becomes very complicated after a while, and it doesn't really work--in human languages, the boundaries between word-meanings are often fuzzy, not discrete and formal.

An example from one linguistics text compares the meaning of the English word "blue" and the Welsh word "glas." Both can be translated "blue," but culturally, it has been shown that the Welsh "glas" includes colors that English-speakers would not normally consider to be "blue," like greenish colors.

It seems more likely that people form networks of association between concepts and sensory perceptions based upon their experience, cultural perspectives, etc.

So, the point is, while it is very possible to FORMALIZE, in other words make up a theoretical definition of a game based on atomic symbols, you cannot possibly make up such a definition that includes ALL games from the perspective of EVERY person. Such an effort is futile. It must be noted, in remembering this discussion, that the intention was not to define what a game IS, but to define what most games are LIKE from our cultural perspective.

#24 kwashiorkor   Members   


Posted 03 August 1999 - 12:28 PM

My definitions (call me cracked)
** Value:
- A quantifiable thing

** Rule:
- The methods by which manipulation of values are allowed

** Interface:
- The ways through which we can affect values and have the rules automatically applied

** Activespace:
- A collection of values, rules, and interfaces

** Toy:
- Another word for activespace

** Game:
- A set of desired values within a toy, acheived through use of the toy

** Simulation:
- An activespace that attempts to acurately model realspace

** Skill:
- a measurement of a persons ability to successfully achieve the goals specified in the game

Application of the definitions
** SimCity **
- First, load up a premade city with no scenario
- No goals are specified, but a set of values, rules, and interfaces are available for manipulation
- This is a toy

- Now load a premade city with a scenario
- The same activespace is defined, but now there is a certain set of values whithin the active space which have been determined to be desireable
- This is a game

* Note: you can turn the first illustration into a game simply by determining the goals yourself

** Quake **
- Pretend you're playing Quake on a map without oponents or an exit
- You can do anything you'd like in the space of the map with no defined goals
- This is a toy

- Put oponents into the map
- Set a goal killing all oponents
- Now you have a game (not a very good one though as there is no mention of the opponents trying to kill you)

Other thoughts
- Skill is seperate from game
- Challenging skills might be a goal of a game and is deffinately the hallmark of a good game

Just my two cents worth.

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