What is a Game?
A game is an activity that involves competition and that has a set of rules. It can be as simple as football or Monopoly and as complex as World of Warcraft or a video game. People play games for many reasons, from fun to socialization to competitiveness. Some games have winners and losers, such as sports, but others have no winner or loser, such as a board game or a card game. The word can also be used to describe a situation or action: the game of politics; the game of chess; the game of golf. It can even refer to wild animals that are hunted and eaten: He is a real marksman and has the game for hunting big game.
Despite the popularity of games and their widespread use, there are still misconceptions about them. For example, some people think that video games are a sedentary hobby, but research shows that when they are played in a social context, video games can foster friendships and even help children develop their problem-solving skills. Other myths about video games include that they are addictive, that they encourage antisocial behaviors, and that they make kids stupid.
There are several problems with Fifty Years On's approach to this question. First, it ignores almost all previous definitions of "videogame." Second, it assumes that the definition is a recent innovation and that there are no precedents, which is a mistake. Third, it excludes a large number of games that could be considered part of the game medium, including tabletop games and some computer games that are not videogames (see below).
A video game is an interactive electronic entertainment experience that immerses the player in a fictional environment where his or her actions have consequences within that world. The player interacts with the game environment using a keyboard, mouse, or joystick. The game is typically accompanied by music and sound effects. It may also have a storyline that explains the goals and motivations of the characters.
A game's development is typically done in phases: an alpha, beta and final release. During the alpha phase, basic programming is put in place and temporary placeholders are used to test the game's mechanics. Once the programming is complete, visual assets are added to the game. These assets can range from basic backgrounds to 3D models and environments to detailed, animated character portraits and animations. Audio for the game is created using a digital audio workstation program and can involve foley artistry for sound effects, voice acting for the characters and musical compositions for the soundtrack.
The term game can also be used to describe a behavior or act: to game someone means to treat them unfairly for one's own gain; to make game of something is to ridicule or tease it. It can also be used to mean that a person is willing to try something new, different or risky: He's game for the trip to Australia.