A game is any type of play, entertainment or activity that involves competitive or challenging action and skill-based interaction. It can be played by individuals or groups, and may be either mental or physical. Many games also serve an educational, simulational or psychological role. While some are considered art (if created for their own beauty), others are considered entertainment (if produced to make money).
Video games are modern games that combine the elements of toys, entertainment, and art in an interactive format. They put the player in a character role, often as a human or other in-game entity, and provide challenges that require a combination of creativity, strategic thinking and problem solving. They are generally designed with an end-point in mind, although earlier games were often more of a pure action experience without a storyline or goal.
During the development phase, designers build and refine their initial ideas for game concepts on paper and by playtesting them in-game. This process can take anywhere from 1 to 4 years, and the final product will include detailed worlds, characters, creatures, props, levels, rules of play, sound effects, a point-scoring system, and more. This is a highly collaborative process, and the design team will usually test the game with players at multiple stages in the production cycle to ensure that it meets or exceeds their initial expectations.
While many people think of video games as solely a form of entertainment, there is a growing movement to incorporate them into learning and teaching, particularly for children. This practice is known as gamification, and it has been shown to have positive outcomes for both learning and motivation. There are now a variety of programs and courses that teach students how to create their own video games, as well as professional development opportunities for those who wish to develop a career in the field.
There is a long history of game-based learning in education, including the use of board games and card games to help children learn their letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. More recently, video games have been used to help students learn mathematical skills, and there is a growing interest in using virtual reality and immersive environments to teach science and other subjects.
Other definitions of game
The word “game” can mean many different things, from a sport or other competitive activity to a plan or scheme to defeat an enemy. The game is rigged if it is unfair to one side or the other, and someone who “games the system” means they exploit loopholes or regulations in order to gain an advantage.
In the context of video games, the term game can also refer to the mechanics and gameplay of a particular title, with management scholars exploring how they are developed within specific development models and the wider community studying them as digital artefacts (see for example Zackariasson and Wilson 2012). In more informal usage, if a person is said to be game for something, it implies that they are willing to participate, even if it is new or challenging.