A game is an activity that involves competing to win, interacting with others or by yourself, and expressing emotions while having fun. The word is most commonly associated with video games, but it can also refer to anything from a simple card game to a complex role-playing adventure powered by your imagination. Some games involve skill, strategy or luck and are called educational; this type is often referred to as edutainment. Other games are purely entertaining and not considered to teach any lesson or skill.

Computer gaming has become a huge industry, and there are millions of different games available for people to play today. Most of these are made by large studios, although independent developers can also make successful games. Games are usually played on a computer or mobile device, but can also be played with physical objects such as dice and board games.

There are many different types of games, and each one has its own unique purpose and style. Many games are designed to be a form of entertainment, with a storyline that immerses the player in an alternative world and makes them feel as if they are part of it. Other games are designed to be educational, teaching a specific subject such as history or science; this is known as edutainment. The most controversial games are those that feature violence, which have been linked to desensitization and antisocial behavior. However, the majority of research into video games has relied on subjective self-reported estimates of how much time a person spends playing them. Efforts to directly measure game-play have failed to date, as most games companies do not want to allow scientists access to their user data.

Creating a game can be a complex process, and it is not uncommon for large studios to have multiple teams working on the same title. There are three primary stages that a game must go through before it can be released to the public.

First, the game must be programmed to be functional. The minimum requirements for this include the ability to record player progress, victory and defeat conditions, obstacles and rewards. This programming is done using a game engine, which is typically created by the studio. Several major game engines are used in the creation of modern video games, and some large studios even have their own proprietary engines.

After the programming is finished, the game must be tested for bugs and other issues. The game may also be altered at this point, and it is often referred to as an alpha version at this stage. Finally, the game must be made to work on different devices and platforms before it is ready for release.

A game is a fun way to interact with other people, and it can be an effective stress reliever. Many people feel that they must stop playing games when they grow up, but adults can still benefit from the pleasure and stimulation that a game can provide.