I'm going to have to agree with the "game as competition with rules" definition. Further, it's implied that the competition is a proxy for or a simulation of some form of actual conflict or pursuit.
Examples: Chess is a game in which the formalized rules of moving and capturing pieces are intended to teach strategy in warfare. Hide-and-seek is a game children play that has its roots in developing crucial survival skills. International sports competitions are a kind of warfare-by-proxy.
Even militaries play games: war games, in which combat is simulated without the risk of actual lives (hopefully, anyway).
For that matter, girl-focused games tend to simulate social environments and function as proxies for female competition. I've seen some mobile games that are based around forming sororities and/or clubs, with the goal being to establish one's popularity and defeat the Alpha Bitch
A video game moves the rule-based competition onto a platform which can at the same time provide a highly immersive experience and transplant the need to manage the rules onto a device that is free from accidental bias or error (bugs notwithstanding). I say "accidental", of course, because computers can still cheat, but only if they are programmed to.
A Visual Novel
, in which you choose which page to turn to as a simulation of a decision tree, is every bit as much a game as an installment in the Call of Duty
franchise or a snowball fight in the backyard. In the case of visual novels, the competition is you against the designer of the story.
edited 16th Dec '13 12:08:44 PM by Fighteer