What is a game?:

Total posts: [46]
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Vikings
Making judgement calls on what will lead to your desired outcome based on available information could absolutely be considered a skill you could get better at, depending on how good you get at picking up cues or predicting things.
Uh the fundamental spirit of cooperation and unity that drives the human race is unconfirmed to be more efficient than random computer input
27 ArsThaumaturgis21st Oct 2013 08:12:05 AM , Relationship Status: I've been dreaming of True Love's Kiss
A Video Game is any piece of interactive electronic entertainment that challenges the player.
As I see it, the term "game" (in the sense of skill challenge) in "video game" is vestigial: a remnant from the days in which most video games were indeed designed as skill challenges. As the medium has grown and diversified, I feel that the term "game" has increasingly become a misnomer.

(That said, I decided to see what Dictionary.com had to say — it's not prescriptive, presumably, but it seemed worth a look. While it does define a computer- or video- game as, well, a game, its first definition of "game" is, I believe, "an amusement or pastime", with a "skill and rules" definition occurring a little lower down. So even if we do go with video games necessarily being "games", that doesn't necessarily restrict them to the "skill challenge" definition of "game".)

If we restrict the title "video game" to only those games that include skill challenges (and ignore simple skills like "operating the controls", which even Minecraft in creative mode has, I presume) then we want for a name to cover the interactive medium as a whole. "Interactive entertainment" would do, I suppose.
28 HellmanSabian21st Oct 2013 09:36:18 AM from England, The United Kingdom , Relationship Status: Maxing my social links
What is a man? Not this guy up here exactly.
What is a game?

Form of electronic media which one plays most commonly for recreation and fun. Also the challenge. That's the best I could come up with.

Also well done for getting the Castlevania reference out of the way.

edited 21st Oct '13 9:36:29 AM by HellmanSabian

"Some are born speedy, some achieve speediness and some have speediness thrust upon 'em. -William Shakespeare. (Well, sort of.)
29 TotemicHero21st Oct 2013 05:20:05 PM from the next level , Relationship Status: Abstaining
Up and at 'em
A game is an interactive form of entertainment where the choices and/or actions of every active participant lead to one of multiple potential outcomes occurring.

There are several forms of this: board games, tabletop RPGs, sports, play-by-post games, and video games. (Most of the definitions so far seem to either ignore some of these forms or solely define video games, hence my phrasing.)
30 Grounder21st Oct 2013 06:00:34 PM , Relationship Status: All is for my lord
Main Character of my heart
1game noun ˈgām

: a physical or mental activity or contest that has rules and that people do for pleasure

: a particular occurrence of a game

: one of the games that are part of a larger contest (such as a tennis match)

Thanks, Merriam Webster!tongue

edited 21st Oct '13 6:01:10 PM by Grounder

31 Noaqiyeum29th Oct 2013 02:50:16 PM from Kcymaerxthaere , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
Also well done for getting the Castlevania reference out of the way.
[triply smug]

A game is an interactive form of entertainment where the choices and/or actions of every active participant lead to one of multiple potential outcomes occurring.

There are several forms of this: board games, tabletop RP Gs, sports, play-by-post games, and video games. (Most of the definitions so far seem to either ignore some of these forms or solely define video games, hence my phrasing.)
Thanks. It does seem to me that a "video game" should simply be a game played via a video screen, without any further restrictions or qualifications save for the inherent limitations of the medium.

Yes, but they don't have any gameplay mechanics. Nothing to master. Only choices with little means to predict the outcome. You can't "Play" a visual novel any better or worse no matter how many times you read it.
What is "gameplay"?

...isn't the same true of "deterministic games" like Chutes and Ladders? Even less so, even, because there is no actual choice involved.
Take everything with you you want to lose.
Freshly sponged spatial vectors enable propelling through sensory implosion default.
32 Alucard27th Nov 2013 12:29:56 PM from Vancouver, BC , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Lazy?
Insight.

edited 27th Nov '13 12:30:10 PM by Alucard

33 Noaqiyeum11th Dec 2013 06:42:11 PM from Kcymaerxthaere , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
Ha! Well-timed.

Much as I like EC, though, I think their answer is somewhat unhelpful. Obviously it's possible to ask the question in bad faith, in such a way as to imply the value of "game" over "not-game" or vice versa. But it's also possible, and perfectly reasonable, to ask it in a sense of simple taxonomy. If "What is a game?" is an inherently wrong question, then so is "What is music?" or "What is literature?". Or even, in general, "What is art?".

The fact that these questions have been asked for centuries and the discussion continues to be insightful and lead to new and good creations is just one of the signs that those mediums have matured. Dan's description of "Whatever you want it to be" as a "non-answer" is exactly correct - it's not only both trivial and meaningless, but it attempts to invalidate the entire discussion and deny that anything beneficial can come from doing so.

So so long as anyone else is interested, I'd like to continue this conversation. :)
Take everything with you you want to lose.
Freshly sponged spatial vectors enable propelling through sensory implosion default.
34 Benluke12th Dec 2013 03:17:46 PM from United States
Some guy.
A game is a ruleset designed for competition (Either among a group of people or against the game system, usually some mix of both.).

A Video Game is a game played on an electronic device.

edited 12th Dec '13 3:46:55 PM by Benluke

35 Ninety12th Dec 2013 03:25:37 PM from Land of Quakes and Hills , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Absolutely no relation to NLK
Surely you mean electronic? Because I wouldn't qualify "Who can hold onto this broken power wire the longest" to be much of a videogame.
Dopants: He meant what he said and he said what he meant, a Ninety is faithful 100%.
36 Benluke12th Dec 2013 03:48:32 PM from United States
Some guy.
Electronics are electric, totally didn't write the wrong word.

tongue

edited 12th Dec '13 3:48:50 PM by Benluke

37 Trip12th Dec 2013 09:06:32 PM from the booty, your booty , Relationship Status: 700 wives and 300 concubines
Video games are these supposedly mundane things, that are basically movies and shows that you control with buttons.

They manage to be fucking awesome, somehow
"Every process run feels like dipping a cat in a pool of melted chocolate. It's incredible."
38 PBlades13th Dec 2013 07:54:43 AM from orbiting Pink. , Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
Unlimited Homu Works
Nothing but a miserable piles of easte-

Um. Well played, troper. You win this round.

edited 13th Dec '13 7:55:08 AM by PBlades

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39 DiscoDancer13th Dec 2013 06:04:53 PM from California (or Japan) , Relationship Status: Don't hug me; I'm scared
EUREKA!
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Experience
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40 Noaqiyeum14th Dec 2013 10:45:31 PM from Kcymaerxthaere , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
[up][up] [click] 4

...seriously, predicting that joke was not that difficult. :P

A game is a ruleset designed for competition (Either among a group of people or against the game system, usually some mix of both.).
Does that account for cooperative games like Pandemic, or deterministic games like Snakes and Ladders? I'm not sure how broadly you're using "competition", you see, or what it means to compete against the game system... :/
Take everything with you you want to lose.
Freshly sponged spatial vectors enable propelling through sensory implosion default.
41 Fighteer16th Dec 2013 11:41:18 AM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
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

42 TotemicHero16th Dec 2013 01:02:14 PM from the next level , Relationship Status: Abstaining
Up and at 'em
Doesn't that view mandate Death of the Author (since the majority of video games are supposedly created to entertain, instead of breaking the player)?

edited 16th Dec '13 1:02:32 PM by TotemicHero

43 Fighteer16th Dec 2013 01:12:19 PM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Whether they are created to entertain or punish is immaterial to the definition. Besides, the implication in even the most Nintendo Hard games is that there is some entertainment value, else why would people (other than the pathologically masochist) continue playing?
44 TotemicHero16th Dec 2013 02:19:51 PM from the next level , Relationship Status: Abstaining
Up and at 'em
Either way, I still view that model as flawed. (Hint: Try and define what constitutes a player under that definition.)
45 Fighteer16th Dec 2013 02:24:17 PM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
The player is the person playing the game. Participating in, partaking of, controlling or exercising agency in, etc. Making choices or providing inputs that affect the experience and/or the outcome.

edited 16th Dec '13 2:25:16 PM by Fighteer

46 Lightblade16th Dec 2013 03:38:51 PM from Philadelphia , Relationship Status: Owner of a lonely heart
The Shrouded Knight
My personal definition of a "game" is "An activity where participants try to achieve an objective under a set of rules." To elaborate, here's Magic: The Gathering head designer Mark Rosewater's article, Ten Things Every Game Needs (Part 1 and Part 2). Points 1 and 2 are what I believe to be the essentials, while the rest are more about what makes a good game.

#1) A Goal or Goals: There needs to be a point for your game. What are your players trying to do? How do they win?

  1. 2) Rules: There needs to be a list of what players are and are not allowed to do. Restrictions are an important part of a game.

A "Video Game" is a game played through a video monitor. The monitor is how I differentiate video games from electronic games like, say, Simon.

edited 16th Dec '13 3:40:14 PM by Lightblade

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Total posts: 46
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