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How Can You Define A Game?
This is one of the semi-irrelevant questions I've asked myself a few times--how can you define a game? What is a game, and what is not a game? Why?

Related to this, what makes a word processor different from a game? Or, how is an operating system different from a game? Hypothetically, if an operating system becomes pleasurable to use, has it become a game?

And taking it even further: are boring, cookie-cutter games (like Enter the Matrix) actually still games? Are they still games because the developers and publishers have defined them as being games?--or are they just useless graphical applications with no entertainment value and therfore not a game?
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Meh 
Just because "game" is a broad enough concept to include things which can also fall under OS or WP doesn't mean that in any way those concepts can be the same thing.

Why not? So does that mean that typing games are not actually games because the real purpose of the game is to teach touch typing? 
No 
What he's saying is that there can be an intersection of games and oses doesn't imply that they're equivalent.

∃x. Gx && OSx !⇒ ∀x. Gx && OSx

I took the time to look up the entity number, so metl better not have done something css-wise to break it. 
Bah 
 
Pushplay 
I never said that games and operating systems are equivalent. Obviously, an operating system would still retain its functional uses if it were pleasurable to use. Instead, I asked if a pleasurable operating system would also be a game. 
Pushplay: 
stop trying to hack the board!!!!!123131434124 
Well 
I would define a videogame as a program created with the intended purpose of providing a past-time. Ergo, "Cookie Cutter" games, though crap and not fun to play, are considered to be games by myself, because they intend to provide a past-time, even though they are very awful at it.

OSes are not intended to provide a past-time, they are intended to maintain the system resources of a computer.

Some "games" are intended merely to sell as many units as possible. I do not consider these as games for the most part. They are intended purely to make money, they just happen to provide a past-time in the process. These are classified as "whore games", but are not actually games.

Quake is a game.

Most anything by EA is not. 
Like A Blind Man In A Nudist Colony, It Ain't Hard. 
This is not a hard question by any stretch of the imagination.

A game is something you take part in to best an opponent, a high score, or to have some kind of entertaining challenged presented to you.

A Word Processor is not a game because it doesn't offer any of those things. An OS is not a game because it doesn't offer any of those things (at its core anyway)

Hopscotch is a game. Ski Free is a game. I can't really think of any game that doesn't have you trying to beat a set score, or another opponent, or even just the challenge of making something run correctly (Sim City, etc.)

"Making something run correctly is a game?!?!"

If the object of the game is such, yes. If the game was Mechanic Simulator 1000 or Refridgerator Repairman, the game's challenge becomes more less impuslive and more of a strategy. In a rough sense though, you still have an opponent to beat.

I suppose virtually any series of activities COULD be made into a game, (how many times can you burp in a minute?!) and by following that logic, a game is simply defined as a challenge that involves you trying to come to a specific and definite result, (i.e. does your city run well, did you best a 4 minute mile, did you defeat your opponent in arm wrestling) and in turn, this same logic applies to videogame creation. 
Definitions 
"Is it a game," like "is it art," is a matter of the creator's intent. Whether it's any good as a game or as art is another matter. 
Ah 
"I never said that games and operating systems are equivalent."

But you asked what the difference was! 
Games 
consist of some set of rules conceived to induce behavior the players will find fun, usually in the form of overcoming some kind of challenge that the rule set produces. Any kind of game you can think of will fall under this definition. Board games have specific systems, computer games now have very elaborate systems, and games like Calvinball can be simple enough as to have only one rule, but the definition applies to them all.

Operating systems may be fun to a user as far as the user enjoys more efficient or productive computer interaction, or in the cases of XP or OSX if he's distracted by shiny things, but this does not make them games because the 'rules' of an operating system aren't there to be fun, they're there to help operate the computer. Any more dissection than this is straying dangerously close to arguing semantics.



Art, on the other hand, is just bullshit. 
 
Any more dissection than this is straying dangerously close to arguing semantics.

i agree with this statement. :)

BTW, quake 1 is the best "game" ever. :p 
Where Do You Draw The Line Between 
games and simulators? 
Meh 
To use a familiar example,
I totally believe that coding programs can be considered a game. The game is all in how the user interacts with the program or object or whatever -- obviously, this is true! Everyone has seen a cat play with a ball or someone just start repeatedly tossing an object up in the air and trying to catch it.

Some users treat operating systems like a surgeon's tool, but others decide to modify those tools into something more developed, and it is this process of development that is a "game." It is exactly like art, in that the entire value of the piece is derived from the viewer's interaction ("projection onto"?) of thought with the work of the artist.

Blah! 
Interesting 
People have widely differing interpretations of the meaning of "game," ranging from the specific to the abstract. Do you think there are any underlying truths that unite these viewpoints? 
8==~ `====D 
 
Basic 
For me there are two king of games: Doom-like games, and not Doom-like games... that's enough to define the game ;) 
Hmmm 
Strangely enough, I completely agree with JPLambert on this one. 
Hack The Board 
If for all and exists are hacks then I learned most of my leet hacking skills in phil. 
What Is A Game? 
Something that offers a challange and some form of reward 
So... 
Writing a good book is a game? It's a challenge to create it, and the reward is praise from your peers? 
Rpg 
no offence, but that's being a bit too semantic. 
Games Have Cheats 
Regular programs don't. 
No 
excel 97 had cheats! 
Re: Re: Reply -reply -reply -reply 
Friction: System Shock 2 had no cheats. Neither did the Thief series.

nitin: fair enough. I'm just trying to get people to think about this a bit. I perceive people as liking to only take peripheral looks at something, and then drop the topic. This is demonstrated by shallow definitions, or not examining other people's definitions.

Kell and I talked a little bit on this subject, and I realized a few things. First, video games are getting harder and harder to define as games--at least in the traditional sense. Second, in many single player video games the concept of "losing" and "winning" is becoming increasingly loose. For example, when you die you are free to restart the map or load a saved game, which is hardly losing--it's more like a small punishment, similar to dying in a deathmatch.

I find it interesting to note that some of the most highly regarded games are at both ends of the game-definition spectrum. e.g. Golden Axe is pretty clear when you win or lose, and GTA3 has no concept of winning or losing. In GTA3, you can die but the only thing that happens is you lose all your guns; and when you complete the final mission, you can continue playing the game like normal. 
Hmm 
Games aren't defined by winning or losing imo. That is often used to reinforce certain goals set forth by whatever concept the game carries with it. Games are meant to have fun.

You can never win at MMORPGS, but you can die repeatedly. Doesn't seem fair. 
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