3.1. Defining “Game”

You may have noticed the word game is surprisingly tough when you start worrying about the details. Many people who research, write about and make games have struggled with how to define game in a way that doesn’t either leave things out that are obviously games (so the definition is too narrow), or accept things that are clearly not games (making the definition too broad).

Here are some definitions from various sources:

By examining these definitions, we now have a starting point for discussing games. Some of the elements mentioned that seem to be common to many (if not all) games include:

Materials on this page adapted from:
Game Design Concepts by Ian Schreiber (CC BY-NC 3.0)