How do games, especially electronic games become so powerful that we now seek to adopt
their features into more serious activities? A good place to start is to have some
understanding of what games are. Most definitions of games will include the word ‘fun’.
Games are basically self-contained activities engaged in for the fun of it. Most games usually
have no reward outside of the game itself. Furthermore, it is important to note that games and
play are not the same things. Games vary from play in the sense that while games have some
form or strict or loose structure and rules that define them, the play does not have any defined
structure or rules.
Interestingly, many human endeavors are game-like, having rules and organized structures.
These rules and structures in both games and real-world endeavours help define who the
participants are, what participants can or cannot do, what progress should look like, rewards
for progress or failure, tolerance level, who competitors or allies are and so on. Little wonder
we can easily relate to games, even games we have only just played for the first time.
Just as different real-world activities are distinct, though similar in some way, each game is
different but may share similar features with other games. A more elaborate example might
be to consider the activity called ‘cooking’. There are several methods of cooking, many
recipes for cooking different types of food. The same thing applies to games. A class of
games such as Adventure games might share similar elements like storyline, challenge,
mission or quest, and boss fight.
The similar ingredients used in cooking different recipes
does not necessitate similar taste at the end of the cooking, just as similar game elements do
not necessitate similar experience with the games.
Can you think of real-world activities that share similar characteristics but different