The reality is broken

What is a game? That’s the most fundamental question asked by Jane McGonigal @avantgame in her book The Reality Is Broken 

So let’s take a look at what she means.

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"When you strip away all genre differences and the technological complexities, all games share four defining traits: a goal, rules, a feedback system, and voluntary participation.”

The goal is the specific outcome that players will work to achieve. It focuses their attention and continually orients their participation throughout the game. The game provides players with a sense of purpose

The rules place limitations on how players can achieve the goal. By removing or limiting the obvious ways of getting to the goal, the rules push the players to explore previously uncharted possible spaces. They uneash creativity and foster strategic thinking.

The feedback system tells platers how close they are to achieving the goal. It can take the for of points, levels, a score, or a progress bar. Or, in its most basic form, the feedback system can be as simple as the player’s knowledge of an objective outcome:- “The game is over…”. Real-time feedback serves as a promise to the players that the goal is definitely achievable, and it provides motivation to keep playing.

Voluntary Participation requires that everyone who is playing the game knowingly and willingly accepts the game, the rules, and the feedback.

The above definition may surprise you for what it lacks: interactivity, graphics, narrative, rewards, competition, virtual environments, or the idea of “winning”- all traits we often think of many games, but they are not defining features. What defines a game are the traits- Goal, Rules, Feedback System, Voluntary Participation. Everything else is an effort to reinforce and enhance these four core elements. A story makes the goal more enticing, Complex scoring mechanics/metrics make the feedback system more motivating. Immersive graphics, sound, 3D environments increase our ability to pay sustained attention & advanced algorithms increase the game’s difficulty as you play.

Well this pretty much sums it up for what the def. is of the video games.

Next time we will go in detail about video games with a help of a book Game Writing:Narrative Skills for Videogames  by Chris Bateman