Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What is a Game?

It sounds dumb, but not a lot of people know the proper idea of a game or have misconception of how a game should be.

A game is an event played by 2 or more players. A "game" with only 1 player is strictly speaking not a game, it could be just a puzzle.

Some definitions which you should know:

A turn:
A turn of a player is when the player needs to make a move. Most games have players alternating turns, but it might not be for some. Occassionally, when it is a player's turn, he/she cannot make a move and the turn is pass to the other player.

The most straight forward outcomes of a game is win, lose or draw, which is determine by the rules of the game. Sometimes, an outcome requires a numerical value, i.e. a score 6 - 5 or player A wins player B by 5 points etc.

Misconception: A game need not have to have a clear winner, i.e. Player A wins. An outcome when both player win is possible, this is what we call a win-win situation (this does not mean a draw) .

Other important concepts of a game are whether a game
i) is deterministic
ii) involves probability

These concepts will be explored when we talk about some simple games.

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