Reading response 1 (LATE)

Tom Marks


1) One of the definitions that stood out to me was David Parlett’s. He seemed to be the only one who succinctly separated the Goal and the Rules as two¬† entities within his game definition. He basically is saying that a game works toward a goal that will end it, and has rules that help determine how you get to that end, and to me that is the simplest form of what a game is. I also like Greg Costikyan’s definition as it involves another important part of my definition of games, Decision Making. I think that decision making is incredibly important to a game’s success, but not necessarily required to make it a game. Puzzle games don’t require decision making as much as they require reasoning. The two are similar but very different. Decision making is the conscious choice between multiple options, whether these options are explicitly clear is not important. But on the other hand, reasoning is when you have to find the one and only one answer to a question, you just don’t know what the answer is yet.

2) A game is a medium in which a player is put into a previously defined world (be it a level, scenario, puzzle, etc.) and must the limitations of that world to reach a certain goal.

3) I like Costikyan’s Definition, as I said above, but it is a little too broad for me, which is odd because in his broadness he does exclude certain things, such as puzzles. I agree that you must work towards a goal, anything without a goal is just a toy, but certain toys can be given your own personal goals in order to make them games. I also enjoy that he calls games art. Although I strongly believe that not all games were intended to be art, I like that he refers to this as the newest medium of art. I disagree with him in that I whole heartedly believe puzzles are games. They are games we play with our minds, and although he says that games can’t be static and that puzzles are, the way we tackle a puzzle each time may be different, just as you and I both can look at a puzzle and start in different spots. Second life is a game only if you choose a goal for yourself to complete, for some people that goal is living in the world.


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