Before we can play, we need to know a few things. Like, what is a game? My attempt at a definition would be something like this:
Game – A competitive activity with participants, rules and objectives, and outcomes which are determined by strength, skill, or luck. A game is an activity severely perverted by the presence of humans.
Certain outcomes are deemed to be of value, others are not. The outcomes we like are known as winning. The ones we don’t are losing.
Too much emphasis on winning and losing can make the game unpleasant or even harmful, usually to the detriment of the “loser” but also, in many cases, to both sides.
I postulate that a game without rules is meaningless. If we sit down to a nice game of chess and you declare your opening move, “My pawn jetpacks above the board, whips out dual blasters and lazer-beams all your bitches” before sweeping my pieces to the floor, you have not won the game. At least not in terms of the defined rules.
Continue reading →