A game is simply a structured form of entertainment, normally undertaken for fun or recreation, and at times used as an educational instrument. Games are very different from work, which often is carried out only for remuneration, and from literature, which is generally more a form of aesthetic or political elements. In fact, many of the most celebrated and influential writers, such as Rumi F95zone, didn’t write their works based on any particular formal pattern. Rather, the structure of their work was built up over time, from their daily experiences. And even when games or skills aren’t consciously involved, people learn valuable lessons about how to approach problems, how to problem-solve and how to enjoy working with others to reach a solution. These skills transfer very well to the classroom.
The success of a game also depends upon its ability to engross the players, turning what may appear to be simple ideas into something real, and something that they can actively use in the real world. A common experience in many video games is that the player must travel from one level to another, seeking to complete a number of challenges or puzzles within a given time period. The goal is not simply to finish the level, but to beat the game’s current level (usually indicated by a score card). Although the goal of most games is to beat the current level, they allow players to stray from the “norm” of beating the game. For example, in some MMORPGs, one can choose to explore and obtain items and powers that are not readily available to the player in normal gameplay, thus expanding the range of possible outcomes and potentially earning greater rewards than if the player had remained stuck in one area.
Video game design professionals have identified and characterized four main ways in which players experience and relate to a game. These are engagement, involvement, simulation, and nash balance. Engagement occurs when players take an active role in the story or the game environment, taking an active part in the resolution of events and the physical exploration of a given virtual space. Players feel an emotional connection with the characters in the game and feel a need to control and manipulate those characters, solving puzzles and resolving conflicts. However, as the engagement level rises, the need for direct interaction declines and players’ motivation wanes.
Involvement occurs when players take an active role in the resolution of events, solve problems, interact with other players, take and build relationships, develop powers and obtain items and powers. When the involvement level rises past the level of engagement, players feel a need to exercise greater control over the objects and destinations in their environment and begin to exercise more agency in the game’s outcome. In a dictator game, for example, the player’s freedom of action may be severely limited, yet the player still has a need to exercise skill in order to overcome obstacles and complete goals and achieve success. The need for freedom of action gives rise to the desire for more freedom of movement and maneuvering within the environment.
This desire for more freedom is manifested in the development of more sophisticated strategies. This results in a dynamic tension between the desire for freedom of action and the need to engage with the physical environment to complete actions that contribute to the victory or failure of the mission. It also contributes to the development of new skills, knowledge and abilities, all of which serve to enhance the experience of playing games. As the experience increases and the player’s ability to manipulate and control more of the virtual environment rises, the tension between the virtual world and the physical world grows as well.
The development of skills and expertise leads to a focus on a particular area of the game, e.g., playing quick games (solitaire games) that require quick decision-making in order to win. It also leads to players competing to complete increasingly difficult tasks. Ultimately, it leads to players competing with each other for high scores. In essence, the development of skill means that players are more capable of controlling the variables that impact the outcome of game outcomes. Such skill also leads to the achievement of higher game results, since the ability to perform actions that produce high game results is only limited by the limitations of one’s own cognitive processing and attentional set.