Chapter 1. Games and Video Games

Before we talk about game design, we have to talk about games themselves. We’ll start by identifying the essential elements that a game must have and then define what a game is based on those elements. Then we’ll go on to discuss what computers bring to gaming and how video games are different from conventional games. Finally, we’ll look at the specific ways in which video games entertain people and note some other enjoyable features of video games that this book will teach you how to design.

What Is a Game?

Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and... Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.

—MARK TWAIN, THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER

Games arise from the human desire for play and from ...

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