A game is a well-defined, preplanned form of play, normally undertaken for fun or amusement, and at times used as an educational instrument. Games are very different from work, which almost always are performed for profit, and from fine art, which are almost always an expression of philosophical or aesthetic elements. In most games, the objective is to beat or win the opposing teams, which usually involves overcoming puzzles, calculating mathematical results, beating the time limit, etc., in order to score points. However, the goal in all games should be the same: entertain.
One of the earliest surviving board games incorporating a competitive element was a game called Cuff Past. It is believed that these early games may have been designed to teach the English children basic concepts such as mathematics and physics. Two players were designated to be the “captains” of the group, who had to maneuver their respective boards and pieces on their respective tables to place food on them, earn gold, and earn experience points by winning the game. The rules of Cuff Past remained relatively unchanged throughout the centuries, but the format of the game itself has varied. Some of the earlier versions of this game involved players rolling a small ball over a piece of dirt on the table, much like modern day cornhole.
Dice Games. Dice games are extremely popular, especially among the young and old alike. In fact, one of the earliest forms of board game was the dice game played on a wooden roll-top, much like a crib. Dice games have a main rule, which generally states that if a certain number of dice rolled the main number will be the winner. Some dice games have special rules, and these are covered in their own main article.
Video Games. Video games have evolved into a multi-million dollar industry. Popular video games include dominoes, air hockey, ping pong, and karate. A main article devoted to gambling games features information on dominoes and how to play.
Game Theory. All great board games have at some point or another, been subject to game theory. This is an aspect of the game that takes into account the game’s effects on the players, as well as how the game can be made to be mutually beneficial for all players. Game theory can be used to determine the best strategies for playing a game and has been used in video games since the 1980s. Information on game theory can be found in its main article.
Strategy. One of the more recent topics that has been discussed extensively is whether or not certain types of games use strategy, or if the strategy is an optional part of the game. The main article on this discusses the basics of strategy, the question that it answers, and the various types of strategies that one can use in games.