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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

What's a Game?

Ever have one of those same conversations again and again? I have. With co-workers, with friends. And like many of these conversation-goblins, they have a way of showing up again and again in new, interesting forms. The conversation I've had umpteen times is "what's a game?" in the guise of "why football is a sport and darts is not" and "how do you win D&D?"

And to help me along is a classic article entitled "I Have No Words and I Must Design" (catchy title, eh? sort of sums up my feelings on the topic.... except for the having no words part). The author's approach is to define a game by distinguishing it from what it is not. It's not a puzzle, not a toy, and not a story. To that list I would add that it's also not a sport (sports are physical), and it's not a race or contest (winning is often subjective or a simple measure of who is faster or stronger). A game is a competitive activity governed by rules in which your decisions affect the outcome.

This will become a longer, more interesting blog post at a later date when I'm not blurry-eyed from being at work for twelve hours. I hate release cycles.

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.