A game is a systematic form of interactive play, normally undertaken for fun or entertainment, and occasionally used as a teaching tool. Games are very different from work, which usually are conducted for monetary gain, and from literature, which tend to be more of an expressive or aesthetic elements. Work is usually dominated by the task of creating a product, while learning is usually an after-effect of the process of creation. Games, on the other hand, are usually played to pass some time, to relax, or to explore and appreciate a theme. But in both cases, there is a purpose behind the actions undertaken.
Games engage the whole mind and the whole body, since the actions and reactions it necessitates take time, energy, commitment, concentration, imagination and a lot of skills. It is important to understand game results logically, since the enjoyment derived there from does not come from the victory or the defeat of a character, but from the experience it gives the player. The main reason why a player feels in control and in complete control of a game world is that he has understood, at the deepest level, the rules of that world. The understanding of these rules is not limited to intellectual knowledge, but includes a real understanding of the physical laws of the game world.
There are two kinds of rules in card games: a rule that apply to each participant in the game, and a rule that apply to the game itself, regardless of who plays. Rules that apply to each participant are called game rules. A game result is only a means to an end, so that whatever the result of a game may be, it is not a promise of something else. For instance, if a player wins a game and another loses a game, the first player is not obliged to play another game against the second, unless the second player agrees to it.
A game is generally known as a “social game” when it deals with interactions among individuals. It is closely related to the practice of “socializing”, where the participants interact with one another in order to achieve some pre-established goals. The game rules can help determine the success of these goals, or their failure. Therefore, if the rules of a game to allow two players to cooperate, then the game rules may also decide which player will be the winner of the game.
This may sound surprising, but gamification is not the exclusive solution to the problem of designing a game. It is just one part of the solution. There is a big difference between the rules of a traditional game, where a game designer has to deal with the question of how to motivate players to participate in a game, as opposed to how to encourage them to take part in a particular game. Gamification, on the other hand, is the study of the mechanics of play itself, instead of concentrating only on the question of how to ensure that the participants take part in a particular game.
For example, it is incorrect to claim that a game based on real life rules, such as the game of solitaire, will lead to the development of superior cognitive skills. To the contrary, such solitaire games can often lead to a loss of such skills, because people tend to focus on the game results, rather than on the rules. Hence, we argue that it is not the case that the development of skills occurs through gamification, but rather that the development occurs through a process of regulating behavior, which we call gamification.