Board Games – Why Do They Continue to Remain Popular?
A game is essentially a structured form of interactive play, often undertaken for fun or entertainment, and at times used as an instructional tool. Games are often different from work, which normally is carried out with remuneration in mind, and from literature, which normally is more than an expression of personal or aesthetic elements. Often games can be structured around themes, such as hunting, puzzle solving, cooking or war. There is a wide range of potential types of game, many of which can be played on a personal computer, although many also require installation to run.
Most games employ some element of real world simulation. For example, some motor racing games incorporate the track layout as well as various parameters relating to engine performance and speed, providing the driving experience within a realistic virtual world. Others may incorporate aspects of real-world physics, such as the physical laws of magnets or the relative velocity of two magnets when faced close together. These features can add a real sense of reality to the experience of playing a motor game.
The objective of playing games is to beat the computer or another player/s. Most computer players do not see the game world as having any particular objective other than winning, whereas players who see the world as functioning in a specified way tend to treat each round of play in a different way. In some respects, it seems that objective-free rules lead to a certain type of purism in the game world. Players seem to value consistency, realism and the ability to create their own set of rules above all else.
The nature of game rules can vary significantly from one game to another. Some games can have infinite rules, where the nature of the game precludes changing them and players are therefore forced to follow the set rules regardless of what they think or feel. Other games, like ours, can have fixed rules and the variations between them are purely a matter of tradition and custom rather than any underlying logic or theory. Still others, for example, can have no set rules at all, providing that everyone is playing within the ruleset that was originally specified in the game.
One aspect of the game that lends it a degree of complexity is the use of finite and random variables. A typical board game has players compete against a computer program, for example, and the results of each game are recorded and determined by the computer program’s mathematical algorithms. The outcomes of every game are therefore influenced by external factors and they are not necessarily random.
While board games like Monopoly may have many followers worldwide, they are very popular in the United States. Board games like Risk are hugely popular with people of all ages and this popularity is well reflected in TV and DVD shows like Monopoly and Risk. Computer games also have an enthusiastic following, with millions of people playing them every day. The video games industry is also making a big hit in the US, with millions of children playing Dishonored and Potter. Board games can therefore be a very lucrative business, both in the UK and the US. Indeed, the future of board games looks very bright in these turbulent times.