Etymology and History of Game Vocabulary – Game Verb

A game is an organized form of interactive play, normally undertaken for fun or amusement, and occasionally used as a learning tool. A game is quite different from choreographed work, which typically is carried out for profit, and from painting, which in most cases is an expression of philosophical or aesthetic themes. A game has definite rules that must be followed, the outcome defined beforehand, the playing activity limited to time and space, the interaction of various players, and feedback provided when the player’s actions meet the anticipated outcomes. Although most games can be played over a single computer terminal, the Internet has increased their popularity by opening up their scope to online game regulation.


The Entertainment Software Association and the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) are the two international organizations in the US that regulate computer games. The Entertainment Software Association publishes a bimonary, game-by-game list of approved products and services, including computer games. Computer and Video Games Advertising Guide is the US publishers’ guidebook for computer and video games. The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) and the Entertainment Software Association Europe are international coordinating organizations of the European game industry. The websites of both the associations contain valuable information for consumers to make informed choices about computer and video games.

Computer games can be single player or multi-player. Computer games can either use text commands or graphics, or a combination of the two. Computer games can also be a blend of visual and non-visual elements, or a visual program and audio-based components, such as music or sound effects. Most computer games employ random number generators to generate outcomes based on statistical analysis of player behavior. There are several well-known names for popular computer game characters, including the virtual tabletop hero, Dora the Explorer, and the adventurous puzzle-solving Barbie.

A popular computer game that borrows many aspects from traditional board games, is the Chris Crawford Magic: Heroes of Might and Magic. In this game, players take on the roll of a magical agent who travels across the world to complete missions. The game involves assembling a team of Agents, upgrading their powers, working with other agents, dealing with situations, resolving quests, defending the world, and much more. As the game progresses, players accumulate experience points and earn new skills, abilities, and powers.

Chris Crawford is also responsible for popularizing the board game, Monopoly, into a computer game. Board games in general owe their origin to dice and/or probability based abstractions, as opposed to the more traditional English and French game mechanics. In the early years of Monopoly, for example, each player took a “risk”, where they could lose money instantly if they rolled the wrong combination of die rolls or rolled their property cards the wrong way. In an earlier edition of Monopoly, for example, each player received one vote based on their hand placement in the starting room. However, due to the success of the franchise in the United States, the edition was changed to a ” monopoly ” game, wherein there was no longer any risk involved in playing the game.

Another game similar to Risk is the game verb. In this version, players are given a list of words, often millions of words, that are either safe, beneficial, or harmful to the goals of the game. In this setting, the game verb literally translates to “to strive”, “to fight”, or “to make fight”. In modern day, the game verb is often used in a more figurative sense, to mean “to struggle with”, “to try”, or “to exhaust all possible means”.