11. Defining Game, Play, and Sport | Summary and Q&A

February 14, 2023
MIT OpenCourseWare
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11. Defining Game, Play, and Sport


The content discusses the various definitions and meanings of the words game, play, and sport, and how they can be applied in different contexts.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How does the professor explain the different meanings of play, game, and sport?

The professor acknowledges the multiple definitions of these words, discussing concepts such as tactics, performances, low stakes activities, and hunting. The terms play and game can also be used to describe initiating a sequence or starting a video.

Q: What are examples of board games that fit into different categories?

Cartagena is a race game where players compete to get their pirates to the boat first. Twilight Struggle is a displaced game centered around influence and control during the Cold War. Scotland Yard is a chase game where one player tries to evade detectives in the London public transport system. Power Grid is an example of a themed game, focused on creating an energy empire and managing resources.

Q: How does the professor describe Power Grid?

Power Grid is a complex game with elements of economic strategy. Players try to create an efficient network of power stations, using various commodities to generate energy. It combines elements of space games and themed games, as it involves occupying spaces and managing resources.

Q: Why does the professor mention the importance of clear rules in Power Grid?

The professor highlights the confusion that can arise from poorly-written rules in Power Grid, which can make the game challenging to understand and play. Consistent and well-designed rules enhance the gaming experience and ensure a better understanding of the game mechanics.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The professor addresses administrative matters before discussing the reading on basic concepts of games and play.

  • The class explores the different noun definitions of play, game, and sport, ranging from tactics and performances to low stakes activities and hunting.

  • The professor introduces different board games that exemplify the categories of race games, displaced games, chase games, and themed games.

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