A game is an activity in which the player tries to reach goals or achieve particular outcomes, often by following a set of rules. It can be played by people of all ages and is generally a social activity.
The word game can refer to a variety of activities, such as board games, video games, and computer games. Some of these activities are designed for leisure and others are intended to teach children important skills.
Some of these activities are competitive and others are not, but all of them require some amount of skill. They also involve a level of risk, as the outcome can be unpredictable or even impossible to predict.
Most games involve a conflict, which is defined by the presence of two or more competing interests. This can be caused by the presence of a player who is trying to gain an advantage over another player, or by a situation in which both players are attempting to accomplish their objectives simultaneously.
In addition to the conflict and the potential for risk, there is often a sense of accomplishment that can come from playing a game. This can be in the form of a win, as in chess, or through the development of a particular skill, as in a video game.
These achievements are usually measurable in some way, such as points or tokens or the number of wins. In some cases, the winning condition is a checkmate in chess (the placement of a single piece on the board that is immediately removed from the board by another player), and in other cases it is an accumulation of a specific number of points or tokens.
Often, the values of a game’s outcomes are not explicit and are assigned in different ways. This can be done by a combination of statements, instructions, and signals within the game itself.
This is particularly useful when it comes to gamified science, because scientists are often working with hard-to-reach populations that may not want to participate in traditional studies.
Researchers need to find ways of engaging these populations without requiring them to physically go to a laboratory or rely on a computer to play a game, and they need to make the experience as comprehensible and rewarding as possible. This is why the scientific community needs to explore approaches that are familiar and well-adapted in other professions, such as coding and software engineering.
To create an effective gamified experiment, researchers must be willing to use new technologies and approaches to data collection and analysis. This could include new methods of version control and data management, based on practices that are ubiquitous in the technology industry but still underused in science.
Some of these tools are already widely used in the tech world, but they can be especially helpful for gamified experiments that produce lots of data. The use of a version control tool such as Git can help researchers keep track of multiple versions of the same code, and relational database tools like SQL can be especially helpful in tracking the data produced by a gamified experiment.