What Are Games?

A video game is a controlled form of interactive play, normally undertaken for fun or entertainment, and occasionally used as a teaching tool. While games can be played for pure entertainment, many now also teach relevant skills such as numerical reasoning, problem-solving skills. Games are very different from homework, which traditionally was done for remuneration, or from fine art, which was more typically an expression of personal or aesthetic elements. Games have become the mainstream, accepted forms of entertainment for millions. Playing video games is not just about having fun; it’s also becoming something more. Games now form an important part of social life, with adults taking an active interest in games, often to solve problems, develop skills, make friends, keep in touch, or even play as a form of therapy.


People are playing games, not only to pass the time, but also to get a chance to reflect, to explore and to learn. Games help people to think, to be creative, to communicate and to make complex decisions. A game provides the opportunity to escape into another world, an alternate reality, a world that may not have the same constraints as our own. It encourages players to explore unfamiliar possibilities, to dream, to imagine and to draw on their own mental resources. Many people find that playing games brings them into contact with other people who share common interests and who can provide stimulating companionship.

Gaming is increasingly popular with middle-aged and older people, as more sophisticated computer hardware allows people to access increasingly detailed and stimulating games. Computer games also have a profound effect on the way people feel. They build up our imagination and make us want to take action, to challenge ourselves and to see the world differently. Computer games are changing the way we live.