Game classification

Game classification is the classificiation of games, forming a game taxonomy. Many different methods of classifying games exist.

Physical education

There are four basic approaches to classifying the games used in physical education: [cite book|title=Developmental Physical Education for Today's Children|author=David P. Swain, David L. Gallahue, and Frances Cleland Donnelly|pages=571–573|date=2003|publisher=Human Kinetics|id=ISBN 0736033882] ;Game categories:This is a classification scheme invented by Nicols, which classifies games according to three major categories: the game's physical requirements (i.e. what the game requires in addition to the players — equipment, size and nature of playing field, and so forth), the structure of the game (i.e. number of players, groupings of players, strategies, and so forth), and the game's personal requirements (i.e. what the game requires of the player — motor skills, fitness levels, numeracy, social skills, and so forth).;Games for understanding:This is a classification scheme invented by Werner and Alomond that classifies games according to their strategies. It divides games into target games (e.g. archery); net or wall games (e.g. tennis); striking and field games (e.g. cricket); and invasion games (e.g. football).;Core content:This is a classification scheme invented by Allison and Barrett that categorizes games by their form (i.e. whether they are novel games invented by the teacher or children, or whether they are existing games already widely played), by the movement skills that they require, by the "movement concepts" and game tactics that they require, and by the educational results of the game.;Developmental games:This is a classification scheme invented by Gallahue and Celand that classifies games into four developmental levels, as part of an overall educational strategy of applying, reinforcing, and implementing movement and sports skills. The levels, in ascending order, are "low-level", "complex", "lead-up", and "official sports".

Electronic games

There are several methods of classifying electronic games (i.e. video games and computer games).

Solomon [cite book|title=Games Programming|author=Eric Solomon|pages=10—11|date=1984|publisher=Cambridge University Press|id=ISBN 052127110X] puts forward a "commonsense, but broad" classification of electronic games, in particular computer games, into simulations (The game reflects reality.), abstract games (The game itself is the focus of interest.), and sports. In addition to these he points out that games (in general, not just electronic games) fall into classes according to numbers of players. Games with two players encompass board games such as chess. Games with multiple players encompass card games such as poker, and marketed family games such as Monopoly and Scrabble. Puzzles and Solitaire are one-player games. He also includes zero-player games, such as Conway's Game of Life, although acknowledging that others argue that such games do not constitute a game, because they lack any element of competition. He asserts that such zero-player games are nonetheless games because they are used recreationally.

Another method, developed by Wright, divides games into the following categories: educational or informative, sports, sensorimotor (e.g. action games, arcade games, fighting and shoot-em-up games, and driving and racing simulators), other vehicular simulators (not covered by driving and racing), strategy games (e.g. adventure games, war games, strategic simulations, role-playing games, and puzzles), and "other".cite book|title=Children, Adolescents and the Media|author=Victor C. Strasburger and Barbara J. Wilson|pages=122–123|date=2002|publisher=Sage Publications|id=ISBN 0761921257]

A third method, developed by Funk and Buchman, and refined by others, classifies electronic games into six categories: general entertainment (no fighting or destruction), educational (learning or problem solving), fantasy violence (cartoon characters that must fight or destroy things, and risk being killed, in order to achieve a goal), human violence (like fantasy violence, but with human rather than cartoon characters), nonviolent sports (no fighting or destruction), and sports violence (fighting or destruction involved).

Game theory

Game theory classifies games according to several criteria: whether a game is a symmetric game or an asymmetric one, what a game's "sum" is (zero-sum, constant sum, and so forth), whether a game is a sequential game or a simultaneous one, whether a game comprises perfect information or imperfect information, and whether a game is determinate.


Further reading


See also

* Entertainment Software Rating Board
* Game of skill and Game of chance — another classification scheme
* Video game genres
* [ The french ludoscience project of video games classification]

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