Game classification is the classification of games, forming a game taxonomy. Many different methods of classifying games exist.
There are four basic approaches to classifying the games used in physical education:
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.
There are several methods of classifying electronic games (i.e. video games and computer games).
Solomon 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".
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 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.
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