HoMe PaGe

Games

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Aims are not just a 'special' kind of rules: the difference between the rules of a game and the aims of a game is a fundamental one. This can be seen by considering some examples. The aim of chess is to checkmate, but although it is expected that players will try to checkmate each other, it is not a rule of chess that a player must checkmate the other player whenever he can (as a matter of fact, unskilled players often fail to take the opportunity to do so). Similarly, it is not a rule of football that a player must score a goal if he shoots a penalty (it is only expected, and not required, that he will try). On a general level, the distinction between the rules and the aims of a game can be characterised as follows: an aim identifies a sufficient condition for successful action, whereas the rule identifies a necessary condition for permissible action. While meeting the aims often requires a certain degree of skill and (in some cases) luck, following the rules of a game merely requires knowledge of the rules and some careful attempt to follow them; it rarely (if ever) requires luck or demanding skills.

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