This article will be the first of a series that dives into the fundamentals of computer games and -design. In this article I explore what components are identifiable and define a computer game based on both literature and my own analysis resulting in a new model. Many concepts and principles concerning computer games will be discussed, and I propose a computer game is eventually defined by being able to offer a meaningful and enjoyable experience. This article covers important aspects of game design, hypotheses regarding how to identify games, and various game mechanics. As Kultima (2015) suggested in the article on game design research, the field is divided among various subfields like computing science, psychology, user experience design and so on. There is a lack of a unifying theory that synthesizes the knowledge from subfields, while the effects of gaming itself on the cognitions of players, their knowledge or medical conditions are minimal. There is however an increasing interest in playing computer games as well as publishing books about it. As the gaming industry is forecasted to grow to 287 billion US Dollars in 2026, it is relevant to try to understand what is happening and why. This paper will be the first step in presenting a coherent theory on computer game design and the gaming experience.
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