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A game is structured playing, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool. Games are distinct from work, which is usually carried out for payment, and from art, which is more often an expression of aesthetic or ideological elements. However, the distinction is not clear-cut, and many games are also considered to be work, such as professional players of spectator games, or art, such as jigsaw puzzles or games involving an artistic layout such as Mahjong, solitaire, or some video games.

Key components of games are goals, rules, challenge, and interaction. Games generally involve mental or physical stimulation, and often both. Many games help develop practical skills, serve as a form of exercise, or otherwise perform an educational, simulational, or psychological role.

Attested as early as 2600 BC, games are a universal part of human experience and present in all cultures. The Royal Game of Ur, Senet, and Mancala are some of the oldest known games.

Games today span several categories including computer, console and board/card games. Though board and card games is one of the oldest forms of gaming the industry has seen a massive rise in recent years - growing 15%-20% per year since 2008. Popular board/card games include: Settlers of Catan, Smash Up, Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, Magic: The Gathering, Cards Against Humanity, Exploding Kittens and Cul-De-Sac Conquest.

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The six types of piece in a chess game. From left to right: king, rook, queen, pawn, knight, and bishop.
Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a chessboard, a square checkered gameboard with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.

Each player begins the game with 16 pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. Each of the six piece types moves differently. Pieces are used to attack and capture the opponent's pieces, with the objective to 'checkmate' the opponent's king by placing it under an inescapable threat of capture. In addition to checkmate, the game can be won by the voluntary resignation of the opponent, which typically occurs when too much material is lost, or if checkmate appears unavoidable. A game may also result in a draw in several ways, where neither player wins. The course of the game is divided into three phases: opening, middlegame, and endgame.

The first official World Chess Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, claimed his title in 1886. In addition to the World Championship, there are the Women's World Championship, the Junior World Championship, the World Senior Championship, the Correspondence Chess World Championship, the World Computer Chess Championship, and Blitz and Rapid World Championships. The Chess Olympiad is a popular competition among teams from different nations. Online chess has opened amateur and professional competition to a wide and varied group of players. Chess is a recognized sport of the International Olympic Committee and international chess competition is sanctioned by the World Chess Federation (FIDE), which adopted the now-standard Staunton chess set in 1924 for use in all official games. There are also many chess variants, with different rules, different pieces, and different boards.

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A screenshot showing a small green creature maneuvering around several stone blocks
Credit: Team Northway (2012)

A screenshot of the physics-based puzzle video game Incredipede showing a level in play

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2005 World Series of Poker Ladies Champion Jennifer Tilly

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