The centuries old notion of man v. machine has come to frivolous fruition with the introduction of video games. Alas, the human being seems to be the loser in this interesting battle.
In the majority of video games in which you play against the computer, the computer is ultimately and inevitably the victor. The thrill of victory is earned only when you beat a previous high score; you are only winning over another human opponent, or yourself. In the long run, the omnipotent computer is always the winner.
Fortunately for owners of the Atari 2600 who want to win against their opponents but not surrender to the machine, there are games that allow you to play strategically rather than accepting challenges that the computer serves up. These strategic games allow you and your opponents to plan your moves; the player with the more shrewd strategy will ultimately be the winner. The game doesn’t end when both players have lost their final turn, with the high score determining the winner. The game ends because one competitor is out.
One should not equate strategy games with adventure games. Adventure games are those games in which a single player sets out on a quest in order to find something. Strategy is not involved; most of the time you are wandering through different screens in search of certain objects. No, to play a game strategically, you must have some kind of plan when you begin. Because ‘strategy’ is often associated with the military, it can be assumed that there are two sides pitted against each other, and that’s why some sort of strategic plan is needed. Thus, an adventure game that is played by one person cannot be considered a strategic game. You may play it strategically but it will be a one-sided affair since you aren’t playing against anyone. Certainly the computer isn’t playing strategically since it is always following its programming.
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