https://boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/4389/allowed-to-re-use-a-word-in-travel-scrabble was closed because it was deemed not to have a "winning condition". Is having a losing condition sufficient?


With enough losing conditions, so that in the end a winner would be the one that didn't lose, it would probably be sufficient. It may be "play" if there is no way of ever determining a winner, but it's not really a game. It would be an infinite loop, with the only end in sight being people getting bored and quitting.

A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?


I'm not prepared to answer this question in the general sense.

However, for this particular case, I really don't know how you determine a winner or loser. Each person is instructed to send it to 11 people. If there is no further response, is the sender a winner? Does each person receiving it get declared a loser?

Or does it just mean that this group of 11 people are not interested in answering it for whatever reason? Is the sender obligated to send out more emails?

The vagueness leaves me calling this an activity rather than a game. Perhaps more firm rules would help, I'm not sure. It is distinctly possible that I am just overly biased against email chains.

  • This is basically what I thought: it's not so much a game as an activity, and in that sense, there isn't really a "winning" or "losing" condition because no one really enforces the rules. (I believe I have received at least one of these where someone did break a "rule". I can't tell you when or confirm for sure because I break chain letters.) – Dave DuPlantis Aug 11 '11 at 18:20
  • It definitely wasn't a "board or card" game. – thesunneversets Aug 23 '11 at 10:53

I think that potentially a 'game' with a single loser could be an interesting game. A couple of examples of games that aren't quite as strict as being asked for here:

  • In Diplomacy it is possible to end the game with an multi-way draw. The draw could potentially exclude a single player (although I doubt this happens in practice). On the other hand Diplomacy also has a clear winning condition.
  • In some games (e.g. Pandemic with bioterrorist) there is a single player who plays against a team of all the other players.
  • I consider a game that allow Team winning to be just fine, there's only one winner, the team. Draws are certainly a fact of life, but the goal of winning is achievable. – Lance Roberts Aug 11 '11 at 19:32

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