The Game Step

The Game Step

gamestep
A “game step” is the atomic unit of play in a game.  For example, in chess it is one move by one player on the board.  In baseball it is one pitch by the pitcher.  Each game step has four states, the fourth or which becomes the first state of the next step.  The states are: Input: The “state” of the game at that moment in game play. Cognition: An examination by the player whose step it is about the state of the game and the best possibilities for action. Decision (Action):  The decision about the optimal “move” to make and the move itself that results in a new game state. Output: The new state of the game.

Input

The “state” of the game at that moment in game play.  In chess it is the state of the pieces on the game board.  For example, in baseball it is the state of the inning, empirically how many outs, and who is on base, but also many other subtle parameters a manager may take into account.

Cognition

An examination by the player whose step it is about the state of the game and the best possibilities for action.  In the case of chess, examining the strategic relationships of the black and white pieces looking for possibilities for maximizing the outcome for the player.  In the case of baseball it is the state of the inning and the knowledge of the pitcher and catcher and possibly the manager about what pitch to deliver to the plate.  During that same step the batter has a similar cognitive process that takes place in the split second that the pitch is on its way to the plate. It is in this cognitive process that the subjunctive activity of asking “What if…” can allow learning to occur.

Decision (Action)

The decision about the optimal “move” to make and the move itself that results in a new game state.  In chess a player moves a piece.  In baseball the pitcher delivers the pitch and the batter either swings or not.

Output

The new state of the game.  In chess it is the new position of the pieces on the board resulting in new strategic dynamics.  In baseball it could be any number of states with different outcomes.