In the second reading from Caillois he attempts to define what a game is in the context of his earlier chapter on fun. He defines games in four main categories: Agon (Competition-pg-14), Alea (Chance-pg-17), Mimicry (Simulation-pg-19), and Ilinx (Vertigo-pg-23).
It seems to me that the primary difference between each of these categories is the the way in which players receive pleasure from each game.
In Agon the players receive pleasure from the game by “having his superiority recognized”, or by having his victory be due to his exertion, thus his victory has value.
In Alea players receive pleasure by experiencing the “favor of destiny”.
In Mimicry the pleasure received from the game is in the acting out of some imaginary universe, or in the adoration of the audience to the role being played.
In Ilinx the pleasure is found in the loss of “stability of perception” or in the games attempt to “…inflict a kind of voluptuous panic upon an otherwise lucid mind.”
Do you agree with these categories? Could you add another?
I find these categories helpful but limiting. Many games are some combination of one or more of these classifications. In Monopoly the enjoyment is found in both the chance rolling of the die (Alea) and the ability of the player to negotiate and trade (Agon). Charades is a game of both Mimicry and Agon.
Do you find most games to be a combination of these categories? Do you agree that the source of pleasure is the main difference between categories? Would you add other sources of enjoyment or pleasure according the Caillois first chapter?