Design is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object, system or measurable human interaction (as in architectural blueprints, engineering drawings, business processes, circuit diagrams, and sewing patterns). Design has different connotations in different fields (see design disciplines below). In some cases, the direct construction of an object (as in pottery, engineering, management, coding, and graphic design) is also considered to use design thinking.
A game is a structured form of play, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool. Games are distinct from work, which is usually carried out for remuneration, 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 sports or games) or art (such as jigsaw puzzles or games involving an artistic layout such as Mahjong, solitaire, or some video games).
Game design is the art of applying design and aesthetics to create a game for entertainment or for educational, exercise, or experimental purposes. Increasingly, elements and principles of game design are also applied to other interactions, particularly virtual ones (see gamification).
Production may be:
All my games were political games; I was, like Joan of Arc, perpetually being burned at the stake.
Indira Gandhi, as quoted in The New York Times Biographical Service (1971), Vol. 2, p. 4027.
One of the best ways to economize in building is to economize on ugliness. ...Nothing can be greater service in avoiding ugliness than a knowledge of the principles of design.
Ernest Flagg, Small Houses: Their Economic Design and Construction (1922)
Consider Wittgenstein's paradigmatic question about defining "game." The problem is that there is no property common to all games, so that the most usual kinds of definition fail. Not every game has a ball, nor two competing teams; even, sometimes, there is no notion of "winning." In my view, the explanation is that a word like "game" points to a somewhat diffuse "system" of prototype frames, among which some frame-shifts are easy, but others involve more strain.
Marvin Minsky, in reference to Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations, in "Jokes and their Relation to the Cognitive Unconscious" (1980)