From the wide spectrum of opinions emerge two fundamental definitions of game, based mostly on its relative importance to the scene. The first definition is associated with the improv community of Chicago, and the second is associated with the community that it birthed, the UCB.
1. The game is any pattern that emerges within a scene that the improvisers may follow while exploring the relationship between the characters.
2. The game is the single pattern of unusual behavior that defines the scene.
WILL HINES: [The game is] a consistent pattern of behavior that breaks from the everyday pattern of behavior. The reason we say that is we want games that are based on an unusual thing, something that’s different from reality, that repeats in a consistent way. That’s our mathematical way.
KEVIN MULLANEY: For me game of the scene is a metaphor: Games have rules, and so can scenes. It’s up to the players to figure out those rules as the scene develops. The rules can be ways in which the characters behave or react, patterns to the way they think, or rules governing the situation or even the world in which the scene exists.
Matt Visconage, Vulture