W. Eric Martin has a nifty article up on Board Game News about how to view the field of game development: art, science, engineering, or some combination.

So where do games fit in this art/science dichotomy? My natural assumption is to view games as works of art. As with poetry, the universe of potential games is infinitely diverse, with the preponderance of words at our disposal being reformed in any number of ways to create new rulesets that define the entirety of a game. All of those games exist as possibilities in some Platonic sense, shadows on the wall that become concrete only when nailed down by a creator.