I am reading a book about game development (Game Coding Complete, Fourth Edition) and there is an "Actors" topic which just explains how to use them briefly instead of explaining what it is.
Here's how the book introduces these actors:
Games are full of objects that bring your world to life. A World War II game might be full of tanks and planes, while a futuristic science fiction game might have robots and starships. Like actors on a stage, these objects are at the heart of the gameplay. It seems fitting that we call them “game actors” because that’s exactly what they are.
A game actor is an object that represents a single entity in your game world. It could be an ammo pickup, a tank, a couch, an NPC, or anything you can think of. In some cases, the world itself might even be an actor. It’s important to define the parameters of game actors and to ensure that they are as flexible and reusable as possible.
There are as many ways for defining a game actor as there are games. Like everything else in computer programming, there is rarely a perfect solution.
I could only understand a very few things: it is an abstraction of everything in the game which can perform actions; it has it's own state; it's behaviour is usually implemented as a state machine. This is it. I am coming with systems programming background to the game development, and so I would like to know in general, what the actor is in game development meaning, how to use it, how it is used in general, what problem it solves, how and why. I would like the explanation to be such that a kid could understand.
I have tried to find this information on google but it heads me to another "actors" instead: concurrent programming most of the time or game actors but without a good explanation of it.