Rules dictate how people should act. They are guides for human activity. Rules tell people what they should and shouldn't do. Breaking some of these rules will result in punishment while others might result in others considering the rule breaker to be rude or a cheater.

Societal Rules

Societal rules are unwritten rules that people expect others to follow; however, they are not written anywhere, and breaking one of these rules is not considered a crime as far as the police are concerned. These are also called social norms. Societal rules vary from culture to culture and change over time. An example of societal rule in the United States is that when a driver of another car allows you to merge into traffic, you give them a friendly wave to say "thank you". This societal rule shows courtesy to the other person. Another example is to offer a piece of gum or mints to your group before partaking. People will not be arrested if they do not ask their neighbors if they want a piece of gum; however, their neighbors might consider the other person rude.

Governmental Rules

Governmental rules are written rules that people are expected to follow and are punished when they are not followed. Breaking one of these rules is considered a crime and appropriate punishments are given for breaking one of these rules. These rules, also called laws, also vary from culture to culture; however, some of them remain the same. For instance, murder is illegal in every country. The free practice of religion, on the other hand, is illegal in some countries and legal in others. Governmental rules exist to keep people safe, so that they may live in peace with their fellow citizens of the country. Definitions of what it means to "keep people safe", however, vary from country to country.

Rules in Sports and Games

To play a game or match with another person, rules are needed to be followed and known so that the game or match might be considered fair. Each player abides by the same rules in a game. The rules allow for fair play. For instance, in baseball, a batter may only swing at a pitched ball three times before the batter is considered out. If some batters were allowed to swing at the ball more than three times, then the game would be considered unfair. Fairness also allows for statistics to be kept and for teams and players to be able to say that they are the better team or player. Breaking of rules in sports and games does not result in any arrests, but one who breaks a rule may be considered a cheater depending on the situation.