In science there are physical constants, while in the arts there are creative constants. Creative constants are essentially the fundamental rules of a form that restrict and enable in equal measure.
Creative constants are not the same thing as the conventional rules of genre. A creative constant unlocks the art and makes it work, and yet at the same time sets a hard limit on what it can be. It binds creative work together, like an egg in a batter, and gives it a shape that the audience can recognise. It puts the form in art form and is both crutch and cognitive aid.
All videogames have six creative constants: Fun, Lensing, Physicality, Time, Self and Profit.