In game theory, a cooperative game is a game where groups of players (coalitions) may enforce cooperative behaviour, hence the game is a competition between coalitions of players, rather than between individual players. An example is a coordination game, when players choose the strategies by a consensus decision-making process.
Recreational games are rarely cooperative, because they usually lack mechanisms by which coalitions may enforce coordinated behaviour on the members of the coalition. Such mechanisms, however, are abundant in real life situations (e.g. contract law).