Saturday, January 28, 2012

What you mean by 'Game'?

Yes, that is the house they live.

In a recent event, that by internet time was ages ago, famous internet writer John Walker from Rock, Paper, Shotgun, wrote this interesting article about Modern Warfare 3 being an un-game. It generated lots of controversy at the time. I understand what we was saying and why. I can agree with him, but that is something very personal to him, I think.

What made me think with this article is exactly what is a videogame? The only thing I can find that is common place to all videogames is that they are displayed in video form (duh?) and that they receive input from the player through some way.

Back in the Atari years, you have only two inputs. The directional and the button. It had minimal input. Damn, if you look at Pong, the only input is up and down! And yet it is a videogame. Why? It is because of the system of points? How many games today still use them? Many don't have any kind of meter to show you how good you are doing in the game.

It is about objective? Reaching the end of the game? But how about games who have no ending, like Minecraft, The Sims or many MMOs? Or even Tetris?

How about interaction? But then again we have many games were player interaction are some what minimum, like visual novels, but yet your interactions changes the outcome of the game, unlike games like Modern Warfare where your actions have no real effect in the game world except advancing to the next scenario.

In the end, the only features all videogames have in common is that they are visual displayed through a screen and you use some kind of device to make inputs in the program. If they meet this criteria it is a videogame.

Now, if you have the feeling that you played a game or just was dragged along by him, this is very personal and up to you to decide. As long as you have a good time, I think all is good. Don't you?

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