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Should We Still Call Them Video Games?

DetectableNinja
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7/23/2013 4:24:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
This topic kind of was inspired by a statement Adam Sessler (a personal hero of mine with regard to gaming journalism) in one of his podcasts a month ago when he was discussing an interesting question: is The Last of Us "fun?" Basically, he was really talking about where the industry was moving, and he, like I, think that games like The Last of Us show the fact that the industry is moving in a very good direction where we're trying to tackle serious issues with games instead of just trying to create simplistic feelings of "fun," and power and exhilaration.

Now, like in the video (if you care to watch), I'm not really seriously asking the question of whether we should still call video games...well, GAMES...but I think such a question is still important to ask, because it forces us to examine exactly where the industry is headed, and what we want a video game to be and accomplish.

So: where do you think the video game industry is headed? Where do you think it should be headed? If you agree with Sessler's assessment that games are becoming more of actual experiences, do you think it's still fair to call them games when they're ultimate goal really isn't about one-upsmanship or instilling a true sense of "fun?" Etc.?

Tell me what you think!
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
Agent_Orange
Posts: 2,252
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7/23/2013 5:04:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
There's been a lot of talk about video games, moving forward and what that would mean for storytelling in video games. I think it was David Jaffe who gave this whole speech about how video games should reflect real world issues. And to me personally thats bullsh1t. Video games should be fun, that's number 1. If I'm playing a game and I don't enjoy it, screw the message.
#BlackLivesMatter
DetectableNinja
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7/23/2013 5:16:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 5:04:41 PM, Agent_Orange wrote:
There's been a lot of talk about video games, moving forward and what that would mean for storytelling in video games. I think it was David Jaffe who gave this whole speech about how video games should reflect real world issues. And to me personally thats bullsh1t. Video games should be fun, that's number 1. If I'm playing a game and I don't enjoy it, screw the message.

I absolutely and wholeheartedly disagree. I think that that attitude only results in extremely simplistic and basic ideas. I agree that enjoyment should always be there, as with anything. But fun in the "Haha isn't this great," sense is way, WAY too basic. As the Sess says at the end of that segment, you don't watch something like, oh, Boondock Saints looking for a good "This is so much fun to watch," experience. You don't read The Road or something similar and come away saying "Oh yeah that was a hoot!" You enjoy them, certainly, but they're not PLEASANT.

That's probably what's driving what I'm saying. A game like The Last of Us or The Walking Dead is not very pleasant at all. However, they clearly are excellent, enjoyable works of art. No "fun" necessary.

Thanks so much for contributing, even if we disagree, though.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
johnnyboy54
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7/23/2013 6:37:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Both are equally important. Fun without experience is mindless hedonism. Experience without fun means the game is to damned boring. Also, if a video game is not fun, it will fail to be immerse which is what separates a video game from other mediums in the first place. If your game isn't fun, then it has failed as a video game.
I didn't order assholes with my whiskey.
DetectableNinja
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7/23/2013 6:42:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 6:37:44 PM, johnnyboy54 wrote:
Both are equally important. Fun without experience is mindless hedonism. Experience without fun means the game is to damned boring. Also, if a video game is not fun, it will fail to be immerse which is what separates a video game from other mediums in the first place. If your game isn't fun, then it has failed as a video game.

But how are we defining fun?

I'd agree if by fun we mean enjoyment, but fun in the most traditional sense--lightheartedness, exhilaration, excitement, you know--aren't really necessary I'd argue.

I think if any work of art isn't enjoyable (appreciated), it has failed as a work of art.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
johnnyboy54
Posts: 6,362
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7/23/2013 6:45:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 6:42:31 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
At 7/23/2013 6:37:44 PM, johnnyboy54 wrote:
Both are equally important. Fun without experience is mindless hedonism. Experience without fun means the game is to damned boring. Also, if a video game is not fun, it will fail to be immerse which is what separates a video game from other mediums in the first place. If your game isn't fun, then it has failed as a video game.

But how are we defining fun?

I'd agree if by fun we mean enjoyment, but fun in the most traditional sense--lightheartedness, exhilaration, excitement, you know--aren't really necessary I'd argue.

I think if any work of art isn't enjoyable (appreciated), it has failed as a work of art.

Just getting to that in a post I am writing right now.
I didn't order assholes with my whiskey.
johnnyboy54
Posts: 6,362
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7/23/2013 6:51:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Really, the situation is very complicated. Not every game deals with power fantasies and visceral joy. Some games, like good horror games, are more about the emotional high you get from the experience. Horror games typically have shoddy controls, involve messing with the players mind and emotions, and make the player feel helpless against a much stronger enemy. But we play because we like the feelings that the game elicits in us.

Another example is Spec Ops: The Line. Spec Ops is really an average military shooter from a gameplay perspective. What propels it above other mediocre shooters is the story being told, and how the experience emotionally resonates with the audience.
I didn't order assholes with my whiskey.
Agent_Orange
Posts: 2,252
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7/23/2013 7:21:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 5:16:42 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
At 7/23/2013 5:04:41 PM, Agent_Orange wrote:
There's been a lot of talk about video games, moving forward and what that would mean for storytelling in video games. I think it was David Jaffe who gave this whole speech about how video games should reflect real world issues. And to me personally thats bullsh1t. Video games should be fun, that's number 1. If I'm playing a game and I don't enjoy it, screw the message.

I absolutely and wholeheartedly disagree. I think that that attitude only results in extremely simplistic and basic ideas. I agree that enjoyment should always be there, as with anything. But fun in the "Haha isn't this great," sense is way, WAY too basic. As the Sess says at the end of that segment, you don't watch something like, oh, Boondock Saints looking for a good "This is so much fun to watch," experience. You don't read The Road or something similar and come away saying "Oh yeah that was a hoot!" You enjoy them, certainly, but they're not PLEASANT.'
Why do we need to make Video games like movies or books. We have movies, we have books. To me, games can be much more. You get the visuals of a movie and the lengthiness of a good book. But it can be so much more immersive.

That's probably what's driving what I'm saying. A game like The Last of Us or The Walking Dead is not very pleasant at all. However, they clearly are excellent, enjoyable works of art. No "fun" necessary.
They're not pleasant happy games but they're still a lot of fun and well built mechanic wise. I'm not saying every game needs to be happy, just enjoyment of the gamer should hold precedence.

Thanks so much for contributing, even if we disagree, though.
Likewise
#BlackLivesMatter
DetectableNinja
Posts: 6,042
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7/24/2013 5:51:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
bump. Anyone? Anyone?
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
DetectableNinja
Posts: 6,042
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7/26/2013 11:51:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'll bump it one last time.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
DakotaKrafick
Posts: 1,517
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7/27/2013 12:19:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 6:51:52 PM, johnnyboy54 wrote:
Really, the situation is very complicated. Not every game deals with power fantasies and visceral joy. Some games, like good horror games, are more about the emotional high you get from the experience. Horror games typically have shoddy controls, involve messing with the players mind and emotions, and make the player feel helpless against a much stronger enemy. But we play because we like the feelings that the game elicits in us.

Another example is Spec Ops: The Line. Spec Ops is really an average military shooter from a gameplay perspective. What propels it above other mediocre shooters is the story being told, and how the experience emotionally resonates with the audience.

The last 15 or so minutes of Spec Ops was emotionally spectacular (and that one part in the middle when you discover you accidentally killed a bunch of civilians), but I was very underwhelmed with the rest of the game and didn't feel those two moments, great as they were, were enough to compensate for the rest of the mediocrity.
DakotaKrafick
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7/27/2013 12:24:36 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Fun can mean different things to different people. I think a video game's primary goal should be to instill fun in the player, and by that I mean the player must enjoy the experience. Heavy Rain wasn't all that fun gameplay-wise (in fact, the tank controls were unnecessarily frustrating), but the story and choice-making were extremely compelling so I overall enjoyed the experience very much.

Does that answer your question(s)?
DetectableNinja
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7/27/2013 11:16:36 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/27/2013 12:24:36 AM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
Fun can mean different things to different people. I think a video game's primary goal should be to instill fun in the player, and by that I mean the player must enjoy the experience. Heavy Rain wasn't all that fun gameplay-wise (in fact, the tank controls were unnecessarily frustrating), but the story and choice-making were extremely compelling so I overall enjoyed the experience very much.

Does that answer your question(s)?

Of course.

I was mostly commenting on the fact that there seems to be a lot of people who still just desire for an exhilarating power fantasy (the stereotypical "fun") from video games, which I think is pretty...basic.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
johnnyboy54
Posts: 6,362
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7/27/2013 2:43:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/27/2013 12:19:11 AM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
At 7/23/2013 6:51:52 PM, johnnyboy54 wrote:
Really, the situation is very complicated. Not every game deals with power fantasies and visceral joy. Some games, like good horror games, are more about the emotional high you get from the experience. Horror games typically have shoddy controls, involve messing with the players mind and emotions, and make the player feel helpless against a much stronger enemy. But we play because we like the feelings that the game elicits in us.

Another example is Spec Ops: The Line. Spec Ops is really an average military shooter from a gameplay perspective. What propels it above other mediocre shooters is the story being told, and how the experience emotionally resonates with the audience.

The last 15 or so minutes of Spec Ops was emotionally spectacular (and that one part in the middle when you discover you accidentally killed a bunch of civilians), but I was very underwhelmed with the rest of the game and didn't feel those two moments, great as they were, were enough to compensate for the rest of the mediocrity.

I did, because of the journey. You see Walker's slip into insanity. You see him become much more violent and angry as the story progresses. And after the reveal at the end, you truly realize the significance and the meaning behind everything.

I would go more into it, but spoilers and everything.
I didn't order assholes with my whiskey.
DakotaKrafick
Posts: 1,517
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7/27/2013 6:49:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/27/2013 11:16:36 AM, DetectableNinja wrote:
At 7/27/2013 12:24:36 AM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
Fun can mean different things to different people. I think a video game's primary goal should be to instill fun in the player, and by that I mean the player must enjoy the experience. Heavy Rain wasn't all that fun gameplay-wise (in fact, the tank controls were unnecessarily frustrating), but the story and choice-making were extremely compelling so I overall enjoyed the experience very much.

Does that answer your question(s)?

Of course.

I was mostly commenting on the fact that there seems to be a lot of people who still just desire for an exhilarating power fantasy (the stereotypical "fun") from video games, which I think is pretty...basic.

I definitely desire any fulfillment of an exhilarating power fantasy as well, such as firing off the multitude of rockets and bullets from the RYNO V, destroying everything and everyone in sight while looping 1812 overture. I enjoy power and freedom in a game (love open-world games) and will get a game if it sufficiently gives me just that (e.g., Just Cause 2: great freedom to roam and cause destruction, terrible story and characters) but those aren't the only kinds of games I look for.