The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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crux
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Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by crux Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:20 pm

I think "video games" is outdated purely because it's terribly nondescript. After all, aren't the original "Scene It" or "Clue VCR Mystery Game" considered "video games?" They certainly meet both requirements, despite having no direct interaction with the video.

The term "video game" was likely coined because we simply couldn't think of anything better. They're fun, they have rules (however nebulous), and they're placed on a screen, right? As time has gone on, though, games have evolved quite a bit. A number of games could be more closely considered simulators than games, but they still maintain the "video game" moniker.

JT's comments on the word "game" are very much valid. Sports are called sports for a reason - as a way to distinguish them from other "games". Hunting game is an entirely different definition of the word "game" altogether. Video games, however, have yet to distinguish themselves from one another like the term "sports" has managed. Instead we subdivide them with genres and deal with the term "video game" because, well, why fight it?
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Lord Huggington
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Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by Lord Huggington Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:06 am

I say just stick with calling it "video games" and be done with it. On a basic level what we're playing are games where we can only see what's going on with them via a video display (as opposed to playing a table top board game or a game in a field or some such). Delving any further into what we should call this hobby of ours strikes me as nothing more than navel-gazing BS.
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Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by MrEco Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:58 am

Personally "game" sort of sounds demeaning. Not to me, but to people in general. The average person (Who doesn't play video games) hears the term "video game" and thinks of it as something childish and unimportant. However I don't think it's as simple as saying "video games aren't working anymore, we have to think of something better to call them" because to even begin thinking of what term would best suite them we have to first clearly define what makes a video game a video game. And that's a pretty messy discussion considering all the different types of video games out there. I mean (For example) would something like Noby Noby Boy really be considered a video game if we put the fact that active goals and/or some level of challenge have to be present? Or what about Minecraft?
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flamepanther
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Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by flamepanther Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:44 am

Limewater wrote:JT, I disagree with your comments about the word "game" as well. I don't think that the word inherently carries the idea of light-hearted entertainment in our culture.
Obviously it does, or it wouldn't keep coming up in conversations like this one.
Sports are often taken very seriously by spectators and athletes.
And then someone will inevitably try to be "the voice of reason" and utter the words "it's just a game." Obviously that's supposed to mean something.

If we take a game like American Football or Baseball for example, originally it was played for fun. When it's just a game between friends, that's still how it's treated. Once it develops into a spectator sport, played by professionals who are not necessarily having any fun, the goal is still ostensibly fun and amusement--that of the spectators who are enjoying the game vicariously. When the fans invest so much emotion into the game that they no longer have fun watching, it becomes a complete misdirection of energy. It happens, but most would see it as abnormal, so it has little bearing on the purpose of the game.

Even most sports fans who purport to take their favorite games "seriously" and invest a lot of themselves into it will tell you they're in it because they have fun watching and following their favorite teams and players.

The word "game" also refers to animals hunted and killed for food or other reasons.
That is correct. Once we eventually start hunting video games for food, it will retroactively validate your point.
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Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by Hatta Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:25 pm

What's funny is that sports fans will often look down on video game players. As if watching other people play a game was superior to playing a game yourself.

Personally I have no problem with the term game. Hell, video games are toys. As an adult, I have absolutely no problem playing with toys. What I have a problem with are people who think that play is somehow only for children. Like they've forgotten how to have fun, and they want everyone else to be as miserable as they are.
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Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by flamepanther Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:50 pm

"video game" isn't outdated as far as what it's meant to refer to. It may not sufficiently describe everything else a game might have crammed into it besides that basics that make it a game, but it's still an accurate descriptor.

This is fine up to the point when all the extra content or ideas become conflated with the idea of the game itself. The term only starts to fail after this, when you gradually start to remove the aspects that made it a game in the first place, leaving all of the other elements in place, and expect to still call it by the same name.

The term isn't obsolete, but we need new names to describe these other kinds of interaction and experience that people want video games to give birth to.
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Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by saturnfan Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:51 pm

Hatta wrote:What's funny is that sports fans will often look down on video game players. As if watching other people play a game was superior to playing a game yourself.

Personally I have no problem with the term game. Hell, video games are toys. As an adult, I have absolutely no problem playing with toys. What I have a problem with are people who think that play is somehow only for children. Like they've forgotten how to have fun, and they want everyone else to be as miserable as they are.


I think someone earlier in the thread talked about how video games really aren't "toys" because a game is an activity while a toy is an object that facilitates play, but not necessarily a game. Now this may be an exercise in redundancy to debate to what extent video games should be considered toys, but I think it is important to point out that video games have expanded beyond childs play and should be considered a form of entertainment that all can enjoy.
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Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by flamepanther Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:03 am

saturnfan wrote:Now this may be an exercise in redundancy to debate to what extent video games should be considered toys, but I think it is important to point out that video games have expanded beyond childs play and should be considered a form of entertainment that all can enjoy.
I think it's even more important to remember that there have always been a significant number of teenage or adult gamers, and that there have been games catered specifically to a "mature" audience at least as far back as Death Race. The idea that video games have ever been just kiddie fare, or that they've somehow "grown up" in terms of the age group they target is common, but false nonetheless.
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Hatta
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Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by Hatta Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:01 am

saturnfan wrote: I think it is important to point out that video games have expanded beyond childs play and should be considered a form of entertainment that all can enjoy.


That presumes that child's play is an inferior activity which is something I'd strongly disagree with.
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Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by Hobie-wan Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:33 pm

Hatta wrote:
saturnfan wrote: I think it is important to point out that video games have expanded beyond childs play and should be considered a form of entertainment that all can enjoy.


That presumes that child's play is an inferior activity which is something I'd strongly disagree with.


Indeed. One's inner child should come out to play sometimes. Being an adult means knowing the appropriate times for it to do so.
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