The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
User avatar
flamepanther
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1608
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:40 pm

Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by flamepanther Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:49 pm

Hobie-wan wrote:Indeed. One's inner child should come out to play sometimes. Being an adult means knowing the appropriate times for it to do so.
There are also plenty of toys and games (in the conventional sense, not video) that are absolutely not meant for children.
Image
Hatta
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 4030
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 8:33 pm

Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by Hatta Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:25 pm

I don't think the content changes the nature of the act. It's still play.
We are prepared to live in the plain and die in the plain!
User avatar
Original_Name
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1157
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:02 pm
Location: Nashville, TN

Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by Original_Name Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:58 am

So what people are saying is that because one can manipulate the narrative of a video game, that makes it a toy? I feel that it is the nature of many video games to provide narratives that branch in several directions not (or at least not exclusively) in order to tickle the fancy of the player, but in order to gauge the player's personality and provide a narrative which impacts the player more closely. You don't necessarily have to have fun doing it.

For instance, in Seaman the aim of the game is not to gauge your personality in order to say the things that will be most "fun" -- rather it is to bring forward narratives that (in the majority of cases) are most antagonizing towards you specifically, or narratives that call into question your personal, intimate behaviors. I didn't play Seaman because it was fun -- I played it because I was compelled. One time he asked me if I thought he was real and I replied, "No," to which he responded by refusing to talk to me for a couple of days despite my tapping, calling, and so forth... finally, he addressed me with a monologue about how he thinks therefore he is, and if he wasn't real, I wouldn't have gotten so worried about him... then he said he was fucking hungry. Experiencing this, I didn't say, "YIPEE, WHAT FUN!!" Yet this is the experience I cite as being the most powerful a video game has ever delivered to me because it broke the fourth wall all over the damn place and screamed at the top of its lungs, "NO OTHER MEDIUM COULD HAVE DONE THAT, EVER." This was a simulation of an event that I could not have experienced otherwise, just as many games are simulations of events you COULD experience otherwise.

Is the Desert Bus section of Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors on the Sega CD fun? Of course not -- but it is a simulation of driving a bus through the desert. Never driven a bus through the desert? There's a simulation -- first-person and all. Never controlled a taxi-driver barreling through San Fransisco without any regards to the laws of the road nor humanity in order to make crazy money from a third-person perspective? Here it is now. Never selected the patterns in which blocks of four will fall into a pit with some invisible force pushing them downward at variable speeds blah blah blah blah blah?

What I'm getting at is that video games CAN be toys (one of my favorite games is called "Toy Commander" after all), but in all cases, they're simulations. Sometimes the simulation can be straight-forward, other times it can be laughably abstract for a human to experience, but I've come up with a term that I think best fits the medium: Video Simulation.
User avatar
flamepanther
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1608
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:40 pm

Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by flamepanther Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:32 pm

I always saw that sort of stuff in Seaman as really dry humor. The actuality of being ignored by a talking virtual pet for several days isn't all that fun, but the idea of it is hilarious.

Seaman reminds me of what Andy Kaufman did to comedy. Conventional comedians attempt to amuse an audience through their words and actions. Kaufman reversed the situation and amused himself at the expense of a bewildered audience. If someone in the audience enjoyed their part in that comedy experiment, so much the better, but it wasn't a requirement. Similarly, conventional game designers try to provide fun for the players. With Seaman, the developers have fun at the player's expense, whether the player has fun or not. The game messes with you, and if you take it seriously then you're the best kind of target. :lol:

Inasmuch as it stretches the definition of "game" though, it could be argued that "video game" is not the most appropriate term for that title. However, it still can reasonably be viewed as a game, so the term still works.
Image
User avatar
Original_Name
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1157
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:02 pm
Location: Nashville, TN

Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by Original_Name Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:21 pm

flamepanther wrote:*snip* The game messes with you, and if you take it seriously then you're the best kind of target. :lol:

Inasmuch as it stretches the definition of "game" though, it could be argued that "video game" is not the most appropriate term for that title. However, it still can reasonably be viewed as a game, so the term still works.


Hah, well I was 10 years old the first time I played it, so obviously I took it very seriously and was just about the best target Sega/Vivarium could have hoped for.

Yeah, I suppose Seaman does overlap with the constructs of what makes a "game" in a few slight ways (in that the "narrative" does come to a conclusion based on your actions... although a new Seaman could perhaps use online and DLC functionality in order to have developers update Seaman's vocabulary and conversation trees in real-time, at which point I'm not quite so sure on what merits one could consider it a "game" -- not that that would make any money at all, haha), however, while I'd say it's about 10% game, it's nearly 100% simulation, as are all other games, therefore "simulation" as a broad term is more fitting, unless someone can prove me wrong?
User avatar
flamepanther
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1608
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:40 pm

Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by flamepanther Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:50 pm

Original_Name wrote:Hah, well I was 10 years old the first time I played it, so obviously I took it very seriously and was just about the best target Sega/Vivarium could have hoped for.
Oh man, playing Seaman at 10 years old would be awful! :lol:
Yeah, I suppose Seaman does overlap with the constructs of what makes a "game" in a few slight ways (in that the "narrative" does come to a conclusion based on your actions... although a new Seaman could perhaps use online and DLC functionality in order to have developers update Seaman's vocabulary and conversation trees in real-time, at which point I'm not quite so sure on what merits one could consider it a "game" -- not that that would make any money at all, haha), however, while I'd say it's about 10% game, it's nearly 100% simulation, as are all other games, therefore "simulation" as a broad term is more fitting, unless someone can prove me wrong?
I'd agree that Seaman is definitely both a game and a simulation. However, I think there is an extremely large number of video games that would be very poorly described as "simulators". Most games have some sort of rudimentary physics worked in, but good simulator should be an accurate approximation of hypothetical objects, activities, or events. Most really fun games (I know, subjective...) are radically inaccurate when viewed as simulators. Contra? Not really a war simulation. Sonic the Hedegehog? No. Mario's jumping "physics" would give an actual simulation engineer fits, I think. And what exactly is Tetris supposed to simulate?

The only terms I can think of that can be applied to nearly all "video games" that don't somehow bring along everything that is associated with a conventional game would be "software" or "program". That would exclude only some very early pre-Pong analog games played on oscillators and such.
Image
Hatta
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 4030
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 8:33 pm

Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by Hatta Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:29 pm

Seaman is a toy. I mean, you could call lincoln logs a simulation of frontier life if you want, but it's really just a toy.
We are prepared to live in the plain and die in the plain!
User avatar
Original_Name
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1157
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:02 pm
Location: Nashville, TN

Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by Original_Name Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:03 am

I think we're working off of two different meanings of simulation -- there's the kind of simulation which is basically like the accurate recreation of real-world situations, and then there's the kind that's defined as, "the assumption of a false appearance or form". That is to say that when I play Sonic the Hedgehog, I assume the false form of Sonic the Hedgehog -- or when I play a flight-sim, I assume the false form of a man who flies planes inside of my television screen. [EDIT:] Or when I play Lincoln Logs: The Game I assume the false form of a person who's playing with Lincoln Logs. :wink:

...the distinction may seem arbitrary, but I do think it's very possible to create a "video game" that you can't call a "game" without stretching the meaning of that word entirely, whereas the medium always to a reasonable extent encompasses "the assumption of a false appearance or form" via video output, therefore I think that Video Simulation is a more fitting term. Will it catch on? Highly doubtful. But I do think that from a purely semantic perspective that "Video Sim" (a whole letter shorter than "Video Game"!) is a term which respects the more ambiguous directions one could take the medium in.

And to Hatta, I understand how Seaman can be viewed as a toy (a terrifying one to my 10-year-old self, but a toy no less), but speaking of the medium itself, would you say that there's an important distinction between a toy and an interactive narrative? Or does "interactive narrative" fall under the umbrella of "toys", no question? I'm very interested in this topic...
User avatar
MidnightRider
32-bit
 
Posts: 211
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:03 am

Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by MidnightRider Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:33 pm

I'm gonna actually get back on topic here.

If the term "video game" was ever outdated, it would have been at the release of the NES. Barring the occasional early arcade port, or board game, or whatever else that made maybe 10%(at most) of the NES's library, the other 90%(possibly more) were all about getting to the end. Not exactly a very game-like goal. In that regard, it did it's job, in a couple different ways, to not present itself as a video game console, after the crash, quite well.

I've actually come to appreciate the Atari 2600(which was slightly before my time) a lot more in recent years because of this. In contrast to the NES, 90%(or more) of it's games were more about playing them until you're sick of 'em, or trying to just top your own best score or something. Much more game oriented goals.
User avatar
flamepanther
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1608
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:40 pm

Re: Is the term "video"game outdate?

by flamepanther Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:15 pm

MidnightRider wrote:I'm gonna actually get back on topic here.

If the term "video game" was ever outdated, it would have been at the release of the NES. Barring the occasional early arcade port, or board game, or whatever else that made maybe 10%(at most) of the NES's library, the other 90%(possibly more) were all about getting to the end. Not exactly a very game-like goal. In that regard, it did it's job, in a couple different ways, to not present itself as a video game console, after the crash, quite well.

I've actually come to appreciate the Atari 2600(which was slightly before my time) a lot more in recent years because of this. In contrast to the NES, 90%(or more) of it's games were more about playing them until you're sick of 'em, or trying to just top your own best score or something. Much more game oriented goals.
"Getting to the end" is a very game-like goal. Case in point: Candy Land.
Image
Return to Games As Culture

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest