Living the Experience

Living the Experience

The dream of video games being able to offer a proper experience have become a reality.

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Robert B. Marks, through the linked article:
While there are those who argue that these "walking simulators" aren't really games (an argument that, make no mistake, has merit)[---]

I'm all ears. What are the best arguments for that?

Robert B. Marks, through the linked article:
Perhaps we need a new term for this medium, one that reflects what it has become, instead of its past on CRT monitors and television screens[---]

I'm doubtful it would stick if a new name would be implemented. Even so:

The term 'movie' is short form for 'moving picture', i.e. they borrowed the name of an earlier familiar type of media(a still picture) and modified it to reflect the innovation involved in the new piece of media (it's an image, only it is moving, ergo: moving picture).

When pointing out what the strength of video games are over other mediums it is always their interactivity that is brought up, i.e. that the player gets to direct the experience in some capacity. for this reason 'Interactives' or 'Interactivies' would probably be a working term. Though the word 'interactive' is a lot less used than 'moving' and a lot more clunky in everyday sentences.

Will Wright suggested the term 'software toy' when he had struggles of how to market the original Sim City. The fact that it didn't stick should be telling, but perhaps it could make a return.

The term 'video game' did however come about in an equivalent way to the term 'movie': it is a game (like poker, baseball or monopoly), only played on a video display, ergo: video game. And the term 'film' for a feature length production of moving pictures and sound to a directed narrative will probably stick around long past the expire-date for the technology of the film strip, so this might be a pointless exercise.

How used is the term 'Graphic novel'? Since English isn't my first language I don't know if it actually had it's intended effect or if that is just one of those terms some people are really keen on using, the rest actively ignoring it.

Bedinsis:

Robert B. Marks, through the linked article:
While there are those who argue that these "walking simulators" aren't really games (an argument that, make no mistake, has merit)[---]

I'm all ears. What are the best arguments for that?

There are multiple variations but it basically boils down to 2 things: Interactivity and Fun. Walking sims interactivity with the player is so limited that they blur the lines between video game and movie. Secondly, there are a lot of people who believe games should be fun; most walking sims are more 'experienced' than 'fun to play'.

What is the difference between a video game, surfing facebook or even using 'Do Your Own Taxes' software? They are all interactive and displayed on a video monitor.

What if you made a game for the blind that was some kind of interactive experience. It played tones based on if you were near important things, npc's that talked to you and you had to 'follow' their voices... If it doesn't have a video component but is still interactive then is that still a video game? Or would that just be some kind of weird, complicated musical instrument?

Not the first one liking No Man's Sky

Robert B. Marks:

The dream of video games being able to offer a proper experience have become a reality.

Well... depending of what kind of experience you were looking for, games have been able to do that for decades (and there are experiences that games still can't offer properly). But I agree that some of the most wanted experiences are now at the reach of the hand (and middle-class budget).

However, should the experiences become close enough to reality to make them indistinguishable, would they inspire people to go for the real deal? Or would dissuade them on doing so (if they are even able to choice)?

I dunno, having No Mans Sky, Gone Home and Dear Esther as examples of "experiences" isnt very right, there really isnt much going on Dear Esther that hasnt gone on Half Life 2, I mean, the story is rather bad and disjointed, the strongest point really is the scenery and that, that is in plenty of games that have you exploring interesting and natural places. In no way have I ever considered Dear Esther giving me something unique, in fact I felt it much more limited in scope.

Games that I felt that actually gave me unique experiences are the mindfuckery and freedom of approach of EYE: Divine Cybermancy, the "this is you, do whatever you want" mindset of Mount and Blade:Warband, the dangerous and oppressive world of STALKER, the 60+players coordination of Project Reality.

I dont know, I really dont remember playing something like Myst and dreaming of being able to play it without having to interact with anything.

I could kind of understand Gone Home, I do think that it can give something unique mostly because of how much interaction and detail it has. It is something that only some other special games like Thief had.

No Mans Sky is just a worse Elite Dangerous.

Robert B. Marks:
In many respects, the medium has outgrown its name.

How so? I'm pretty sure the medium still consists of games played by manipulating images on a screen.

Robert B. Marks:
There are no shortage of traditional video games, but there are also games like Gone Home or Dear Esther, which offer an experience - and often a meaningful one - without the trappings of traditional gameplay.

What is a "traditional" video game and what is "traditional" gameplay? Both Gone Home and Dear Esther are extremely rudimentary as far as video games go, so how would they be a step forward for the medium?

Robert B. Marks:
While there are those who argue that these "walking simulators" aren't really games (an argument that, make no mistake, has merit), they still fall entirely within the video game medium.

I'd say them being placed under video games is more due to their lack of popularity as a form of entertainment, than them being games.

Robert B. Marks:
Their DNA is the same as Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, and while the enemies and shooting have been replaced with exploring one's way through visual storytelling, they have far more commonalities with the latest Call of Duty game than differences.

"walking simulators" are just first-person shooters but without the game-play, as you can still have all the exploring and visual storytelling in a first-person shooter, but not the other way around.

Robert B. Marks:
Perhaps we need a new term for this medium, one that reflects what it has become, instead of its past on CRT monitors and television screens.

If "walking simulators" become popular they may break off under the own medium, but at the moment it's easier/convenient to lump them in with games.

Robert B. Marks:
And if the medium of video games can deliver experiences like this right now, I can't wait to see what's coming next, regardless of what name it goes by.

Have you not seen Star Citizen?

 

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