In a recent interview, Bioware heads Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk expressed disagreement over whether the Wii constituted gaming versus just playing with a toy.
Originally responding to a question about whether storylines are the motor force behind genuine advances in gaming, the pair debated whether the Wii’s casual, socially oriented model could be called gaming, and what it is that defines the activity.
“There’s a narrative there, too, between people playing sports,” Muzyka said about the dynamic of the Wii. “It’s actually a narrative between the people playing it. It’s sort of one level abstracted from the game…I think it’s still part of the game experience.”
Zeschuck, though, took a different approach, likening the Wii to playing with a toy, given the absence of a conventional narrative.
“[T]hose kinds of experiences are much more like a toy experience. They’re playing, together or not, but you’re not ‘gaming’ anymore. What’s different than you actually playing tennis?”
To which Muzyka ultimately responded: “When you look at a moment to moment experience what a player does on a Wii game, it’s different, lighter, and more toy-like. But there’s also a narrative between the players outside the game and kind of fulfills the same things games do. Games are ‘toys’ in the sense that they’re fun.”
Bioware, which is behind a number of A-list story-heavy roleplaying games, the latest of which was Mass Effect, does not have any games out or officially planned for the Wii.