Hello everyone, I return to you with a rant. I intend on making a video around this, maybe with some Sunset Overdrive footage in the background, or even Killer Instinct to accompany this.
With the GamerGate moving still swinging, people have been asking even more about what really is a game, and who is considered a gamer (an article calling Anita Sarkeesian one because she 'criticises games comes to mind). This has tossed more fuel into the fire, with Jim Sterling, someone I watch from time to time, pouring an expedited amount of fuel on to it. I intend on making this a (sort of) response, though I feel like tackling the issue head on (not GG, but I might get to it.
Video Games have, in recent years, ascended from their older forms (obviously) and have added much more depth in story, and cinematics. As games come out that prefer this over gameplay, people question whether or not they're games. Games can be classified as an activity based on chance, skill, or endurance, with a set of rules players must follow in order to win or to not lose for a variable amount of time, often for self enjoyment, or for a crowd/party. This tends to mean players working towards a set endgame goal, trying to last as long as you can before losing by the game's rules, or besting one or more players by the game's set rules. I will be talking about three specific games that have earned the ire of many; Gone Home, Mountain, and Depression Quest.
With games like Gone Home, however, more so push for an 'interactive art piece', as there is no challenge to the player and no real reward for playing through. While in a sense it can, and has been, classified as a game, Gone Home simply tugs the player along a set path to show journals of a story. Without any challenge or feedback, a game is just simply an art piece that you are given control over.
However, games like Mountain have little control and no endgame; just a mountain that grows trees and spins. To call this a game would be calling a screensaver a 'game'. It is simply an interactive piece like Gone Home, albeit with even less control. And this particular piece has original sin, cashing in on the 'simulator' craze that hit after games like Surgeon Simulator and Goat Simulator.
I would go into details on the 'content' of Depression Quest, but for now we will be looking at its game qualities and to be fair, it has some interactivity, although as much as a CYOA story, which then raises the questions of whether or not the old Goosebumps stories in my attic are games. The curious comparison has been made to Zork, although one could mention limitations prevented it from being more. I will give that it could be a game, although by technicality, but its existence does raise some implications, as the creator also intends on teaching other people on game making. Which is fine, though I don't go to Andrew Dobson to teach me how to draw. If you want to make a game, there are much better places for learning. Why settle for Tom Preston when you can find a way to learn from someone like nebezial or Awkward Zombie?
In the next journal, I look to cover the subject of who are gamers, something even more engulfed in fiery debates than the former topic.