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#1 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4676 posts) -

So I just watched the latest Extra Credits video which explains my problems with a certain mindset perfectly. Better than I ever could so I recommend watching it as it's the main point of discussion of this thread.

That being the idea some people have that games are meant to be fun. This bothers personally because such a claim is limiting what game are and aspire to be. That line of though is holding them back yet I see people cling to see, defending bad design with: "oh well, what do you expect, it has to be a fun game so of course death has no consequence". Which i've seen in defense of why war games feel the need to be blockbuster shooters.

Other forms of entertainment are not restrained like this, movies, books, etc can inspire a multitude of emotion, yet games are content with fun. Now i'm not decrying fun games, I love me some Platinum games but This narrow minded view is holding games back as medium.

Thankfully we are slowing spreading away from it if the success of Journey and The Walking Dead are anything to go by.

#2 Posted by JasonR86 (9652 posts) -

'Fun' is a broad term. I have 'fun' with things that many people wouldn't call fun because they lead to experiencing sadness, fear, worry, and confusion. But I have fun with a piece of media that can lead me to experience emotions and are thought provoking. So, and this is a dumbass semantic technicality, I do agree that games need to be fun. It's just that that manner of fun can be specified many different ways.

#3 Posted by Animasta (14667 posts) -

Journey and the walking dead aren't fun? You clearly have no idea what not fun is. Try Pathologic

#4 Edited by psylah (2169 posts) -

I definitely can see a distinction between a game that I play to enjoy the mechanics, and therefore have "fun" and a game that I play to enjoy the story. I would not call enjoying a story having "fun", but I appreciate it all the same. One may watch Schindler's List, but I wouldn't say "that was fun" afterward. I'd say that a game like Heavy Rain is not played to have fun, but the mechanics weigh into and develop the story. It may not be "fun" to go through virtual sets and shake virtual orange juice or set the virtual table, but it all plays into how characters are developed and how the plot progresses.

Games are medium for entertainment, not just for having fun.

#5 Posted by Scrawnto (2440 posts) -

The word "fun" is the wrong word to use. "Entertaining" isn't really right either, since that's sort of a passive concept. "Engaging" is the best that I've heard put forward. A good game engages the player, regardless of whether it is fun, scary, stressful, depressing, or whatever else.

#6 Posted by Brodehouse (9792 posts) -

I think it might sadden you to discover people play games for different reasons. Just like they listen to music or watch film for different reasons.

The best part _about_ the Walking Dead is that the mechanics don't get in the way. If you showed that game to an adventure game designer from 1991, they'd say it's for babies. Because we're not enjoying that game because of the 'puzzle' challenge. Silent Hill 2 is by far the easiest SH game and is by far the most beloved. Because no one's favourite part of those games is the difficulty.

Online
#7 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3195 posts) -

I get what you're saying but fun is maybe not the right word to use here. Depressing, uplifting, slow, simple and frustrating games can all be fun. Just like reading Finnegans Wake can be fun!

#8 Posted by believer258 (11776 posts) -

This may be true but I don't know if I want my games to try and tackle the likes of Schindler's List. Certainly I won't try to stop that but I think games have a fair bit more to grow before that can be something that is handled well.

Well, all right. I guess someone could handle it now, but I would still be a bit leery of it until it's released and I've played it.

#9 Posted by Carryboy (640 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

So I just watched the latest Extra Credits video which explains my problems with a certain mindset perfectly. Better than I ever could so I recommend watching it as it's the main point of discussion of this thread.

That being the idea some people have that games are meant to be fun. This bothers personally because such a claim is limiting what game are and aspire to be. That line of though is holding them back yet I see people cling to see, defending bad design with: "oh well, what do you expect, it has to be a fun game so of course death has no consequence". Which i've seen in defense of why war games feel the need to be blockbuster shooters.

Other forms of entertainment are not restrained like this, movies, books, etc can inspire a multitude of emotion, yet games are content with fun. Now i'm not decrying fun games, I love me some Platinum games but This narrow minded view is holding games back as medium.

Thankfully we are slowing spreading away from it if the success of Journey and The Walking Dead are anything to go by.

Fun is not an emotion, would you say journey and the walking dead are not fun games?

#10 Posted by Blimble (302 posts) -

Is this really an issue? When people talk about if a game is fun or not it is over a game that main goal was to be fun. With a game like the walking dead (and many many other games) you don't see people complaining that it isn't fun because people know that isn't the reason they are playing it (just to clarify I'm not saying the game isn't enjoyable). People a perfectly fine with the concept that games can induce other emotions or serve other purposes than fun.You'll rarely get the odd troll or idiot but I haven't seen anyone getting seriously mixed up on this subject, maybe people who have very little exposure to games but they generally don't talk about games so that is also a none issue.

they seem to have just made up a problem here

#11 Posted by Brodehouse (9792 posts) -
@believer258 the thing with games and fun isn't necessarily about subject matter, it's about a mix of engagement and barriers. Film, books, stories as we know them do not require you to solve a Queens puzzle to see what happens next. If the method of crossing those barriers is actively frustrating and infuriating, it might not be reinforcing the narrative. Even if it, that might not be what players want.

The more I think about it, the more I believe the makers of Spec Ops intentionally loaded that game with more and more unappealing combat scenarios as time goes on. At a certain point I feel as if the gun bursts and shouts get louder and everything else starts to die away, the only thought I had near the end was "I'm so fucking sick of shooting these assholes!" and I'm starting to think it was intentional.

But that said... if I had to do that another 2 hours, I would've quit. Because I don't need to be made that angry on my personal time. It's also why I don't watch political documentaries anymore.
Online
#12 Posted by Phatmac (5725 posts) -

You lost me when you said that Journey isn't fun. Fucking sliding down the sand in amazing art is damn fun to me. Use a better game next time.

#13 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

So I just watched the latest Extra Credits video which explains my problems with a certain mindset perfectly. Better than I ever could so I recommend watching it as it's the main point of discussion of this thread.

That being the idea some people have that games are meant to be fun. This bothers personally because such a claim is limiting what game are and aspire to be. That line of though is holding them back yet I see people cling to see, defending bad design with: "oh well, what do you expect, it has to be a fun game so of course death has no consequence". Which i've seen in defense of why war games feel the need to be blockbuster shooters.

Other forms of entertainment are not restrained like this, movies, books, etc can inspire a multitude of emotion, yet games are content with fun. Now i'm not decrying fun games, I love me some Platinum games but This narrow minded view is holding games back as medium.

Thankfully we are slowing spreading away from it if the success of Journey and The Walking Dead are anything to go by.

I find this kind of thing absolutely maddening.

There's this stupid post madern avant garde idea that nothing should be limited by what it is, and that's just garbage.

It's like this "anything can be art" business. Okay, if anything is art, than nothing is art and nothing gains anything by BEING art.

Games are supposed to be fun. Games are not movies. Games are not books.

If people want to create some sort of new modifier of "interactive media" and make whatever they want, fine. But that is not the hobby I grew up in that is called "videogames". That is something else entirely and I'd prefer those people go do that instead of ruining gaming.

#14 Posted by ajamafalous (11943 posts) -
@Brodehouse said:
I think it might sadden you to discover people play games for different reasons. Just like they listen to music or watch film for different reasons.
#15 Posted by Nottle (1912 posts) -

Egoraptor adressed this in an episode of gamegrumps. He quoted Jonathan Blow who said something along the lines of "to be good a game has to be one of 2 things, Fun or interesting." A game can be both at the same time, but as long as it is fun or interesting its a good game.

#16 Posted by Butano (1731 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

'Fun' is a broad term. I have 'fun' with things that many people wouldn't call fun because they lead to experiencing sadness, fear, worry, and confusion. But I have fun with a piece of media that can lead me to experience emotions and are thought provoking. So, and this is a dumbass semantic technicality, I do agree that games need to be fun. It's just that that manner of fun can be specified many different ways.

Agreed. People have "fun" going to horror movies and getting the shit scared out of them. Just like Drew has "fun" prepping up a sim flight for 30 minutes before even taking off. Fun has such a broad spectrum that really any sort of medium can have it, and it really depends on the person's experience with said fun.

#17 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

I think it might sadden you to discover people play games for different reasons. Just like they listen to music or watch film for different reasons.

The best part _about_ the Walking Dead is that the mechanics don't get in the way. If you showed that game to an adventure game designer from 1991, they'd say it's for babies. .

No... I think they'd probably just say it's not an adventure game. Which it's not.

It's basically a choose your own adventure cartoon. I'm not saying there's not enjoyable elements to it. I found them very compelling despite hating htem for the whole first episode for calling itself a game and not being a game.

#18 Edited by AngelN7 (2970 posts) -

Hey come on Journey is fun that part when you're surfing the dunes at high speed? that was tons of fun , but I see what you're saying I can enjoy a game as an engaging form media and for various reasons.

#19 Posted by vikingdeath1 (947 posts) -

Journey and The Walking Dead are two of the games that I have had the MOST fun with this year.... fun be subjective yo!

#20 Posted by Carryboy (640 posts) -

@JazGalaxy said:

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

So I just watched the latest Extra Credits video which explains my problems with a certain mindset perfectly. Better than I ever could so I recommend watching it as it's the main point of discussion of this thread.

That being the idea some people have that games are meant to be fun. This bothers personally because such a claim is limiting what game are and aspire to be. That line of though is holding them back yet I see people cling to see, defending bad design with: "oh well, what do you expect, it has to be a fun game so of course death has no consequence". Which i've seen in defense of why war games feel the need to be blockbuster shooters.

Other forms of entertainment are not restrained like this, movies, books, etc can inspire a multitude of emotion, yet games are content with fun. Now i'm not decrying fun games, I love me some Platinum games but This narrow minded view is holding games back as medium.

Thankfully we are slowing spreading away from it if the success of Journey and The Walking Dead are anything to go by.

I find this kind of thing absolutely maddening.

There's this stupid post madern avant garde idea that nothing should be limited by what it is, and that's just garbage.

It's like this "anything can be art" business. Okay, if anything is art, than nothing is art and nothing gains anything by BEING art.

Games are supposed to be fun. Games are not movies. Games are not books.

If people want to create some sort of new modifier of "interactive media" and make whatever they want, fine. But that is not the hobby I grew up in that is called "videogames". That is something else entirely and I'd prefer those people go do that instead of ruining gaming.

#21 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -

This is a better (albeit older) discussion of fun in games.

The thing is, though, that it's very hard to engage a player in a setting that doesn't require very much action. Dialogue choices and exploration are really the only two ways we've found, and I don't know if you can build a game entirely on those two things outside of an adventure game. This is definitely something that could use some experimentation, though. What if Catherine didn't have those block-moving segments, and was solely about choosing how to interact with these two women? Yeah, the game would've been a lot shorter, but it also probably would've been produced quicker, be cheaper, and a lot more concise.

#22 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4676 posts) -

perhaps Journey was a poor choice but it was a modern example of a game that goes against the grain in tone and was well received because of it. I do agree that moments of it are fun and exhilarating. Most of the game is spend walking around and exploring with little in way of mechanics. Journey sets out to do something different and the execution is excellent.

How about a game like child of Eden where the enjoyable comes primary from esthetics and the game play reinforcing this by altering the sound which work in tandem with the visuals to create a feeling of beauty and wonder.

I don't want games to not be enjoyable but that you can enjoy things in several other way, as many in this thread alluded to with mention that 'fun' is a broad term. Games like Child of Eden, Dark Souls, Journey are engaging.

Game don't have to be fun in a sense but need to engage in some way. A good example is horror games like Amnesia, which many would not claim are fun but the enjoyment and engagement comes from a different place. We need more games like that, too many right now are trying to obtain the same goal.

#23 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@AngelN7 said:

Hey come on Journey is fun that part when you're surfing the dunes at high speed? that was tons of fun , but I see what you're saying I can enjoy a game as an engaging form media and for various reasons.

The part where you're stuck walking slowly is boring as fuck on Journey though, so I can see why it was picked.

#24 Posted by notdavid (836 posts) -

To the Moon is the least "fun" game I've ever played. It's also my favorite of the last few years, with the interactive nature of the medium being a key reason as to why it was so impactful.

Games are, ironically, a medium inherently suited for storytelling. Heavy Rain's core story could've been told as a movie, but as a game, it surpassed the sum of the beats of the plot. The standoffs were incredible, knowing that if you fucked something up, someone would end up dead for the rest of the game. When I was pointing my gun at that religious guy, I could've pulled the trigger at any moment. After a lengthy, tense conversation, my partner was getting ready to arrest him. The dude reaches for something in his jacket, and I react immediately. I shot him in the face, and it felt like it came up organically. Because it did, in a way that no other artform can hope to replicate. The character didn't shoot the guy. I did, and it resonated with me.

Nothing about that scene was fun. It was uncomfortable. It wasn't challenging. I had no goals, no high score to chase, no co op buddy to chat with.

#25 Edited by AngelN7 (2970 posts) -

@Sooty said:

@AngelN7 said:

Hey come on Journey is fun that part when you're surfing the dunes at high speed? that was tons of fun , but I see what you're saying I can enjoy a game as an engaging form media and for various reasons.

The part where you're stuck walking slowly is boring as fuck on Journey though, so I can see why it was picked.

Sure but that segment lasts like what 10 minutes? even games that are "fun" all the way have their boring not too exciting moments once in a while... I had fun with Valkyria Chronicles even when it had a mission where your moving a limping character across the map.

#26 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -

I was about to come in and tell you to shut your dumb mouth, then I saw you were totally right. However, the problem is the definition of fun. You think fun means to make happy, which on a level it does. Losing a game of XCOM: NOT FUN. But it's tense. It's stimulating. Games should be stimulating, they should elicit responses, and when they are done, they should aim to make the player feel their time was well spent. That's how I see it.

#27 Posted by believer258 (11776 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

@believer258 the thing with games and fun isn't necessarily about subject matter, it's about a mix of engagement and barriers. Film, books, stories as we know them do not require you to solve a Queens puzzle to see what happens next. If the method of crossing those barriers is actively frustrating and infuriating, it might not be reinforcing the narrative. Even if it, that might not be what players want. The more I think about it, the more I believe the makers of Spec Ops intentionally loaded that game with more and more unappealing combat scenarios as time goes on. At a certain point I feel as if the gun bursts and shouts get louder and everything else starts to die away, the only thought I had near the end was "I'm so fucking sick of shooting these assholes!" and I'm starting to think it was intentional. But that said... if I had to do that another 2 hours, I would've quit. Because I don't need to be made that angry on my personal time. It's also why I don't watch political documentaries anymore.

Good point, I think I have a few more to make on this subject.

I don't think that delivering any emotion other than "fun" using gameplay and not story will ever be easy for games at all. For that matter, there are very few games I can think of that really took advantage of gameplay to make a player feel anything that isn't fun, and fewer that do not fall into the "horror" genre.

The reason I want to differentiate between gameplay and story in delivering emotion is related to what Brodehouse said - if the gameplay itself cannot deliver something then why not write a book or make a TV show or something? Too often, when people get on this subject gameplay is kind of pushed to the wayside as something that's "there", and not always intentionally; see: everyone praising Mass Effect for the story and not often mentioning the sometimes-dull shooter-y gameplay. I'm not saying that a game can't put a focus on story, but if someone wants to use games to deliver something deeper and something more engaging than simple "fun", then the gameplay probably should be involved in some manner, even if it is just a QTE. To give a good example, Halo Reach (which doesn't have a particularly good story itself) involves an invasion of a human-controlled planet by the Covenant. At the end of it all, your character stays behind to hold back some of the Covenant forces in a rather generic sacrifice. But instead of it just being a cool cutscene, the game puts you back in control and hordes of enemies come your way. Yes, the story beat is fairly generic and it's basically a simple "survive as long as you can" gameplay mechanic, but it's a good example of how gameplay and story can combine to make something better than what either can deliver on their own.

I feel like I'm rambling so I'll stop there and let someone poke holes in something I've said. I just want people to stop saying "games just need better stories", which is true but it doesn't mean that something else isn't needed.

#28 Posted by Demoskinos (14733 posts) -
@ImmortalSaiyan If im not having fun with a game im wasting my time. If I want a story I'll watch a movie. That isn't to say I don't enjoy game stories but David Jaffe had it right when he said stories should service the mechanics not the other way around. Games need to quit trying to be movies.
#29 Posted by laserbolts (5317 posts) -

I agree they do not need to be fun. Personally for me they do but I can see why some people share the same view as you.

#30 Posted by MX (228 posts) -

If games aren't fun to play, why would you play them? I don't want to play a game, where the quality of the gameplay could best be compared to being punched in the dick by Mike Tyson every minute of your life, not even If the story comes from the mind of someone like Stephen King. But hey if you want to play games that aren't fun, have at it. Meanwhile I am having a lot of fun playing The first episode of the walking dead on my iPad.

#31 Posted by hawkinson76 (359 posts) -

"Engaging"

#32 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4676 posts) -

@Tylea002 said:

I was about to come in and tell you to shut your dumb mouth, then I saw you were totally right. However, the problem is the definition of fun. You think fun means to make happy, which on a level it does. Losing a game of XCOM: NOT FUN. But it's tense. It's stimulating. Games should be stimulating, they should elicit responses, and when they are done, they should aim to make the player feel their time was well spent. That's how I see it.

On a level it does come down to the semantics of the word fun. Some people think anything engaging is therefore fun but I meant something purposeful designed to evoke lighthearted pleasure. A game, or any form of entertainment that fails to evoke on any level is just bad.

@notdavid said:

To the Moon is the least "fun" game I've ever played. It's also my favorite of the last few years, with the interactive nature of the medium being a key reason as to why it was so impactful.

Games are, ironically, a medium inherently suited for storytelling. Heavy Rain's core story could've been told as a movie, but as a game, it surpassed the sum of the beats of the plot. The standoffs were incredible, knowing that if you fucked something up, someone would end up dead for the rest of the game. When I was pointing my gun at that religious guy, I could've pulled the trigger at any moment. After a lengthy, tense conversation, my partner was getting ready to arrest him. The dude reaches for something in his jacket, and I react immediately. I shot him in the face, and it felt like it came up organically. Because it did, in a way that no other artform can hope to replicate. The character didn't shoot the guy. I did, and it resonated with me.

Nothing about that scene was fun. It was uncomfortable. It wasn't challenging. I had no goals, no high score to chase, no co op buddy to chat with.

I love To the Moon. One of my favorite games of last year for sure. It has one of the best stories I ever seen in a game. I really liked Heavy Rain as well, for the reasons you described. The interactivity of it all gave it tension and weight not possibly in a passive entertainment form. That alone got me hooked into and I was able to look past some of the poor acting and plot holes. Heavy Rain one of the few games does player choice well, you actually feel - and do - have impact over the story's outcome. Every step is a possible mistake with serious and irreversible consequences.

So basically were on the same page.

#33 Posted by Marcsman (3177 posts) -

I'm completely lost here. Why would I play a game if it is not fun?

Really I don't get it.

#34 Posted by shivermetimbers (763 posts) -

People tend to confuse fun and engaging. I'm going to be an unpopular guy here and say games are engaging because they are fun. Fun can be accomplished by many different ways; be it by depressing means, like Silent Hill 2, or by joyful means, like The Grasshopper Manufacture games described in the video. Video games engage us because they're amusing, which in turn makes them fun. Instead of saying that video games should be engaging without being fun, we should be saying that video games are fun because they are engaging.

#35 Posted by MikkaQ (10281 posts) -

Even worse is when people defend a badly designed game and say "Oh it's not supposed to be fun, it's supposed to be challenging". Fuck that. Life is challenging, I don't need more of that. If I wanted a bigger challenge I'd just be more ambitious with my career. Conquering a hard game shouldn't really be how I gain a true sense of accomplishment. Games are about enjoying an interactive experience, not toppling the biggest challenge.

#36 Posted by ShockD (2400 posts) -

To me games = entertainment and entertainment = fun.

#37 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

A lot of games aren't just fun anymore. Almost all big title games have adapted some kind of story and some of them even thrive on their lore/story. Like Portal for example, that game has a very basic puzzle concept wrapped in a immersive story.

#38 Posted by joetom (96 posts) -

I never understand why people get so pissy about stuff like this. When someone goes and suggests that games can strive for things other than just being fun, people freak out over the concept. I don't get it. If you don't want those games, don't play them. Just like there are movies that don't try to be entertaining, I don't see why games need to be always fun.

The Walking Dead isn't a fun game, but the story and characters are extremely engaging, which makes it an enjoyable game, even when it's making you feel like shit. It's the same reason people want to watch depressing movies, because trust me, people don't love Schindler's List because it's "entertaining."

There are people who don't like depressing or dramatic movies, but they don't freak out over them. They just don't see them. I don't see why games would be any different. If you don't want a game that's trying to be engaging or depressing or dramatic or whatever, just don't play it. Why get angry about the concept? No one's saying that every game should try to be like Heavy Rain, I don't think anyone wants that. I still love the fuck out of stuff like Borderlands which try to be nothing but fun. There's just plenty of room to try other things.

#39 Posted by A_Talking_Donkey (262 posts) -

@believer258 said:

I don't think that delivering any emotion other than "fun" using gameplay and not story will ever be easy for games at all. For that matter, there are very few games I can think of that really took advantage of gameplay to make a player feel anything that isn't fun, and fewer that do not fall into the "horror" genre.

Steel Battalion? It's purposefully slow paced and aims to capture the feel of piloting a VT as much as possible, so much so that it's like a simulator for a thing that doesn't really exist.

Something that should be noted is that, at least as far as RPGs and text based adventures go, early on they were heavily influenced by tabletop games like D&D and Chainmail which are not inherently fun. Rolling dice without a purpose is not a game, and telling a story with no mechanics attached to it is just that, telling a story. While I wouldn't say telling a story is not fun for everyone, for most people most of the time just making up some high fantasy stories isn't really a way to have fun. The reason tabletop gaming worked is that players were willing to immerse themselves and invest time into their characters. The fun isn't the game, the fun is the players' perception of the game. How does this apply to modern gaming? Pressing buttons isn't fun. Watching and hearing things isn't inherently fun. The thing that draws you to video games is your own willingness to experience it.

I know that some level of anti-avant-garde has been expressed in this thread but I actually think that games could stand to be more formless in the creation process. Ice-Pick Lodge released two of what I consider the best PC games of all time, and they're both in fairly recent history. Pathologic and The Void are both stunning, not because they try to be fun, but because they're both interesting experiences that don't restrain themselves. Flower is one of the best PS3 games and I really can't think of any other game that does the same sort of thing well. AAA games have been pretty stale this generation though.

#40 Posted by CornBREDX (5051 posts) -
@JasonR86 said:

'Fun' is a broad term. I have 'fun' with things that many people wouldn't call fun because they lead to experiencing sadness, fear, worry, and confusion. But I have fun with a piece of media that can lead me to experience emotions and are thought provoking. So, and this is a dumbass semantic technicality, I do agree that games need to be fun. It's just that that manner of fun can be specified many different ways.

This is basically how I feel as well. I find it interesting, only recently I learned that some people don't consider terrifying things to be fun. I love to be terrified by a game, or even emotionally invested and torn. It's an emotional roller coaster, as I've heard it called haha, and I enjoy that kind of stuff. 
 
I do agree, op, though. I don't think a game has to be fun, under this type of understanding of what some believe to be a definition of fun. Although I feel that saying something being disturbing or sad is not necessarily fun limits your field of view.
#41 Posted by SomeJerk (3206 posts) -

I just played two hours of Classic-Ironman difficulty XCOM and lost eleven soldiers in that time, lost one story mission because everybody died, it was a very punishing super difficult affair and I felt I was very lucky to only lose eleven soldiers.
 
..but was it fun?
 
Fuck yes it was fun. More fun than my Normal playthrough in its entirety. Only a single savegame that updates after every move, larger numbers of all kinds are put against you. Fuck games that don't manage any fun at all. Modern Warfare 3's singleplayer, nothing was fun. Borderlands 2, the only fun was putting an end to it, just like Final Fantasy 13-2, finishing it was fun as in the little burst of joy you feel after you take a humongous dump and feel 4lbs lighter and it also flushes properly.
 
Fuck games that don't carry the slightest fun or joy or satisfaction in them in any form.

#42 Edited by Atlas (2435 posts) -

I think inventory management and encumbrance limits make games more fun. Some people would think I am insane to say this. Fun is far too nebulous and subjective a term to relate to it in such a narrow-minded context. If this is a thread about how "dumb fun" then I can totally get behind that; people fawning over Saints Row The Third last year just because it was crazy turned me off that game. But I don't think games are the kind of media that allow for experiences that are painful to endure but also completely compelling, beautiful, and artistic. I love Lars Von Trier, but he couldn't make games the way he makes films. I'm willing to be proven wrong on this, but this is how I feel. I will choose to watch an art house film over a summer blockbuster any day of the year, let alone the week (Inception being one major exception), but when it comes to games I don't gravitate towards interactive novels and super arty games like Dear Esther or To The Moon; I'm playing Borderlands 2 right now, which is a dumb game but it's hella fun to shoot bullymongs and the game has a fun goofy sense of humour.

Also Journey is fun to play, as well as incredibly atmospheric and beautiful to behold and listen to.

Also also, people's need to tie the development and nature of video games to films is really pathetic to me, like some desperate grab for justification. What's so special and important about films, compared to other forms of media?

#43 Posted by believer258 (11776 posts) -

@A_Talking_Donkey said:

@believer258 said:

I don't think that delivering any emotion other than "fun" using gameplay and not story will ever be easy for games at all. For that matter, there are very few games I can think of that really took advantage of gameplay to make a player feel anything that isn't fun, and fewer that do not fall into the "horror" genre.

Steel Battalion? It's purposefully slow paced and aims to capture the feel of piloting a VT as much as possible, so much so that it's like a simulator for a thing that doesn't really exist.

I wasn't talking about simulation kinds of games in particular.

Anyway, here I was writing a snarky comment on how Steel Battalion does not belong in the category "good" when I remembered that there have been two Steel Battalion games.

#44 Posted by Nicked (247 posts) -

I don't think it's fair to say that games are being "held back" when the barrier to entry for developing in the medium is becoming lower and lower. If Activision was the only entity in the world making games, then sure, but there are all sorts of studios out there who make the games they want to make so I don't see how games are "held back". I don't think you can argue that big budget games hold low budget games back as it's like saying the Transformers movies somehow "hold back" movies as medium. That's just not true.

#45 Posted by Brodehouse (9792 posts) -
@A_Talking_Donkey I'm going to have to disagree with you about the Chainmail/D&D; thing. It's certainly not extremely _accessible fun_, but the statistical jive of D&D; attracts people as much as the story. Dave Snider's favourite part of Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale is not the characters or the dialogue, it's the combat. Plenty of wargamers care nothing for the fluff (what narrative stuff is filed under in tabletop speak), and play solely for the crunch (mechanics).

I think those people are mostly crazy, but that's what they call fun. Dave Arneson thought to make it a storytelling platform, Gary Gygax just liked mechanics.
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#46 Posted by Aegon (5473 posts) -

Gameplay should be enjoyable. The story should be satisfying.

#47 Edited by Icemael (6314 posts) -

Games do need to be "fun" in the most general sense of the word -- that is, they need to be enjoyable. The same goes for books, movies and music.

#48 Posted by phantomzxro (1571 posts) -

@JazGalaxy said:

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

So I just watched the latest Extra Credits video which explains my problems with a certain mindset perfectly. Better than I ever could so I recommend watching it as it's the main point of discussion of this thread.

That being the idea some people have that games are meant to be fun. This bothers personally because such a claim is limiting what game are and aspire to be. That line of though is holding them back yet I see people cling to see, defending bad design with: "oh well, what do you expect, it has to be a fun game so of course death has no consequence". Which i've seen in defense of why war games feel the need to be blockbuster shooters.

Other forms of entertainment are not restrained like this, movies, books, etc can inspire a multitude of emotion, yet games are content with fun. Now i'm not decrying fun games, I love me some Platinum games but This narrow minded view is holding games back as medium.

Thankfully we are slowing spreading away from it if the success of Journey and The Walking Dead are anything to go by.

I find this kind of thing absolutely maddening.

There's this stupid post madern avant garde idea that nothing should be limited by what it is, and that's just garbage.

It's like this "anything can be art" business. Okay, if anything is art, than nothing is art and nothing gains anything by BEING art.

Games are supposed to be fun. Games are not movies. Games are not books.

If people want to create some sort of new modifier of "interactive media" and make whatever they want, fine. But that is not the hobby I grew up in that is called "videogames". That is something else entirely and I'd prefer those people go do that instead of ruining gaming.

I feel your argument is off base because even with art the confines of what define art has grown over the years. The forms of art have grown so why can't games do the same. Games by default can't be books or movies because of the interactive nature of games in itself. Much of the same grumblings happened when wider forms of art were welcomed by the people and some wondered if art was losing it's creditability. Or somehow it would ruin art and the standards of art.

That never happened and much the same with games it won't happen ether. There is room for many types and forms of games that everyone can enjoy so why worry and just enjoy the games you like to play. That's the key to all media forms, it can be different things to different people and no one has to feel left out of that because there is something for everyone.

#49 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@joetom said:

I never understand why people get so pissy about stuff like this. When someone goes and suggests that games can strive for things other than just being fun, people freak out over the concept. I don't get it. If you don't want those games, don't play them. Just like there are movies that don't try to be entertaining, I don't see why games need to be always fun.

The Walking Dead isn't a fun game, but the story and characters are extremely engaging, which makes it an enjoyable game, even when it's making you feel like shit. It's the same reason people want to watch depressing movies, because trust me, people don't love Schindler's List because it's "entertaining."

There are people who don't like depressing or dramatic movies, but they don't freak out over them. They just don't see them. I don't see why games would be any different. If you don't want a game that's trying to be engaging or depressing or dramatic or whatever, just don't play it. Why get angry about the concept? No one's saying that every game should try to be like Heavy Rain, I don't think anyone wants that. I still love the fuck out of stuff like Borderlands which try to be nothing but fun. There's just plenty of room to try other things.

Bevause the idea of a a game striving for something is absurd and assanine.

Football does not "strive" to be more. Poker does not "yearn to be something greater".

A game is a game. When people start trying to add in all this touchy feely garbage, about pushing the limitations of the conceptions of what is a "videogame", I just want them to admit that they're talking about something else entirely.

IT's like when you hear a standup comedian start talking about how he has a responsibliity to shock people and say all the things that people aren't supposed to be able to say because being a comedian is about pushing the limits of decency and getting reactions out of people.

Like, what? No, I listen to comedians to laugh. This post modern garbage is a whole other thing.

Why does it matter? Opportunity cost. It's why ANYbody cares about philosophical discussions of the games industry. When developers make one game, it means there's a 100 potential games they could have made, but didn't. When we get a bunch of yahoos talking about how they want a Mario Brothers game that's going to make them cry, that means one less solid, challenging, well designed Mario game for the rest of us.

#50 Posted by notdavid (836 posts) -

@JazGalaxy said:

@joetom said:

I never understand why people get so pissy about stuff like this. When someone goes and suggests that games can strive for things other than just being fun, people freak out over the concept. I don't get it. If you don't want those games, don't play them. Just like there are movies that don't try to be entertaining, I don't see why games need to be always fun.

The Walking Dead isn't a fun game, but the story and characters are extremely engaging, which makes it an enjoyable game, even when it's making you feel like shit. It's the same reason people want to watch depressing movies, because trust me, people don't love Schindler's List because it's "entertaining."

There are people who don't like depressing or dramatic movies, but they don't freak out over them. They just don't see them. I don't see why games would be any different. If you don't want a game that's trying to be engaging or depressing or dramatic or whatever, just don't play it. Why get angry about the concept? No one's saying that every game should try to be like Heavy Rain, I don't think anyone wants that. I still love the fuck out of stuff like Borderlands which try to be nothing but fun. There's just plenty of room to try other things.

Bevause the idea of a a game striving for something is absurd and assanine.

Football does not "strive" to be more. Poker does not "yearn to be something greater".

A game is a game. When people start trying to add in all this touchy feely garbage, about pushing the limitations of the conceptions of what is a "videogame", I just want them to admit that they're talking about something else entirely.

IT's like when you hear a standup comedian start talking about how he has a responsibliity to shock people and say all the things that people aren't supposed to be able to say because being a comedian is about pushing the limits of decency and getting reactions out of people.

Like, what? No, I listen to comedians to laugh. This post modern garbage is a whole other thing.

Why does it matter? Opportunity cost. It's why ANYbody cares about philosophical discussions of the games industry. When developers make one game, it means there's a 100 potential games they could have made, but didn't. When we get a bunch of yahoos talking about how they want a Mario Brothers game that's going to make them cry, that means one less solid, challenging, well designed Mario game for the rest of us.

What's the problem with admitting that you're just not the audience for certain games? I'd take one L.A. Noir over a thousand Call of Duties, but I'm not shitting on CoD, or saying that it's in any way a lower form of entertainment than the stuff that I like. I'm just not the audience for it.