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#51 Posted by Soapy86 (2620 posts) -

I have no opinion on whether or not The Walking Dead is "a game" or not, but I'll say this; a video game could have the best characters or story ever, but if the gameplay isn't very good, then it's undeserving of being nominated or winning Game of the Year.

#52 Posted by NickL (2246 posts) -

Hey guys, they already talked about the "gameness" of TWD in this weeks podcast around the 30 minute mark. They decided that the dialogue trees in themselves make it enough of a game basically (or else none of the old text adventures were games either.)

@Deusoma: Seems you took that wrong, I was not being serious. I agree with you. Who cares if Halo 4 gets best xbox game or not, it still was a fucking awesome game.

#53 Posted by Deusoma (3001 posts) -
@NickL: Ahhh, then all is forgiven, friend NickL! I'm glad to find more people who share my view instead of arguing endlessly over such things. And yes, for the record, Halo 4 was a fucking awesome game. *brofist* :-)
#54 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

I think Patrick and Jeff already defended it well enough on one of the last couple Bombcasts. TWD is safe. It might LOSE to XCOM or Far Cry 3 or Journey because of that kind of reasoning, but it will still definitely be a contender.

#55 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11487 posts) -

Eh, to each his own, but the part where The Walking Dead is barely a game certainly does prevent it from being my Game of the Year, not that it would've won it anyway had it had more puzzles or something.

As for the Giant Bomb staff, I bet they will probably argue a bunch over it until Brad filibusters and XCOM wins instead or something.

#56 Posted by DoctorWelch (2774 posts) -

Despite my feelings on this topic, I'm really interested to see what happens when they start discussing it.

#57 Posted by project343 (2812 posts) -

@Masakari said:

I agree with them... So yeah. Stuff like Flower or Dear Esther arent video games, imo. They are interactive experiences.

Your opinion makes me sad. But it also made me realize how dumb 'video game' as the name of this medium is. The 'game' part implies a childness that I don't think encapsulates the entirety of what this medium has to offer. A lot of games aren't 'fun' or lighthearted: some are work, some are stress, some are dramatic and emotional. Moreover, placing this heavy emphasis on 'fun' and 'gamey-ness' implies that creative works that stray further from 'fun' goal are somehow lesser experiences within this medium.

Flower, Dear Esther, The Walking Dead and To The Moon are some of the most magical, emotional, and affecting 'interactive experiences' that I have ever been exposed to.

If games have to appeal to childish fun, they might as well give up entirely on trying to emotionally affecting and should stop including narrative and cutscenes. Those are irrelevant additions to this limited 'fun' formula. Basically, I'm trying to say 'fuck you and your opinion' in the most drawn-out and least direct way possible. Hugs?

#58 Posted by John1912 (1831 posts) -

TWD is more a interactive narrative then it is a game. The game's center piece are the character interaction and dialogue choices. All other elements are about as basic as they can get. I only wish the dialogue and character interaction really affected the events in the game more. They are pretty superficial all in all.

#59 Posted by Willin (1280 posts) -

It's not a movie, book or song. It has more in common with video games than any of those 3.

#60 Posted by Breadfan (6589 posts) -

To The Moon was different though. There wasn't really ANY real player interaction. You just sort of move through the game and absorb the story. Walking Dead actually takes player input and makes you part of the world.

I love To The Moon. 'Play' it people!

#61 Posted by mlarrabee (2887 posts) -

I think if they actually considered To The Moon as proper GOTY material the discussion would have happened.

As for TWD, I was able to make my character, Lee, say the things I would have said, make decisions I would have made, and conduct himself as I would have. I felt more connected to the characters surrounding Lee by stepping into his shoes than I did with any other characters from any other game or "game" from the past several years.

The argument that TWD is more a movie than a game is the same one that says Halo 4, Uncharted 3, and MW3 aren't games. I'd argue that MW3 is more linear and is more non-interactive than TWD; you are allowed at least some decision making and impact on the story in the latter. Everyone who has played Halo 4 or Uncharted 3 has hit every single one of the same story beats. My experience in TWD was my own. Yeah, the story may not have changed that much because of my choices, but the differences were deeper than, "I shot that grunt before that other grunt," or, "I mantled that low wall instead of crawling around it."

#62 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Whether it's a game or not doesn't really matter, the fact is the actual snippets of gameplay are pretty bad and that's why it shouldn't be getting Game of the Year. It fails at the most gamey part of being a game. It's a good overall experience, but the actual gameplay was not fun, a game of this type largely can get away with that as it's more of an interactive story but I don't think it should get a totally free pass for its jank.

and hey don't get me wrong, I loved it start to finish...well, I thought episode 4 was a bit weak sauce and ep5 was surprisingly short, but still. It was great.

#63 Posted by Village_Guy (2501 posts) -

It's a stupid argument, The Walking Dead is very much a game, but the actual gameplay in it was pretty bad. So that is why I don't think TWD should win GOTY, it might have amazing story and characters and stuff, but it fails at the basic level of which defines a game and sets it apart from other mediums.

#64 Posted by Cold_Wolven (2213 posts) -

The Walking Dead can still be classified as an interactive experience which is the definition of a video game. I've yet to play it but I am downloading it right now (Steam is going slow atm) but even if I have a great time with it I don't think I could give it the number one spot as as there have been a few games that I've had a great time with this year and they at least play better so perhaps it's how well a game actually plays that gains the GOTY award.

#65 Posted by Winternet (8007 posts) -

@MeatBoy: You know that with that definition you're excluding 90% of video games, right? Unless you're including decisions like "do I shoot the guy behind the barrel first or do I shoot the guy by the window" in the "interesting decisions" pot. In that case, everything is a game (as it probably should?).

#66 Edited by MeatBoy (51 posts) -

@Winternet: I agree that it can be seen as a reductive definition, but it depends on how you interpret "interesting decisions". Either way I used it only to make that specific point. It´s actually really more about what makes a good game as apposed to either a bad one or something that isn´t a game. (again from a systems perspective)

Wouldn´t you say that in a good game, the decision to either shoot the guy behind the barrel or the guy in the window, can be expected to be an interesting one? (In the sense that choosing on or the other represent different strategies and has different consequences.)

#67 Posted by JoeyRavn (4949 posts) -

@ArbitraryWater said:

Eh, to each his own, but the part where The Walking Dead is barely a game certainly does prevent it from being my Game of the Year, not that it would've won it anyway had it had more puzzles or something.

But why is it "barely a game"? Because of lack of "gameplay"? It has more gameplay than many video games that people would not dare not to call video games. Pong? One of the earliest and most famous video games. Pac-Man? All you do is press the analogue stick in one of four directions, avoiding ghosts and eating pills. Mario Bros.? Jump on platforms, kick turtles ad inifinitum. Asteroids? Move ship, shoot asteroids. And so on and so forth. Taken as a whole, it's even longer than most "AAA" titles.

All those games feature minimal gameplay with minimal variation over the course of the playthrough. Someone may say that all those games are the forefathers of the industry, and that video games as a genre have moved on past such a simple implementation of gameplay mechanics... But, no, not really. Just like in movies, books or music, every new entry to the paradigm enlarges it. It doesn't invalidate what was done before, nor has an inherently greater quality.

So, yeah, I still don't get why people claim that TWD is not a game but an "interactive experience" or whoever they want to call it.

#68 Posted by adam1808 (1379 posts) -

The thing is, they care about TWD whereas they didn't care about To the Moon. The guys are openly subjective about that stuff, if it doesn't interest them then it'll get some lip service but won't really get considered.

#69 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

This is the dumbest thread. Everyone needs to step back and realize how silly this discussion is.

#70 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

I think it's not a game and it's a pretty poor story as well.

@FearMyFlop said:

If it's an interactive world I can manipulate in any way, it's a game.

Does choosing one of two characters to deliver a particular line or perform a particular function count as manipulating? Choose your own adventure books have branching archs, but most of them end in failure with the successful run being pretty much always the same. Wouldn't call those games.

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#71 Posted by Masakari (72 posts) -

@project343 said:

@Masakari said:

I agree with them... So yeah. Stuff like Flower or Dear Esther arent video games, imo. They are interactive experiences.

Your opinion makes me sad. But it also made me realize how dumb 'video game' as the name of this medium is. The 'game' part implies a childness that I don't think encapsulates the entirety of what this medium has to offer. A lot of games aren't 'fun' or lighthearted: some are work, some are stress, some are dramatic and emotional. Moreover, placing this heavy emphasis on 'fun' and 'gamey-ness' implies that creative works that stray further from 'fun' goal are somehow lesser experiences within this medium.

Flower, Dear Esther, The Walking Dead and To The Moon are some of the most magical, emotional, and affecting 'interactive experiences' that I have ever been exposed to.

If games have to appeal to childish fun, they might as well give up entirely on trying to emotionally affecting and should stop including narrative and cutscenes. Those are irrelevant additions to this limited 'fun' formula. Basically, I'm trying to say 'fuck you and your opinion' in the most drawn-out and least direct way possible. Hugs?

See, yours and other replies to my post are precisely part of the issue here. Where, exactly, is the problem in saying "X thing" isn't a video game but is an interactive experience? I'm not saying it in any derogatory manner, I'm just saying some of this software is pretty far out on the interactive entertainment field and I can't put it side by side with DooM or Blackjack.

We can't just say "any interactive experience" is a video game, like some suggested here, that's just stupid, and more to the point, it actually diminishes the goal they were trying to accomplish. Video games are interactive media experiences, but not all interactive media experiences are video games.

I still maintain that Flower and Dear Esther (for example) aren't video games, and I don't see what's so wrong about "not being in the video game category" that gets people all hot and bothered.

#72 Edited by bibamatt (1086 posts) -

I don't personally subscribe to this "not a game" thing because, well, whatever. But I can at least see where people are coming from with that as a criticism/observation about TWD, To the Moon and Dear Esther. But Flower?! Where did that come from? How is Flower not a game? It's got an avatar that you control throughout the whole game. It's got collectibles. It's got navigation. You have to play the game to win it. With TWD I'm pushing a button every so often and watching shit loads of cut scenes. But Flower? You can't get through two minutes of Flower without playing it. You don't just float around. You have to find things, collect them, dodge things and, later in the game, make jumps and navigate areas in order to proceed. It's a game ass game. I'd go with Noby Noby Boy if I wanted a non-game example.

#73 Posted by MB (12032 posts) -

@Village_Guy said:

It's a stupid argument, The Walking Dead is very much a game, but the actual gameplay in it was pretty bad.

I have to agree with you. I love the TV series, love adventure games, but I just can't bring myself to finish this one. I still haven't even touched anything after episode 3.

When I want to play games, I sit down and want to play something like Far Cry 3...I've spent 40 hours with it since it was released. When I want to watch a movie, I plug something in and don't want to have to do anything but sit there and watch it. The Walking Dead falls somewhere in between, and I am having a pretty difficult time wanting to go back and finish it. I'll do it eventually, but every time I think about starting it up, I choose something else.

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#74 Posted by bibamatt (1086 posts) -

@MB said:

@Village_Guy said:

It's a stupid argument, The Walking Dead is very much a game, but the actual gameplay in it was pretty bad.

I have to agree with you. I love the TV series, love adventure games, but I just can't bring myself to finish this one. I still haven't even touched anything after episode 3.

When I want to play games, I sit down and want to play something like Far Cry 3...I've spent 40 hours with it since it was released. When I want to watch a movie, I plug something in and don't want to have to do anything but sit there and watch it. The Walking Dead falls somewhere in between, and I am having a pretty difficult time wanting to go back and finish it. I'll do it eventually, but every time I think about starting it up, I choose something else.

I'm with you on this. I'm actually really enjoying TWD (I'm just starting the final episode!) but, man, the bits where I have to walk around are the worst bits. Especially the amount of arbitrary 'walk forward ten feet'. It's pointless. There are countless times in the game where it'll instruct you to 'walk forward', usually with an instruction to do it 'slowly' or whatever. All you can do is press forward. And it's not analogue, so you can't walk slowly. You just hold the stick up (you can't move in any other direction) for three seconds and then the next cut scene rolls. It takes me out of it. I love the dialogue choices but I kinda wish I could just lie back on my sofa and do those bits (and the shooting bits) with a wiimote instead of having to slowly walk around every so often and click on the four things that are clickable in the environment.

#75 Posted by EvilKatarn (465 posts) -

If I thought of The Walking Dead as a game then I'd think it's a piece of garbage. There was not a single moment when I was excited about having to play the damn thing.

#76 Posted by project343 (2812 posts) -

@Masakari said:

See, yours and other replies to my post are precisely part of the issue here. Where, exactly, is the problem in saying "X thing" isn't a video game but is an interactive experience? I'm not saying it in any derogatory manner, I'm just saying some of this software is pretty far out on the interactive entertainment field and I can't put it side by side with DooM or Blackjack.

We can't just say "any interactive experience" is a video game, like some suggested here, that's just stupid, and more to the point, it actually diminishes the goal they were trying to accomplish. Video games are interactive media experiences, but not all interactive media experiences are video games.

I still maintain that Flower and Dear Esther (for example) aren't video games, and I don't see what's so wrong about "not being in the video game category" that gets people all hot and bothered.

My problem is that we are trying to decide on where the line should be drawn between 'interactive audiovisual experience' and 'video game' rather than simply merging the two under the same banner. What do you do with experiences like Metal Gear Solid that are closer to a weaving montage of video game and film? What do we do with experiences that do not try to embody 'fun' or 'play' like the majority of horror games? My problem is not necessarily that these games are being excluded from the video game medium, but rather, that the name 'video game' is potentially detrimental to the future of this industry: ensuring that the only thing we can/should walk away with in nonsensical, childish fun.

Even still, I actually found both Flower and Dear Esther to completely capture elements that I love most from more traditional video games. Dear Esther fed my hunger for exploration and curiousity; every step forward in Dear Esther allowed me to further explore that tiny little world that these talented people put together, and to explore this character; exploration is one of the main draws to the video game medium that nothing else offers, and for me, Dear Esther satisfies that. With Flower, I actually had a ton of fun enjoying the momentum and grace of the core game experience, coupled with the brilliantly satisfying musical notes that accompanied the collection of petals; how is this different from enjoying Super Mario Bros. 3 with its coin collecting and flying through the sky (aside from the sheer childish abstraction of the world)?

#77 Posted by Milkman (16540 posts) -

I don't think To the Moon was cut because they didn't think it was a game. Just because it wasn't good enough.

Also, we are going to have a new thread about "Walking Dead is/is not a game" every day now, aren't we?

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#78 Edited by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -

Is Art a Video Game?