Is this a game?

  • 105 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Posted by GuyIncognito (445 posts) 1 year, 2 days ago

Poll: Is this a game? (299 votes)

Yes 79%
No 21%

From what I remember of the quick look, Gone Home seemed more like a visual novel or "interface to a story" than a game. And by game I mean something like chess, pong or baseball. Is there a winning or a losing state or do you just walk around picking up items and reading notes?

#1 Posted by erhard (442 posts) -

You walk around and click on things with no real need to think about the order in which you do things. It's like an evolved hidden object game with a relatively interesting story.

#2 Posted by wemibelec90 (1839 posts) -

You actively interact with the world, which makes it a game in my book. Unlike a visual novel, where you are just making choices and reading text, your actions have an effect on the world.

#3 Posted by Zaccheus (1806 posts) -

Who cares, it's great no matter what kind of categorization you force upon it.

#4 Posted by AMyggen (3660 posts) -

The discussion regarding what is and isn't a game is useless to me. What does it matter? It's a way for some People to just outright dismiss a game. If you absolutely have to define it, Gone Home is a point and click adventure game. No one questioned if those kinds of games were "games" before, it's just that some loud minority (not you) decided that they wanted to start dismissing games before they even played them.

#5 Edited by Humanity (10123 posts) -

Some people like to think so.

#6 Posted by AlexanderSheen (5101 posts) -

You actively interact with the world, which makes it a game in my book. Unlike a visual novel, where you are just making choices and reading text, your actions have an effect on the world.

Could you clarify that?

#7 Posted by DonChipotle (2852 posts) -

Sure it is. It's just not a particularly fun one to play.

#8 Posted by GuyIncognito (445 posts) -

You actively interact with the world, which makes it a game in my book. Unlike a visual novel, where you are just making choices and reading text, your actions have an effect on the world.

To me interactivity isn't sufficient for something to be a "game." Just about anything on a computer is interactive (other than, say, screen savers). There have to be winning and losing conditions.

#9 Edited by Shortbreadtom (864 posts) -

@guyincognito: Well... it ends? Is that enough of a winning state?

#10 Edited by GuyIncognito (445 posts) -

@shortbreadtom said:

@guyincognito: Well... it ends? Is that enough of a winning state?

EDIT: Maybe, I'm dense, but is this a clever joke?

#11 Edited by AMyggen (3660 posts) -

@guyincognito: What's a winning and losing condition here? Would you say that older adventure games where you couldn't die or really "fail" were games by that definition? It just seems silly to me to argue that Gone Home isn't a game, of course it is.

As for Oxford's definition, it's a very broad one which I tend to agree with:

noun

a game played by electronically manipulating images produced by a computer program on a monitor or other display.

Edit: I also agree with this video on the subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgu76ql6FSo (sorry I can't link directly from this tablet). The most important takeaway from that video is how absurd it is to use "winstates" or similar as a litmus test for what is and isn't a "game".

#12 Edited by GuyIncognito (445 posts) -

@amyggen:

Adventure games had puzzles. Winning was solving the puzzle. Also in some adventure games you were able to die: In King's Quest 5 you died if you walked around the desert too long. (Is there a puzzle to solve in Gone Home? I haven't played the game.)

noun

a game played by electronically manipulating images produced by a computer program on a monitor or other display.

A video game is a *game*.

#13 Posted by AMyggen (3660 posts) -

@guyincognito: I know that you were able to die in some adventure games, like most Sierra games.

As I said, I think the "winstate" litmus test for what is and isn't a game is completely useless, but you're stretching that definition preeeeeetty far if you include "solving a puzzle". That's not what most people think of when talking about that extremely vague term.

Do you disagree with the video I posted? That reflects my view on the subject pretty well.

And is there a puzzle to solve in Gone Home? I would say so, but others might disagree. That doesn't matter to me though, it's not something that's needed for it to be a video game.

#14 Posted by TheHT (11819 posts) -

People on the Internet arguing about video game actually being a video game. We'll bring you more on this story at never.

#15 Edited by Optix12 (625 posts) -

@amyggen said:

@guyincognito: What's a winning and losing condition here? Would you say that older adventure games where you couldn't die or really "fail" were games by that definition? It just seems silly to me to argue that Gone Home isn't a game, of course it is.

As for Oxford's definition, it's a very broad one which I tend to agree with:

noun

a game played by electronically manipulating images produced by a computer program on a monitor or other display.

Edit: I also agree with this video on the subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgu76ql6FSo (sorry I can't link directly from this tablet). The most important takeaway from that video is how absurd it is to use "winstates" or similar as a litmus test for what is and isn't a "game".

With oxfords definition you probably need to consider in their definition(s) for "game".

Awkwardly this doesn't quite help the discussion as:

noun

  • 1 a form of competitive activity or sport played according to rules.
  • 2 an activity that one engages in for amusement.
  • 3 a complete episode or period of play, ending in a final result.

1 suggests that Gone Home is not really a "game", as it might require some win state (with it being competitive), however points 2 and 3 (the example for 2 is computer games) suggest that Gone Home is indeed a game, where as long as you had fun with it and Gone Home reached an appropriate end state (to me it did).

So to Oxford and its dictionary its all dependant on which definition you choose to uphold.

Edit: That being said, I loved the shit out of this game, regardless if there were no puzzles or not

#16 Posted by GuyIncognito (445 posts) -

@amyggen said:

@guyincognito:

Do you disagree with the video I posted? That reflects my view on the subject pretty well.

I'm watching it. BTW, "baldness" is as hard to define as "game-iness", at some point you're obviously bald and at some point you're obviously not bald (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuum_fallacy). Just because there is a murky middle doesn't mean there is no clear definition. If "Gone Home" was obviously a game or not a game to me, I wouldn't post this poll.

#17 Posted by e30bmw (356 posts) -

I what Jeff had to say about this on his latest Jar video. Basically, who gives a fuck?

#18 Posted by Popogeejo (616 posts) -

Does it have choices? You can choose what to ignore and what to look at so yes, it's a game.

The OED isn't dependant as ALL definitions are simultaneously true. If you enjoyed doing it then it can be considered a game. I'd say that some level of choice, no matter how small, is needed just to differentiate it from books (CYOA's notwithstanding) and movies.

#19 Posted by stalefishies (346 posts) -
I haven't played the game.

You know, I think there's a pretty simple solution to all this that would easily tell you whether you think Gone Home classifies as a game or not...

#20 Posted by Atlas (2457 posts) -

It's definitely a game. It's just not a game that I enjoyed at all.

#21 Edited by AMyggen (3660 posts) -

@optix12: Yeah, I agree that it might not be the best example I could've posted (if you use Oxford's definition of "game" you could argue that horror games aren't games, or that extremely hard games like Dark Souls isn't a game...or those games fall under category 3, which, if so, Gone Home does too).

My main point is, and people should watch the video I posted: Why does it matter what is and isn't a game, why is that really a discussion worth having? It seems to me to just be a way for people to dismiss games outright by not calling them "video games" because of some vague definition they came up with. With a few exceptions, every time this is brought up it's because some people do not like the product and want to dismiss it without really explaining why other than "it's not a game" (David Cage games are good examples of that, every time he releases something this discussion happens again...and I'm saying that as someone who hates his games). "Win states" and "lose states" are two so incredibly vague terms that they're more or less useless, it means different things to different people (as seen here, by GuyIncognito saying that just completing a puzzle is a "win state"). And as the video states, normal "games" have downtime where you do not do anything, why can't a game like Dear Esther, which consists of more or less just those moments, be a "video game"?

Anyways, time to go visit my family for Christmas.

#22 Edited by mracoon (4979 posts) -

It has a page in the Games section of the Giant Bomb wiki so yes.

Moderator
#23 Edited by Popogeejo (616 posts) -

In the end the strict definition shouldn't matter. It doesn't truly matter. Let people play/read/engage with what they want and if you don't want to join them then simply leave them be.

#24 Posted by triviaman09 (804 posts) -

Limiting games to having a true win state is a fool's errand (Pong doesn't really have a win state. Those numbers just go up. Tetris only has a lose state). Calling video games "games" in the first place is limiting, but the term has such historical clout that we're probably stuck with it now. A more useful and inclusive term would be something like "interactive entertainment" but that's too ungainly to say and also precludes games that aren't necessarily meant to entertain (Cart Life, Depression Quest, etc).

Unfortunately we're left with a definition of "video game" akin to the US Supreme Court unofficial definition of pornography. I know them when I see them. Of course Gone Home is a game.

#25 Edited by GuyIncognito (445 posts) -
#26 Posted by AMyggen (3660 posts) -

@triviaman09: The definition of a win state is also incredibly vague, and is different things to different people. Do MMORPGs really have a win state? You could say that leveling up or maybe completing a dungeon is a win state, but you never really "win" at an MMO. It just keeps on going. You never reach an end. Same goes for "old School" Minecraft, is that a game or not?

I agree that using "win states" to judge what isn't and isn't a game is useless. And yeah, I think the whole discussion really has no real merit: It's mostly a way to dismiss certain games from the discussion.

#27 Posted by Guesty_01 (382 posts) -

I haven't even played Gone Home but this just seems so fucking stupid to me. Of course it's a game. Seriously some people like to overthink this shit.

#28 Edited by GuyIncognito (445 posts) -
#29 Posted by Vuud (2035 posts) -

It's a game in the academic sense in that it is a piece of software you are executing on a computer device, but it's a really really really shallow game. It's all narrative, little game play or mechanics, etc.

#30 Edited by GuyIncognito (445 posts) -

@amyggen said:

@triviaman09: The definition of a win state is also incredibly vague, and is different things to different people. Do MMORPGs really have a win state? You could say that leveling up or maybe completing a dungeon is a win state, but you never really "win" at an MMO. It just keeps on going. You never reach an end. Same goes for "old School" Minecraft, is that a game or not?

I agree that using "win states" to judge what isn't and isn't a game is useless. And yeah, I think the whole discussion really has no real merit: It's mostly a way to dismiss certain games from the discussion.

In MMORPGs you win or lose individual battles. Also, is old school minecraft a game? You can die in it. You can defeat or be defeated by monsters. It has game-y elements.

#31 Edited by RonGalaxy (3270 posts) -

You interact with things in the exact same way you would a first person shooter; you point at stuff and you click. People being all high and mighty saying it 'isnt a real game' need to realize most games are uncomplex in how you interact with them.

Also

#32 Posted by dcgc (878 posts) -

Nope, but I still did enjoy it. For it to be a game it needed to have a win/fail state (which has none).

#33 Posted by probablytuna (3831 posts) -

@amyggen said:

@triviaman09: The definition of a win state is also incredibly vague, and is different things to different people. Do MMORPGs really have a win state? You could say that leveling up or maybe completing a dungeon is a win state, but you never really "win" at an MMO. It just keeps on going. You never reach an end. Same goes for "old School" Minecraft, is that a game or not?

I agree that using "win states" to judge what isn't and isn't a game is useless. And yeah, I think the whole discussion really has no real merit: It's mostly a way to dismiss certain games from the discussion.

In MMORPGs you win or lose individual battles. Also, is old school minecraft a game? You can die in it. You can defeat or be defeated by monsters. It has game-y elements.

  1. In Gone Home, the winning state is solving the mystery of why you come home to an empty house and not greeted by your family.
  2. There are puzzles to solve.
  3. You control the character's movements and interact with the world at large to reach your goal.

It's a video game.

#34 Posted by alwaysbebombing (1652 posts) -

Who gives a fuck?

#35 Posted by Guesty_01 (382 posts) -

How fucking crazy are you people who are saying a game needs a win/fail state???!

#36 Posted by BeachThunder (12437 posts) -

If chess, Pong, and basketball are used as a barometer, then the sheer majority or video games would also be excluded from being video games. So, it may not be a game in a traditional competitive definition, but it is a video game.

The issue arises from the awkwardness of the term 'video game'. When we say video games, the implication is 'interactive electronic recreation' rather than exclusively referring to something involving competition or winning states.

#37 Edited by davidwitten22 (1708 posts) -

Yeah its a game, it's just a very limited one. Graphic novels are games too, whether I really care for them or not.

#38 Edited by GorillaMoPena (2342 posts) -

are you a game?

#39 Posted by spankingaddict (2740 posts) -

It's a thing ...?

#40 Posted by JasonR86 (9729 posts) -

What is love?

#41 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (1186 posts) -

If you can play it then it's a game.

#42 Posted by RazielCuts (2987 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

What is love?

Baby, don't hurt me.

#43 Posted by Steadying (1478 posts) -

Yes, obviously.

#44 Posted by ripelivejam (4895 posts) -

what is best in life?

#45 Posted by Ezekiel (550 posts) -

I don't consider it one. That's fine, though. I'm open to interactive stories. But I don't even find Gone Home to be a very interesting story.

#46 Edited by tourgen (4542 posts) -

Yeah, it's a game as much as say the point-and-click adventures I was just playing. I personally didn't care for it and don't feel it deserves the acclaim it is getting, but it's a game.

The Breakout and Harvey's New Eyes are pretty good BTW.

#47 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (6004 posts) -

I think so. It's really up to our individual definitions of what a game can be.

#48 Posted by GaspoweR (3526 posts) -

From what I understand, like all games this in fact does have an end goal per se and its all tied to the narrative. There is no objective markers but rather you treat items in the house as the markers with the end objective of finding out what, how, where, and why things are the way they are currently in that state in the house.

#49 Posted by GaspoweR (3526 posts) -
#50 Posted by Animasta (14728 posts) -

yes. also visual novels are games.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.