I guess this might seem like kind of a pointless question, everyone knows what a game is right? But this is the internet and today I saw one gamedev tell another that the game they had been spending years making, wasn’t a game. Suffice to say I disagree with said gamedev and am no longer following them. It was sad to see and I hope it’s not a prevalent attitude.
It did make me think about the nature of game, and just how much can you boil it down. I got it right down to ‘interactive experiences’. Which let’s be honest, is pretty close to the bone. Mirriam-Webster defines it in a few ways narrowing it into a few category’s, which makes sense, but it’s Mirriam-Webster’s very first definition that’s at play here: ‘activity engaged in for diversion or amusement ‘. That could be pretty much anything, and if you want to put video before that it’s still hugely broad category of electronic diversions or amusements.
Many people might take ‘amusement’ as being the operative word here but I don’t think we should ignore ‘diversion’, this covers a scope of games that are made to evoke something other than amusement, games the deal with emotions directly, like depression or loss are just as important as a million dollar match 3 or AAA shooters. So if your game is for amusement alone, it’s still a game, or if you want to delve into something a bit different, or some mix of the 2, it’s still a game. And I really hope you make it, because diversity in games can only help our medium, and really, there’s plenty of room for everybody!