Video Games; ‘Winning’

I can say with certainty that games exist to be won is not true any more. Prani finishes her short response by saying, “…to be a game, a game doesn’t have to have a narrative.” which holds true. Games like the classic arcade cabinet ones – Pac Man, Tetris, Street Fighter etc. – are simply fun and do not use a narrative to engage with their audiences.

Gone Home is an example of games that aim to be more poignant than entertaining. This article by Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s Cara Ellison outlines the game and how it works to drive the narrative. Wired also details the deeply emotional responses players have sent back to The Fullbright Company’s developers who identified with the game’s characters and stories. You could probably stretch the definition of winning to include gratification or some sense of self-satisfaction or closure, but I think that’d be a bit far fetched. I absolutely adore that games can do this these days though.

Journey is just that. There are scraps of themes around survival but for the most part you explore the desolate landscapes of a civilisation past. It is an investigative and ultimately curiosity driven story.

As I’ve outlined above games are past being simple past times. They can act as thoroughly emotional stimuli and provide much more than a few hours of fun, they can provide emotional insight or closure. Journey’s soundtrack alone moves me, coupled with the game play itself it’s a wordlessly magnificent experience.

One comment to Video Games; ‘Winning’

  1. […] (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}Jake talks about how some games aren’t about winning. I’d suggest they aren’t games anymore. At some point an interactive narrative driven […]

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