Zero Sum: Is a "game" really a game when we can't lose?

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    DE5PA1R
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    Zero Sum: Is a "game" really a game when we can't lose?

    Post by DE5PA1R on Thu May 09, 2013 10:44 pm

    Hi! If you're interested in the topic title, please check out the article I wrote below:

    https://medium.com/i-3-video-games/350cc1a4e9e4

    Comments are welcome here or there. Thanks!


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    Re: Zero Sum: Is a "game" really a game when we can't lose?

    Post by Mr. Tart on Thu May 09, 2013 10:57 pm

    I believe that this is an interesting topic, and i'd certainly like to add my own opinion too it. However, it's quite late, so i'll refrain from reading it now, and simply make a short post based on the title.

    A game is not about winning or losing, no that's a competition. A game is about having fun, learning something new depending on the game, and experiencing something new.

    I'll leave it at that for now, but will probably be back once i've read the article.

    Cheerio~


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    Re: Zero Sum: Is a "game" really a game when we can't lose?

    Post by Saturday-Saint on Thu May 09, 2013 11:39 pm

    I was kind of interested at first and then I realized that this is just another semantic attack on objectiveless games.


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    Re: Zero Sum: Is a "game" really a game when we can't lose?

    Post by UmbasaOtter on Fri May 10, 2013 12:09 am

    ill have to agree with saint on this one. He uses minecraft as an example, saying because it has no dictated objective, we give ourselves objectives, it is a platform not a game. But really (if he can use endless semantics so can i), the objective is for the player to create their own objectives. In no game are really forced to do anything, its like life; you can push foreword or wade around doing other things. In CoD i could just stand in the first level looking at windshields, in darksouls hang out with the undead merchant, or in dragons dogma flirt with the queen. While in minecraft, i could trek off to kill the ender dragon (which is actually an objective mind you, but we'll ignore that). My point is, if minecraft is considered to have no objective, and therefore is not a game; then there is no such thing as a game.
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    Re: Zero Sum: Is a "game" really a game when we can't lose?

    Post by DE5PA1R on Fri May 10, 2013 11:52 am

    Saturday-Saint wrote:I was kind of interested at first and then I realized that this is just another semantic attack on objectiveless games.

    The article is not an attack on anything. You'd know that if you had read it.

    UmbasaOtter wrote:ill have to agree with saint on this one. He uses minecraft as an example, saying because it has no dictated objective, we give ourselves objectives, it is a platform not a game. But really (if he can use endless semantics so can i), the objective is for the player to create their own objectives. In no game are really forced to do anything, its like life; you can push foreword or wade around doing other things. In CoD i could just stand in the first level looking at windshields, in darksouls hang out with the undead merchant, or in dragons dogma flirt with the queen. While in minecraft, i could trek off to kill the ender dragon (which is actually an objective mind you, but we'll ignore that). My point is, if minecraft is considered to have no objective, and therefore is not a game; then there is no such thing as a game.

    But doing all those things listed - is that really playing the game? I'd argue it isn't fun, at least not for prolonged periods. Regardless, every game you listed has a clearly stated objective or objectives. You can choose to forsake the objective(s), yes, but then we loop back to my question about playing.

    I do see your point about Minecraft - that the objective is to establish an objective - but that to me sounds more like a toy than a game. I said as much in the article.


    Also it's awkward when you say "he" when referring to the author. I'm right here.


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    Re: Zero Sum: Is a "game" really a game when we can't lose?

    Post by UmbasaOtter on Fri May 10, 2013 4:00 pm

    Sorry about the he, I did not check who the author was; I try to avoid bias about the article based on author, though clearly it is still present and I apologies.

    It's hard to debate when faced with this generalization (not in a negative meaning, philosophy is often very general). Different points in the games, have different levels of clarity on the objective at hand. The missions in skyrim, when in a quest to take over a fort is very clear; while going through a maze of a cavern, it can become hazy, or an even better example when you are between quests. There is zombie mode in call of duty, which is very compareble to minecraft, other then the building, they are very similar. So my point, if a "game" has different levels of clarity, is it a game at some points, and a toy at others?
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    Re: Zero Sum: Is a "game" really a game when we can't lose?

    Post by DE5PA1R on Fri May 10, 2013 4:47 pm

    UmbasaOtter wrote:Sorry about the he, I did not check who the author was; I try to avoid bias about the article based on author, though clearly it is still present and I apologies.

    It's hard to debate when faced with this generalization (not in a negative meaning, philosophy is often very general). Different points in the games, have different levels of clarity on the objective at hand. The missions in skyrim, when in a quest to take over a fort is very clear; while going through a maze of a cavern, it can become hazy, or an even better example when you are between quests. There is zombie mode in call of duty, which is very compareble to minecraft, other then the building, they are very similar. So my point, if a "game" has different levels of clarity, is it a game at some points, and a toy at others?

    I think there's a pretty strong argument that a lot of (maybe most) video games exist on a spectrum of toy vs game and move around on that spectrum. Trading card games are a pretty accurate real-life allegory.


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    Re: Zero Sum: Is a "game" really a game when we can't lose?

    Post by DE5PA1R on Mon May 13, 2013 6:17 pm

    Mr. Tart wrote:I believe that this is an interesting topic, and i'd certainly like to add my own opinion too it. However, it's quite late, so i'll refrain from reading it now, and simply make a short post based on the title.

    A game is not about winning or losing, no that's a competition. A game is about having fun, learning something new depending on the game, and experiencing something new.

    I'll leave it at that for now, but will probably be back once i've read the article.

    Cheerio~

    I'd love to hear your thoughts if you have the time. Thanks!


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    Re: Zero Sum: Is a "game" really a game when we can't lose?

    Post by Latitoast on Mon May 13, 2013 6:40 pm

    I feel like games without objectives are tools, not toys.

    They're tools for making games, almost as if it's a pre-made game developing software.

    For example, I can create a map in Minecraft, place swords, bows, and chests in the beginning, and have the players in my world fight until one comes out on top, I just created a game, and Minecraft was the tool I used to make my game, or I can make a challenge world in which players must forge for supplies to make it to an end point in which they have completed the game I made, using Minecraft as my tool.


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    Re: Zero Sum: Is a "game" really a game when we can't lose?

    Post by Mr. Tart on Mon May 13, 2013 7:16 pm

    Sorry for the late reply. Honestly, i kind of just decided not to post, but since you're interested, i will anyhow. As i said in my previous post;

    Mr. Tart wrote:A game is not about winning or losing, no that's a competition. A game is about having fun, learning something new depending on the game, and experiencing something new.

    Sorry about the late reply. To be honest, i was going to skip making a post at all, but since you were interesting in reading it, i will make one.

    What makes a game?

    Like i said in my previous post;
    "A game is not about winning or losing, no that's a competition. A game is about having fun, learning something new depending on the game, and experiencing something new."

    To me, Minecraft is a game. Why? Well, why not? The game doesn't need obvious objects, just like Dark Souls doesn't need obvious lore. The game offers the tools needed to play it, and it even offers a way of "winning" if you so wish, but it doesn't demand that you do it. The lore that Dark Souls has to offer works exactly the same. Sure, you can find some of it by playing, but most of it is found by thinking for yourself and reading item descriptions. So why is Minecraft not a game, but a toy? Why is Dark Souls a not a toy, but a game?

    Is a game all about the gameplay? No, it's not. Just like it isn't all about the story. The game is what you want it to be. You can play a linear game with an obvious goal and little exploring, but you don't have to. You can just run around in circles like a reta-a guy running in circles.

    To me, a game is based on two things;
    Your own personal opinion, and the intentions of the creator. If the creator claims his work to be a game, then it's a game, as long as you can actually interact with it. Then there's my own personal opinion. Do i believe it to be a game? Why, in this case, yes i do.

    So is Minecraft a game? Yes and no. It's what you want it to be; Be it a tool, a toy or a game.


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