Submitted by Neoninja 230d ago | opinion piece

Can titles like Gone Home and Dear Esther be called games?

In the early days of gaming, not much thought was given to what was or wasn't a game. Some games required a special controller while others revolved around text commands, but it didn't matter how they were played. People just enjoyed them.
These days, things aren't so simple. Gaming is bigger than ever, and the gaming world has gotten a lot more complicated. Games are categorized as "casual" or "hardcore", as are the people who play them. Titles like The Fullbright Company's Gone Home are lauded as game of the year by some, while others don't see them as games at all. (Dear Esther, Gone Home, Industry)

DigitalRaptor  +   230d ago
Adventure games have existed for years, many of which in much flatter and less vibrant terms than any of these 2 games.

I can understand the question, just not any kind of animosity or negative connotations that goes along with it. These experiences are just as valid as as many games are in this industry.
#1 (Edited 230d ago ) | Agree(15) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
erathaol  +   230d ago
I honestly hate this argument. Same with when people say you can't give Indie games, Game of the Year.

Basically its this, Video Games are more than points and health bars now. They are an interactive media, as such, they now cross over into artistic expression through story telling.
ZodTheRipper  +   230d ago
What else should we call them? Pointless article imo.
Sharky231  +   230d ago
I'm tired of this debate. A game is a game.
CrossingEden  +   230d ago
Yes, they are by definition games.
DigitalRaptor  +   229d ago
Great video. Bookmarked for future use. :)
memots  +   230d ago
Can title like flappy bird be called games
gamer_  +   230d ago
Yeah, bad game, casual game, stupid game. But a game nonetheless.
#3.1 (Edited 230d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
STK026  +   230d ago
I think the word "game" should be inclusive. Some games feel more like interactive movies, others are fairly simple, and then you have the more traditional games. But, either way, they're all games. As long as there's some kind of interactivity, I don't see why Gone Home and Dear Esther wouldn't be considered as games. If anything, variety is a great thing. People complain about how every game nowadays are CoD-clones and lack creativity, let's not discredit those who try to be something else.

The same could be said about books. You have traditional books, comic books, mangas, etc. They're all books, but their content is very different.
SlapHappyJesus  +   230d ago
Dear Esther plays out in the same way each time and handholds the player into the exact same situation each time. The "game" plays the player as much as the player plays the "game".
Gone Home, however, is very much a mystery game and requires a lot from the player to unravel the story.
I definitely consider Gone Home a game, whereas Dear Esther . . . I am not quite sure.
AnEwGuY  +   230d ago
Exactly. Dear Ester just felt like an unfinished mod for some PC game, or an attempt at a Myst-like game, but the creator had no idea how to do the puzzles. It reminded me of when I was creating maps for Far Cry 2 on the 360, and would drop into the map while I was working on it, to see how it looked ; I couldn't "do" anything, but it was kinda cool to run around for awhile.
#5.1 (Edited 230d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
s45gr32  +   230d ago
I agree nor disagree I mean Dear Esther feels more like interactive poetry or like a benchmark. The reason why is there is no interaction at all just walk from point a to point b. Gone Home is really a mystery game I mean there is secret passages and hidden compartments
pandehz  +   230d ago
Pocket billiards is a game?
AnEwGuY  +   230d ago
Sure it is. Just make sure your hands are warm, and nobody is watching. ;)
SpiralTear  +   230d ago
I hate the phrase "interactive experience." It's been tossed around by folks who think "game" is some dirty word that undermines its creativity or makes it less artistic or whatever. "Interactive experience" sounds artificial in a politically correct way, like we're trying not to offend the games or hurt their feelings.

They're games. They're just constructed differently than others.
s45gr32  +   230d ago
Sorry but interactive experience is a far better term than video games or game. Not that game is a dirty word or anything. The simple fact is this are we not having an experienced while interacting in this virtual world. The answer is yes because we are no longer playing a game were you win or lose. Those days are over we are interacting in this artificial world. We become the characters, we become part of the world and pretty much leave our reality for a brief moment.
Hicken  +   230d ago
"Titles" likes Gone Home and Dear Esther were "games" 30 years ago. Why aren't they "games" now? Not enough shooting?
SlapHappyJesus  +   230d ago
Dear Esther is about as much an adventure game as a release that allowed you to drive forward down a straight path, alone, makes for a racing game.
-EvoAnubis-  +   230d ago
And yet conversations like this one never happened with Dragon's Lair or Time Traveler, and those were about as forced down a path as you could possibly get.
SlapHappyJesus  +   230d ago
And I would say the same for those as well then.
goldwyncq  +   230d ago
I consider them interactive novels, not games.
Monkeycan8  +   230d ago
Games aren't really "Games" anymore. We should honestly just call Video Games, Interactive Entertainment.
s45gr32  +   230d ago
What is a game, a game is a hobby it has rules , goals, and a win or lose situation. A video game started like any game with a set of rules, goals, and a win lose situation. But now can we still call these video games. In Dear Esther there is no win lose situation, there is no goals, and there is no set of rules. So Dear Esther is not a game but an interactive experience. Think about it in all today's games are pretty much set up like movies. You have your beginning, middle, and end major characters minor characters, script, setting, etc. In all of today's games are pretty linear to keep the story flowing and also there is no lose scenario or set of rules. That's why is hard to call these interactive entertainment or experience a game.

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