Think of all the things you can do with a photograph. You can document the atrocities of war, as photojournalists sometimes do. You can record fleeting moments in time, as did documentarians like Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank. You can capture the ordinary moments of family life, as many people do at birthday parties or holidays for an album or shoebox archive. You can take a snapshot reminder of a home improvement project in order to buy the right part at the hardware store. An automated street intersection photograph can capture license plate for future ticketing, and a pornographer can capture a nude body for future titillation.
Videogames also have properties that precede their content: games are models of experiences rather than textual descriptions or visual depictions of them. When we play games, we operate that model, constrained by its rules: the urban dynamics of SimCity; the feudal stealth strategy of Ninja Gaiden; the racing tactics of Gran Turismo.