Games Don't Have to be Fun

What exactly should a game make you feel? Every time I jump on the unsuspecting head of a Goomba, there’s a sense of joy that sneaks into my gullet. In a Mario game, the goal is fun in its purest form, which is expertly achieved with each and every platform jumped. On the other hand, I was on the absolute edge of my worn, plush bedroom chair during certain scenes in Heavy Rain. Both Ethan Mars and I were tested to our limits throughout the brutal trials of the Origami Killer, instilling both fear and anxiety within me. The entire game left a deep, emotional impact on me, but I didn’t have a lick of fun.

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ANIALATOR1362346d ago

agreed. Every game is different and every game has a different purpose. Some to induce fun, some excitement, some to make you sad and some just to provoke memories.

Outside_ofthe_Box2346d ago

I fail to understand how you can enjoy a game that you do not consider fun.

How odd does that sound? "I enjoyed the game, but I didn't have fun playing it."

Some people find sad games fun. Some people find thought provoking games fun. Everyone's definition of fun is different. So if you finish playing a game and cannot say you had fun playing it then I guess you didn't really like the game...

Hicken2346d ago

That's what I came here to say.

Just because it's not "fun" in that traditional sense that you think of when "playing" of any sort comes to mind does not mean that something is not fun. Driving to and from work is not, in itself, fun, but because I like the experience of driving, because I enjoy the trip I take, it's still fun for me.

Journey is a perfect example of a game being "fun" while not being "fun." It's pretty impossible to not enjoy that game, to not be moved by it. So even though it's not the same "fun" I get out of DC Universe or Gran Turismo or Final Fantasy, it's still fun.

To that end, yes, a game HAS to be fun. It HAS to be enjoyable on some level. It doesn't have to be capricious fun. It doesn't have to be humorous fun. But it DOES have to be fun.

jeeves862346d ago

I have to agree with Outside_of_the_Box. A movie or a game can make you experience different emotions, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're not fun.

All of the games used in the article can evoke some deep emotions - but to say that they're not fun would be a disservice. I wouldn't have played Heavy Rain if the game was a torturous experiment in making me feel bad. I had a fun time playing it - I don't think the author grasps the concept of the game making you experience those emotions and being fun.

LOL_WUT2346d ago

I LOL at title if a game is not fun then why even play it?

MrMister2346d ago

Such a simple mind...why not try reading the article before you over-zealously post? Oops, i'm sorry if the big word I used hurts your head.

kaveti66162346d ago (Edited 2346d ago )

What a snobbish thing to say.

The article is stupid. You think if a game is fun then it cannot be thought-provoking, cannot be saddening, cannot be poignant?

There is no good excuse for a game not being fun. If it has all the elements except for fun, it has still failed to motivate me to play.

Games can be fun AND... whatever else you want them to be.

You think if a game is fun then what... it's mindless? It has no point to make? Bioshock was fun for me, and it had a lot of other points going for it. It was depressing, it was moody, it was an excellent social/political commentary on humanity.

Fun is an abstract term. =Fun it means it's entertaining. If a video game is not fun, it's not entertaining, and if I'm not entertained, then I'm not going to play it. If a developer made a game with a particular message and couldn't get that message across in a fun/amusing/entertaining sort of way, then he failed.

Games have to be fun just like movies have to be watchable and books have to be legible.

MrMister2346d ago (Edited 2346d ago )

Yes, Just like Journey. That game wasn't exactly "fun", it was more of an EXPERIENCE. I was gripped by the saddening feeling of loneliness, and actually jumped for joy when someone would pop on my screen online. It really is an amazing piece of interactive art. But it isn't exactly fun. It was an eye opening experience of what complete utter loneliness would feel like. The Bible is an amazing book, and if you believe in it it will evoke many things in you. But it wasn't meant to be a "fun" read, but it's still the top selling, most read, revered book in the world.

xflo3602346d ago

Agreed! Most of my fave games of all time were experiences.
Tomb raider, metroid prime, ico, ff7 none of these were particularly fun but they were all amazing experiences.

Outside_ofthe_Box2346d ago (Edited 2346d ago )

Whether or not something is "fun" is subjective. Name a book or game that is "meant" to be fun and I'm sure I can find people that don't find it fun.

I'm pretty sure if I were to ask people that enjoyed reading the bible if it is fun to read there will be several that will say yes it is.

What if someone doesn't enjoy the EXPERIENCE journey provides, but happens to find the game fun, does that mean that they are doing it wrong? Or is enjoying the experience and having fun with the game essentially the same thing?

CynicalVision2346d ago

The article makes a good point, Heavy Rain was a fantastic game but it wasn't really fun in that sense because it wasn't supposed to be.

I'm hoping Kara (if that ever becomes a game) will provide the same experience.

ThePsychoGamer2346d ago

Agreed, Most gamers forget that there is a difference between fun and entertaining. Untimely a game has to be entertaining, weather it goes about method by being mindless fun like Mario games , or goes for a entertaining story heavy method like VNs do should not be used to criticize a game.

OhReginald2346d ago

Fun= Enjoyment, amusement.

Entertainment= The action of providing amusement or enjoyment.

Straight from the dictionaries bro.

Outside_ofthe_Box2346d ago (Edited 2346d ago )

lol If you don't want to take OhReginald's word for it then here:



Fun and entertainment are synonyms. Just in case you don't know the definition of synonym:


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