This is a huge question brought to our attention thanks to a Ninja tweet from 2020. Do games have to be fun? Will Heath breaks down the question to help us understand.
I don't really get why this is such a regularly debated topic. As long as a game has a strong hook that keeps you playing, it doesn't have to be fun in the traditional sense. A horror game in the vein of Alien Isolation or Outlast is not necessarily "fun", and they can actually be very unpleasant, but the intensity of the experience keeps you playing. Outlast isn't fun at all, really. You feel utterly powerless, and the music and sound design's main goal is to deeply unnerve you. That doesn't mean that it's not compelling though. You can apply this concept to pretty much anything, e.g. leaning into realism or a narrative. It just needs to be a worthwhile experience.
I think its a debate because the word "fun" in games means different things to different ppl. Like for me, if I'm having a good time, then it's fun. Others may consider games with darker themes or sad stories not fun, maybe since the character in game is going through tough times so saying "fun" sounds weird? To each their own definition I guess
I won't call Resident Evil 7 VR a fun game tbh... There is a lot more to it than fun factor.
I think the bigger conversation to be had was should ‘video games’ be called ‘games’... And I know this is radical. But hear me out... So interactive entertainment started with limited pixel based graphics. Think “Pong”/“Mario” With limited resolution the only thing compelling that could have been made with 8-bit graphics is more advanced toys - called video games. Nowadays we have 4K, near photo realistic graphics. Which can be used for much, much more! “Games” are out growing the title games. Anything interactive is now called a “game”. The problem with calling everything “interactive” a “video game” creates a problem. Because a “game” has to be fun. A “game” that isn’t fun isn’t a good game. But let’s hypothetically create a “video game documentary”, basically a interactive documentary that explores “Elephants in the Safari” It releases in 4K on PS5. This “documentary experience” has the power to be miles ahead of what is offered on film, but it would never be a good “game” unless “fun” elements are shoe horned in. If this documentary is the greatest elephant documentary in the world, game sites would review it as a poor game, though it is engaging, educational and everything a good documentary should be! Take for simple recent example: Death Stranding. It is an engaging experience? Yes! Is it a good game? I’m not too sure, because it is built to be engaging, not “fun”. “Walking simulators” are in a similar situation. Games limit interactive experiences to the shackle of “fun” that ultimately holds the medium back. Books generally aren’t fun. Films doesn’t necessarily mean fun. Both CAN BE fun if the creator wants them to be. Yet we have an interactive medium that has the potential to far eclipse the experiences of both books and movies and it is called “games”. So am I saying “games” should become dreary and boring? Hell no. Fun games should always exist for those who want it. But it would be sad if every film HAD to have comedy elements in it. The interactive medium of “video games” are capable of so much more and I think its kinda sad that it is tied to a name that implies that it has to be fun.
I mean I'd say that's the primary factor. Lots of really good looking games have turned out to be duds, just like lots of graphically inferior games have turned out to be stars. What's the point of playing a game if it isn't fun first?
It’d be nice, yea.
Even The Last of Us Part 2 is actually a lot of fun. The story is meh, but the gameplay is good. It’s an entertainment medium-so it could try to explore a bunch themes-but ultimately it’s a medium that has to rely on being more fun than others to be captivating.
I was wondering if aomeone would mention Last of Us. Never played the 2nd, but the first could be equal parts fun and other parts work.
It's a good question. Something like What Remains of Edith Finch is not a "fun" great, although it is a brilliant game. And sure, fun depends on the individual as well, as it is a subjective feeling. One person can kind Fortnite super-fun while the next person finds it infuriating, but it is still a question to wonder as you branch out and think of titles that challenge the player in unique ways.
No one is going to willingly sit through anything that they do not find entertaining unless they are forced to such as work, doctor's orders, or saving the marriage/family. Lol! Not all games are fun to everyone. However the game has to be fun to those that actually sit through and play them otherwise its a major time and life.
What is the point on owning and playing a really boring game that lacks the appeal to draw me in or the want to purchase it. A great story, music, characters, gameplay, action, are what draws me to a game and makes me want to purchase it and play the hell out of it. When you add in all that it's like the development team actually gave it their all and gave a shit making the game.
It isn't always
Bloodborne is fun.
What is this retarded shit?
Fun? No. Entertaining? Yes.
Pretty much this, thanks
Just what i was about to type. Games just can't be boring to you.
hmm...is the stress I feel playing sekiro fun? no. But I have never experienced Joy like the joy I feel after taking down a boss (me fistpumping in the air screaming F**K YEAH!)
Entertaining might be the right word.
Wasn't his tweet about multiplayer though? so we've got a Tweet regarding people's chill approach to multiplayer and a thumbnail picture of Campaign Mario. Fun being subjective to everyone's individual tastes, if shown gameplay footage isn't hitting that wow/fun/amazing factor, why bother purchasing it :p
Should Video Games exist? This HUGE question....lol I love it when the author is disconnected enough to believe everyone is inline or agrees with their thinking.
This article has Mario Kart as THE most stressful game. https://www.oneesports.gg/g...
If it doesn't then we can all spend the weekend playing Notepad and Microsoft Excel..
Should movies or books have to be fun?
Isn't this the point of games? To have fun?
No. That's the point of some games. Not all games.
I have never gone into a game session thinking, man i really hope i don't have any fun today. To each their own i suppose. I play games to have fun personally, otherwise it becomes a pointless hobby.
Yes but fun is subjective. Some people think it’s fun to get beaten and ball gagged.
Isn't that the whole point of video games?
I think people get the idea that because games CAN make you feel other emotions, or can be educational, that those things alone are a substitute for a great game. But really "fun" is just a prerequisite to all of them, and they're just stacked on top.
The Last of Us 2 just won game of the year, what do you think?
No but they have to be engaging
I feel like a game has to at least have its target audience enjoy it
No. Of course not. Fun is something games do very well, but that doesn't always have to be the focus. Some games are all fun and no story. Some games are all story and no fun. Some games are both. But they don't HAVE to be anything.
The topic does not need to be, however, the act of going through it absolutely does as any good entertainment product should be afterall.
I mean, would you rather they be work?!
Sounds like an MMOJRPG 😁
There are actually games out there that have made me feel like they are work. Suffice to say, it generally doesn't take long for me to move on to something else.
Going to a museum was fun for my parents. Has it become that for me now that I'm a geezer? Maybe, still was worthless to me as a kid.
Define fun. Maybe in some cases, "fun" isn't quite the right word, but there's still some enjoyment to be had. It's all semantics though, and a game should have a hook regardless of what the right term is. I want to be entertained. I'm not interested in playing tax filing simulator.
Of course it has to be fun. I avoid the “Souls” games like the plague. Dying constantly is not fun to me so I avoid games that frustrate me.
No, they're supposed to get profit to publishers, being fun is a plus. Seriously though "fun" is a very broad concept, what is enjoyable or fun to me might not be to another person, so this is very difficult question to answer.
DotA 2 would like a word.
Yes and thats the trouble with most games nowadays they aren't. The likes of Mario, Astrobot now that's fun.
Replace " fun" with "entertaining " that would be more accurate these days. If this was the NES/SNES Era I would say absolutely games need to be fun but not so much now.
For me the game has to be mechanically fun. Has to have the hook. Simple but pleasant gameplay loop will suffice.
How is this even an article? That is a really dumb question.
Everyone finds fun in different places. People like to write articles that ask stupid questions in the title so people run and write comments on the article giving it views without people reading the article. I desire to be having fun playing games but I don't enjoy souls-like games or even remotely find them fun but they are very popular right now. Everyone finds fun in games in different places so I think the answer is YES but the definition is variable per person.
Fun is very subjective. Some find games like Demon's Souls fun. Others find them stressful. For me, I don't see games as fun, I see them as an escape. They give me something else to focus my mind on for a little while, to get away from this reality. They have never been more important to me as they have in this last year, but I wouldn't necessarily say I'm having fun when I'm playing them.
fun is the wrong word used here. 'enjoyable' is better. i know its the weekend but why are we still talking about this lol
It's just good to have the choice. Sometimes i just want to chill with a fun games. Sometimes I am more into serious games.
Yes. If I’m not enjoying it. I’m not playing it.
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