Midnight Rant: What is a Video Game?

What is a Video Game?

A random series of articles started a chain of  questions inside my head today. Inevitably resulting in my confusion, I instead turn to you, Ranters. Perhaps you can solve some of these conundrums for me, or at least grant some perspective on an issue where only one thing has become quite apparent: no one has a single clue what they're talking about.

The heart of the issue is, of course, "What is a Video Game?"

The article that started this thought process is from CNN Tech, titled "What does 'video game' mean, anyway?" Intriguing, right? What initially began as a thoughtful piece the broader spectrum of gaming, and how social games like FarmVille have become prominent, careens into an economical discussion.

"At this point, it's a little premature to write the pastime off.

Instead of debating what ails gaming as a whole, maybe we'd do better to take a deeper look at the fundamental changes responsible for these painful upheavals."

Forgive me for being confused at what relevance profit or loss has in determining the definition of a video game? Perhaps the author is implying that something like FarmVille could not have been considered a game without it's continued success as a 'free-to-play' title.

CNN's story continues with quotations from Cliffy B. and various other developers. They each confirm how the industry is in upheaval right now. Perhaps he's right, perhaps a video game is nothing more than a business strategy.

Later, I encountered a story on DICE's Medal of Honor. DICE's new FPS has been hit with some controversy lately when it came to light that you'll play as the Taliban in the game's multiplayer. A very real enemy in a very real war. When asked about the decision, this was DICE's response:

"We can't get away from what the setting is and who the factions are, but in the end, it's a game, so we're not pushing or provoking too hard."

So let me summarize, DICE can't get away from the setting which they chose, with factions they deliberately decided were appropriate for their game. Not that those decisions matter, because it's a game.

And as we established earlier, a game is just a business model. The only thing that might be controversial about Medal of Honor, would be if it didn't make money, I suppose.

You know Ranters, maybe I've got a better handle on what a video game is than I originally thought. That's why I love these Midnight Rants. Leave your thoughts below! Sorry for being so sarcastic tonight.

Source: CNNConnected Consoles

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