What Makes a Video Game a Game?

This is something I’ve been pondering as of late because games are becoming more and more focused on their stories like Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s becoming apparent that the definition of a game has changed as the years have gone by.

For example, the studio, Telltale Games, was known for making games that were just one long QTE (Quick Time event). This is a gamer’s way of saying, “press that button and press that other button to make the character to do something” during a clip you are watching in the game.

Many of the people I have talked to personally have even said that this is not gaming; However, looking back at this, it is clear that gaming as an industry has changed.

When the industry first began that’s all it was, just gameplay and a quick story as to why you’re doing what you’re doing. The games consisted of stories about saving a princess or stopping aliens from getting to Earth (yes, we saved a lot of kidnapped people back in the day).

As the industry evolved the stories did too. Nowadays, games are sometimes more focused on the story than it’s actual gameplay. Personally, this is okay because it is still a game.

Gaming, I believe, is about choice. We have to make rapid fire decisions as to whatever happens on screen. In this day and age, it is clear that some games are now being known for their stories rather than for their gameplay and this is all right.

At the end of the day, we are stilling making a choice. We are deciding where these awesome stories are going and where they end. The good news is that saving a princess is still a great way to begin a story.

There are plenty of amazing games that have little to no story and focus so much more deeply on the aspects of gameplay. Both of these types of games are still exactly that, games.

They are allowing us to live through the character’s eyes. When all is said and done, a game that feels like a walking simulator is still a game. You are the one doing the interacting and you are still making the choices of what to see and where to go.

Today, a game is lot different than what it used to be when the industry first started. Ultimately, what makes a video game a game is allowing the gamer the freedom to choose.

Currently playing: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4