Conversations naturally devolve, hehe. I've also spent far too long hearing these sorts of arguments and have come across some pretty well explained examples in my time. Everyone has their own take on it however, including myself.
Originally Posted by lunatorra
Like, think of Grand Theft Auto without the missions. It would definitely still be a game, even if you couldn't "win" it.
GTA, even without the missions is still presenting a game - it still has the rules and boundaries that you expect. The difference therein is that it is up to the player to establish their own objective, and set their own criteria for success and failure. You could probably make a game out of Dear Esther (such as trying to escape the environment), but it's pretty limited in scope there.
In a nutshell for something to be qualified as a game it must give you the ability to make decisions.
If you can't make decisions, it is not a game. Not that everything that allows you to make decisions are games.
It doesn't mean that Dear Esther is bad or somehow weakened as an experience, but it isn't a really game, more a virtual experience or a visualisation. Any architectural visualisation has the same level of interactivity as Dear Esther - often in fact more, but that doesn't make them games either. In real-life, football is a game - but walking through a football stadium isn't, even if a match is playing whilst you're there. The exact definition of a game is pretty hazy, but almost everyone will agree that there has to be some kind of boundaries / limitations and rules as well as some kind of objectives. The way I see it, if you cannot win, it isn't a game.
Once again, super shallow and outdated.
"Game" is just a term, we no longer define it as "a set of rules with a winning condition".
That is the shallow definition that no longer covers even a fraction of the subject as it is today.
Its nice to see someone else doing a project single handedly. I wouldn't call it a walk in the park, but eventually as your skill increase you feel as though you are only limited by the hours in the day.
For some people a game is simply an interactive expeeience, its not about winning or losing but the journey. I'm not going to sit here and try to tell people what they think agame is, I can only go by the true definition and give people the right to their opinion. Architectual visualization walkthroughs are simulations not art as in game art even though the content might be visually appealing, we still call commache, tfx etc games. A game doesn't have to replicate real-life, myst for exaple is an interactive experience but I doubt you'd take anything away from one of the best games of all time.
I guess for me there are games out there that involve alot of cutscenes and the level of interacivity does go past button presses some argue these arnt games simply linear or pattern traversal since there is little descision making at all. I can see both sides and when someone asks me to play it means we are going to get our game on.
myst for exaple is an interactive experience but I doubt you'd take anything away from one of the best games of all time.
I would agree about Myst's pedigree, Riven and Exile are two of my favourite games. But to downgrade it to an 'interactive experience' is to undermine one of the founding pillars of the adventure game format.