Simulations and Other Tropes

One of the things talked about with Videogames for the Oppressed, which was brought up by one of the first posters, is that it was felt that video games are best suited not to traditional story-telling but rather to simulation.

Which is to say, because videogames can simulate, this is what they should be used for. This If A, Then B mindset is sort of limiting.

It makes sense on the face – videogames are a distinct medium, and as with any medium it should play to its strengths, right? Well, really, sometimes you don’t play to a medium’s strengths for a few different reasons. Firstly, maybe you aren’t good with any other medium. Secondly, perhaps you wish to make a point of using an off-medium. Thirdly, it ultimately doesn’t matter as long as it works.

What’s more, videogames *are* a bit of an odd medium, in that they can include other mediums inside them, due to the miracle of turing complete programming. Videogames have even been known to have other videogames inside them. What’s more, because of this flexibility, frequently the medium is used in a manner which makes it resemble other mediums. Cutscenes are like short films, text adventures are interactive notvels, etc.

So ultimately I felt it weird that videogames should be treated as just limited to this simulation thing, when they can and will do more than that.

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