Is a game really a game anymore when its no longer fun?

As discussed in class, there are many different ideas about how “play” and “game” are defined. An important point to understand is that every individual has a different viewpoint of what both “play” and “game” mean, because what people identify as “fun” differs greatly from person to person. However, whenever there is something that one defines as a game, it goes without saying that there will be playing involved in said game (for that person at least). What struck me about the reading was the concept that Koster brought up about how a game should neither be too hard, nor too easy. This leads one to consider the type of games they have played throughout their lives and why they played them. It also leads to the simple, yet essential insight that there must be some aspect to any kind of game that keeps the player interested. As we discussed, the point at which the player of the game loses interest due to the game being too hard, to easy, or too repetitive, is the point where that game no longer serves the purpose that games are created for: to give the player enjoyment. Enjoyment is the most important end to videogames, because if the game is not enjoyable, then to the person playing it, it simply becomes like any other task or chore they partake in. Therefore, while it is impossible to define what a game actually is universally (since the definition differs depending on the individual), it is logical to say that a game must provide some type of fun or enjoyment to the player, or else it is no longer serving its original purpose. And at this point, to the player, it is no longer a game at all.

One thought on “Is a game really a game anymore when its no longer fun?

  1. Professor Sample

    We’ll be talking more throughout the semester about this question of when does a game stop being a game and become something different. Many game designers themselves are interested in making their games more than just “fun.” There are art games, conceptual games, and educational games, all of which are striving to instill their players with more than a sense of enjoyment.

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