• Home
  • Videogames Are Not Games–And Why That Matters

Videogames Are Not Games–And Why That Matters

We often use the terms “videogame” and “game” interchangeably these days. And while it is true that videogames can certainly be games, it is important to note that they are not games in any exclusive way. Rather than being a “new kind of game,” videogames are complex artifacts that exist in the overlap of many complex categories, none of which have hard boundaries; these include digital media, interactive media, computational media, nonlinear media, games, and narrative machines, among others. These categories are all interesting and distinct in their own ways: not all digital media is interactive, or computational; not all interactive media is nonlinear or digital–each of these categories is vast and varied, and so are videogames. Why does this realization matter? Because if we get stuck thinking about videogames in one way–that they are “games,” or that they are “story machines”–that’s going to limit the ways we look to understand and appreciate them, and it’s also going to limit the kinds of videogames that we make, which would be a shame.

Leave a Reply

IndieCade Newsletter


* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from IndieCade:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.