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Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Weekend Discussion: Entertainment Vs. Experience

Here at Digitally Downloaded, we take our games seriously. One of the debates that has been going on for years in the industry is "graphics vs. gameplay," but that's a silly debate, because the graphics and the gameplay aren't like jelly beans - you can't pull the black ones out and pretend they don't exist.

So here's an evolution of that debate for the weekend discussion this week. Oftentimes we are told by gamers, game developers and the media that "gameplay" comes first, that a game's only role is to be "entertaining."

If this were true in all forms of art, then the only films that would be made would be directed by Michael Bay.  The only music we'd ever listen to is clones of whichever pop star is currently lighting up the charts (for argument's sake, let's say at the moment it's Lady Gaga). The only books we would read would be written by the teenage pop lit icons - the J.K Rowlings' and Suzanne Collins' of the world.

No, in every other form of art we, as consumers and critics, the media and the producers, all agree that at times a film/ music album/ book can be challenging - even to the point where it's not entertaining - but it can also be an important book to read, song to hear, or movie to watch.

The key here is that those other forms of art have examples that are not fun, but they are rewarding.

And so to, should the games industry.

What do you think? Do you agree that a game can be considered "great" while not being all that much fun? Or do you think that games are more like sports than art, and the only purpose for them is as skill testers and casual entertainment?

Sound out in the comments below! And apologies if we're a little slow to respond this weekend. We're all playing Wii U's :-P
The Weekend Discussion: Entertainment Vs. Experience
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