Can There Be Game Without Play

Can There Be Game Without Play  

How does one define play or game? David Golumbia says that play is what we do when using a game. When I sit down and use a game, I consider myself as playing that game. Golumbia believes that the words game and play are being misunderstood. In the article Games Without Play, Golumbia mentioned the word jeu. “Jue is translated in one of the earliest Derrida’s texts to be read and heard in the English speaking world, namely “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourses of the Human Sciences’ (Golumbia page 180). The main ideas of jeu is; free, separate, uncertain, unproductive, regulated, and fiction. He then goes on to say not every form of play will be able to fulfill these criteria of jeu. I went to the dictionary to find its definition of play. It said play is to “engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose’. I also looked up the word game in getting the definition of “a form of play or sport’. Game and play are pretty much one in the same.

Golumbia also think that certain games shouldn’t be called a game at all because they give players limited choices like games that all you can do is kill to move on. There are no other choices besides the order you may kill the enemies and what weapon you use. He argues that it is scripted making it not play when the game is use because it doesn’t have a real strategy to it. I think a game can be anything that you do for fun whether it be playing Call of Duty (COD) or playing hockey. Like said before play or game doesn’t have to have every form of jeu.

Gone Home was argued in class not to be a game or something that you play. I disagree. Gone Home is a game that you are playing the oldest daughter that came home to find her family is gone. You playing her character you have to go explore through the house looking for any clues on your families ware bouts. You must go through many rooms and dig through drawers in the house too help gain clues. Just like in other video games you have controls to move around and do thing like pick objects up. The game maker also gives the player the freedom of how they go through the house and what to pick up to examine. Like many games it has a task you are suppose to complete.

To me play is an activity you do for recreation or fun, it doesn’t matter if it is scripted like COD or if there are no rules stated like Gone Home. If it is called a game then the action is to play it. If you aren’t playing it, then what are you doing? If it is not a game, then what is it? I don’t see World of Warcraft is a game you play but a game such as Gone Home isn’t. They are just different games with different purposes and objectives. If it is a game then you play it, one in the same.

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