The other day, a higher level student asked me why they are called 'games' after I gave him a very brief explanation of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. In many Romantic languages a 'game' is related to competition. Soccer is a game, Basketball is a game, swimming is not and neither is strolling around a forest looking for clues to the murder of a young boy. It kind of struck me dumbfounded and to try to save face I simply pulled a response out of my ass and said that no, the actions within the game weren't a 'game' but the platform it's presented on is a game since there is an end-goal to try to save the boy. "Well when you go running your goal is to reach a finish line or a certain distance. That's not a game." he told me. "I think you should call some games something else, like 'interactive films'."
I had to agree with him 100% and told him the though had crossed my mind a few times. But the word 'video game' is so deeply integrated into our culture that I don't think it's stigma will ever be erasable. "Well, keep saying it, it may stick and maybe more people will try an interactive film more than a video game. I know I want to try that walking around the forest thing you were talking about a lot now." I smiled, said that he gave me some food for thought, and then switched the subject because I had phrasal verbs to teach.
So, do you D-Toiders feel that it would be beneficial to gaming if we stopped referring to them as games and something like Interactive Films or Interactive Entertainment? Do you think it's possible at this point? Would separating competition based games from more narrative/exploration games segregate the strong community us gamers have created?
Let me know. I'm genuinely curious about what you all have to say about the terminology of video games.
Peace Love and Video Games!!!!!