Bioware prez says Wii is like a toy, says it is not ‘gaming’

The grumbling about the Wii never seems to let up, or so it seems these days. This time it’s from Greg Zeschuk, president of BioWare (and obviously a guy who enjoys high end graphics, if the games his company puts out are anything to judge him by). Here’s what Greg had to say about Nintendo’s little white cash cow in a recent GameDaily interview:

Experiences [on the Wii] are much more like a toy experience .. they’re playing, together or not, but you’re not ‘gaming’ anymore. . . . If gaming is defined by story, then generally the Wii may not be.

Now, I don’t think of a toy experience as a bad experience, but I also disagree respectfully with Mr. Zeschuk. Playing a Wii game and playing a PS2 game are still essentially the same action as far as I’m concerned, even if the graphics or content are different — you hold a controller and you interact with an activity or story of some kind. At the point which you start to pick apart what gaming is or push casual gaming outside of it, labeling it “not real gaming” seems to be an unnecessary segregation.

Ray Muzyka, BioWare’s CEO, disagreed with Zeschuk, saying:

I think it IS gaming … when you look at a moment to moment experience what a player does on a Wii game, it’s different, lighter, and more toy-like. But there’s also a narrative between the players outside the game and kind of fulfills the same things games do. Games are “toys” in the sense that they’re fun.

This is a pretty interesting point of discussion, in my sometimes-not-so-humble opinion. What do you think — would you call the Wii a toy rather than a console? Is there a line that separates “real gaming” from “casual”?

[Via Bit-Tech.net — Thanks Jonathan] 

Colette Bennett