Wednesday, January 25, 2006


In his essay Aarseth states "To address computer games as a consistent genre or medium is highly problematic" (p. 46), and I agree. As an avid gamer (see "a person with a lot of time on his hands") I have played many games that have weak (at best) to no narrative at all, and I have played games that have so much narrative they seem less like a game and more like a film. WarioWare, Inc. on the Game Boy Advance is just a library of minigames that you play back to back. On the other hand a game like Indigo Prophecy relies almost solely narrative and plays much like the 'Choose Your Own Adventure' children's books Ashley mentioned.

My question is, is it reasonable to say that they have ALL evolved into something that can always be defined? Is it reasonable to put all games in the same category? Or is it just human nature to categorize everything?


At 10:29 AM, Blogger Julius said...

I think if you want to analyze something it is always necessary to compare or categorize it. It is pretty easy to classify games in genres. I think what we overlook is that not all of these genres are necessarily narrative. Movies are not all narrative as well.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Betsy said...

It is human nature to categorize. However I concur with Julius, as to analyze anything you need to be able to find a structure and categorize. If you're working on a study involving gaming and narrative, you must define the terms as you use them. If any of it is true is another topic another time. Anything can be torn apart, and anything can be catergorize.

Now adays, there are so many many variations of games and narrative, we are standing on the edge of redefining both.

At 1:58 PM, Blogger Steve said...

I agree with Julius when he says when you analyze something its just nature to compare or categorize. The problem though is if you want to categorize games in genres its not that easy. As Betsy said there are so many games now that are crossing genres its hard to define one.

At 3:39 PM, Blogger Taco said...

In addition, I think we categorize and compare to relate the topic to the user. You compare one game to another because I may not know the first one, but if it's like the second one, then I understand.

Perhaps our classification system needs updating. There are games now that are more like movies, but they're also FPS, and at the same time they're a car game, an adult themed game, etc. I'm of course speaking of GTA. It's the only game that I've followed through from beginning stages until now.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger BP said...

"Is it reasonable to put all games in the same category? Or is it just human nature to categorize everything?"

As gaming technology advances, it is becoming more difficult to categorize games. Games are now encompassing more than just one type of action by the user. Individual games are including multiple gaming simulations.

What is Grand Theft Auto? A racing game? The player is told to beat the clock while driving a car during parts of the game. Or is it a first person shooter? Or is it something totally different.


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