Home Forums Soap Box The "New name for videogames"

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    • #7976

      A while ago I was watching an episode of "Extra Credits" on the Escapist. A game dev weekly webshow that explores some of the deeper aspects of game development with regards to recent events, specifically this episode.

      Somewhere in the beginning of the episode Daniel Floyd said this:

      "When controversy arises our opposers don’t look at a game studio and see a team of artists, they see a team of toymakers who have gone too far."

      And at roughly two thirds of the way through the episode he said this:

      "I’ve heard it argued that we need a rebranding; that we need to take on a new title for this medium, kind of like how comic books had to take on the name graphic novels before they started getting the respect they deserve."

      So, as my first thread here on this forum, I would like to pose the question: What should the new name for videogames be? if there should be a new name at all, and also: Would you consider ‘rebranding’ your upcoming game as <insert selected name here> and why use that one?

      Just to get the ball rolling I figure that two things need to be true for this rebranding: the name needs to have all association with the word "game" removed, for the sake of segregating videogames from the notion of immaturity, and it has to be easy to say; possibly avoiding acronyms or anything forgettable would be a plus.

      Every post makes progress so post any ideas you have even if you are unsure about how they will be recieved, and thanks for contributing all of you who do post. :)

    • #46558

    • #46559

      It’s a pretty interesting idea but personally I don’t think games need a re-branding. I think people need to understand that everyone has a right to explore whatever topic they want and if they feel insulted they just shouldn’t buy the game. I think the fault is with publishers and the fact that they listen to these bat shit insane people complaining like they have a right to stop someone’s freedom of expression.

      I think it’s actually worse to try and get games to been seen as an art because basically what you’re doing then is saying "respect me because I’m art" and not because you have freedom of speech. I don’t think all games are art, some games are art but I’d sooner call something like Street Fighter a sport before art.[/quote:8ca3e9e18b]

      keep in mind that games devoloped as art, or with artistic concepts in mind are seen as games regardless, and if they happen to deal with a subject more mature than say, anything a watch-wary parent would object to, the whole world has a fit because in the eyes and mind of the public, videogames are only games and as such are only meant for children. I’m not trying to say that all games are art, or that they have to be; my personal project is a beat em up, but unless the name changes I do feel that videogames won’t be capable of being classified as anything more then a toy for children. You do have a point there, though, a rebranding doesn’t have to make videogames appear as art (this is one place where I kind of disagree with Daniel Floyd.) all it needs to do is make it appear as a serious medium, much like novels or movies.

    • #46560

      Interesting piece.

      If games were to be rebranded, something like ‘Digital Art’ could work, but at this stage we might be too hard-coded with current terminology.

      The word ‘game’ does have in some ways, a bad stigma attached though and a rebranding might make the medium more appealing to a wider audience.

      Might also help in getting some much the sought-after tax breaks pushed through! (Wishful thinking..)

    • #46561

      I see more and more designers referring to games as a "Craft" (knowledge, experience and wisdom-based) instead of "Art" and the more I think of it, the more I’m tending to agree with it.


    • #46563

      I’ve heard the term "interactive media" thrown around a lot as a way of describing games. It’s hard to think that you can rebrand something thats so prevalent in society. The idea that "graphic novel" is the rebrand of comics is a little strange considering most comic writers don’t actually like it. I always liked the quote from neil gaiman when told he writes graphic novels.He said:

      [ The person] "meant it as a compliment, I suppose. But all of a sudden I felt like someone who’d been informed that she wasn’t actually a hooker; that in fact she was a lady of the evening."

      There seems to be an overwhelming majority of people who believe that games should be taken seriously as a form of art. But that’s not what a game is. It’s a collaboration of art, scriptwriting(sometimes) and software. Connecting the business by name to any other would be detrimental.

      My two cents anyway :)

    • #47017

      While I don’t necessarily believe "rebranding" is the best solution to this situation, I do believe that this piece brings up a very important topic that needs to be addressed by the industry as a whole, sometime in the near future.

      Rather than trying to avoid the negative stigma that has been associated with games, I believe the easiest route to solving this problem is education about games, and what they can instill, inspire, and engender in our young people. I seriously doubt that those who perpetuate and actually believe the negative stigmas about gaming, are very well versed in games or how the industry has changed over the past twenty or thirty years. Instead of running from the stigma, we fight it head on, and show the detractors something they have probably never seen, or even conceived of before, and that is the positive and beneficial aspects of gaming that greatly outweigh the negatives. And when we combat the stigma, there no longer needs to be any "rebranding", because we have fought for what we believe is right, and proven the worth of our games to the world.

      In my opinion, a great example would be the video I link below. It was created by young adults who were not professionals, for no reason other than the pride of being the best at their game, and the best at making the movies and media associated with those games. There was no money to be gained by making this movie, no contest or prize to be won. There were no parents, or teachers, or "authority" figures driving the project. It was a group of young people who actually cared about what they were doing enough to apply themselves to the absolute fullest. In my opinion it shows, and not just in the in-game mastery of CHILDREN and young people who earned names, reputations, recognition, and even fans through the pursuit of a GAME, but also in the audio and video editing prowess displayed throughout the entire project.

      And my true argument for those who would perputuate those negative stigmas about gaming, is if these young people could achieve such things while we(they) are FIGHTING them, then imagine what they could achieve, if we(all of us) were supporting them.

      Complexity: Ruination

    • #47128

      I’ve heard the term "interactive media" thrown around a lot as a way of describing games. It’s hard to think that you can rebrand something thats so prevalent in society. The idea that "graphic novel" is the rebrand of comics is a little strange considering most comic writers don’t actually like it.[/quote:77edf9c953]

      I would agree with that summation – the term "interactive media" has been around a long time to refer euphemistically to games. Though it is a bit like the word edutainment; it leaves a slight bitter taste in the mouth.

      "Graphic novel" wasn’t a term that the comics industry embraced themselves – it was a term that the rest of the art world attached to those pieces that they deemed ‘worthy’. Neil Gaiman’s Sandman being a case in point. Similar to the way that science fiction is sometimes branded as "speculative fiction" – to most who have been within that industry for long enough, the very pretentiousness of having a euphemistic re-brand is insulting.

      Just like movies, comics, sci-fi, and other areas that have had to wait for acceptance, it’s just going to take time before what are essentially snobs see the examples that those close to the games industry are already aware of. Even then, there are always going to be snobs – comics still have a stigma attached to them in much of the ‘serious art’ world…


    • #48601

      You know I was going to write something in my thesis about this, and it was something I think needs to be changed in games soon.

      There are so many different kinds of games that it becomes difficult to discern between what is a game and what isn’t. Take Dear Esther for example; I wouldn’t class that as much a game as I would an interactive story – there are virtually no gameplay elements in it, no rewards system for example except the reward of more story for walking in the right direction. Is that a "game" – defined by the fact it is computer generated and available on Steam, a gaming platform?

      So what does define the medium we use? Is it the fact that everything is computer generated? And interactable, unlike film?

      Have you ever noticed how movie genre and book genre are defined by their content and categorised by this? Yet games are categorised by which console and then in alphabetical order in most game stores? Game genre itself depends sometimes on the angle of the camera (first person shooter) or it’s country of origin (JRPG) – not even it’s content is displayed. Survival-horror and war-simulator are pretty obvious genres, but what about romantic-comedy or hospital-drama? I’m sure we can all think of atleast one game that fits into that category and yet it’s not a definite genre.

      I think we need to define the medium a little more before we go about changing the name – because like genre not everything fits into that nice little niche. Graphic Novel knows exactly what it is, so what is a game besides just that?

    • #48602
      Aphra K

      a good few academics books and papers have been written about this and in fact academics can’t agree on videogames/computer games or digital games.

      however most do agree that the game element is crucial to a definition – looks for example at Jeper Juuls work.

      ‘interactive media’ is a bit like ‘new media’ – what is not included?

      anyway if you are interested in the academic stuff I can provide a few references


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