Screw Your Walking Simulators

Attempting to rigorously define interactivity is about as joyous as rigorously defining the word game into your preferred pigeon hole. You might see healthy debate in this conversation. I see a black hole event horizon through which my will to live is disappearing.
...
A game is not about walking from A to B, but about the things that happen to the player at A and B - a panorama, a conversation, a moment of madness... The act of walking is often vital to the experience, embedding a player inside the activity in ways that a static image or short film would not.

Joel Goodwin (Electron Dance) on Secret Boxes

  1. Huh. I’ve never taken the phrase ‘walking simulator’ to be derogatory, as claimed, but I guess that makes sense that it is. I’ve copped before to being an explorer-style gamer, though, so I’m maybe a bit biased.

  2. I’ve never taken the phrase ‘walking simulator’ to be derogatory, as claimed, but I guess that makes sense that it is.
    I mean it is and it isn’t depending on who’s using it, I think. There’s certainly been some indie developers who are into reclaiming it and wearing it as a badge of pride etc.

  3. I don’t understand the phrase being used as anything other than a derogatory term until someone comes out with a game where gameplay consists of articulating joints and maintaining balance. There’s plenty of other phrases available that would probably describe a given title better.

  4. “…until someone comes out with a game where gameplay consists of articulating joints and maintaining balance.”

    You mean QWOP?

  5. whorl: until someone comes out with unless it’s a game where gameplay consists of articulating joints and maintaining balance.

  6. I suggest the term ‘wanderspiel’ because using fake German makes it sound totally like a real academic thing.

  7. The irony is that for some reason I find these games challenging. I got stuck on Samorost 2 and never finished, and while I love the GROW games, I find them pretty hard to figure out.

  8. We could play Ingress, and get some actual walking done.

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