Saturday, April 09, 2005

DS announcements and definitions

(via There are reports on the development of several non-gaming softwares for Nintendo DS. That brings me to the need of a better definition of nongames (at least for the purposes of this website).

When I use nongames to define a videogame genre, I do not mean something like an electronic dictionary (unless, of course, there is some new kind play involved). Quoting Eric Zimmerman, games are about ‘the creation of delightful experience, rather then the fulfilment of utilitarian needs'*. Nongames have a similar goal. Of course, Dictionaries can have delightful interfaces, but their uses are sill more functional.

We could use 'software toy', I suppose. I believe this term has once been used by Will Wright to define SimCity. My problem with this definition is that in 'toys', as put by Gilles Brougère, the simbolic dimension is usually more important than the functional one - which can not be the case for some 'nongames'. And that's why I prefer this term rather than the other.

* (This quote is from Zimmerman's article 'Play as Research', in Brenda Laurel's Design Research – Methods and Perspectives, published by The MIT Press. A little more about this book here).

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Copyright, Chico Queiroz