What's a game? (part one billion)

Taken from the Steam user forums.

Buyer Beware - This is not a game, there is no goal, no story, nothing

Just wanted to say, before you buy this please be advised, this is not a game, there is no goal, no story, no gameplay, nothing. You just walk on a randomly generated island loaded with 1999 sprites.

It's interesting for about 10 minutes, but after that you've seen mostly what the games has to offer and it just becomes boring because there's literally nothing to do in it.

It's an interesting little project that someone would do in 48 hours in a weekend game jam, but in no way worth 10$. The Steam store makes it look like something it isn't, that's why I wanted to warn people about it

-- http://steamcommunity.com/app/219680/discussions/0/846944052747468952/

Quick critique.

Proteus is a pretentious game for hipsters, piggybacking on the success of other 'games' like Journey. This is not a game, it's just a program. It is not a fun program. People who want to believe they are intellectuals might describe this extra minimalist adventure as "compelling" and "deep" when more appropriate adjectives would be "lazy" and "boring". The creation and undeserving popularity of these shoddy products needs to stop. How this non-game weaseled its way into Steam is totally beyond me. Do not buy this. Do not support this kind of product. Talk with your wallet, and demand better.

-- http://steamcommunity.com/app/219680/discussions/0/846944052747871210/

Is it really a "Game"?

So is this a "game" in the same way Dear Esther was a "game"? Is there any goal or is it purely exploration. Don't get me wrong, i don't mind "interactive entertainment" but i just think they'er a different thing then what would qualify as a "game" and by calling it a game in the description seems misguided to me, unless it actually is a game.

-- http://steamcommunity.com/app/219680/discussions/0/846944052740660376/

(Later comment in this thread: "I think semantics are important when money trade is involved. It's the same reason Dear Esther got so much flak, it called itself a game and people felt cheated by that fact alone.")

[...] To me, this title is a good example of something I wish I would have thought of when I was in art school. A different way to use computers and games to engage an audience and share an experience. However, it's *not* a game. I feel like this has to be stressed. I don't feel like this is worth the $8.99/$9.99 they're asking for. There's not a lot of replay value unless you're among that small subset of people that just really get off on this art/music style and want to veg out. May be awesome if you're a stoner, too, I'm not sure. In my opinion, not for the average gamer, though...a lot of people on Steam are going to feel ripped at this price point. I'd feel better about it if it were in the $2.99 - $4.99 price range. [...]

-- http://steamcommunity.com/app/219680/discussions/0/846944052744138923/

My point here is : the question as to whether something is a game or not has more than academic consequences. It doesn't even matter if Proteus is a game or not. It doesn't even matter whether these people are just plain wrong, or philistines, or Internet commenters. There's a direction connection being repeatly drawn here between not-game and not being of monetary value. Which insane to me: adding a goal to something makes it worth more?

The main practical consequence of insisting on rigid boundaries is that people making game-like objects have a harder time selling them to gamers.
31 January 2013