Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Greg Costikyan feels - quite strongly - that games are not literature: First, it is true that many games are tightly bound to story (I've written on this subject elsewhere), but it is equally true that many games are not. No story in chess. Nor in Europa Universalis, Civilization, or Tetris, not unless you stretch the meaning of 'story' beyond reason. As I have said before, and will doubtless say many times again before I die, games are their own artform, and while analogies to other forms are sometimes useful in understanding games, it is a rank and obvious error to attempt to perceive them solely through the lens used to understand a different form such as, say, literature. To make an analogy to a wholly different form: Music is not a storytelling medium. Many musical forms are indeed tightly bound to story--opera, the musical, the ballad--but many others are not--symphonies, the classic 3 minute rock song, house. Just so with games.

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