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UserID1024

Do you consider SL to be a game?

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One for SL users of all sorts. Is SL a game? Elaborating on perspective much appreciated.

Linden's former head of communication, Catherine Smith, has suggested that SL's lack of a set objective and open endedness result in something uncategorizable as a game. 

My feeling is that it is dependant on the type of experience a given person is having from moment to moment. Playing Attack the Titan... game. Earning Lindens working for :sey... maybe, not so much.

Thank you,

UserID1024

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This question is as old as SL is.  My opinion is that while you can play games in SL, it is a virtual world not a game.  There is no goal or rules which define a game, unless you are playing a game within the virtual world. 

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From the Oxford English Dictionary: 

game ... 1) A form of competitive activity or sport played according to rules.

                2) An activity that one engages in for amusement. e.g. 'a computer game'

Second Life seems to be covered by 2.  

But in the end, it's a bit like asking: "is photography art?" or "is soup a drink?" - where you make up your own answer!

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I use SL to spend my free time, relax and have fun. So it's a game. But - what am I playing?
Playing myself maybe? I'm not a space pirate and rocket engineer in RL. ( but working on it :D )

The main difference between SL and RL is that:  in SL I am absolutely free to do what I want as long as I keep SL and RL 100% separated.
For me SL is a game but I am not really playing anything. :D

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Conifer Dada wrote:

 

From the Oxford English Dictionary: 

game
... 1) A form of competitive activity or sport played
according
 to rules
.

                2) 
An activity that one engages
 in for amusement
. e.g. 
'a computer game'

Second Life seems to be covered by 2.  

But in the end, it's a bit like asking: "is photography art?" or "is soup a drink?" - where you make up your own answer!

Under sense 2, reading a novel, watching a TV show, walking in the park and any number of activities can be thought of as games. I'm not sure that's the best definition, despite being from the OED.

As you say, it's not easily answered by traditional definitions.

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The only thing that counts is, if the person you are interacting with keeps saying "its just a game". They are more likely to use that as an excuse later on, for whatever **bleep** they have done.

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I have found that underneath it is a game.

It is an inventory management game where you sort and categorize items with increasing complexity while creators strive to develop new items that defy conventional categories.  Soft caps are there to force you to weed out duplicate and superfluous items or risk crashing, being turned into a cloud or worse yet, loosing large portions of your inventory.  Everyone has to play the game to some extent and the rest of the world is there to entice you to add more and more items to your inventory.

 

 

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UserID1024 wrote:

 

One for SL users of all sorts. Is SL a game? Elaborating on perspective much appreciated.

Your post reads like a survey question or precursor to a study.  (Is is a school project related question?)

 

What difference does it make what people think regarding the "SL game" question?   It changes nothing.

 

No, I don't consider SL to be a game.  An online entertainment venue, yes. 

It doesn't feel like a game to me, and never has.

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The distinction and it's influence on participatory experience is something I have been considering for some time, and not only with SL in mind. Having said this, I was once told that it is best to examine those things that push the boundries of meaning. My feeling is that SL meets this criteria.

p.s. I study Computer Science and Media Arts and Culture. Specifically I am interested in the intersection of code, art, and society. 

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SL is not a game it is an open ended platform to do what you want.  There is no winning.

That being said, my approach to SL has always been like a game.  For every new skill I level up.  In the beginning walking without falling off cliffs and bridges was a good level up (I do still occasionally walk off a cliff - thank goodness for unlimited lives).  Opening a box - level up.  Build my first candlestick - level up.  Get a mesh body and figure out the applier HUDs - level up. Try flying a spaceship - level up (or not since I failed miserably after the spaceship derendered midflight and I fell from the sky).  Jumped on a SLex pose ball once.  Yes, once.  Felt creepy, jumped off -  didn't level up.

I am not competing against anyone, just acquiring new skills. So, no it's not really a game, but my approached is the same as if I was playng one.

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Cinnamon Mistwood wrote:

 Jumped on a SLex pose ball once.  Yes, once.  Felt creepy, jumped off -  didn't level up.

Chose single class specialization instead of the sub-class Pixel Banger.  Achievement!

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the objection to the use of the term game is mostly that game can imply that our own activity can sometimes be treated by others as not serious, meaning that they see what we do as trivial, a frolic. Thru the lens of their own projections

which is not true for many people. their activites are serious. Not a frolic and not to be dismissed as a game

not only bc for quite a lot it is a RL income for them, which is serious in the same way as any other RL income deriving activity is, but also for others the personal relationships they have with other people are also serious. As serious as every other relationships they have

+

for myself I do see it as a game. A game of adventure and discovery. but this dont negate how others see it. Nor does it permit me to impose my view on others

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Of course it is a game. The object of this game is to identify the reason the other person is using SL, because you may be sure there almost certainly is one. Your score increases each time you disbelieve some piece of BS they attempt to feed you. Bonus points are awarded when you identify lesser subtleties intended to paint a false image of the RL operator.

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Until

1)Humans can fly and teleport

2) Avatars catch diseases, starve without food, have to use the lavatory and age and die

3) Real guns can propel people 5,000m into the sky

Then yes, SL is VERY MUCH  a 'game'.

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My chair can not fly. It does not catch diseases.  I real gun can not propel it 5km into the sky.

Is my chair a game?

 

[eta]

Let me add a little to that. SL is not real life.  It is a thing.  That is not the debat at all  Is Microsoft Word also a game?. Closer to the analogy, is a telephone a game?

 

[eta, again]

I'm not trying to convience you one way or the otrher.  If you feel it is a game that's totally cool.  I just want to make sure you understand the arguments so you can make a full decision.

 

Also, just like the chicken or egg debate, the answers also have a secondary meaning.

Is a game: we meet and play with other people.  No real ties exists outside of SL unless we take it outside of SL.

Not a game: It is a communication tool.  We meet other people who exists in RL so any connection we make is also a RL connection.

 

That's the real question.

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By your argument, any form of fiction is a game if it is different from real life. Just because something isn't real, doesn't make it a game. Many fictional settings are unrealistic but they are not games.

In contrast, some games are realistic simulations with food and disease accounted for and real-world logic for actions and consequences. Or they take place in the real world, and are bound by natural laws as we understand them. That doesn't stop them from being games.

I'd like to stress that while I don't consider SL to be a game, I recognise its many game-like qualities and that many people have very good reasons to consider it a game. It might be interesting to ask whether SL is a game, but it's not all that productive to come up with an answer. Whichever dictionary you might turn to, the term 'game' is extremely poorly defined. Different definitions are either too narrow, broad, vague or overlapping. How can we accurately say something is a game, if we can't say what a game is?

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And by Callum's argument, any two people not sharing the same reality might define the other's existence as a game. Someone from an undeveloped country might see my ability to afford air travel as akin to both flying and teleportation. They might also think the statistical likelihood of my living to 90+ years in good health is miraculous.

Kelli, I agree that the definition of game is just too fuzzy to serve as the focus for a discussion about SL. As I've often pointed out, real people inhabit SL, and some of them treat their lives outside of SL as being no less a game than their lives inside it. It may more difficult to determine whether someone's playing games with you here in SL, but that's probably the most important distinction to make.

Are the people you're interacting with treating that interaction in a fashion that's acceptable to you? Is how you perceive SL as important as how you perceive your relationships with the people in it?

When you think this way, many online multiplayer games have non-game attributes.

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irihapeti wrote:

the objection to the use of the term game is mostly that game can imply that our own activity can sometimes be treated by others as not serious, meaning that they see what we do as trivial, a frolic. Thru the lens of their own projections

which is not true for many people. their activites are serious. Not a frolic and not to be dismissed as a game

not only bc for quite a lot it is a RL income for them, which is serious in the same way as any other RL income deriving activity is, but also for others the personal relationships they have with other people are also serious. As serious as every other relationships they have

+

for myself I do see it as a game. A game of adventure and discovery. but this dont negate how others see it. Nor does it permit me to impose my view on others

I like what you said here.

I simply see SL as part of my life.

It's a place where I can socialize with other people and as a Virtual World it also affords me the ability to express things that might be more difficult to do in the 'real world.'

I recognise that it has limits.  But so do the various social situations we find ourselves in as we go about our daily lives.

Perhaps Shakespeare said it best, "All the world is a stage......"

It is an place where we can play games if we want but that does not of itself make SL a game.

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To me a game is something that has a begaining, verious levels in between with goals, and an end in wich you win the game. So to me, because it doesnt have any sort of goals, it is not a game. To me SL is more of a 3D chat room that you can do anything you want to with. Now that doesn't mean there isn't games inside of sl, like greedy, and even interactive video games.

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Perrie Juran wrote:


irihapeti wrote:

the objection to the use of the term game is mostly that game can imply that our own activity can sometimes be treated by others as not serious, meaning that they see what we do as trivial, a frolic. Thru the lens of their own projections

which is not true for many people. their activites are serious. Not a frolic and not to be dismissed as a game

not only bc for quite a lot it is a RL income for them, which is serious in the same way as any other RL income deriving activity is, but also for others the personal relationships they have with other people are also serious. As serious as every other relationships they have

+

for myself I do see it as a game. A game of adventure and discovery. but this dont negate how others see it. Nor does it permit me to impose my view on others

I like what you said here.

I simply see SL as part of my life.

It's a place where I can socialize with other people and as a Virtual World it also affords me the ability to express things that might be more difficult to do in the 'real world.'

I recognise that it has limits.  But so do the various social situations we find ourselves in as we go about our daily lives.

Perhaps Shakespeare said it best, "All the world is a stage......"

It is an place where we can play games if we want but that does not of itself make SL a game.

going off what Maddy said before also and you Perrie now. And also about Shakepeare saying that all the world is a stage

Shakespeare i think views the world as a stage bc one, playwright. and two as a playwright he chronicles RL behaviour. In a way where these behaviours can be examined, explored and presented in a no harm way

+

i think that we do this also in our own lives

we mostly present ourself as best we can in a no harm way. And sometimes we do this more easy by seeing ourself as a actor on the stage. So that if we do fall and get hurt then we can say to ourself that it dont matter. bc in this hurtful situation is only a play. a act. a stage. a game

and also as well. when we are thoughtless and harmful to others then bc of this we can tell ourself that we didnt mean it. It was only a play. a act. a stage. a game. and we was only playing

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