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LordHappycat

Can Second Life be even considered a "Game"?

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I find it with mild irritation that some people refer to Second Life as a game. I find it difficult, however, to really find anything that makes it a game. Not everything that's slathered with graphics and with some nifty buttons to press is always a game.

I've always saw Second Life as a vast social interaction virtual world, as it was advertised. That's basically all it is, you're interacting socially in the form of avatars. Yes, there are things you can do. You can be a DJ, you can be a dancer, you can buy all these nifty stuff in the marketplace to dress your avatar in however you desire. Yes, there are these specific sims you can go on with combat enabled or a Grim sim where you fight zombies.

But, at most, I see those as just novelties or features you can do that is a part of the interaction. Mini-games, so to speak. That don't really justify the whole Second Life experience.

For me, a game has to have set objectives for you to complete in order to progress and in a timely fashion. All of those quirks that makes a game strictly that - a game. Not just a part.

So, I really shake my head whenever someone says "I play Second Life". How are you playing it? Do you IM enough people that scores you 100 points each? Are you time-restricted with how often you can walk around? I fail to grasp this.

Using real money to buy virtual items, live in virtual sims/homes, having actual online mini-jobs and vice versa, doesn't seem to qualify to me as a game. Social Interaction at it's finest.

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You answered your own question, but I'll also answer it...

No. That's the short answer. SL is not a game. For something to be a game, it has to have gameplay. Not only does it have to have it, but the gameplay must be what the whole thing is about. There are, of course, some small games that users have created within SL, but that doesn't make SL itself a game. It is merely an environment.

I think that those who refer to SL as a game, do so because they are used to playing games, and the SL environment looks a lot like one. Also, I think that such people are usually quite new and haven't yet realised what SL is. They are probably still trying to find out 'how to play this game'.

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This does tend to come up so after a few years knocking around (as it were) I reckon, on the whole, yes.

As the real world seems to be a Game (lets play how many people we can scare in to voting Yes/No at the next referendum, as an example) then why not :) Fits the bill, there are no defined rules you can rely on, no matter what you do nothing is important and in the end - you die! ( to be fair, in this case the platform gets turned off but the metaphor still seems valid).

So yes, Virginia, SL Can be considered a Game :)

(I missed the 'Virginia there Is a santa' chance, so in case I forget....)

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game
1.a form of competitive activity or sport played according to rules.
synonyms: match, contest, tournament, meeting, sports meeting, meet, event, athletic event, fixture, tie, cup tie, test

2. an activity that one engages in for amusement.
"a computer game"

 

I think that everyone is entitled to an opinion and to do what they like in SL but for me...

If you think that SL is just a social network  or is a platform you missed the point..The name says it all.

 

 

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Second Life adheres to such of those descriptions. But is it the core element? No it's not. That's the point I'm running home with this.

Secondly, I don't really recognize Second Life as a social network in the same league as Facebook. LL probably wishes it had the same number of people though attending at once! xD

Second Life, more or less, is just another form of social interactivity. Unique in it's own right, but still another alternative. That not a whole heap of people are pouncing on like they did in it's first handful of years.

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Can Second Life be even considered a "Game"?

Your question leaves no room for a negative answer, HappyCat. Of course it can be considered a game. Sirhc has done that for you, as have countless others in previous discussions about this. Anyone who says "No" (stop doing that, Phil!) is answering the question you probably meant to ask. Had you asked "Do you consider SL a game?", you'd have left room for varied responses. Though I don't think of SL as a game, the pedantic answer to your question can be nothing but "yes".

;-).

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SL it'self isn't a game. However, there are games within sl such as greedy. To me the virtual platform of sl is more like an evolved chat service with sims being like an updated chat room.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:

Can Second Life be even considered a "Game"?

Your question leaves no room for a negative answer, HappyCat. Of course it can be considered a game. Sirhc has done that for you, as have countless others in previous discussions about this. 
Anyone who says "No" (stop doing that, Phil!)
is answering the question you probably meant to ask. Had you asked "Do you consider SL a game?", you'd have left room for varied responses. Though I don't think of SL as a game, the pedantic answer to your question can be nothing but "yes".

;-).

Sorry, Maddy, but SL is NOT a game, so I can't stop doing it when the question arises.

To one of the other repliers - life is NOT a game, so your analogy is invalid.

It is not a matter of opinion. A game is a game because it has gameplay rules; e.g. football, basketball, snooker, tiddleywinks, poker, etc. etc. etc. They all have gameplay rules. SL does not. It is an online environment in which users can do things, and that all it is. There are no gameplay rules, so it is not a game.

 

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I could log into call of duty and walk around telling people that its not a game, its a totally serious multiuser blah blah.

And it would mean exactly nothing because I was surrounded by people treating it as a game

Same goes for sl where you can pretend to be as cerebral as you want but it means nothing in an environment where everyone around you is playing a game to some extent

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Phil Deakins wrote:

It is not a matter of opinion.


Phil, the question was "Can Second Life be even considered a "Game"? This IS a matter of opinion. The question, and the answerers, are too complex for a "correct" answer. You have your opinion, I have mine, and others can have theirs. We both know of people who disagree with us. That doesn't make them wrong.

I've met people in both SL and RL who're playing it as a game. The question for me has always been "What game are they playing?" Game theory does not confine itself to what you'd call "games". It applies to everyday life, because our subconscious processes are always (and often incorrectly in modern times) weighing risk and reward according to rules we're still learning about. Not knowing those rules doesn't make them go away (though it's interesting to ponder whether knowing them might).

 

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It's absolutely a video game. SL follows the design and model of any other online roleplaying game. The entire crux of the "not a game" argument hinges on SL not having a plot or linear storyline. But we know today that games transcend traditional boundaries like this. Look at Minecraft, which is a sandbox video game. It has two significantly different play styles, allows the player to do nearly anything they want (provided they have mod support), and has no story or objectives. But absolutely no one would argue that Minecraft is a social networking service.

 

If we had to get anally specific, SL could be described as a sandbox MMO or a video game engine. Insisting that SL is the last Facebook and saying it isn't a game because it's not Call of Duty is both silly and pretentious, since it talks down to video games like they are a bad thing.

 

Second Life is a sandbox video game, used primarily but not exclusively for entertainment, and provides flexibility to allow players to use the game in different ways, be it playing inworld games or using it as a roleplaying mechanism in the same way you can roleplay in Warcraft or any other MMO. Sorry, but any other definition is just people being special snowflakes and trying to make themselves feel less nerdy, but it really dies have the opposite effect.

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I disagree that, whether or not SL is a game, is a matter of opinion. It's not a matter of opinion at all. It's not a game.

People may treat it as a game, in that they don't take it seriously, or they may perhaps pretend to be what they are not, and things like that, but that doesn't make SL an actual game. So the answer to the OP's question is that SL cannot be considered as a game.

There are other ways to play games. For instance, you could mess around with someone's head - the sort of things where the victim might say, "Don't play games with me!". But there's no actual game in that sort of circumstance. The perpetrator may consider it to be a game that s/he's playing, but that doesn't make what s/he's doing an actual game. Similarly, SL is not a game, regardless of whether or not some people choose to play their own little game in it.

There's another thing about an actual game. It is such that people can compete in it. Name any game you like and people can compete in it. Even in games like Solitaire and Patience, the player is competing against the game - to complete it.

SL has never been a game. If you think it's a game, tell me how to play it. Where do I start? and what's the goal? What do I have to achieve to have won the game?

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When people sign up for sl, it does say PLAY for free. So I can understand why people think it's a game.

Meh, I don't see it as a game, but I don't take it too seriously either. 

To me, sl is just another platform for social interaction, but with avatars. I would say a large amount of users only really use it for socializing and hanging out with others and nothing more. (I've seen that the most.) That's all I really use sl for.

 

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"It's not a matter of opinion at all. It's not a game." all those that are in the SL Star Fleet acadamy RP would disagree with you  on that point. Unless you believe they think is RL.

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SL's totally a game. Can you make do on SL without money for food, without RL consequences? Can you fly in RL? Can you shapesift at will in RL?

Of course it's a game, and mixing RL up with SL is a recipe for long-term disaster.

Real money might be involved, but so what? It's buying time and assets in pixelspace. Precisely why SL's detractors point to RL couples who neglect their hungry/neglected kids in meatspace  who also happen to run clubs/businesses on SL.

 

 

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I agree that it's not a 'game' in the traditional sense of having objectives and goals, and earning achievements.  However, I don't think that it's just a place for socializing, either.  I think it could be considered a game in the sense of something done for amusement.   

I don't do much socializing at all inworld.  I come in for relaxing, getting away from RL stresses, etc.  I explore, I create (not necessarily building things or selling anything, but creating as in designing and landscaping my parcels, or decorating houses in different themes, etc.).  I've done some RP'ing.  I tend to set my own little achievements as I learn different things.  Mainly though, I consider it a virtual world to BE in.  

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No, its a game if thats what you want it to be, its not a game to me as i build and script.

"Of course it's a game, and mixing RL up with SL is a recipe for long-term disaster." what you think 80% odd do in SL, thats just not true.

" Precisely why SL's detractors point to RL couples who neglect their hungry/neglected kids in meatspace  who also happen to run clubs/businesses on SL." where are these comments and who are they from?

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"I agree that it's not a 'game' in the traditional sense of having objectives and goals, and earning achievements" that depends on what group you are involved in.

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steph Arnott wrote:

"I agree that it's not a 'game' in the traditional sense of having objectives and goals, and earning achievements" that depends on what group you are involved in.

Yes, that's probably true, though that's outside of my current experiences - I haven't yet been involved in a group like that. 

 

 

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To an outsider who knows hardly anything about computers or the internet, I'd begin by describing Second Life as a game.

But the best advice about the game / not game issue is to not waste any time worrying over it.  ....So I'll say no more :)

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steph Arnott wrote:

"It's not a matter of opinion at all. It's not a game." all those that are in the SL Star Fleet acadamy RP would disagree with you  on that point. Unless you believe they think is RL.

You missed the point, Steph. Poeple who do what you mentioned in SL, do play those games in SL. But that does not make SL itself a game. It's merely an environment . I said before that people can play games in SL, and you pointed one out, but SL itself is not a game. To put it another way, SL is not a game in itself.

 

ETA:

I play backgammon in SL, I play Cheesy in SL. They are games that I play in SL, but they don't make SL a game. I play backgammon in my RL house, I play other games in my RL house, but that doesn't make my RL house a game either. It's just a house - an environment in which I can do all sorts of things, including play games.

A casino is a building in which many games are played. That's the reason why the building exists. But the casino itself is not a game.

You write scripts and build things in SL, but you said that that's not playing a game. And you're right. So, for you, SL is not a game. SL is not a game for anyone. People may choose to play games in it, but SL itself is not a game for anyone, even though some people may think of it a a game, because they play games in it.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:

Your question leaves no room for a negative answer,

 

Or an alternative answer. In game development we have the same argument. What is a game? Or is a free-form experience a game?

The answer is exactly the same. Yes, no, maybe.

The technology between a virtual world and a game is exactly the same. The tools and the implementation are the only difference. If you go to a game sim, it's a game. If you go to a historical sim, it's a simulation. Put them all together in mix and it's another yes, no, maybe.

Sansar looks like it's going to try to pass this off as experiences. In reality it's still the same thing. What you do with it depends on what it is. I can build an "art sim" with a game engine or within Second Life or as an experience in Sansar. Likewise I can also build a game within Second Life or with a game engine to run on any platform.

The lines have blurred to the point that it no longer matters on a meta level. It only matters in the specific implementation in a particular space.

 

 

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