Here at Built to Play, we want to ask the kinds of questions that can help us better understand our burgeoning medium.
In just a few decades, video games have become one of the largest entertainment industries in the world, up there with music and movies. Video games are being consumed by millions every day, but the kind of criticism and deeper thought that other creative industries see regularly are rare in the gaming space.
Luckily, that sort of criticism is becoming more and more common, and we want to join that discourse. We want to ask big questions, and give as many answers as we can. We want to think, along with you, about what video games are, what they can be, and what they can do.
So that’s why we’re starting our new theme months. At the beginning of each month, we’re going to ask a question. A big, wide reaching question, most likely with multiple answers. And then we’ll try to present as many answers as we can. We want to offer as many answers from as many perspectives as possible. We want to be inclusive, we want to be part of a larger discourse, and that means never ignoring anyone’s ideas.
On your end, that's going to mean at least one article a week about the theme, exploring it some way. We'll have some new, more regular features along the way, and we'll still be peppering the site with more news-y features like we've been doing up until now, along with regular reviews.
So to kick us off, we want to start with what might be the medium’s biggest question, but also the simplest.
What is a video game, and why does it matter?
What is a game? How can we define it? Can we define it at all? Is a definition important? What does it matter what we call it? Does the history of the medium matter to our understanding of it? Does it even matter how we define it at all?
Like we mentioned earlier, video games are still young, very young, and in this early state, it’s sometimes hard to know exactly what a video game is. The communities growing around them occasionally bring up the question, but it always serves to distance people from each other. The debate rages in circles forever. Far be it from us to demand a stop to it, but we also don’t want to define videogames ourselves. We want to take all possible definitions in turn,and talk about them. Where they came from, what they mean for the medium, and how they can bring us closer together. We believe that everyone who plays games of any kind, can get together and discuss what they love, without worrying about how they define them.
By the end of the month, we hope to provide an exhaustive exploration of these questions and more. We want to spark discussion, we want to ask the big questions, and we want to try our best to provide the big answers.
We hope you’ll come along with us for the ride.