Does anybody today say — without shame — that their hobby is watching TV? Or listening to the radio? These media are so deeply entrenched in our society that we barely think of them. According to Ian Bogost, a time will come when the concept of “the gamer” is obsolete. Not because games will be obsolete, but because they will become so mainstream that the category will no longer be useful.
Videogames suffer under the weight of many misconceptions. Some of
these are all too familiar: questions about whether games promote
violent action or whether they make us fat through inactivity.
that some people have tried to overturn is the idea that games are only
for entertainment. So-called “serious games” claim to offer an
alternative: games that can be used for serious purposes like
education, healthcare, or corporate training.
But games, like
photography, like writing, like any medium, shouldn’t be shoehorned
into one of two kinds of uses alone. Neither entertainment nor
seriousness nor the two together should be a satisfactory account for
what videogames are capable of. After all, we don’t distinguish between
serious and entertainment books, or music, or photography, or film.
Rather, we know intuitively that writing, sound, images, and moving
images can all be put to many different uses.