On Gameplay

Alex Kierkegaard: ““The word ‘gameplay’ […] is the single most useless and misleading word in videogame terminology. […] Consider the following sentences: This book has good bookread. This record has good recordlisten. This movie has good moviewatch.””:http://insomnia.ac/commentary/gameplay/

Well, no. ‘Gameplay’ is simply the best word we currently have to describe the content of games. The stuff games are made of. The culmination of a game’s mechanics. Like ‘narrative’ for stories.

Kierkegaard goes on to say that writing that a game has “great gameplay” is technically the same as writing that it’s “a great game”. Which is not right, because most games consist of more than just gameplay. Often there’s narrative, too, for example.

In the end, Kierkegaard’s real problem seems to be with generalisation – I totally agree with him that you’re not saying much when you use a hollow phrase like “The most important part of a game is the gameplay”.