Friday, September 12, 2014

Q Attack, Round 1 - Do Video Games Need to be Fun?
In the first Q Attack round of Tiger vs Rabbit, our bloggers discuss a little about themselves, what they are currently playing, and tackle the question – Do video games need to be fun?


Tiger: Welcome to the first entry of Tiger vs Rabbit. I’m Tiger, the older and more experienced gamer. I enjoy high quality games with lots of re-playability, I’m also a big fan of open world games, and-

Rabbit: And you love killing everything you see.

Tiger: At least I play video games, unlike those artsy not-really-a-game games you like so much.

Rabbit: Hey! It’s all about the experience, not just about beating people over the head with bricks. Anyway, we are getting off track here-

Tiger: Which I feel we will do often.

Rabbit: ^laughs^ I’m just going to ignore you right now. Hello everybody, my name is Rabbit. ^waves^ I enjoy playing games with stories that have an emotional impact. Welcome to TvR! The concept of our blog is to ask a question about video games or the occasional alternate topic. Then, Tiger and I will take turns answering them, providing reasons why we come up with differing opinions. Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoy our blog! ^bows^

Tiger: You do realize that we’re just going to transcribe this, right? That there’s no audio or video so they can’t see or hear you?

Rabbit: Man, you don’t have to be so sarcastic. Anyway, putting that aside for now, ^shakes fists at Tiger^, I thought we could go over what type of games we like, what systems we own, and what we’re currently playing.

Tiger: Sure, I’ll shoot first. Between Rabbit and I, we own two PlayStations, two PS2s, three PS3s, one PlayStation 4, two PlayStation Portables, one PSPGo, and three Vitas. I enjoy action, adventure, and open world games. I’m a huge fan of The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and the Tom Clancy line of games. Right now I’m playing Grounded Mode of The Last of Us on PS3 and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag on PS4.

Rabbit: Quick question, who actually owns the PS4? You know, since we only have the one.

Tiger: Oh, it’s so mine. I just let you borrow it. I should be charging you a rental fee, like a dollar every ten minutes or something.

Rabbit: You are so cruel. Well I already mentioned that I love story driven games but I also enjoy games that are just plain fun. I’m a huge fan of Ratchet & Clank, Skylanders, and visual novels! Right now I’m playing Hakuouki: Stories of the Shinsengumi on PS3, Hatsune Miku Project DIVA F on Vita, and I’m on episode 5 of Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season 2 on PS3.

Tiger: And with that, we have our first question in the history of Tiger vs Rabbit – Do video games need to be fun? We both brought up different games that you might say aren’t the happiest of titles; The Last of Us and The Walking Dead. Why don’t we use these two games as examples?

Rabbit: Yes, totally. The Walking Dead is so sad and bleak at times, not a game you’d find a lot of candy canes and sunflowers in. The Last of Us is just scary. I don’t do scary games and it’s just right on the cusp of being too scary for me.

Tiger: But I thought you liked story driven games? The Last of Us is definitely what I consider a strong narrative game.

Rabbit: It’s true and I love Naughty Dog but The Last of Us was such a heavy game, emotionally I mean. I had to take breaks and play something happy or else I’d get depressed playing that game too long. But I pushed myself through that game because I wanted to find out what happens at the end. I cared about Joel and Ellie as characters and I wanted to see what became of them. It’s also pretty scary, those Clickers man. Those Clickers make the worst sound ever. *shutters* But you have also played TLOU quite a bit.

Tiger: Yes, between the two of us we have beaten the game seventeen times. I enjoyed playing it because of the challenge, not because of the story. I find it really fun to play it on the harder difficulties because you really have to plan out how you are going to use your supplies. Right now with Grounded Mode, I really have to bear down and think how I’m going to utilize my ammo or what items to craft. I didn’t find TLOU scary at all; you are just a scaredy cat.

Rabbit: You’re the cat, I’m the rabbit.

Tiger: *rolls eyes* That game has some really fun gameplay elements. I love the stealthy parts the best. Oh, and shivs baby!

Rabbit: There’s that violent side of you again.

Tiger: Bricks are pretty awesome too. What did you think of The Walking Dead? Personally, I didn’t like it at all. It’s not a game, it’s a visual novel that lets you influence the game in what I thought were pretty minor ways. Don’t get me wrong, I think those style of games should exist because there are people who enjoy them-

Rabbit: ^points at self^

Tiger: Yes, like you, but I’m not one of them. I want to interact with my games and influence them, not just sit back and watch what happens on screen. It’s too much like a TV show for my taste.

Rabbit: I can see where you are coming from in the case of The Walking Dead, it is light on actual gameplay but most people aren’t playing it just for that. This is a compelling story about a very interesting character named Clementine and it’s our opportunity to see her story continue, this time through her viewpoint.

Tiger: Alright, enough dodging around what needs to be done. Do video games need to be fun? Yes or no?

Rabbit: You’re going to make me answer this first?

Tiger: Yes, you can do it. I have faith in you. Shoot!
Rabbit: I actually didn’t know what my answer would be to this question until we started talking about it. I don’t think video games need to be fun. I think they need to provide us with an experience that’s worth the time and money we invest in them, but that doesn’t necessarily equal “fun” to me. Like with The Walking Dead. I don’t consider it a fun game, and like you pointed out; it’s not really much of a game in terms of actual gameplay. But I am enjoying my experience with the game and the story of Clementine and the other survivors. I want to see what happens next, I want to know what kind of person Clementine becomes. And I’m super excited to finally get the chance to play episode 5. As for The Last of Us, even though it was scary and I wasn’t a fan of the gameplay, I love those characters. I absolutely love Joel and Ellie. That right there made it totally worth playing. So no, video games don’t always need to be fun. I believe they do need to offer an experience that compels us to play the game, and more importantly, compels us to actually finish the game.

Tiger: You know what? This was a terrible first question to ask because you are the “I love candy and rainbows, and fun stuff” gamer whereas I’m the “give me a challenge and a brick to kill people with” type of gamer yet we both answered this completely opposite of what I thought we would. Originally, I was going to say “heck no, games don’t need to be fun” but then I realized that it all depends on how we as gamers define what is fun and what’s not. Being challenged in a game and having to retry a level over and over again is my kind of fun. I really ran into this very situation while playing The Last of Us on Grounded Mode and I have loved every minute of it. I say video games do need to be fun, why else would you play them?

Do video games need to be fun?

Tiger     vs     Rabbit


  1. My answer is more in the middle of Tiger and Rabbit because I feel that enjoyment of a game is having fun regardless of whether or not it's a happy game or a sad game or whatever mood it's trying to set up. Having said that, if I have to pick a side, I side with Tiger.

    1. I can see where you are coming from in regards to enjoyment = fun. I see them as separate things sometimes. For example, while I enjoyed the experience Heavy Rain brought me, I definitely did not find that game fun and wouldn't want to play it again. -Rabbit

    2. Thanks for the comment, usagi704. I do agree that you can have fun in a game whether it's happy or sad. You can even have fun with a sucky game to a degree. I definitely think it's something that devs need to consider when making games. Often I feel, especially with indie games, that they're more focused on making "art" than a game that's just fun to play. Look at Destiny, while the game is lacking in story etc. (which I bet Rabbit just hates), I find it a fun game to play. That's what matters, that we have fun playing the games we love. -Tiger