What is a Video Game? A Conversation (with Myself)

Earlier this month, the great minds behind United We Game (*wink wink*), asked the following question in their first ever community writing challenge: what is a video game? Well, below is my answer (for now), done all conversation-like because it was the only way I could wrap my head around such an intangible/tangible question.

This challenge is open to anyone in the gaming (or non-gaming) blogosphere who feels up to answering the question. If you heed the call, be sure to tag your post with #whatisagame, so we can share it across social media!

Need more inspiration? Here are links to others’ answers:
The Big Question: What Really is a Video Game? (United We Game)
What is a Video Game? – It’s a Connection (United We Game)
What is a Video Game? #whatisagame (Oh Wow! Hey! Ho!)
What is a Video Game? — Interaction (Hack ‘N’ Slash Gaming)
Discussion Mondays: Just What Is A Game? (Gamer Crash)
What is a videogame – the mystery of Broken Sword (Very Very Gaming)
What Is a Game? – Exploring the Player’s Pysche – #whatisagame (Zero to Indie)



Image by Flickr user Pure GeekeryImage by Flickr user Pure Geekery (CC)

As I ponder this question, (“What is a video game?“) my mind can’t help but go back and pose it to a teenage me. Me, around 1989, with Atari histories, Nintendo fancies, and PC realities. The conversation goes something like this.

2015: So, me from 1989, what is a video game?

1989: (thinks…stares contently) Any game that’s played on a screen.

2015: Alright, good start. Does it matter if you’re playing on your Nintendo or the computer?

1989: I guess not, though I tend to call games I play on the computer “computer games,” but I guess they’re the same. All played electronically.

2015: Okay. (pauses) So what about that typing tutor program your Mom bought. Is that a video game?

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