“I Don’t Like Games”

Why is this phrase so acceptable alongside few others like it?

“Games” are their own entire unique class of entertainment media alongside video (that would be TV shows & movies & youtube, I guess), audio (music), text (books, novels, fiction to nonfiction), and pictures usually with text (graphic novels, comic books, etc).

The instant response: People who don’t like games are bad at them. You can’t enjoy games without having at least a smidgen of skill, and if you don’t get started early on in life then you might never like games ever!

The barrier is likely just one of required interactivity plus the threat of failure, combined with the unfortunate fate of at least most of the earliest and most casual games sucking, and hard.


Maybe my classification is wrong, though? Maybe games (video games, I mean) fall under a bigger category of ‘interacting with a device’ and that includes GUIs, and basic computer use…

Anyway, my point is that if you ran into someone who said simply “I don’t like music”, your response would likely be that of disbelief (“What’s wrong with you?”), or you might even try to get them to change their mind (“Have you listened to X? Maybe Y?”).

Why not to the person who says “I don’t like games”?


About Droqen

Droqen is a game designer/developer/creator/etc. from Toronto, Ontario. View all posts by Droqen

2 responses to ““I Don’t Like Games”

  • Maxim

    I wish I could add something interesting to this, but a simple ‘totally agree’ is all I can come up with :3

    Nice thing to bring up though!

  • offal

    hey, i mostly agree with this but i’d like to point out a few kinks. first of all, invariably, everybody likes games!

    you’d be incredibly hard-pressed to find a person who doesn’t enjoy playing sports, card and board games, slots, or some other derivation. i assume what you’re talking about is people who are saying they “don’t enjoy modern videogames”.

    while i agree that most modern videogames come packaged in seemingly similar consumable form as enterainment media (videos, books, comics, etc), and very often aspire to similarity (mostly the linear story-oriented action-adventure variety), it is important to note that games are not media.

    a lot of people share ebert’s sentiment towards videogames, that is, they don’t have the desire to sit down and engage in an excercise of trial and error in order to progress through a wobbly pseudo-narrative.

    and this tends to come out as “i don’t like games”. the thing is, without fail, the most popular and accessible videogames do not fit this generic mold, and tend to more closely resemble traditional analogue games. tetris, match three, and even modern console fps games (which do not sell without match-based multiplayer modes), are easier to swallow because they are closer to the universal human experience/compulsion we know as ‘games’.

    i think videogames are closer to their non-video brethren (in our heads anyway) than they are to other related activites involving ‘interacting with a device’. although someone who genuinely dislikes computer-related activity (pretty rare today) would inevitably be repulsed by videogames.

    you have the problem and solution in hand though, i think; most entry-level games today are terrible and poorly designed, and most people who ‘don’t play videogames’ likely just haven’t discovered the right poison. it’s up to you whether you help them along that path. ;)

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