The Word “Gameplay”

Your thoughts? http://insomnia.ac/commentary/gameplay/

Okay, this article is really old. Of course I don’t agree with it, because obviously gameplay can’t be substituted for game in all contexts, nor mechanic(s). Also dude’s shutting himself off from a very important tool that would be important to his perspective.

Gameplay fills in a semantic hole in our language. Other mediums as he listed don’t need a word for an equivalent concept because they do not need facilitators to deliver their content as games do. They’re not intrinsically hybrid media.

Mechanics are more specific than gameplay, a mechanic can be good, but the resulting gameplay can be bad.

I just ctrl F’d gameplay on this ask.fm to find where I’ve used it that doesn’t totally line up with his substitutions.

http://ask.fm/Evilagram/answers/137088047125
“though personally I think it makes more sense to just give players a chance to catch their breath and proceed when ready instead of forcing them into another style of slower gameplay.”
“Another style of slower mechanics” “Another style of slower game”
This example makes no sense with substitutions. Both imply very different things.

http://ask.fm/Evilagram/answers/137099716117
” What are you anticipating for this year’s E3?
Actual dishonored gameplay/information.”
I’m obviously not anticipating the actual dishonored game at a preview. Anticipating dishonored mechanics has a different connotation here. Gameplay very clearly means a video, mechanics could mean a press statement.

http://ask.fm/Evilagram/answers/136503265813
“And you can only see the list of these during training mode, or by pausing during gameplay! (Unless there’s a menu option to enable the training dialogue during gameplay)”
You could say pausing during the game, but obviously I’m drawing a distinction here between the training room, walking around, and gameplay. Pausing during the mechanics sounds patently ridiculous.

http://ask.fm/Evilagram/answers/136575190037
“Nioh is inspired by dark souls and has very similar gameplay, but does not maintain this same control scheme”
You could say it’s a very similar game here, but again, a nuance is lost, I’m clearly not referring to the whole game, I’m referring to a specific active segment of it, the way the swords are slow in a similar pace with enemy attacks. Saying it has similar mechanics is a bit more to the point, but again I go over how many mechanics are different and I’m instead pointing more to what those mechanics add up to.

http://ask.fm/Evilagram/answers/137337675285
“Asymmetric gameplay”
Obviously asymmetric mechanics can be present in a game without asymmetric gameplay. Calling it an asymmetric game might be an acceptable alternative, but again, gameplay is slightly more specific than game here.

http://ask.fm/Evilagram/answers/137364484117
“Another concept is that attention is a limited resource and it’s expended by intense gameplay, and needs a period to rejuvenate or the player will get stressed.”
Implication here is that not all gameplay is intense in the same game. Also mechanics can’t be intense by themselves.

I was reading an earlier ask responding to icycalm hating the word gameplay. How would you feel about just dropping the “game” from “gameplay” to make “play?” I actually think that sounds way better and still makes sense in all the contexts I can think of including the ones you tried out in the ask.

Not a bad suggestion, very sensible. You’re right to say that all my examples could be replaced with play, just my remark is that there’s an implicit “game” in front of each example if you did that.

I think gameplay is distinguished from regular play in that it refers specifically to goal-oriented play, within the purview of a game. Play is a broader category that doesn’t necessarily refer to games specifically. It is possible to just play with something like minecraft in a way that isn’t necessarily gameplay for example, like pacifist mode or building complex structures in general. Each of the examples above is referring to the specific type of play involved in games, not play in general.

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3 thoughts on “The Word “Gameplay”

  1. Senncsh November 21, 2016 / 9:02 am

    Just read some articles on this Alex guy site and holy fuck, the guy is wrong about everything.

    Like

    • Senncsh November 21, 2016 / 9:05 am

      Ah, so this is the famous icycalm, didn’t think he would be this much of a retard.

      Like

      • Prisoner24601 November 24, 2016 / 7:28 am

        I’m very curious as to what articles you found that you disagreed with. Not that I’m trying to disagree with you, but I’d rather not waste my time delving into the madness of icycalm to find out myself.

        Like

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