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April 19th, 2013, 11:41
Sometimes I wish that somebody would come up with a better name for our hobby than "gaming". Because I don't really like games. Seriously.

Don't get me wrong; since the early 80s I have spent a huge chunk of my life playing computer and video games. But to be honest, the "game" aspect has always been something I endure rather than enjoy. This might seem strange to some of you, but I'm in it for the exploration. Lore and worldbuilding, design and atmosphere is everything.

Dark Souls reminds me of another fascinating, but ultimately frustrating gaming experience; playing Air Ball on the Atair ST. Yes, I played Air Ball for the exploration. I loved the game world, the atmosphere and design of it, for what it was. In those days, the challenge was necessary, because the game would not have lasted very long without it. But it was a necessary evil, not something good.

Let's get a bit philosophical about the idea of "game" here. There is no such thing as a fair game when the goal is "winning" as opposed to "losing". If a game was truly fair, then nobody would ever win or lose. Because in order to win, you must have some sort of advantage. And any sort of advantage is unfair, if you think about it.

It doesn't matter if your advantage is an easy mode or your own skill. It's still unfair.

To me, if you take the "game" out of a game, and it's still worthwhile, then you have something. If "game" is all there is, then you have nothing.

I spent well over 100 hours playing Dark Souls. I estimate that about 70 of those hours was pure "game", which is not an acceptable ratio to me these days. But I'm not complaining. Since there are so many other promising titles in development, I happily leave Dark Souls II to those who appreciate "gaming".
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