The Pure Game: A Short History of Video Game Aesthetics
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With the continuing recognition of video games as a cultural form comes an ongoing discussion about what video games should be. In this talk I will sketch a history of aesthetical arguments for “pure” video games. Such arguments have worked by identifying a single important quality of video games that is then to be protected against dilution. Examples include the idea that video games should only be rule-based systems, and the newer position that video games should be "immersive" simulated worlds. These, I will argue, are flawed arguments, but arguments that nevertheless play a significant role in the history of video games.