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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

No Video Day 3: Defining the Terms

When I was talking with James about doing this experiment I laid out some of my TV watching habits and asked if it was enough for me to provide meaningful data. And immediately after sending that email, I dashed off another one that asked:

Does not watching video include not playing video games?
He decided that was up to me.  And today, I had to define the terms of the experiment because I went over to a friend's house for dinner and we played Wii afterwards. This may be rationalization but here's my argument for why video games would be acceptable.

My first thought was that 'no video' was equivelant to "nothing that moves". But where I nuanced that train of thought was in the consumption of the media.

Video is static consumption. You watch the video content as it is presented to you without any ability to affect it. (Of course, there are some interesting experiments happening with Qik-based interative live video.) But in terms of pre-packaged content, video is pretty much a linear, non-interactive experience.

Gaming is specifically designed to put you in control of some aspect of the experience. How much freedom of choice you have is dictated by the structure of the game but there is always some action required on the part of the player. Rather than consuming the content you're engaged, you are participating in creating the experience.

(Also, Wii games are ridiculously fun, who could pass up a chance to play.)

What do you think? Is there a difference between Video and Video Games?

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