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Changing "games"

Jennie Lees

There's food for thought on the table over at Game Politics--is it time to say goodbye to "games" and rebrand the entertainment form that we know and love? The word "game" has been used for decades, but its connotations are perhaps too ingrained for today's market, as GP's commentary says:

When video games came along a quarter-century ago, even their creators saw them as children's entertainment. They were marketed to kids in retail toy stores - still are, in fact. Such critics will always equate "games" with "toys" - and thus with children.

Despite the fact that many games aren't kid-friendly, much of the controversy surrounding video games centres on the relationship between children and the mature content found in certain games. Is it time to give games a new name? GP argues that such a step could help differentiate adult-oriented titles and those meant for children.

It could also help to legitimise our hobby--"interactive entertainment" has a more grown-up ring to it than "games", although any mention of the word "adult" turns it into a risqué euphemism for pornography.
This isn't the first time this concept has been discussed--Frontier's David Braben brought up the idea last year. However, the sticking point seems to be coming up with a term that has the universal appeal of "game". Many people are attached to the labels "game" and "gamer", and changing the terminology we use every day is not an easy task.

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