No Man’s Sky Proves Games Don’t Have To Be About Winning

Video: What does it take to be a game? Win states? Rules? The questions pop up again and again. And as expectations for games grow, we try to answer these questions with increasing confidence. Are games just code, or are they something more poetic? Titles like No Man’s Sky or Abzu offer richly realised spaces to explore and immerse ourselves in. As I explore the galaxy and dive deeper into the ocean, I keep returning to these question. I think I have my own answers to share. Join me in this video for a look at relaxing worlds and a chat about just what makes games so damn wonderful!


  • I think Mass Effect 3 already proved that games don’t have to be about winning. (Even if the narrative of the entire series leads you to believe that will be the ending). =p

  • Long established that “games” can be whatever they want to be. But hey, lets bring up a fanbots latest fav game to retread old ground while wilfully omitting justified condemation all the crap NMS does so woefully wrong. You know because its “art” or “poetic”. The last refuge of fanbots.

    Adventure games, text adventures, Minecraft, walking simulators….. None need the words poetry, art, transcendence, zen…or any other BS that hype vendors who refuse to keep the hype train unfueled, especially when so many are jutifiably critical of the misleading hype of No Mans Sky.

    • Relax man, why get so worked up about a game so many are enjoying and also enjoying talking about?

      • It seems to be about 50/50 whether people enjoy the game or dislike the game. You don’t think it’s reasonable that both sides should be allowed to give their opinions?

  • “No Man’s Sky Proves Games Don’t Have To Be About Winning” But the prove that they are shitty developers who lie and cheat people out with their game. I didn’t play no Mans Sky as watching enough videos etc was all i needed to see that the game is just pure diarrhea served on a cheap silver platter.

    Even the videos where the man is promoting the game make me want to punch his face in acting all smug like his game is the best when in reality it blows.

    • Man, you’re pretty mad about a game that you didn’t play.

      I’m about 18 hours in and still enjoying it personally. Definitely not “pure diarrhea.”

      • 15 hours here. It’s not ‘pure diarrhea’ but it’s not good either. The most apt description going around is ‘width of an ocean, depth of a puddle’. In my experience the game has very little substance and no soul to speak of. So many systems were stripped out, what’s left gives you occasional hints that there’s something more but there never is.

        Some people are cool with that though, I don’t judge. I like Euro Truck Simulator and that doesn’t have much substance either (though it has more than NMS does, in my opinion). I think what most people are upset about at the moment isn’t what the game is, but that what it is is so much less than what was promised. And we’re not talking about dreams and wishlist promises of “we’ll add this, and that other thing, and it’ll be super great!”, but promises that things were already written and in the game, to the point of being demonstrated in gameplay videos as recently as a month before release, but never appeared in the final release. Some of these videos are still being used to advertise the game, showing off features that don’t exist.

        Even if you think the game as it was released is great, it’s undeniable that Murray and HG have been deliberately deceptive about what the game contains and that’s something we should all have low tolerance for, no matter the game or developer.

  • So many planets look the same with the same flaura and fauna! Does this mean there are a million earth like planets out there?

  • For me a game is just an activity where you attempt to complete an objective while constrained by an arbitrary set of rules, though rather than achieve a win state I think you just need to avoid a fail state. If it doesn’t have those, then it probably isn’t a game (not that that matters, not everything has to be a game. You can have other kinds of interactive entertainment).

    At least, pretty sure that’s what I ended up with, been a while since I thought about it.

  • A game is an escape from the drudgery of ‘real life’.

    It gives people an chance to try something they may never get a chance to do – from running around in a team killing people, to racing in a souped up car to achieve victory, through to opening up a large open world and being creative without outside interference.

    And all this from the safety of your own home. You can test the limits, die and then try again.

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