Are Walking Simulators Games? | Slightly Civil War

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    The Escapist

    Runtime: 49:50

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    This week on Slightly Civil War, Yahtzee and Jack debate whether walking simulators are genuinely video games.
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The Escapist
The Escapist

After many requests we've finally added the podcast from Slightly Civil War directly in the video! You can still find it on Spotify, Soundcloud, iTunes and more platforms as well.

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Aisaka Taiga
Aisaka Taiga

Yayyy

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UnreasonableOpinions
UnreasonableOpinions

This is a good change. I can still step off if I don't care for the argument, but if I'm interested I don't have to stuff around.

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john smith
john smith

Awesome! Thank you! :)

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DeebZ Scrub
DeebZ Scrub

Kinda thought you were just going to add uploads of the podcast to youtube, but I am okay with this; it saves me a tiny amount of effort to go listen to Jack and Yahtzee talk about stuff.

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JustDJ
JustDJ

And I was thinking this was going to be the most heavily debated topic in the series lmao

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Altimeter Alligator
Altimeter Alligator

You could totally argue that Dark Souls is a playable wiki. The hyperlinks just defend themselves.

2 dager siden
vuxnut
vuxnut

I dig the new format, now i don't have to pause and head over to spotify. I could listen to these guys debate and talk about video games forever and now it's easier. \m/

9 dager siden
DatCameraMON
DatCameraMON

I'm not quite sure what it was, but I think there was a really old Alien game or fan-game that had you guiding the Marines through the events of the game in different sections and each of them could die. If too many died, you couldn't get past certain moments I believe. I like the idea of a horror game based on getting a group to survive, but IDK. Ironically enough there is a walking simulator, survival group horror. It is called Until Dawn.

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John Genoni
John Genoni

5:45 I need merchandise of "Press A repeatedly to brace glutes for impact!"

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Neen
Neen

Jack: Game via hyperlink. Click here to read more about this character. Oh, you mean like Twine games! Yahtzee: Story by wiki. Ooh, SCP Foundation! I do love this age of the internet, to be honest. There is just... so much room now for making little, meaningful arthouse film-equivalents of books, games and honestly anything, with a shoestring budget.

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Kaltes Bild
Kaltes Bild

Not first!

16 dager siden
Jommamo Soffat
Jommamo Soffat

whoa, why graphic novels get dragged into this? Using GN as a defence for walking sims tips the scales to not a game. Uhg, creepy little graphic novels drowning all the good games in steam

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Grégory Jourdan
Grégory Jourdan

This video made me wonder if "Press right to hear someone read AN ACTUAL BOOK" would be a game then.

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Joey Valvano
Joey Valvano

@41 that's kinda like Among Us

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SnuSnuDungeon
SnuSnuDungeon

Show the pets more please!?🥺

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The Jon Brown Show
The Jon Brown Show

I'm indifferent to walking simulators, tho death stranding wasn't that bad a simulator as I consider it lol

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Dark3y3
Dark3y3

There is a game that is a breathing and activate muscles manually simulator. Manual Samuel. You even have to blink along with breathing in and out while trying to walk. Pretty good game.

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Felix Wrigley
Felix Wrigley

Manual Samuel is a breathing simulator.

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Carlos Miguel Teixeira Ott
Carlos Miguel Teixeira Ott

Technically there already exists a breathing simulator, it's called Manual Samuel.

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Daniel Huras
Daniel Huras

My argument is not if they are games, but why are they games? what is it about the videogame medium that is enhancing this story over other mediums, like books and movies. If the story isn't benifiting from the visuals or the player interaction, then why is it in a videogame?

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_Smightee _
_Smightee _

31:26 Payton Leutner was not killed

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_Smightee _
_Smightee _

31:26

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RosieBabyCheeks
RosieBabyCheeks

My favorite walking simulator of all time will and has always been The Stanley Parable! It's a great game, I've played it many times, and I can't wait to buy it again on consoles. Yay, consumerism!

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BraveFencer Musashiden
BraveFencer Musashiden

Literally playing Death Stranding while listening to this. As far as I'm concerned, walking simulator are games. There's something inherently fun about exploring and discovery. And walking simulator can tap directly into that fun. IF they are well made. Sadly, a lot are not. Either forcing the player into a linear path while revealing everything or opening big areas of empty space with nothing to find.

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Warlax 56
Warlax 56

Is he serious? Does he actually not think they’re games?

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DéJi Vu
DéJi Vu

Bigger question, where is the line between a walking simulator and an interactive movie?

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BILLY BONES
BILLY BONES

Games are an interesting storytelling medium because you can essentially adjust the level of verbosity on the fly. Do you want to uncover every small, seemingly inconsequential detail, or do you want to just go with the main bullet points? Maybe you want to play it two times, going into more detail on the second run?

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Eric P
Eric P

"Brace glutes for impact."

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Random Dude
Random Dude

Yall have faces???

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gamerguy235
gamerguy235

2:50 that's playing Monopoly with your little cousins

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Chase Anderson
Chase Anderson

I was not expecting Jack to be bald....

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MadeYouSayMyName
MadeYouSayMyName

A maze is a game where all you do is travel on a path. Some mazes are easier than others.

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Wide And Nerdy
Wide And Nerdy

Try to tell a story like a wiki? So basically Morrowind.

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AbelFry1
AbelFry1

Walking simulator royale could just use the randomisation mechanics of The Consuming Shadow, you're already halfway there Yahtzee

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rubz
rubz

What does yahtzee think of journey and abzu?

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mrb692
mrb692

Super Mario bros and most platforms could be considered a walking simulator

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Bob Tom
Bob Tom

It depends. If it's like Dear Esther (or whatever...) then no...you literally just walk from point A to Point B while listening to some monologue, and then that's it. You completed the game. There are like maybe 1 or 2 secrets that you can look for, but there's no incentive for dong so... And if it's anything like Gone Home, you can just burn it in the fire because that abomination is not a game...

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Infinite Sheldon
Infinite Sheldon

This isn't a debate. Walking Sims are objectively games. How much you enjoy them is subjective, their artistic merit is worthy of debate, but there is no arguing what they are.

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AdipatedApple
AdipatedApple

what is an "among us" ?????/?

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DragonFae16
DragonFae16

I think walking simulators should be termed as video experience rather than a video game.

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JovialMantis
JovialMantis

I love Yahtzee's knowledge on obscure video games, being a games journalist and all

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Phourc
Phourc

You absolutely can't underestimate the difference a bit of player agency has on engagement. I remember helping my little brother play portal to the final boss fight where you throw the thing-you-don't-know-what-it-is into the fire and accidentally kick the whole thing off - I remember the sheer look of guilt on his face because there was no direction to throw the thing into the fire, it was just the only thing you could do at that point so it felt like he had come up with it on his own. :P

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JoeCan
JoeCan

Yahtzee doesn't wear Fedora, I've been lied to

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Brian Seiler
Brian Seiler

I honestly don't understand why this issue is so difficult for people. I can make it very easy. "Video game" is a descriptor - a category into which you can place things for the purpose of comparison and contrast with other items. Does the label have a useful effect if you apply it to Everybody's Gone to the Rapture and God of War at the same time? What do those two things have in common? That's going to form the minimum basis for what you mean when you use the term. As far as I'm concerned, there's not a whole lot in common between those two works. There are buttons, you push them to move through a story, the story exists, there is a beginning, and there is an end. If that's our minimum standard for the group designation "video games," that would include something as simple as a DVD menu. That makes very little sense to me, and thus it seems like we need a different category definition somewhere between "object" and "video game" that more effectively groups things for comparison. Maybe it's just because I come from almost twenty years of software development and this stuff is really just basic inheritance, but that's what it's always come down to for me. There is no inherent value encompassed in the term "video game." It's just a group of things to which a specific thing can belong. I don't think it's useful to group those two things together at any more than an extremely broad level and I think there's more utility to keep the term "video game" at least a little bit more narrow.

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quincyking010
quincyking010

I would argue some walking sims are not video games. If the game doesn't actually have real interaction then it's an interactive movie not a video game. That doesn't make it a bad thing though.

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Animow
Animow

damn Jack how many different drinks do you need to sip from XD

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Bowman C.
Bowman C.

Who said video games have to have challenges? The point of a video game isn’t to create hurdles you can jump over to experience accomplishments. No, that’s just part of the experience. Video games are interactive for immersion. Be it immersed in a challenging world, a horrific world, or a tear jerking world.

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X7373Z
X7373Z

29:00 You've just described the SCP foundation stories...?

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Isaac Tiguila
Isaac Tiguila

I hopethey consider playing among us because I think they would love it

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Joseph Rabb
Joseph Rabb

I seem to remember The Wheel of Time series had a wiki element in the back of the book that helped pacing by avoiding awkward exposition. I may be wrong. I got bored with Lord of the Dune books halfway through the second book.

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gokusondbz
gokusondbz

I will say I thoroughly enjoyed Edith Finch.

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Bowman C.
Bowman C.

Yes. It was very enjoyable. My eyes were red and swollen for quite sometime. That was really pleasant

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Taylor Skaalrud
Taylor Skaalrud

Dead by daylight or L4D seems to fit into the box of multiplayer group horror survival. I know, for one, that the tension ratchets up when you're the only one left!

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Colin R
Colin R

If only you could shoot whilst walking down the corridors, making them 'corridor shooters'

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Kyrator
Kyrator

If the story wasn't a challenge I wouldn't have to spend more time reading logs and shit than I do with the "challenging" gameplay

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Angus Lavery
Angus Lavery

Well, the funny little cartoon people are gone so I guess it's time to go 🤷🏼‍♂️

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Semantic Dragon
Semantic Dragon

Okay, if 'challenge' is the definition of a game; 'Firewatch is too easy with Map Markers activated'; then what about The Last of Us 2 with all the 'Accessibility Features' turned on? You can become invisible while prone, and a variety of other options that not only reduce the mechanical but explorative difficulty. It's another medium through which we play pretend and therein lies the game.

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lord buss
lord buss

A VN is not a game either. It's a separate medium.

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Garrett Richard
Garrett Richard

Id like to enter into the discussion: Body harvest for n64

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Cataru Moore
Cataru Moore

> Podcast talks about "Horror Games where you're supposed to keep a party alive. AMONG US! Yes I know that's cliche but that seems exactly like it. Edit: Oh they actually mentioned it

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James Williston
James Williston

"tell a story with a wiki" reminds me of the SCP foundation

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ellibod1
ellibod1

Have racing games become stale?

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Cataru Moore
Cataru Moore

My opinion on the topic of Walking Simulators is.. A Game throws you on a desert island and tells you to explore and piece together just what the hell happened to you (and try to stay alive). A Walking Simulator throws you on a desert island, gives you 1 major path to go down, and slowly drip-feeds you that same information figuring out what happened to you in a neat and orderly way like a book. Really, I'd argue that a Walking Simulator basically IS a type of visual novel.

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Jordan Karim
Jordan Karim

44:30 Jack pretty sus, ngl

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I Wong
I Wong

You've done Early Access, but do you think you'll do a Civil War about microtransactions? I have a much more mixed, nuanced opinion considering that games still need to be profitable somehow and the retail price of video games has pretty much stagnated since we were paying for 2D point-and-click adventures and such. Newer development tools help, but the level of detail in games has skyrocketed exponentially while prices for full triple-A games have stayed the same. At the same time, it seems like mostly just powerful established producers/developers implementing in-game cash shops and hardly ever the budding indie developers who genuinely need that funding more. I feel like there's a lot to explore with that subject between the targeted demographics and "whales" to cosmetics versus random loot boxes(which are being classified as gambling in some countries).

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Firock Finion
Firock Finion

You want a more pure "walking simulator" type of game that doesn't even have a story? That's just walking around but is still enjoyable? Look up a game called Proteus; it's on Steam for 10 bucks, which I do honestly think is overpriced, but I still like the game overall. It feels like someone took the idea of making a meditation session into a video game experience. It's very chill.

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Micky Deery
Micky Deery

walking sims can be games, just really helps to have some puzzles and a nice vista to explore

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firmak2
firmak2

altho the animated part was nice, it was voiceacted like it was an entrance exam to a voiceacting school

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TheBrojimbo
TheBrojimbo

Wanted to mention a couple games relevant to the styles that were discussed. Darkest Dungeon uses the threat of teammate death to maintain a horror game atmosphere, like a more refined take on X-Com's permadeath mechanic. Dead by Daylight keeps up the threat of the killer by making it multiplayer, meaning success is never guaranteed unlike single-player horror game experiences where the challenge is very minor because they are ultimately designed to be completed by an average consumer.

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DeebZ Scrub
DeebZ Scrub

i cant remember if i commented the first time i watched this so for the algorithm

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DerpSquid
DerpSquid

Jack do you mean The Thing the Videogame?

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emwZEEK
emwZEEK

I will always think back to total biscuits discussions on dear ester several years ago for this conversation. I really think the focal point of this discussion is the existence of a failure state. This failure state can be a hard game over or a soft reset or change. If it is just walk from point A to point B for story then it is an interactive story in line with a visual or kinetic novel. There is no significant difference between holding forward to move and clicking ENTER to read the next line of text. If its walk to point A to B with a puzzle or some sort of mechanic between A and B then it becomes a game.

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boyraceruk
boyraceruk

I think it comes down to how good the story is. Dear Esther I hated because it was just bad and slow. Firewatch was great.

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Elendil
Elendil

Honestly I love doing simple digital tourism from time to time. I like downloading Thief fan missions, using Cheat Engine to make myself invisible, and just seeing how much people can do with such an ancient game engine. I like loading up GTA V and obeying traffic laws. My favorite part of Half Life 2 is the opening where you just walk around the city and soak up atmosphere. Honestly, I'm still just impressed that my computer can hold a little virtual world inside of it. Maybe they're not games, I don't really care, but it's fun. I feel like I only play tough hardcore stuff, or I turn the difficulty down and just explore.

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KilliK 69
KilliK 69

I have to go with Jack on this one. games which dont offer any challenge, take you by the hand, and occasionally provide you with some QTE, are not games, they are at worst walking simulators, at best interactive visual novels.

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culixstar
culixstar

had a good chuckle when i heard the word pillock. never thought i'd hear a person used it. lol

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Demitri Schoenwald
Demitri Schoenwald

There IS a breathing simulator. It's called Manual Samuel. And it's amazing.

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The6thMessenger
The6thMessenger

Walking sims are basically just Interactive Movies.

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Seteth
Seteth

@The6thMessenger Good point

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The6thMessenger
The6thMessenger

@Seteth Okay, take away the story from Doom Eternal, what do you got? Still a solid game about killing demons. Take the story away from Walking Simulators? Then they have barely anything.

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Seteth
Seteth

Couldn't the case be made for a huge number of other games?(I think big budget mainstream games in particular) What's stopping us from thinking of a game like Doom Eternal as a mere ineractive action movie?

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vazak11
vazak11

Ooh I like the Podcast being included!

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Christian Butcher
Christian Butcher

I understand the bait and switch of splitting this content in two from the beginning; but dear god, thank you for finally including the long term conversation.

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Christian Butcher
Christian Butcher

Are Walking Simulators * good * Games ?

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danielsjohnson
danielsjohnson

28:12 (the wiki thing) sounds like one of those old "choose your own adventure" books.

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danielsjohnson
danielsjohnson

I didn't expect Yahtzee to take that side. I guess it was due to the pre-video coin flip.

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Krocxigor
Krocxigor

Walking sim question....if I watch say avengers on VR in my bedroom and pause every so often and go to a different room before pressing play is avengers now a walking sim video game? Walking sims to me are just movies.

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dumpster fire
dumpster fire

28:35 what they're describing feels a lot like hypnospace outlaw honestly

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Tenk
Tenk

Walking Simulators are just inferior Visual Novels for people who can't write actual dialogue or plot.

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fatmanbravo6
fatmanbravo6

Oh wow, Yhatzee, you look like a Glasgow crack head version of Frankie Boyle. Ie, a thinner Frankie Boyle. 420th comment, yesssss

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FuzzyS0X
FuzzyS0X

I think you guys got stuck on defining challenge during the talk. Yahts seemed to be of the argument that some games arent challenging so are they on the same level as a walking simulator, even if they more input. A challenge is the requirement. I believe that if there is no intended challenge, it can't be a game. A system of rules and inputs that demand something of the player(s) and. Games are tests. Sports are tests. Different games test different things. Sometimes your patience is tested in grinding. Even the horror walking simulators are trying to test your willpower and bravery. I think is a walking simulator is strictly a walking simulator it should be called a game. It is interactive media.

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Roon Wiener
Roon Wiener

As always, Yhatz wins. Jack's overdramatized presentation of feeble arguments fails to inspire.

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Exquisite Corpse
Exquisite Corpse

You're arguing whether something is defined by its noun-ness or its verb-ness. If a game is a piece of interactive software that boots up on gaming machines and is sold in game stores, walking simulators must be video games. If a game is a primary systemic loop that is satisfying on its own merit, walking simulators are not games. It's like asking "Is this $40 Sailor Moon figurine a toy?"....if you mean a mass produced plastic effigy sold in toy shops, it certainly is. If you mean an object from which children derive experiential enjoyment, it certainly is not.

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iamtheoceaniamthesea
iamtheoceaniamthesea

Pretty sure cs go counts as a sweating simulator

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Emil Dahl Ravnsbæk
Emil Dahl Ravnsbæk

I'm halfway through and Jack has already been drinking from three different cups. I ALWAYS have something to eat/drink besides me but not several kinds at the same time? xD

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Neon Katt
Neon Katt

Horror games to be come not from playing them myself, but watching people play them. Then those walking simulators are more like watching a movie XD

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mrheisenberg83
mrheisenberg83

Answering Jacks question: a horror game where you have to keep a group alive is Obscure!

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kilroy987
kilroy987

Diablo had the simple formula of explore (open doors), fight (click to kill creatures), reward (click to open chests and pick up dropped treasure). It was a game loop that worked. Any extra consideration could be added by the player (although if the game can offer that in worthwhile fashion, that's a good plus). If a game has a lot of walking and talking but is interspersed with combat, exploration and resource pickup (or expects you to solve puzzles to progress), then it's still a game. Otherwise, a game that is mostly walking and talking is closer to an experience than a game.

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shadowmaydawn
shadowmaydawn

But games are experiences, so what you said there makes no sense.

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Alex Harrison
Alex Harrison

You better not be talking against "dear esther" jack.... You'll be in trouble

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Jose Andino
Jose Andino

what is the point of this?

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David Wolfish
David Wolfish

What is the point of you?

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Josh Samuelson
Josh Samuelson

Thankfully most of them can be finished in less than 2 hours and returned to steam for a refund.

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Immortal Zealot
Immortal Zealot

Need to ask if Disco Elysium is a game and not a visual interactive novel.

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Night Cat
Night Cat

I was wondering why this episode was so much longer, but it's really nice to have the podcast tacked right onto the end. I'd argue that a walking simulator is as much a game as one of those that drags you through a series of set pieces at its own pace as opposed to yours. I don't really like either approach personally, but they are the two extremes of the same spectrum I think.

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The Guy in the Frame
The Guy in the Frame

I really like this format where the podcast is included on the backend of the video!

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Ryan Geiger
Ryan Geiger

I think Jack needs to play Corpse Party. I feel that game keeps its unsettling sense throughout the experience. Horror works best when there's a mystery to solve.

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nomadrl91x
nomadrl91x

40:00 i mean to a smaller degree there are thriller games/action horror that involve escort missions/is an escort mission: ie. Resident Evil 4. Where failure can come about from ashley grahams death/capture.

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Ryan Geiger
Ryan Geiger

The most unique aspect of this SCW is that the podcast after the "debate" is actually taking the debate seriously! xD

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Junk Ninja
Junk Ninja

Wait? Is he Jack from Best of the Worst?

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