What’s in a Game?


Summary: “They’re gamers!” You hear it all the time. Yet nobody – aside from gamers themselves – knows exactly what that means. What are they playing? What exactly are they doing as they play? And why are they doing it? An introduction to the world of computer games for non-gamers.

Description: What exactly is a “computer game”? For gamers, it’s clear this is an umbrella term at best. In the general (media) public, the concept is used for a very specific kind of human activity that somehow is never clearly defined, yet nevertheless seems to have firm characteristics.

“Addicting”, “time-wasting”, and “shoot-‘em-up” are just a few of the negative stereotypes. Yet even if not painted in such apocalyptic terms, computer games seem to have a definition: something action-oriented that requires being in front of a screen for hours. Or else a smartphone game that regularly has to be fed with 10-Euro bills.

In reality, “computer games” are an entire universe, in which there are a multitude of possibilities for portraying stories, action-oriented adventures, puzzle-solving tasks, competitions, and other human experiences.

The session will offer insight into this universe. What kinds of computer games exist? How exactly are they played? Why do people play them? “What’s in a Game” – an introduction to computer gaming for interested non-gamers.


Marcus Richter, radio journalist and podcaster, richter.fm