What Makes a Game?

Posted By Karen Moltenbrey on May 20, 2009 12:00 am | Permalink
Tags: Gaming, Music
Categories: Karen Moltenbrey
It’s very easy to identify what is a video game and what is not. The Sims. Grand Theft Auto. MLB 09. World of Warcraft. Resistance 2. Yup, they are all video games. Whether an MMORPG, a first-person shooter, or a life-simulation game, they all have one component in common: interactivity. Well, that seems simple enough.

But would the Wii Fit fit into this category? It has an interactive component (very interactive), but exactly what is the “game” element? Okay, the player tries to get in shape and maybe lose a few pounds. However, I would hardly call that a game. It’s more like a reality. So, let’s skip that one.

Recently, I heard about a live digital orchestra performance of Beethoven’s first symphony. Okay, not so unusual. But here’s the intriguing part: The music will be conducted using the Wii Controller.

The person “playing” the conductor (actually, he is the conductor) was Paul Henry Smith, founder and music director of the Fauxharmonic Orchestra. He uses computer software and digital orchestra samples, and adds the Wii Controller into the system. This lets him wirelessly control the sound, tempo, and balance akin to what a conductor would do under regular circumstances.

Okay, sounds really interesting. But, I have to ask, “Why?” Does this make the music better somehow? Likely not. Yet, it got my attention, though I am not sure whether it would interest me enough to attend.