What makes flOw a video game?

What is a game? What is a video game? According to oxford’s dictionary a game is defined as “a form of play or sport, especially a competitive one played according to rules and decided by skill, strength, or luck”. I would define a game differently. To me game means taking place in an activity by yourself, or with more than one person. You follow a set of rules in order to win the game or in some cases to earn points, but then in some cases you can play a game just to play not to win. A game can be played on a court, field, tv, ice or in a house. You can use a ball, stick or dolls when playing a game. As you can see my definition of game is different from oxford and even websters dictionary, but both definitions work to get the point across of what a game is.


Now what is a video game? Looking back at oxford’s dictionary they define it as “A game played by electronically manipulating images produced by a computer program on a television screen or other display screen”. My definition of a video game is playing a game that uses visual graphics, whether that means you are sitting or being active, that is on your mobile, tv, or computer. You follow set rules that were made by the game creator to help you move through a storyline or throughout a free play world. You play as virtual characters that have a mission they need to finish, or you can play as a sport team and play in professional setting. To me when you play a video game you are trying to earn points to move on to the next level, to capture that rare Pokemon, or to save Princess Peach. To me a video game has to have a beginning, middle and end just like books, movies and tv shows do. Again my definition is different from oxford but it also has some of the same points.  


For this blog post we were told to research and play a video game that pushes the boundaries of how we define video games and compare it to our definition of a game and video game. When I was looking for a game to play I remembered the game Flower that we played in class, and how it really pushed the boundaries of the definition. So I wanted to find something like that game. So for this post I played and took a closer look at the game called flOw. Below I put the trailer for the game, to give a better look at the visuals and what the game is like.

flOw Trailer

FlOw is a game created by the company called That Game Company. This game doesn’t require that much thought when you are playing. There are not many rules that you need to follow and easy steps to how you play the game. At first glance the game reminded me the water and the ocean, and the thing you control could be a fish or some living thing. To play the game you control the thing with your mouse and to accelerate you hold down the left side of the mouse. You can either zoom out more and more and the blue background will become lighter as you collect the blue dots. You can also go over the red dots and it will zoom it or almost like you are going deeper into the ocean. As you either zoom in or out there are other dots that you collect. Now at first it was hard to see what happens as you collect the white dots but when I played it a second time I saw that it makes the fish like thing’s tail longer. And as you get deeper and the color gets darker the fish thing changes up a little.


Now this game fits some of the points in my definition and also doesn’t fit my definition. There aren’t that many ways it fits my definition so I will talk about them first. This fits my definition since it is a game that is played on a video game system, laptop or mobile program and it contains visuals. Like I stated before the game does follow a set of rules that were set up by the creator and follow a set way to play the game.


There are many reasons as to why I don’t think this game fits in with my definition. One of the many reasons I don’t think it fits the definition is because there is no way to lose or win. You just keep going and going. You do collect those white dots but you just collect them, nothing special happens. You don’t move onto another level you, you don’t lose a life if you don’t collect the dots. You just go around and play the game to past time. This game reminds me a lot of the game Flower that we played in class because much like flOw, in the flower game you just float around with petals, collecting more as you float over more flowers. You never move onto another level along with you never lose a life.

To conclude this analysis, I have thought of a statement that I posted in the discussion but I thought of when writing and analyzing flOw. I feel that games like this are used and are great for children with disabilities because it is a game that you never ends. It is something that might be relaxing because the graphics and sounds are simple and soothing. But to finish off this research I feel that flOw isn’t a game because there isn’t a beginning, middle or end. The game does have rules but the rules are basic and don’t help you move onto higher levels. It is a game, but a game that is different from say Mario Kart or Call of Duty. What makes them a video game is that there are different levels, power ups and characters that help you move higher and farther in the game. That is what I think makes a video games and why I don’t consider flOw a video game.


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