Does playing an awesome videogame relate to reading a good book?

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Ainuudar, Dec 4, 2006.

?

Is reading a good book the same as playing a good rpg game?

  1. Yes

    17 vote(s)
    35.4%
  2. No

    31 vote(s)
    64.6%
  1. Ainuudar

    Ainuudar Death Knight of the Drow

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    The Underdark
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0
    After I played every Final Fantasy known to man, I was thinking, this is better than reading a good book. I think it actually is the same thing. You throw yourself into another world, learn about all the characters, read their dialogue, learn a new story. So I'm wondering if you guys think that playing an amazing rpg is like reading an amazing book.
     
  2. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    30,512
    Likes Received:
    361
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Belgium
    Ratings:
    +383 / 0 / -0
    No reading a book is much better. In a game, how good the story is, they still visualize it, while in a book they dont, it takes a lot of imagination and the joy of reading a book is that you have the choice of visualizing it yourself. That is actually what was good before the Star Wars prequels came out, and the reason why so many are dissapointed. It's natural. I knew the basic story of the prequels, I visualized it in my own way. And the reason why people are dissapointed is because they did the same and visualized it different.

    But back to the topic. A good book certainly a better story than any video game. And only adds to the pleasure of reading a book.
     
  3. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,784
    Likes Received:
    162
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Not in Amsterdam :)
    Ratings:
    +189 / 0 / -0
    I can't quite compare the two.

    There are indeed video games that do compare to books. Max Paine is certainly a good example (not only for being scripted as a graphic novel). I'm talking about linear games - those in which you don't have influence on the outcome (assuming you erm... survive).

    Video games which require your own input, insight, play style and choices ascend that level. MMO's are, of course, a perfect example, as you're not the only one influencign the game. I fail to compare these to books. I don't read books when I play video games and I don't play video games when I read books. They sort of measure up to each other, in their unique way.

    As to linear video games, I suppose it's more like movies. You can be surprised by them - in a very pleasant way - or disappoint you gravely. However, most of these games don't leave much satisfaction after having finished. Unlike books.
     
  4. volksmenner

    volksmenner practitioner of æsthetics

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    1,648
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    california republic
    Ratings:
    +30 / 0 / -0
    a great question.

    i believe it can be just as enjoyable. i know chrono trigger, my favorite video game of all time, was just as amazing to my sense of wonderment as any of my favorite books. it matters not what medium brilliance assumes, be it books or video games ect., to translate into an experience. in this manner i can equate the two.

    yet, by its nature, a book is more intimate for a number of reasons, principal of which, imagination! it forces the mind to translate each word into an image, yes this is enjoyable, but more so powerful and beyond the scope of other media, save perhaps music.

    i would speculate that reading stimulates more academic centers of the brain. so as both may be equally enjoyable as to the experience, reading may prove more powerful as to imagination and other academic quantifiers.
     
  5. Lord Kenobi

    Lord Kenobi The Negotiator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    1,110
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    New York!
    Ratings:
    +15 / 0 / -0
    i agree.... if u read the book u can visualize wat u want based on that book.... but in a game they visualize it for u therefore making you or shall i say "forcing" u to visualize it like they want u too....
     
  6. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Messages:
    4,705
    Likes Received:
    144
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    West Australia
    Ratings:
    +186 / 1 / -0
    Similar but I voted no. A video game is more interactive, whereas a book takes you on a journey that's wonderful but has no scope for variation. Either can be cruddy, or wonderful. I like both but wouldn't say they're the same.
     
  7. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Messages:
    17,139
    Likes Received:
    150
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +150 / 0 / -0
    I'm going to stay borderline on this, because it depends on the type of game, and quality of the book/game aswell.

    As Ainuudar said, an RPG like Final Fantasy is as great as a book. You really get into the storyline, the characters have feelings, thoughts and goals, and you experience them aswell as hear them voiced out. People's actions influence how others react and behave, and I would say it is just as good as any other book, because it get's you involved in that world, as you do in any book that you enjoy reading.

    As for the forceful visualising, I don't think it really affects me in a negative manner. I often get frustrated over descriptions and trying to imagine the creature or area. Images help to create grandness and scale. The sweeping camera angles provide dramatic affect that you can hardly experience in many books. There are just some things you have to view to appreciate wholly.
     
  8. Blackness

    Blackness Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2,947
    Likes Received:
    145
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings:
    +145 / 0 / -0
    It's a hard question... i believe that book are better, although i enjoyed playing Baldur's Gate 2 more than many books i've read...

    Books still beat games in overall :D my opinion...
     
  9. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    12,265
    Likes Received:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Englands Green and Pleasant Lands
    Ratings:
    +91 / 0 / -0
    Its an entirely subjective metter I think, since good books and good games vary from person to person, a good game for one person could be linear, and for another completely free roaming with mulitple endings etc, the same goes for books, are people into good narrative or deep characters? action or interaction?

    A generalised comparison is impossible as the two mediums mean very different things to different people.


    Books can often be more enjoyable because of the required imagination, but in some areas where its difficult to picture it this can be a disadvantage, the structuring of books and games are very different, as we all know games rarely make it to films because the things we love about games are the experiences and interations which cannot exist in other mediums.

    Storywise its always dependent on the writer, and since books have been out for a long time there are a lot of good writers whoe xplore imaginative themes there, game writers, burdened with having top insert gameplay have it harder, and often because its a bigger business than publishing, its harder to find a great plot. Like writing books, the best written games come from the heart, labours of love. There have been some trully amazing storylines, max payne as mentioned, FF7, zelda oot, knights of the old republic and many more.



    One thing i enjoy more about games, probably because i play them more than i read books, but whenever I am reading books the characters frustrate me, that its obvious they should do one thing when they do do another, games have the advantage of avoiding that or giving you enough control in a linear game to hide that.....
     
  10. Hatter Madigan

    Hatter Madigan Mad Hatter Madigan

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +10 / 0 / -0
    Reading a book is many times better than a video game...

    The mind feeds off what you give it.
    You feed it Mario Cart, well...

    I let you think about that.
    Do you honestly think video games are better than books?

    Your answers, let me know that type of people I am talking to.
     
  11. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    12,265
    Likes Received:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Englands Green and Pleasant Lands
    Ratings:
    +91 / 0 / -0
    Do you think books have even the fraction of interactive stimulus that games do?

    the two are completely different, reading stimulates the imagination, while games do the other parts, just because theyre different forms of media doesnt mean either is better.
     
  12. Hatter Madigan

    Hatter Madigan Mad Hatter Madigan

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +10 / 0 / -0
    But if I read about Diogenes I could learn about Greece.

    If I read the Journey of Orpheus, I could understand their believe system and their gods.

    If I read Red Badge of Courage, I understand what it means to stand and fight as a little boy in the civil war.

    Mario Cart, not so much.
     
  13. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Messages:
    17,139
    Likes Received:
    150
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +150 / 0 / -0
    Learning is not all there is to life.

    “Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking”

    In the same way, reading a book may not provide that which is necessary to fullfill a need to enjoy yourself that can be provided in a game. Though that is subjective, many feel that way.
     
  14. Hatter Madigan

    Hatter Madigan Mad Hatter Madigan

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +10 / 0 / -0
    Oh my...

    I really do wish there was someone here to defend and respect the books and knowledge.
    Alas I find myself sad and alone in this thought.

    The lack of imagination in the fantasy forums... tsk.

    It does not bother me that games are played, it bothers me no tribute is paid to written fiction. I think I died a little when someone say they don't care about their knowledge or learning.

    I hope you all are more intelligent than to say books are overrated.
    The again I have been wrong before...
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2007
  15. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    12,265
    Likes Received:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Englands Green and Pleasant Lands
    Ratings:
    +91 / 0 / -0
    No one is saying that knowledge and learning is not important, just that books provide that and games provide an entirely different psychological and physical experience, thus relating them is not a wise move due to their manifold differences.

    Books are not overrated, but you shouldnt say they provide more intellectual sistenance than games, because it bepends on the book/game

    you keep referencing mario kart, which obviously isnt a very enthralling plot, would you feel the same if i cited a poor example of an anethralling book?

    Mein Kampf? (cant think of a useless example because i dont read em, but im sure theres plenty of kids books and useless instruction manuals that dont benefit humanity as a whole, so I'll chooose this instead.)............not really a representative example of books an a whole, I wouldnt know since i havent read it but if i started citing it as the main example of why books are bad you'd rightly criticise me for it.........and so I will do the same for mario kart.

    Mario kart isnt the kind of game we're talking about, sure its fun but its one of those games thats just a bit of fun with friends, great for replay and competition, but when youre really after a great example of a game it doesnt stand up to the test


    The great games, the ones we're discussing are the ones that tell a great story, or ones that provide a great unique experience, that made us feel something new or made us think something new, or all of them. All the benefits of books can be found in games, just in the RIGHT games, and you add on interactivity as a whole........why read about a conclusion when you can experience the process that lead you there in a game?
     
  16. OrcShaman

    OrcShaman Star Trek addict

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Messages:
    3,024
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Romania
    Ratings:
    +23 / 0 / -0
    I don't agree. A game could never reach the depth of a book. The plots are pretty much straight forward and the characters are shallow, compared to a book.With games is all about the story; with books the way the story is told is an equally important matter, the reader is able to enjoy the subtlety and elegance of the style.
    Try reading Umberto Eco's "Foucault's Pendulum"; that degree of finesse could never be attained by a game.

    Allthough i admit, games are a great way to relax and blow off some steam
     
  17. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Messages:
    17,139
    Likes Received:
    150
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +150 / 0 / -0
    I do believe you are putting words into my mouth.

    I never said I care not for knowledge or learning, I said that life is not all about learning. Secondly, this is a forum based on fantasy, so I hardly see how there is no tirbute paid to fantasy or the reading of books. Personally I know a lot of members (and myself) that read a lot of books are hold them in high regard.

    Another point, I do believe that nobody here has yet said that "books are overrated" or phrased a sentence that reflects that.


    There are some games that do offer more than your simple plot and undeveloped characters. This is especially evident in Role Playing Games which involve the experience of seeing a character interact with other characters as you would in a book. You even see how a character changes over time, just as you would in a book. Emotions and consequences are experienced by the characters as in a book. Even characters thoughts and logic are portrayed to the player.

    So I don't really see how a game cannot potray the same subtleties as they would in reading a book. Whilst it is true that most games cannot emulate much that is provided in books, it is not true to all games, and I am sure as games develop, they will further emulate that which is found in books, as players want to be more involved, etc.

    In a way I believe people are still stuck on a subconcious level that books are sophisticated and intellectual, whilst games are childish past times, and hence group all games the same way. You may not view it as this way, but this is just a speculation on my part.
     
  18. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Messages:
    14,968
    Likes Received:
    124
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Arizona
    Ratings:
    +124 / 0 / -0
    Rofl. A warning for the new guy, Hatter, as a kindness... don't tangle with Met and Crusader at the same time. =P I've known Crusader for almost two years now and I still try to avoid arguing with him.

    Although to answer the question, I don't think that either can really be compared. :) I mean, sure, I'm being a complete Guild Wars whore at the moment, but in the end, I think that I'll return to books again. For me, a game is something to have fun with - something to play with my friends and laugh at all the dumb things I'll do in said game. A good book is something that makes me think and look at the world in a different way. Some people will say that a fantasy/sci-fi novel can't make you think, but I'll beg to differ on that. A good writer will make you think no matter what - only the setting's different. :)

    @ Crusader: Useless books? Hmm, let's see... those celebrity biographies come to mind. =P
     
  19. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    12,265
    Likes Received:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Englands Green and Pleasant Lands
    Ratings:
    +91 / 0 / -0
    Bang, she has it, most celebrity biographies, sure theres a lot to read that interesting, but there a lot of nobdies trying to make money with words.

    Really now, youre being one sided there, met had it as well.

    Some games have underdeveloped characters and simple plots, but so do some books, its all in the matter of production, games are more of a quick fire business so by and large, a lot of games will be underdeveloped in the plot department, but to make a generalisation based on that is a folly.

    As a form of media, both have the same potential, well written games have no difference in the slightest from a well written book, only in games you experience them from within, forget empathising with the protaganist, YOU ARE THE PROTAGONIST! thats the only fundemental difference, the only other one is an issue of standards and how much time is spent on the plot. like I said, most are for the sake of making money (its a bigger business than publishing novels, more growth) But when a creator really puts time and love into making a game, just like a good author, there are all the elements of a real story.

    so dont go on about a generalisation of games, and think about the medium in a broader sense!
     
  20. Hatter Madigan

    Hatter Madigan Mad Hatter Madigan

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +10 / 0 / -0
    The impass is immediate...

    I say book have the power to inspire writer and poets.
    Adventurers and travelers, lovers and dreamers...

    Video Games inspire sitting at one's televison, and play all day.
    Prompting bad health, and poor social standing.
    Video games can have outdated graphics, imagination from a book will always be clear.

    but that's we hit a roadblock...

    If you love books, you become a well read person inspired to write your own book.
    When you love video games, you ONLY play video games.


    The argument made is that video games are fun and offer stimulis...
    You will be happy to know you can fun and stimulis from huffing paint,
    It is addiction, and a bad habit, like drugs.

    This, my friends, is what too many video games lead to...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_addiction
    http://www.connectwithkids.com/tipsheet/2005/240_aug3/game.html
    http://www.gamespy.com/articles/710/710909p1.html

    If one is addicted to books, he's usually called professor.

    I am not speaking in harsh tone, I just don't understand why someone would say books are the lesser power compared to video games.

    EDIT:
    Meteorain, Life is learning...
    All the time, we live to learn and you'll only grow that way.
    Knowledge will help you grow faster. I would give rep but I gave you some too soon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2007