The rise of the "Walking Simulator"

A discussion on the increased production of so called "walking simulators" like Dear Esther or Proteus.

While they are certainly videogames in the most basic sense of the word they lack much of what we have come to expect in terms of traditional gameplay. Simultaneously they are being released in more high profile forms with the upcoming Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture set for release on the PS4.

I’m less interested in the debate on whether or not they are video game (I believe they clearly are) but rather the responses among the gaming community towards them. In my experience there are many who prefer to deride them rather than accept them as videogames, as if they threaten them somehow. Why is this?

  • I think something worth looking into is where these games come from. Mostly indie, a lot of people against them have fears about the market being flooded with games that are easier to make and may not be up to the same standard as the rest. – DullahanLi 9 years ago
  • I don't think they are video-games; I just don't think that's a bad thing. It's difficult for me to think of Gone Home, for example, as something that you "play." You don't "play" a book or a movie. Gone Home is a very, very effective game at what it does; it just doesn't do what most video-games do. I think it would be a mistake to completely ignore this position in favour of focusing on the, unfortunately, large number of people who feel threatened by the genre. It might be better to split this topic into two separate articles, though. "Are 'Walking Simulators' games?" and "Why the Hell is the games industry so threatened by narrative-driven exploratory things? Like, seriously, guys, this was an indie game; nobody's taking away Call of Duty or Battlefield or whatever it is you think this sort of thing endangers. God."* *Working title – Snowskeeper 9 years ago
  • "I don't think they are video-games" "Gone Home is a very, very effective game at what it does" I r gud riter – Snowskeeper 9 years ago

Want to write about Games or other art forms?

Create writer account