In my opinion, I put Heavy Rain in the top five games of the generation. Some might take issue with that, but not because of the ranking.
No, they'd take issue with the fact that I called Quantic Dream's masterpiece a "video game." Perhaps they'd say it can only qualify as one of the top 5 "experiences" of the generation, or something like that.
I've heard this argument in full and I'm still not sure I understand it. We all operate on preconceived notions and preset operational definitions every day of our lives. To say Heavy Rain wasn't a video game only means you compared it to what we traditionally accepted as video games in the past, and concluded that it didn't fit. But of course it's a video game. It uses a video screen and you play it, even if you're not blowing things up; you do control it, which means it isn't passive. So it ain't a movie.
But this isn't good enough for some, who are already saying Quantic's new project, Beyond: Two Souls , isn't a video game, either. Why? Too smart to be a video game? Let's not admit that, shall we? The future of this industry is unknown, but you can bet that visionaries like the guys at Quantic Dream will push gaming in a more artistic direction, where players will explore moral, ethical, and philosophical concepts. And it's also true that the developers themselves have said Heavy Rain is part of a new genre; a standalone "intellectual adventure" of sorts.
Obviously, though, it still has to fall into the "video game" category. Beyond could push things even further, though, and maybe the lines will become even blurrier. I'm just wondering how many people will start going, "Yeah, but it's not a game." …way too many for my liking, I'm sure. I'm worried that by eliminating these titles from the "video game" category, we're eliminating the chances we have of making this industry appear progressive and mature. Yes, let's kick out the games that prove we're about more than guns and death. Good plan that.
Related Game(s): Beyond: Two Souls