… is a game.
In contrast to the Dear Esther ‘is it a game?’ question of two weeks ago (answer: no), the question arises whether Draw Something is a game. To some it doesn’t feel like one because it is creative and based on user collaboration, but like charades or Pictionary this does not disqualify it:
A game is a simplified, fair, fascinating, empowering and enclosed world whose purpose is to provide structured play through moderated yet unscripted actions and learnable dynamics, with the goal of winning through victory or achievement.
Most people who read this definition seem to fail to notice ‘achievement’ and only see ‘victory’, thus assuming that I’m equating games with competition. That’s simply not the case. Games are much broader.
The key qualities of a game are structured play, moderated yet unscripted actions (especially of the kind that lead to meaningful change) and learnable dynamics. Draw Something has all of those qualities. Dear Esther does not.