Are videogames most like poetry?

In a recent interview about his game-poem A Slow Year, written for Atari 2600, Ian Bogost mused over why videogames are often compared to films and novels, when the closest analogy might be poetry.

poetry feels game-like to me not because it is procedural, but because it is highly condensed…

symbols and ideas [are] strong in both forms…

I’ve always been confused at attempts to compare videogames to narrative forms like the novel or the cinema when poetic aesthetics like condensation, metaphor, and structure present themselves as alternatives.


-Jason Johnson