Gameplay is hard to describe but in its most simple form it’s the relationship between the players enjoyment and interaction with the set of tasks, puzzles and action that is given to them to complete. Gameplay is one of many fundamentals in gaming that if implemented incorrectly will leave games falling flat on their face before getting off the starting line and onto the shelves. Games are all about the interaction between the physical player and the digital character(s) on screen. If for example the challenges in the game are not… well…challenging then why bother paying them. Gameplay is supposed to be designed to make the game fun, exciting and involve the player in creating the story and the characters own actions throughout that path. If gameplay was removed from games then it would essentially become a Film or TV show as the sense of full immersive interactivity with the story and events that happened to the players own character would be removed.
Gameplay lies in the way the player controls the character or army or actions on screen and if this isn’t cohesive with the joypad or keyboard in a way that feels natural and becomes invisible then the immersive actions on screen become lost. The gameplay spell is broken as players become too wrapped up in focussing on the button presses they have to pull in order to make something happen, I mean take guitar hero for example. It’s immersive, fun and relatively simple, but to a novice there can be a point when they give up and think it’s too hard to bother to learn and invest time and leaves only the more dedicated to try and master the fast paced button mashing.