Proteus is not an anti-game or "notgame" as some have called it, creator Ed Key wrote recently on the game's website.
Key's post is a direct response to an article and subsequent comments on Gamasutra, which labels the randomly generated exploratory title as an "anti-game" and briefly questions what makes something a game rather than just a tech demo.
"If you want to narrow your definition of 'game' for purposes of academic study or personal taste, then that's fine, but the vagueness of the term itself has been around as long as things that we call games," Key wrote.
"The stricter the definition of an inherently nebulous concept, the more absurd the implications," Key continued. "Should Dear Esther and Proteus be excluded from stores that sell games? Not covered in the games press? Since SimCity is either a toy or a simulation, that should be excluded too, along with flight simulators."
Key said that while the game lacks the complexity of a title such as SimCity, it still has systems that are optional to engage with.
"Proteus was certainly made by a game developer (and a musician), working in the context of videogames, using game design and development techniques to express a particular set of things," Key said. "None of that is really important, because the proof is in the playing."