Okay, so... on the table today from the thoughtgroup of things that occurred to me whilst spending too much time thinking that will probably be relevant to the interests of most RPSites is: Where do you draw the line between feature and gimmick?
How do you do that? When does something stop being a clever or innovative feature and turn into a gimmick? Does it have somethig to do with how much of the focus it takes up in a game, does it have something to do with the intrinsic nature of the feature/gimmick, does it have somethig to do with usability and accessibility, does it have something to do with pragmatism and practicality, or is it a mixture of all of these things? How would you define a feature vs. a gimmick, and what examples do you have of what separates them?
For example, is the Wii remote a gimmick? If it is, then is the physics puzzling of Portal 2 a gimmick? How do we define these things? Is the word "gimmick" simply applied to features that we don't have a personal taste for, or is it more objective than that? Ultimately, perhaps, do we need a more efficient set of wording for this? Is "gimmick" a vague and dificult to define concept for you? Does it, perhaps, have something to do with the style of it, and it feels more fluff-like or there to be fashionable rather than having some intrinsic function within the game? Do you feel that examples you might have of that are examples where someoe might argue for that gimmick or feature having intrinsic worth both inside and outside of the game?
Is a gimmick a bad feature that somehow brings the rest of the game down with it because it negatively impacts the game somehow, and therefore it's a "gimmick that should not have been there?" How then does one separate a gimmick from perhaps a buggy or broken feature? Can a gimmick imply a broken feature, or does a gimmick mean something else? Does the word gimmick take on any kind of different meaning when applied to games, which by their nature are ephemeral, versus any form of physical object which may be "gimmicky?"
Share your thoughts, anyway.
...and my apologies if I've just mildly destroyed what you believed to be a solid concept of what a gimmick is vs. what a gimmick is not. My mind does this to me all the time. Too many damn nuances and contexts. It's something I'm deliberating on, but I'm curious as to the opinions of the other thinker-noggins around here.