i've been looking at this discussion since it first started and been really hesitating to jump in by fear of disrupting it :D
this is all very interesting stuff! I always love to see talk on and around the definition of game, compared to the definition of toy. A friend once told me that he did not consider real life flippers to be games, but toys, and we had a similar discussion.
Is a punching ball a game? probably not, but in some pubs you can find arcade machines that consist in just a punching ball *with a scoreboard* that register who hits the hardest. is adding a score enough to make it a game? well... in that case it seems so.
Garry's mod could be considered a toy, indeed, it has no objectives - but what about minecraft? The gameplay between beta 1.8 and 1.9 did not radically change, and yet one of them contains an end goal - the other one doesn't. Is MC beta 1.8 a toy and MC beta 1.9 a game, despite being both of them being almost 100% identical ? You could say the point of MC is to make a beautiful house but... that's interpretation, the game does not reward you for anything but mining, crafting and killing. If the main goal of the game is born out of player will (e.g. "make a nice house"), is it less legitimate than if it was in the game with a house ranking system and such?
Aerocraft is a game I made while bored in economics class, to try and teach myself blender (making the plane and animating the flaps properly, etc). I stopped working on it when I was bored with it, and wanted to put it on itch or somewhere. I saw there was an option to price it and I thought - "I worked on this for about four hours... if I had to be paid for these four hours, admitting I sell a single copy, the price of this game should be at least 40 bucks." I looked at my friend @tahitip4ncake who was sitting next to me and asked him how much he thought this game should be worth. He said 2$. I put it up for 2$.
It's very interesting to me that this game spawned a discussion on the nature of games; and not so much on the reason why a game so empty would be up for two whole dollars and no less. In general I will always advocate both for a much higher price for games in general (priced to the effort needed to make them, not to their actual content) and for software piracy at large. This position is sometimes hard to defend because games are most often approached from a buyer's perspective, not from the maker's perspective - and so I expected a moderate amount of backlash from whoever would buy and play it. i'm glad to see players are instead filled with wonder and questioning rather than anger and disgust :P
have a nice day, and by all means keep discussing ♥ i hope you can find other games that spark your interest as much as this small "toy" 🙇♀️