I don't think anyone argued that. Starting point of argument was that if ND isn't creating new form of gameplay, it means their work doesn't do anything for the media. And I can't agree with that precisely because games can be more than a mechanic. And if they are, it matters to push boundaries there too.And what those prove is, that yes; A game can stand on pure gameplay.
Yet people weren't playing computer games for thousands of years. It's still pretty infant medium and people are trying to explore it one way or another. Storytelling is part of that.Judging from sensible, but less than satisfied reviews, I have gotten this feeling;
We as a species, have been telling stories, since the dawn of language. In that hundred thousand year tradition, certain conventions have emerged. Naughty Dog though that they were cleverer than the wisdom of eons.