Is UX really providing user experience?

Although I am not a gamer (no, have not played a game for years), Benjamin Brandell’s reflections on User Experience in 1990s games is a provoking read. His thesis is the contentious:

the evolution of UX — although we know it now as a way to keep users sticking around — this is from a time period when it wasn’t so much of a big deal.

I think that there is something in this given some of the conversations that I have had in various projects where the prime proposition was the look and feel of a site, rather that its functionality as part of the experience.

I am fairly sure that a PhD thesis could be written about this. I am not a large fan of 1990s personal websites but I come across them on a regular basis and appreciate their focus on providing the information. My interest is more sound-based UIs and UX but an article to definitely think about.