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Seth
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« on: June 28, 2008, 12:10:57 AM »

(lost thread here)

If you want to get down to it, everything from books to movies to TV shows is manipulative, they are all designed to hold your interest from one moment to the next.  They only really differ in how well they manipulate, how tactful they are, and how much substance of worth they mix along in.

Video games are mostly like early comic books and trashy romance novels, which are meant as fast paced escapism rather than a compelling experience.  That's why we have cliffhangers, to tempt the audience into reading on or tuning in to the show next week or buying the next issue, it's a constant prospect of giving the audience not quite enough to keep them satisfied so that they come back.

How often do you hear "addicting" used to describe video games?  I hear it a lot, and most of the time it's used as praise (unless you are talking about WoW, then suddenly "addicting" becomes a bad thing).  Video games are a repeated cycle of player input and feedback, designed to keep the player interested continuously.  This is probably why WoW gets a lot of grief (apart from having to pay a fee every month), because this system is painfully obvious.  Blizzard makes sure that no one is ever satisfied with their character, always introducing higher levels and more powerful gear so that it is a never ending quest to improve your character.

But I don't really see how this is much different from most other games.  Traditional RPG's have the level system, many games have high score systems, timed speed runs, etc, always that promise of being able to do better next time, improving by so much.  It's all trying to keep the player coming back for more, without really adding anything of value.

Replayability is something that gets talked about a lot, and it's the same idea.  Replayability rests on the premise that the first time through the game is not satisfactory, so that the player has a reason to come back for more.  I don't know about you guys, but whenever I watch a good movie or read a good book, it doesn't leave me wanting more, it leaves me drained, like I put an effort it, it leaves me satisfied.  I can think of only a few games that have done that for me.  Most of the time video games are like the most of the fluff on television, stuff that doesn't require too much of you to put into so that you can keep going at it for hours.

Of course, that doesn't mean I don't like action movies or that I'm always in a mood for a heavily emotionally and intellectually demanding movie.  I'm just ranting; I'm just getting fed up with how video games are by and large such much fluff and so little substance.

Video games are a waste of time.  They're addicting, manipulative, and hardly ever rewarding.

Discuss.
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Movius
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2008, 12:22:27 AM »

*addictive
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Seth
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2008, 12:27:37 AM »

 Roll Eyes
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skaldicpoet9
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2008, 12:40:02 AM »

Hmm, well to give the ultimate cop-out answer: that's relative to how you perceive games.

Me personally? I like a good challenge. A good game also inspires me to think about ways in which the game could be improved upon and to counteract the flaws inherent in games that you listed above.

Are games perfect?

No. Of course not.

That, I believe, is due to certain limitations such as lack of resources and/or creativity on the developer's part.

Hell, I still play Pac-Man to this day.

...I guess that trick to playing games is to allow yourself to have fun even amidst it's flaws.

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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2008, 12:45:50 AM »

Wasn't joking before!

Yeah, a lot of it is silly fluff, and I agree- it is somewhat of a fledgling media, and dominated by pulp. I think much of this is subjective, though. When I finish a more solid games, I don't instantly jump back in unless there's something I haven't seen. I get a similar feeling to finishing a good book, or film. Even in more action-based games I don't instantly jump back in, but sit and think. I finished The Cleaner just the other night, for example. I mused, not restarted.

More to the point, this is a different form of media to the others it is compared to. It may be exploited to create a sense of dissatisfaction (for example, a shooter telling you you can beat that score), but that can be compared to a good album- you don't want to hear it ONCE EVER THANK YOU, you want to give it a serious listen- which, in my case, takes weeks. And then, you listen some more.

They can have a cheap, sleazy plot, but they can also provide a huge involvement with what's going on, and a sense of satisfaction and connection with the characters. You can wait, and allow the detail, the art, the sounds to really sink in.

Look, I need to learn Brevity, big time, so I think I'll leave it at this: this is seriously subjective. There's a lot of shallow crap on the market, but it's not all bad. Oh, and whilst we're at it, you speak of this as if you watch good movies and read good books every other day. One could easily expand "I'm just getting fed up with how video games are by and large such much fluff and so little substance" to all media.
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Seth
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2008, 01:06:14 AM »

Wasn't joking before!

Oh, I didn't see your edit!  You bring up some good points there.  And the point about albums is good too.

And yeah, I don't read good books and watch good movies as much as I should, but nevertheless I'm finding it harder and harder to justify all the time I spend playing video games...  I have been playing WoW this past month, though, so maybe thats what's causing me to lose all faith in video games
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2008, 01:07:17 AM »

Video games are a waste of time.  They're addicting, manipulative, and hardly ever rewarding.

Discuss.


So you're saying that video games are a waste of time, but that debating whether or not video games are a waste of time isn't a waste of time?    Wink
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Seth
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2008, 01:13:25 AM »

Yeah, I like to discuss ideas and different points of views to arrive at new ideas and new points of view rather than stubbornly sticking to ones I already hold.
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Corpus
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2008, 02:19:55 AM »

Correction: everything from everything to everything is manipulative.

Nothing is a waste of time. There have been countless different cultures around the globe throughout human history, each with their own different values, belief systems, etc. Therefore, one philosophy, goal or way in life can never be the "right" way. Value in life must, then, simply be derived from the fulfillment of an individual person's goals and desires.

In other words, anything that satisfies you or brings you enjoyment in some way is categorically not a waste of time (except, perhaps, in somebody else's eyes).
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2008, 04:07:19 AM »

Every form of entertainment is a "waste of time". By definition it's something we don't have to do to keep ourselves alive, but we do it anyway to have some fun.
I would say it's okay, but you might prefer to live without any of that fancy and wasteful "happynes" or "fun". Just focus on eating, shitting and procreating. Actually, it sounds pretty fun too  Gentleman.
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2008, 04:25:17 AM »

(lost thread here)
 I don't know about you guys, but whenever I watch a good movie or read a good book, it doesn't leave me wanting more, it leaves me drained, like I put an effort it, it leaves me satisfied.  I can think of only a few games that have done that for me. 

Silent Hill 2 did that for me, and it's interesting that it's one of my top 5 games - perhaps partly for that reason?  Also, I found myself coming back to it a few years later like a great book or movie.
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2008, 05:35:54 AM »

Games (most of them IMO) can be pointless addicting and/or manipulative things. In a way, games are more like drugs than films. Not that that's always a bad thing. While there are games outright designed to addict people and take their money, you could produce games that are designed to enrich life, or teach skills.

And people can attach meaning to pretty much anything they put effort into. Let's not forget that, as that can make something that is a pointless waste of time to one person a very important part of how another person defines themselves. something that is Once to make something interactive, it's seems like the end emotional result can sometimes be as much of the players making as the designers.

Maybe we should look at why video games are addicting, manipulative, and hardly ever rewarding? I believe that this is because of business pressure and because it's just a new format. Noone dare make products that are not addictive in some way to keep the money rolling in and there hasn't been much time for really worthwhile stuff to have been made.

Of course, the fact that most gamers just want the same thing they have been playing  over and over again does not help matters.

And that fact that a lot of people see games as vectors for stories alone, when they can be more than just that.
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Seth
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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2008, 12:09:12 PM »

I don't think that video games are entirely a waste of time, but the majority of them doesn't put out nearly as much value compared to how much you put into it.  What I mean value whatever in retrospect makes you glad you played that game (or watched that movie, or read that book).  Yes, you can say that there is a lot of fluff in movies and TV and whatnot, but my problem with the video game industry/community is that this sort of design is considered a good thing; you want to get the most playtime out of the least amount of value rather than the most value in the least amount of playtime.

And someone said in the other thread that if I think games are a waste of time I should play indie games, but to be honest I don't see indie game devs any less guilty of wet dream escapism than the mainstream developers. 

Oh and another thing why video games are addictive/not worth while is that they are primarily built around the structure of making the player feel badass or skilled or intelligent, which can be all right, but ultimately is just a disguised form of asspatting.


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Xion
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« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2008, 12:27:44 PM »

I'd say videogames are not a waste of time, but that doesn't mean they're time well spent. It's not like there's no grey area between. I mean, some games are fun, and if you're entertained by a game then it's fun to you, and if it's fun to you then it's fun, whether it's fun as in a challenge or fun as in a relaxing break from reality or fun as in fuck this I can't get past level three just one more time then I quit I swear. Games are no more time wasting than sports or movies or books or boardgames because they're all just sources of entertainment. Some people get addicted to sports they don't even play by following their favorite teams, same goes for movies and books, which can suck away time and money just as quickly. So pretty much everything has some potential to be addictive. It's pointless singling out videogames as the only things that do so. So like I said, none of these things are wastes of time, nor are they necessarily time well spent. They're just things. Time spent is time spent. No point in labelling them as either since they can be both, and are just as necessary as un-. After all, without entertainment life would suck ass. Even before movies and stuff they had plays, and sports, and tournaments in all cultures. Were those wastes of time? Were they necessary? (okay sometimes yeah they were necessary but still, not always.) Videogames are just a progression of entertainment.
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Seth
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« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2008, 02:37:23 PM »

So pretty much everything has some potential to be addictive. It's pointless singling out videogames as the only things that do so.

I think you're seriously underestimating the potential for video games to be addictive.  I mean, I never heard of somebody dying after they spent three days straight reading a book.  Yes, everything has potential to be addictive, but that doesn't mean that they are all equally addictive or have the same amount of potential to be addictive inherent to them.  Video games have s potential to be addictive different than books or movies because they are their own unique medium with a unique interaction between creator and audience, and I think examining what makes a game addictive, what makes one non-addictive, whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, whether there can be fun addictive or painful addictive, etc etc, can be a worthwhile discussion if you are interested in game design.
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« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2008, 08:13:28 PM »

Anything not eating or fucking/ helping you obtain the chance to eat or fuck is just noise. Fortunately you can't eat and fuck all the time, so we do interesting things with the rest of our time, like videogames and internets arguments.
Entertainment? waste of time
Art? waste of time
Religion? waste of time
But people still define their life around them so yeah.
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Seth
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« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2008, 09:10:36 PM »

Honestly I don't really care about these bullshit cop out answers like "well, it's all subjective, man" because, fuck, I know it's subjective, I wouldn't be posting here to if it didn't occur to me that other people might value different things than I and I brought up this subject to hear people's opinions, not so that we could all agree all our opinions are subjective.  It'd be boring to talk about a game/movie/whatever to be met with "well, why bother discussing it, it's all subjective."

Anyway by your definition, Quiggan, games are indeed likely a waste of time, more than reading or watching shitty movies or working out, because enthusiasm for video games is unlikely to help you get laid.

HEY-O


Biggerfish:

Yeah personality has a lot to due with it, and cultural upbringing (which effects personality, of course), especially when we look at the stereotypical Korean gamer.

Though I think nicotine has a bigger part in the reason people get addicted to cigarettes.

Another thought that just occurred to me is that perhaps games manage to keep our attention so easily is because players have increased control over the pacing.  You can rush into the next room guns blazing, or you can take out guys one at a time, or you can stop and look around.  In books and movies you pretty much either stop or keep going.  Not complete freedom of pacing, but more.   Anyway just a thought.





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Xion
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« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2008, 11:21:42 PM »

Quote
I think you're seriously underestimating the potential for video games to be addictive.  I mean, I never heard of somebody dying after they spent three days straight reading a book.
yeah, but books have inspired wars, and have inspired killing. Sporting event outcomes have incited riots. Just because an addiction doesn't kill you directly, doesn't mean it doesn't kill.  People become addicted to ideals, and goals, and sometimes those goals kill the idealist, sometimes not. Sometimes the goals were gained through reading a book, or watching a movie, or playing a game, sometimes not.

As Biggerfish said, personality has assloads to do with it.
The nicotine may be a part of the addiction, but the personality is what made the person smoke in the first place, and is a large part of why the person keeps smoking to the point of no return.
The game design may be a part of the addiction but the personality is what made the person play in the first place, and is a large part of why the person keeps playing to the point of no return.
I heard of someone killing someone over some boardgame. A boardgame. wtf. If you're willing to go as far as murdering another human because you didn't win something that doesn't matter in the first place, that is not a fault of the game, that is a flaw of character, you psycho bastard.
If someone is unable to tear themselves from a game, that is not a fault of the game, it is likewise a flaw of the character. Sure, games may be designed so you keep playing them, just as ads are designed to entice you to buy stuff. Sometimes they work too well, but it's nothing the individual is unable deny, more something the individual is unwilling to deny - unwilling to admit that something that's not name-brand will work just as well, unwilling to admit that it tastes the same, and unwilling to admit that the game is just a game. It's not the product's fault, it's not the company's fault, it's not the commercial's fault, it's the individual's fault, if fault you will call it. I call it being human, and wanting some distraction and satisfaction. Look, I have a nicer car than you. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel accomplished. Look, I have a bigger house than you. "I have clothes," said she to the bum. I have tier 3 arena gear. I beat the lvl 99 boss. I beat the game. On hard mode. Twice. I got the high score. whatever.
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Seth
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« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2008, 11:55:15 PM »

yeah, but books have inspired wars, and have inspired killing. Sporting event outcomes have incited riots. Just because an addiction doesn't kill you directly, doesn't mean it doesn't kill.  People become addicted to ideals, and goals, and sometimes those goals kill the idealist, sometimes not. Sometimes the goals were gained through reading a book, or watching a movie, or playing a game, sometimes not.

That has nothing to do with the experience.  My point wasn't that games are bad because someone died playing, my point was that games have shown themselves to be more addictive than any other medium.

I don't think you can be addicted to goals or ideals, you don't experience ideals on a regular basis to satisfy some need.  You can be obsessed with ideals or goals, addiction is not the right word.


And you can't equate a smoking addiction to a video game addiction so easily.  In smoking, the body physically build a dependence on nicotine; at that point personality has nothing to do with it.  It is not a psychological addiction, it is a biochemical one.  Yeah, you start smoking yourself, but being addicted to nicotine or a substance like alcohol has little to do with having an easily addicted personality.  If someone somehow made you unwittingly intake nicotine in a large enough amount over a long enough time, you would become addicted, nothing about your personality would matter.


And I'm not trying to blame video games for having people become addicted to them.  I don't feel like I was taken advantage of or anything like that.  If someone becomes addicted to a video game it is ultimately their own problem.  I am not criticizing video games for being addictive on moral grounds, I am criticizing them for being addictive on game design grounds.  Addictive games are, mostly, entertaining but ultimately shallow.  And my biggest beef is that "addictive" is used to praise a game.

Quote
I have tier 3 arena gear. I beat the lvl 99 boss. I beat the game. On hard mode. Twice. I got the high score. whatever.

Yeah, that's the sort of shallow shit so called "good" game design is built around; ass patting the players so they like playing your game.
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Xion
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« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2008, 12:05:59 AM »

And my biggest beef is that "addictive" is used to praise a game.
Ah, hm. See, I'd never even thought about that. It is pretty a odd praise...
...let me think on the matter.

(I've just always wanted to say that.)


I'm not quite sold on that smoking and games are that far removed as you say, but you have to understand; I put nigh no merit in science and blame just about everything on human nature and individual personality, so you'll probably never convince me otherwise Tongue
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