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Computer games are fun?

Posted by Jinox, Jul 21 2010, 08:33 AM

I found this blog, not having been read due to the 2007 bug last year and am refreshing it. smile.gif I still haven t changed my opinion on that though. So I am good with the go.

Happy new year to all of you continuing reading my blog!

I recently glanced at the Even Games Forum entry and wanted to throw my penny in. However, my reply drifted away too far and ended up just to think about why computer games are fun... and what that indicates for this game.

To my person first: I am seriously not among the best pilots in here and I will never be; I have never commed a game within the last 2 years. Why? Just because it is not fun (to fail) and I do not believe to be ready to do so... (That IS a bad attitude beyond a certain experience as I am going to explain in the following). What I mainly extracted from the Even Games entry was:
+ Even games depend on competent commanders.
+ Even games depend on competent pilots.
+ Even games HIGHLY depend on the ratio of both aspects and need therefore balanced teams.
- And lots of whining about attitudes, people etc.

As a foreword, all imaginations are as idealistic as the idea of an even game itself.

So, why do we have a forum entry like this? The motivation for talking about that is simple: Even games are fun for a majority. So let's start right away with some assumptions. In game activities, you can merely find three different aspects contributing to the enjoyment of the game:

1.(major) Self defined success within the game by achieving what you were planning to do (short termed) - That can be a very direct objective ("Kill that miner/ship/whatever") or an little more abstract goal ("Defend whatever").
2.(minor) Collective success by just achieving the preset goal of the game (long termed: "Win the game"). - Seriously this is highly overrated and can be considered as the most abstract goal of (1) but it's "fun value" goes proportional with the amount of struggling for it.
3.(minor) Fun induced by social communication - I guess anybody has seen awesome ingame chats already.
4.(minor) Absolutely extraordinary moments -"Podded by a carrier coming through an aleph", I'm sure you know better ones...

So lets form some thesae:

Delusion A: Loosing is never fun. I do not want to loose. I choose the winning team.
Well this appears to be true. If many small quests fail in a game (Defend a con/miner/...), the likelihood of loosing the game as well increases. This affects joy-factors #1 and #2. So #1 and #2 are related and thus looking for a team which appears to win, might be more fun to play for, because of the likelihood of reaching subquests is higher.

As a side effect following this strategy, the game shows a strong tendency for one team to win, if many tend to choose like that. Linearity can be so boring... Why not choose the other team? And flip the outcome eventually? What is in there to loose? Joining the winning side is like playing a game where you are not even needed at all (Redundancy). Stealing a baby's pacifier is fun for... who?. Joining the losing side comes together with the risk of failing. But it is only a risk, a higher probability, not an impossibility. Referring to #2 the fun-outcome will always be more rewarding than on the other team.

Delusion B: A stacked game is always getting more stacked by all those stackers joining.
Stack can be considered as the evaluated team skill. My experience is that this seems to work. However, the final stack (stack in the last third of a game) is more or less formed by quitting pilots. Unless they quit for RL issues, they mostly leave because they expect the game not to be fun anymore. They expect the game to end. This demands a certain degree of experience to form such predictions. That explains that vets are more likely to leave the team and thus decreasing the team ranking than others (low ranks). In addition low rankers tend to be more motivated and join up any team they can. I can totally understand the feeling of 60 minutes turtling, but it will seriously harm the teams 'lost outcome'. Just ask yourself , if there is really nothing in the game to win it anymore? And then - for gods sake - talk to the comm for ask for some perspective or rather resign, than quit. This will just help ending awful games and forming up a new and hopefully better one.

Delusion C: Some People are just too stubborn to accept constructive criticism.
I wish that were a delusion, but it is not... This affects especially comming. There are always only a few stepping to that chair. So as long you did not want to comm. Keep that in your mind when flying for a worse comm than you are. You decided to support that comm and you decided to give your best (depending on your state). I do not want to hear "I do not fly for A", well then comm yourself! This was intensively discussed elsewhere already. The bottom line of this - however - is that a pilot is not only about flying, it is also about communicating. If the situation allows it, t a l k more. Do not hold the grudge, but put it into comprehensible suggestions.

So my ideas are trying to maximize the fun factor of that game. I myself rather like to improve my skill which is rewarding enough for myself and do not care. And I am still too quiet as a productive team member. Which is still better than others as well. Whining is out of the questions, since more important than having fun is to not ruin the fun for others.

Typos are equally distributed



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