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Subject: Why do we play these games we play? rss

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CARL SKUTSCH
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Just curious about all the different reasons we have to play these things. Here are some that I've heard:

1 - I like immersing myself in another world, its the themes that draw me in
2 - I like simulating historical events (especially true of war games)
3 - I like the way that they bring like-minded people together to create a community
4 - They are intellectual problems that I am seeking to explore
5 - I like the intellectual challenge (similar to above, but seems not quite the same)
6 - I like crushing my opponents
7 - I like building economic engines
8 - I like creating little worlds (especially true of tableau builders)
9 - They let me spend more time with my wife/significant other/kids than I would otherwise.
10 - I like the collecting aspect, accumulating, tracking (fondling?)
11 - Playing games is relaxing
12 - Playing games is just fun

Any that I've missed, or that you think should be worded more clearly?
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Larry L
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The social motives you list are 3 and 9 but I think there are others. Right now I am too sleepy to think of them, though.
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Nicholas Palmer
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I have several of the 12 you listed, but this one is different:

13 I like that it forces me to be social and stay in touch with a group of friends

I don't lack social skills, but I do have trouble keeping in touch with people. Then I don't talk to anyone outside my immediate family for months at a time, then I get into a rut.

Having a hobby I enjoy that also forces me to be social and stay in touch with people has done wonders for my mood.
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J C Lawrence
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They are tools to learn and understand.
 
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Rod Still
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For me games are the only outlet for play I have that I can justify for myself as someone in a social environment expected to be an "adult". Play is an integral part of being human I think and is severely undervalued. As we grow into adulthood we tend to leave playing behind, a loss for our ability to grow imaginatively and to develop our social skills. Even more than the intellectual challenge that games can present games are a space to be silly, to be free, to be completely honest with yourself, to imagine the world as something other than what it is or even what it could possibly be. Games let us explore the part of ourselves that 5 year old us would have defined ourselves by.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Depnds on the games.

Boardgames. Generally for the fun, but also as an exercise in tactics and strategy, but mainly the fun. Also (in the case of Sealion and WW3) there is an element on "this could be where I am".

RPG's to be honest it's mainly the world building and maintaining.
 
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I play game with my kids for the interaction (and hope we still have a connection when they are bratty teenagers)

I play games with friends and family for the social interaction.

I play games with others to experience new games and to test my knowledge and understanding of games against "proper" players (rather than new players)
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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5 - I like the intellectual challenge
11 - Playing games is relaxing
12 - Playing games is just fun

And one you didn't list... I'm a competitive person and love going head to head with other people and trying to win. It's not about crushing the opponents so much as it's about the struggle. (Kind of the way it's not about the destination so much as it's about the trip.)

Why no poll this time?
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CARL SKUTSCH
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Thunkd wrote:

Why no poll this time?


You read me like a dirty paperback novel. Yah, poll coming. I wanted to make sure I didn't leave out any important reasons before I created the poll.
 
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dennis bennett
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basic social interaction?

I like the term "social frottage" (seen it used by Quinns from Shut Up & Sit Down).
Just the way you rub up against other people in an emotional/social way while playing games.
 
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Pete
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clearclaw wrote:
They are tools to learn and understand.
To learn and understand what?

Pete (doesn't think this is why he plays)
 
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J C Lawrence
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plezercruz wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
They are tools to learn and understand.


To learn and understand what?


Whatever questions I can draw from the game along with whatever answers their pursuit encounters.
 
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Pete Goch
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It's the search that's interesting. So, "exploring" is what I'm after.

Games are logical systems; sets of instructions that define a process by which a group of "players" compete and at the end of which a "winner" is determined. The rest of it is window dressing which may or may not have an appeal of its own to me. If I read the rules to a game I can usually tell whether or not it'll be a game that I'll find interesting to play.

It's also interesting to watch how different people respond to different games. If you play a variety of games with the same group of people you begin to see gamer personalities emerge. Some people play conservatively and always consolidate their position rather than expand, some are reckless and look for ways to shake things up constantly, some are always looking for the long term gain planning and building step by step, others shoot from the hip and play tactically - and on and on and on.

So the game and the metagame are both really interesting "areas" to explore. I don't know if I'm actually learning anything. I'm not particularly concerned if any of this has any practical, day to day benefit. It's a hobby and a diversion. It keeps my brain working. It keeps me engaged.

It might even be fun
 
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Pete
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clearclaw wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
They are tools to learn and understand.


To learn and understand what?


Whatever questions I can draw from the game along with whatever answers their pursuit encounters.
Isn't that universal? If you pick up a stick from the ground and stare at it, it can be said that you are learning and understanding whatever questions you can draw from staring at the stick along with whatever answers staring at it raises.

Pete (thinks you're not saying why games are any different from everything else in life)
 
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Pete Goch
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plezercruz wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
They are tools to learn and understand.


To learn and understand what?


Whatever questions I can draw from the game along with whatever answers their pursuit encounters.
Isn't that universal? If you pick up a stick from the ground and stare at it, it can be said that you are learning and understanding whatever questions you can draw from staring at the stick along with whatever answers staring at it raises.

Pete (thinks you're not saying why games are any different from everything else in life)


Well, games by their nature inherently pose questions beginning with "How can I win this game".

The only question a stick asks is, "where is the dog who will fetch me?" Or maybe, "I'm pointy, but am I pointy enough?"
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Pete
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TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
They are tools to learn and understand.


To learn and understand what?


Whatever questions I can draw from the game along with whatever answers their pursuit encounters.
Isn't that universal? If you pick up a stick from the ground and stare at it, it can be said that you are learning and understanding whatever questions you can draw from staring at the stick along with whatever answers staring at it raises.

Pete (thinks you're not saying why games are any different from everything else in life)


Well, games by their nature inherently pose questions beginning with "How can I win this game".

The only question a stick asks is, "where is the dog who will fetch me?" Or maybe, "I'm pointy, but am I pointy enough?"
True, but if that's your answer, #5 in the original post would likely have sufficed.

Pete (nods)
 
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J C Lawrence
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plezercruz wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
They are tools to learn and understand.


To learn and understand what?


Whatever questions I can draw from the game along with whatever answers their pursuit encounters.
Isn't that universal? If you pick up a stick from the ground and stare at it, it can be said that you are learning and understanding whatever questions you can draw from staring at the stick along with whatever answers staring at it raises.

Pete (thinks you're not saying why games are any different from everything else in life)


Except that games are specifically constructed to ask questions by posing problems which haunt the edges of our abilities.
 
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Pete
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clearclaw wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
They are tools to learn and understand.


To learn and understand what?


Whatever questions I can draw from the game along with whatever answers their pursuit encounters.
Isn't that universal? If you pick up a stick from the ground and stare at it, it can be said that you are learning and understanding whatever questions you can draw from staring at the stick along with whatever answers staring at it raises.

Pete (thinks you're not saying why games are any different from everything else in life)


Except that games are specifically constructed to ask questions by posing problems which haunt the edges of our abilities.
So the answer is "the question the designer constructed into the game" then?

Pete (can see that)
 
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Pete Goch
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plezercruz wrote:
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
They are tools to learn and understand.


To learn and understand what?


Whatever questions I can draw from the game along with whatever answers their pursuit encounters.
Isn't that universal? If you pick up a stick from the ground and stare at it, it can be said that you are learning and understanding whatever questions you can draw from staring at the stick along with whatever answers staring at it raises.

Pete (thinks you're not saying why games are any different from everything else in life)


Well, games by their nature inherently pose questions beginning with "How can I win this game".

The only question a stick asks is, "where is the dog who will fetch me?" Or maybe, "I'm pointy, but am I pointy enough?"
True, but if that's your answer, #5 in the original post would likely have sufficed.

Pete (nods)



More 4 than 5, really. And I was hoping you'd do more with a Monty Python reference of sorts. Alas.
 
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Pete Goch
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plezercruz wrote:
So the answer is "the question the designer constructed into the game" then?

Pete (can see that)



The designer is irrelevant once you have the game. Whether you find the questions he thinks he posed or you manage to find others he never even anticipated doesn't matter.
 
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Pete (can see that) but I still have no clue what clearclaw is saying. And he has tried to explain this in at least one other thread and I didn't get it there either. I guess I'm just not playing this game correctly.
 
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J C Lawrence
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plezercruz wrote:
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
Well, games by their nature inherently pose questions beginning with "How can I win this game".

The only question a stick asks is, "where is the dog who will fetch me?" Or maybe, "I'm pointy, but am I pointy enough?"


True, but if that's your answer, #5 in the original post would likely have sufficed.


#5 implies two qualities: 1) challenge and 2) enjoyment of challenges.

Neither is necessarily true. I'm not particularly interested in the challenge and I don't pursue that challenge or those questions because I enjoy them.
 
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CARL SKUTSCH
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clearclaw wrote:

Except that games are specifically constructed to ask questions by posing problems which haunt the edges of our abilities.

That would be news to the guys who constructed them, the designers. I suspect most (but not all, of course) games are designed to create fun in the emotions of their players. It's certainly what most players are looking for in a game.

Why do you play games? THE POLL!!!

29% Games are tools to learn and understand (among other things, the questions asked by the games).
91.7% Playing games is just plain fun.
 
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skutsch wrote:
clearclaw wrote:

Except that games are specifically constructed to ask questions by posing problems which haunt the edges of our abilities.

That would be news to the guys who constructed them, the designers. I suspect most (but not all, of course) games are designed to create fun in the emotions of their players. It's certainly what most players are looking for in a game.

Why do you play games? THE POLL!!!

29% Games are tools to learn and understand (among other things, the questions asked by the games).
91.7% Playing games is just plain fun.



And, of course, 85.1% responded that they're looking for an intellectual challenge. Could it be that there is a significant crossover? That maybe, dare I say it, we find the intellectually challenging to be, in some obscure manner, fun?

Could it be?
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Daniel Blumentritt
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Oh it's not in any obscure manner, it's overtly and directly fun.

Quote:
4 - They are intellectual problems that I am seeking to explore
5 - I like the intellectual challenge (similar to above, but seems not quite the same)


I'd go with #5 there and add that it's the person vs person intellectual challenge. Solving puzzles or riddles all is one thing, those were presumably invented by a person, but that's different than actively competing with a person, one mind vs the other mind - and that's what I really enjoy.
 
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