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Subject: Why people get tired of games so quickly? rss

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Paulo Santoro
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There are millions of players playing very old games like Go, Chess and Poker, games that people read books and practice to become better players. Some people spend their whole lives trying to master these games.

However, when a new game is released, even if it is a very good and complex game, people soon get tired of it. They ask for expansions in order to play it again.

Why do you think that this happens?
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Matt L.
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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2971547/

Why do some people perpetually seek novelty while other people prefer what is familiar? Experience seeking, a tendency to be attracted to environments and stimuli that are novel, has been identified as one dimension of the multidimensional sensation seeking personality trait (Zuckerman et al., 1978). Experience seekers have been characterized as those with a high need for mental stimulation related to the pursuit of unfamiliar and complex environmental stimuli (Zuckerman et al., 1978). At the behavioral level, experience seekers tend to engage in investigatory behaviors such as exploring unknown locations, trying new foods and seeking interaction with individuals from different backgrounds. By contrast, individuals who are low in the experience seeking trait tend to be more conservative in their choices, preferring well-known environments and people (Zuckerman, 1994).

Genetic studies have demonstrated an association between human experience seeking behavior and genetic variation in dopamine (DA) transmission. At least two DA-related genes have been implicated: the D4 dopamine receptor gene (DRD4; Benjamin et al., 1996; Ebstein et al., 1996) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT; Reuter and Hennig, 2005). A significant association between experience seeking and seven-repeat allele (a long form) of the 16-amino-acid polymorphism of the DRD4 gene has been reported (Benjmamin et al., 1996; Ebstein et al., 1996). In addition, experience seeking scores were reported to be higher in a group of subjects with the val/met genotype of the COMT gene (Reuter and Hennig, 2005).

It remains unknown whether experience seeking has a neuroanatomical basis that accompanies its genetic and neurochemical bases. Data from the rodent literature have demonstrated a central role for the hippocampus in DA transmission related to processing novel stimuli. The hippocampus has been shown to be critical in assessing whether a stimulus/environment is novel (Legault and Wise, 2001) and in the subsequent regulation of novelty-dependent dopaminergic activity (Legault and Wise, 2001; Lemon and Manahan-Vaughan, 2006). Similarly, direct hippocampal stimulation increases exploratory behavior in rodents (Flicker and Geyer, 1982; Yang and Mogenson, 1987). Finally, rodent models suggest that the hippocampus is capable of comparing incoming information with stored memories in order to index whether that information is novel (Lisman and Grace, 2005).

The human hippocampus is also known to play a role in indexing novelty. A hippocampal response during the processing of novel stimuli has been demonstrated using in vivo recordings (Fried et al., 1997), and event-related potentials (Knight, 1996). In addition, functional neuroimaging studies have demonstrated a prominent response in hippocampus during viewing of novel compared to familiar stimuli, and rapid habituation of this hippocampal response as stimuli become more familiar (Tulving et al., 1996; Yamaguchi et al., 2004; O’Kane et al., 2005).

"Together, such data from controlled laboratory studies have indicated a role for the hippocampus in novelty processing. It remains unknown whether the hippocampus-novelty processing relationship tracks with naturally occurring individual differences in human behavior. If the relationship does extend into naturalistic behavioral settings then one possibility would be that structural variability in hippocampal volume may contribute to human individual differences in the tendency to pursue novelty.

In the present research, we explored this question by examining the relationship between experience seeking and hippocampus volume in a group of young adults who varied across the continuum of the experience seeking trait. Two analyses were performed. First, hippocampal volumes were traced manually using conventional boundary guidelines. Second, whole-brain voxel-based morphometry was performed to validate results from the manual tracing analysis and explore the possibility that experience seeking may correlate with volume of brain regions outside the hippocampus. Results demonstrate that individual differences in experience seeking behavior are associated with differences in grey matter volume in the right anterior hippocampus."







See Also : "Kids These Days"
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Russ Williams
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PauloSantoro wrote:
There are millions of players playing very old games like Go, Chess and Poker, games that people read books and practice to become better players. Some people spend their whole lives trying to master these games.

However, when a new game is released, even if it is a very good and complex game, people soon get tired of it. They ask for expansions in order to play it again.

Why do you think that this happens?


For one thing, I think that the two audiences (groups of players) are different. The former is more interested in focusing on a classic game which has passed the test of time and can clearly remain interesting for a lifetime; the latter is sometimes more "cult of the new", wanting to play lots of different stuff. I.e. depth vs breadth.

---

Probably one could reasonably speculate about the (apparently pretty well established) shorter attention spans in modern life (e.g. that many people cannot go 15 minutes without checking their phone, that the average web article gets shorter and shorter with increasingly clickbait headlines, etc etc.)

And there is the modern consumer culture (and ever-increasingly effective advertisment and marketing): buy, acquire, collect, consume, fueling frequent acquisition of new wares (which happen in our case to be games).

---

But of course it is worth noting that there are many exceptions. I think many people do not neatly fall into one of the two stereotypes/pigeonholes. E.g. I am a Go & Shogi fan, with books and sometimes going to tournaments and other events, but I also enjoy "modern" games and some of them are in continual rotation for me, rather than getting permanently shelved or sold after a few plays. Others of course turn out to be less entrancing and indeed fall out of rotation. And there are people with no interest in classic old games who nonetheless have a favorite modern game which they play repeatedly.
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I think one of the reasons games like Chess and Go have remained popular is because they are games that operate on many levels without changing the rules or complexity. A novice can learn the rules and enjoy the game at a low level, an expert can play at a much higher level. But the game doesn't fundamentally change, and the rules are pretty easy to learn. So no matter my level of skill, I can get enjoyment out of those games.

With a lot of modern games, it can take a lot of time to get familiar enough with the rules to be able to play at even at a basic level. I can't speak for everyone, but if after a few games I'm still struggling with the rules, I end up not getting any enjoyment out of that game. So I will not want to play it if I'm not enjoying it.

That is only my personal observation of course, there are likely many reasons for this.
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Pete
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I just get tired period.

Pete (isn't as young as he used to be)
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Paul Jukes
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It shocks me when I read here on BGG how little some people apparently will play a purchased game before getting tired of it.

Not a rule or anything, but if I don't play a game a bunch (10+ times), and the game is good, I feel like I really want to go back and play that game some more. I don't get the need to stop playing a good game and go buy another good game. I mean, buy as much as you want... but really, a good game should be enjoyable for a whole slew of plays! Expansions or no expansions.
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Mike Mayer
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I think at a basic level there are three choices for this hobby:

-I'm attracted to newer games.
-I'm attracted to an old game or two.
-I'm attracted to all games.

Those gamers who gravitate to newer games for whatever reason have necessarily involved themselves in a culture that propagates new games. It's a self-selecting deal -- I like new games, therefore I'm predisposed to liking more new games.

Because of this, it's hard to get 'new' gamers to keep playing the same games, even if those games are favorites.
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plezercruz wrote:
I just get tired period.

Pete (isn't as young as he used to be)


I got tired replying to this.
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Kirk K

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A short and probably over-simplified answer is that this hobby attracts people who want to play games, as opposed to one single game. Usually people who play chess, poker, etc are attracted to that single game and want to spend their time playing/mastering it. The appeal for the board gaming hobby for many people is that there are so many options and so many different things to try.
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I think Chess and Go are just deeper than other games. You could play for years and barely comprehend all the strategies involved.

Plus, they have established rating systems and tournaments. You don't just play against the same opponent every time, which becomes boring. Most weekly gaming groups are much more limited in opponents.

I'd go so far as to say you pretty have to to commit to playing Chess and Go a lot before they become interesting.

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I would argue that some games are more "puzzles" than others. Once you "solve" the puzzle the game is much less fun.

Example would be pandemic. Once you "figure it out" so to speak it's suddenly not very fun anymore!

Games that aren't puzzles tend to hold on longer in the rankings (totally subjective observation with no real data to support my statement!)
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Prop Joe wrote:
I'd go so far as to say you pretty have to to commit to playing Chess and Go a lot before they become interesting.


The time investment required for Chess and Go 'mastery' makes it prohibitive to casual players. Seeking mastery meets a different gaming motivation than the motivations met through casual game play, game acquisition, and seeking new board games.

It is also not fair to say that some modern board games do not have the capacity for mastery, but Chess and Go exist in such a culturally embedded context that seeking mastery is culturally approved and sought after.

Game mastery is certainly developing in some games. Look to the Magic, Catan, and Puerto Rico tournaments to see where it COULD go. Even the televised professional video game plays show that play to mastery is developing in our time.
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I think a game must be able to support tournament play to ever have a shot at longevity. If a game can't hold up to tournament play to support a player base, it can become easy to move onto something else.
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There are a lot of people who play chess and then get sick of it. If you take the number of people who have played chess a few times, the percentage that go on to spend their whole life trying to master chess is very small.

With designer games, there are many gamers that have a group of favorite games that they don't get tired of.

If you are looking for a question about the difference: Why do some games, like Go and Chess, have people who play that game almost exclusively (sometimes called lifestyle games)?
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Prop Joe wrote:
I'd go so far as to say you pretty have to to commit to playing Chess and Go a lot before they become interesting.

That's certainly not my experience. I (and many others I know) found Go, Chess, Shogi, etc interesting and fun from the start. It's certainly possibly to enjoy them casually. There's no need for such games to be lifestyle/obsession games for them to be fun and interesting.

(And FWIW I think that the frequent claims that you do have to commit seriously to them needlessly prevent people from even trying them.)
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Ashley Kennedy
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russ wrote:
Prop Joe wrote:
I'd go so far as to say you pretty have to to commit to playing Chess and Go a lot before they become interesting.

That's certainly not my experience. I (and many others I know) found Go, Chess, Shogi, etc interesting and fun from the start. It's certainly possibly to enjoy them casually. There's no need for such games to be lifestyle/obsession games for them to be fun and interesting.

(And FWIW I think that the frequent claims that you do have to commit seriously to them needlessly prevent people from even trying them.)


Yep, I've enjoyed them casually and own copies. Don't plan to play any of them anytime soon though.
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As someone who has no real chess experience, I'll pose this question for those more familiar: Would it be fair to say that playing chess is at least as much about getting better at the game as it is having fun playing it? That is, if you aren't playing chess to get improve and eventually master it, are you missing out on a big part of the experience?
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ejclason wrote:
If you are looking for a question about the difference: Why do some games, like Go and Chess, have people who play that game almost exclusively (sometimes called lifestyle games)?

Some reasons that come to mind:

* obvious proven strategic depth which many find interesting & fun; always something new to discover

* large number of people to play with (local clubs, online play sites, tournaments, etc)

* centuries-long interesting history with huge amounts of available literature

* large amount of software (AI & otherwise) and statistical/mathematical analysis for those who enjoy exploring that technical side of things

* language independence (you can play with people from around the world, even if you have no language in common)

* greater cultural significance in society at large (these classic games appear in films, literature, comics, etc - e.g. even people who've never played Chess recognize when Chess pieces appear on the cover of a business book or magazine)
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In the old days, great games come out maybe 1-2 times a year, while these current days, there are like 2-4 great games coming out a month. There are just so many great games that we like to try them all...and there's only so much time. shake This doesn't mean we are "tired" of games though. I would like to play all the great games if I can find the time and the gamers to play them with.
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Henry Ho
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Dice is Right wrote:
As someone who has no real chess experience, I'll pose this question for those more familiar: Would it be fair to say that playing chess is at least as much about getting better at the game as it is having fun playing it? That is, if you aren't playing chess to get improve and eventually master it, are you missing out on a big part of the experience?


I play chess as I would play any strategic game...trying different strategies and see which one works better...as well as trying to improve and eventually mastering it. That is part of my "fun". Not every gamer enjoys brain-burning games, but that's the type of games that I enjoy.
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Dice is Right wrote:
As someone who has no real chess experience, I'll pose this question for those more familiar: Would it be fair to say that playing chess is at least as much about getting better at the game as it is having fun playing it? That is, if you aren't playing chess to get improve and eventually master it, are you missing out on a big part of the experience?

For me, yes, generally. "Eventually master it" is too strong. I know I'll never do that. Improving is important, but so is learning more for its own sake. People *study* chess, and not just to improve their game. There are Great games of the past that are beauties to behold.

ADD: it's a bit like learning a foreign language so you can read great literature in its original language.
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russ wrote:
(And FWIW I think that the frequent claims that you do have to commit seriously to them needlessly prevent people from even trying them.)

Maybe in some cases, but that also can attract people to the game. Some people want a game they can grow into.
 
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Prop Joe wrote:
russ wrote:
(And FWIW I think that the frequent claims that you do have to commit seriously to them needlessly prevent people from even trying them.)

Maybe in some cases, but that also can people to the game. Some people want a game they can grow into.

But being able to enjoy a game casually in no way precludes also being able to delve deeply if you choose to.
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PauloSantoro wrote:
There are millions of players playing very old games like Go, Chess and Poker, games that people read books and practice to become better players. Some people spend their whole lives trying to master these games.

However, when a new game is released, even if it is a very good and complex game, people soon get tired of it. They ask for expansions in order to play it again.

Why do you think that this happens?



Part of it is the Cult of the New Phenomena. The other part of it is....what might seem like a very complex game to you, perhaps isn't complex at all to someone else.

I, personally, tend to "solve" games much faster than the average bear. I can't even count how many games over the years that everything just sort of "clicked" for me on the first play, and then I played it 2 more times just to verify that I've found the best method of play....at which point, I don't need to play it any longer. I'll either win because my strategy is the best, or I'll lose because someone else will simultaneously try to implement the same strategy, and drag us both down.


This is why I really like Lacerda games. Even after you figure out a really great way of playing....like, the game will never play the same way twice and what worked before might fail horribly the next time. Then you have games like Splendor that are nothing but math equations and there's no point in playing any further.
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Larry L
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I find a particular pleasure in learning and playing a new game. This has always been so (within the limits of my memory) and cannot be explained by smartphones or decreasing attention spans.

In fact, it as accurate to say the fact that I like to play new games caused the invention of smart phones and decreasing attention spans.

(edit: Not only do I enjoy playing new games, I enjoy playing games with strangers.)
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