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Subject: Some people just do not like processing... rss

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Matt Riddle
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there is a nice thread from today. and there was that internet slap fight a few days ago. its always the same theme:

how come/I hate that/it makes no sense that

my

friends/parents/kids/random guy/non gamers

"doesnt want to do anything that requires thinking or learning something new."

ANSWER: Some people legitimately do not like processing.

They like things to happen in front of them. Like watching a movie or sports or internet vids. There is no processing with those. It happens to you. Uno/euchre/etc are like that because the decision is such a low level thought it barely registers as thinking and they have played so much that it comes inherently.

I dont mean any of this as an insult. My sister is quite smart, but tonight she made the same decision she makes every time we play games and she is over. She chose to go play skylanders and then do something on the computer instead of play Stone Age. She will play ticket to ride sometimes and that is it. She just has no interest and has givrn games a fair shake.

M point is, "I dont want to think" isnt an excuse. They very well might NOT like it if they tried it (like we all think they will). Some people just do not enjoy processing.
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Chris Ferejohn
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That's kind of a non-starter of an argument. Some people just do not like paying for things in stores either - that's not an argument that shoplifting/armed robbery is ok.

Of course not wanting to play board games or otherwise challenge oneself mentally doesn't come with the same level of societal harm, but I think if someone goes out of their way to avoid mental challenges something is not quite right.

(that's not to say they have to play board games; some people just don't like board games, and that's ok. I'm not sure if it's ok that they don't like thinking).
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David Boeren
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If you didn't want to think, you picked the wrong species. We paid a lot to evolve this brain, if you're not going to use it it would have been a lot more efficient to have been something else.

You don't have to use it for games, but please use it for *something*.
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Some people just do not like to expend energy to make their bodies move from one place to another
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Shaun
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cferejohn wrote:
I think if someone goes out of their way to avoid mental challenges something is not quite right.


If you're referring to what people do in their free time, I don't really buy that. If you are referring to those that shy away from anything mentally engaging in every aspect of their life, I may agree with you.
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cferejohn wrote:
That's kind of a non-starter of an argument. Some people just do not like paying for things in stores either - that's not an argument that shoplifting/armed robbery is ok.

Of course not wanting to play board games or otherwise challenge oneself mentally doesn't come with the same level of societal harm, but I think if someone goes out of their way to avoid mental challenges something is not quite right.

(that's not to say they have to play board games; some people just don't like board games, and that's ok. I'm not sure if it's ok that they don't like thinking).


Why? Really, I'd like some sort of reasoning with that thought - why is there something wrong with that? What's wrong with someone living life differently, that suits them, in a way that is not obviously harmful to you?
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Dan Cepeda
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jmsmith2434 wrote:
Some people just do not like to expend energy to make their bodies move from one place to another


^This causes this -> (warning: gulp) http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/obese-man-cut-chair...
 
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JasonJ0 wrote:
cferejohn wrote:
That's kind of a non-starter of an argument. Some people just do not like paying for things in stores either - that's not an argument that shoplifting/armed robbery is ok.

Of course not wanting to play board games or otherwise challenge oneself mentally doesn't come with the same level of societal harm, but I think if someone goes out of their way to avoid mental challenges something is not quite right.

(that's not to say they have to play board games; some people just don't like board games, and that's ok. I'm not sure if it's ok that they don't like thinking).


Why? Really, I'd like some sort of reasoning with that thought - why is there something wrong with that? What's wrong with someone living life differently, that suits them, in a way that is not obviously harmful to you?


It isn't like he said it's wrong for them to live life like that, he simply stated that there may be something "not quite right" as in "mental issues; something that is cause for concern." And at the end he merely stated that he wasn't sure we should condone people simply not thinking.

It may not hurt us by that exact individual not doing it, but assuming an individual like that breeds, or becomes a (possibly unwilling) mentor to some unsuspecting devotee... well, now our problem has grown by at least one.
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iidhaegn wrote:
JasonJ0 wrote:
cferejohn wrote:
That's kind of a non-starter of an argument. Some people just do not like paying for things in stores either - that's not an argument that shoplifting/armed robbery is ok.

Of course not wanting to play board games or otherwise challenge oneself mentally doesn't come with the same level of societal harm, but I think if someone goes out of their way to avoid mental challenges something is not quite right.

(that's not to say they have to play board games; some people just don't like board games, and that's ok. I'm not sure if it's ok that they don't like thinking).


Why? Really, I'd like some sort of reasoning with that thought - why is there something wrong with that? What's wrong with someone living life differently, that suits them, in a way that is not obviously harmful to you?


It isn't like he said it's wrong for them to live life like that, he simply stated that there may be something "not quite right" as in "mental issues; something that is cause for concern." And at the end he merely stated that he wasn't sure we should condone people simply not thinking.

It may not hurt us by that exact individual not doing it, but assuming an individual like that breeds, or becomes a (possibly unwilling) mentor to some unsuspecting devotee... well, now our problem has grown by at least one.


And just what problem is that? You've both claimed there's a problem, but neither has articulated just what that problem is, or why it is a problem.

I don't know if he leapt to the mental issues concept, but you did - now can you tell me why, and just what you mean by that?

Where does condoning it come into it? And by that I mean what's it got to do with you whether or not an individual avoids mental challenges or doesn't like thinking?
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Andy Meneely
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I think "they don't like thinking" is a bit of an oversimplification. Some people just don't like to think hard when they are trying to relax and enjoy themselves. You can love thinking strategy in your everyday life, but not really do it for enjoyment.
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Matt Riddle
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andygamer wrote:
I think "they don't like thinking" is a bit of an oversimplification. Some people just don't like to think hard when they are trying to relax and enjoy themselves. You can love thinking strategy in your everyday life, but not really do it for enjoyment.

That is why I separated it out as processing. I love games and love the decisions and the processing and the planning. I also have a technical job where I do those things all week. I think " I dont like to think on weekends" is an easy statement for us to jump on as being ignorant because on the surface it is. I am actually defending that statement and saying there is nothing wrong with wanting your entertainment to happen to you with no effort.
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Benjamin Duyck
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To be honest... for you to say that watching sports does not require processing just proofs that you are not understanding it.

I like playing boardgames, but i love watching sports on tv. It is not just sitting there. You watch it, you analyze is. You see the strategies unfold and if you know your team you know what they will attempt to do. It is just the same as where you size up you opponents strategy.

Pretty weak argument on your side that only furthers the stereotype.
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David Boeren
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BelgianBillie wrote:
To be honest... for you to say that watching sports does not require processing just proofs that you are not understanding it.

I like playing boardgames, but i love watching sports on tv. It is not just sitting there. You watch it, you analyze is. You see the strategies unfold and if you know your team you know what they will attempt to do. It is just the same as where you size up your opponents strategy.


You *can* do that. I believe that you actually do. But he is correct that watching tv does not require it. It's entirely possible to just watch without thinking of strategies or trying to predict the next move. Somehow I doubt that the sort of people who think figuring out that 3 wooden cubes is more than 2 wooden cubes is too much work are going to be doing much thinking here either.
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There's an assumption in this argument that playing boardgames = "processing" (at least more so than, say, playing a video game, or watching sports, or knitting, or whatever other activitypeople might choose to indulge in).

It ain't necessarily so.

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While a lot of people here probably enjoy a reasonably wide range of games with different mechanisms and themes, for a lot of 'non-gamers' the idea of playing a game of 'medieval farmers'/'renaissance merchants'/'toy soldiers'/'wizards & lizards'/'black & white tokens' does not sound appealing.

I think a lot of people just do their processing in different ways: watching sports (as mentioned above), doing a crossword, gardening, balancing the household budget or whatever.

Edit: that's not to say that there aren't probably countless numbers of people who would be quite happy to just consume fast food and reality tv...
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Daniel Geuss
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I wonder if its not really about a lack of creativity. I mean, a person might be able to learn the rules of the game, but chooses to avoid it because it would put them into a situation where they would be required to create a viable strategy.

As an example, if you were to teach the same person about a shortcut they could use driving to work they would love to learn about it because there is no creative effort required to apply it.

I know most people associate creativity with artwork and music, but as an engineer and a computer programmer I know that there is much more to being creative.
 
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There are more, better, reasons for people not to enjoy thinky boardgames than that they just don't like to think.

For one, it depends on their job. One person might think that playing a game of soccer after work is a great way to have fun and unwind, but maybe not a labourer -- he may be fatigued at the end of the day and just wants to relax. People who are really smart might have jobs that requires them to use their big, meaty brain constantly, and at the end of the day some may prefer to give their thinking muscle a rest.

Another is, do they not like to play heavier fare, or do they not like to learn how to play? My wife is brilliant, but she doesn't like learning new games. Many gamers don't know how to teach a game well, and it can be painful to learn a complex game from them.

In my case, I think I'm fairly smart (at least I get paid to be) but I have a problem learning complex games taught by other people. I have no problem with a complex game if I own it, can read the rules thoroughly and take my time to grok it, but if I'm taught at the gaming table, that first game I'm totally lost. This is absolutely my problem, but anyway, just sayin', it doesn't mean I don't like to think.
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Benjamin Duyck
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dboeren wrote:
BelgianBillie wrote:
To be honest... for you to say that watching sports does not require processing just proofs that you are not understanding it.

I like playing boardgames, but i love watching sports on tv. It is not just sitting there. You watch it, you analyze is. You see the strategies unfold and if you know your team you know what they will attempt to do. It is just the same as where you size up your opponents strategy.


You *can* do that. I believe that you actually do. But he is correct that watching tv does not require it. It's entirely possible to just watch without thinking of strategies or trying to predict the next move. Somehow I doubt that the sort of people who think figuring out that 3 wooden cubes is more than 2 wooden cubes is too much work are going to be doing much thinking here either.


So, exactly the same is true for boardgaming. I know plenty of people who will just place workers on a board without thinking about how it affects everything. Most obvious when playing Ingenious or games like TTR.
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Joseph
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Matt

Your post reminded me of one of my friends.

He's a lawyer — reads telephone book sized legal briefs, and lots of case law. During his off time, he counsels people in crisis.

Outside of work, he doesn't want to think. He spends most of his professional life solving problems, so after work hours, mindless entertainment suits him just fine.

I deeply sympathize with the guy, and understand that his reluctance to engage anything brainburny, isn't a negative reflection on the game, movie, or book. It's just where he's at, for the moment.

Joseph.
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Daniel Geuss
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falloutfan wrote:
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Matt

Your post reminded me of one of my friends.

He's a lawyer — reads telephone book sized legal briefs, and lots of case law. During his off time, he counsels people in crisis.

Outside of work, he doesn't want to think. He spends most of his professional life solving problems, so after work hours, mindless entertainment suits him just fine.

I deeply sympathize with the guy, and understand that his reluctance to engage anything brainburny, isn't a negative reflection on the game, movie, or book. It's just where he's at, for the moment.

Joseph.


I don't really buy this argument. I think its still specific to the individual and is independent of the career.

I say that because of my own career. I am a computer programmer. I am constantly referencing syntax, implementing algorithms, making sense of embedded processor pin-outs, debugging unexplainable problems, and all other manner of brain burning tasks. When I get done I would love nothing more than to read a game manual or learn a new rule set. Learning a game is insignificantly simple compared to my day job.

It seems to be fairly consistent with others in technical careers. Geeky people just like to do geeky stuff and others don't. Its no big deal unless a person reaches the point of being an anti-intellectual.
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Alessandro Maggi
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JasonJ0 wrote:
iidhaegn wrote:
It isn't like he said it's wrong for them to live life like that, he simply stated that there may be something "not quite right" as in "mental issues; something that is cause for concern." And at the end he merely stated that he wasn't sure we should condone people simply not thinking.

It may not hurt us by that exact individual not doing it, but assuming an individual like that breeds, or becomes a (possibly unwilling) mentor to some unsuspecting devotee... well, now our problem has grown by at least one.


And just what problem is that? You've both claimed there's a problem, but neither has articulated just what that problem is, or why it is a problem.

I don't know if he leapt to the mental issues concept, but you did - now can you tell me why, and just what you mean by that?

Where does condoning it come into it? And by that I mean what's it got to do with you whether or not an individual avoids mental challenges or doesn't like thinking?

I'll try to answer that from my perspective (feel free to skip if you're not interested).
Saying that "not thinking" doesn't cause problems is mostly like saying that listening to music with earphones turned up to eleven won't ever cause you hearing troubles. Every habit or tendency or whatever can have benefits and disadvantages based on a number of intensity and diffusion factors.

There's nothing wrong or dangerous about a guy listening to his favorite song at high volume every once in a while, or about the same guy listening for many hours at moderate volume... yet if he starts to keep the earphones for hours at max volume he's likely to experience annoying side-effects. Same thing with a wrong posture in front of a Pc (that's why there are regulations on how much time you should keep the same position at work).

Now here the problem is that "thinking" is a big word. With the largest possible meaning, one person "not thinking" is close to "catatonia". But even if you accept a much less dramatic definition - say, you're not thinking when you're not doing anything more than sufficient routine to keep you alive and healthy - then one person alone that doesn't think can only do harm to himself/herself, but if everyone (or a subset forming a majority of everyone) would stop thinking indefinitely, then we'd all eventually perceive an effect: the collapse of many foundations of modern society (e.g. democracy being the most obvious of these).

The problem you're rising seems related to other controversial matters, such as the ethic problem of suicides. With the same argument (or non-argument), what harm would cause to anybody a person committing suicide? Setting aside religious matters, an easy answer is that a suicide brings grief and sadness to everyone involved. Well, on a different level may I ask you why I shouldn't be ashamed that mankind cannot exploit the mental capabilities of another fine brain that simply decided to stop thinking on purpose?

---

Setting aside these matters, that are completely OT here, I think that what is being called here "processing" is something complex. Like many have stated, one can process at different levels. Even among boardgames there are different processing schemes that are involved, so it follows that some kind of these will eventually appeal to someone but not to everyone.
Take the most brain-free game I can think of, "War". This is a completely random and skill-free game, but why kids like to play it? Because they don't want to think or process? I bet that's very unlikely. I think that they like it because with that game they are trying to accomplish other interests/needs, they are processing on a social level if you wish. The game becomes only a tool of interaction.
Take this approach and the total opposite (e.g. the exhaustive search for an optimal strategy on the states' space of a complex game), mix with appropriate proportions, and you'll obtain most attitudes towards games. For someone, social interaction is the objective or the great incentive, for others it's welcome but the overcome of challenges and struggle for victory through careful planning is the real deal.
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Those stupid peeeeople, can't turn on those brains of theirs, rant, rant, rant, blah, blah, blah, schtupidnongeymerz, yadayada.

Frankly there are plenty factors to consider

1. Relation of their leisure time to their work time
2. psychological tendency for what they want out of their leisure time.


Some people have a job that does not fulfil their intellectual needs, hence they look for brainburning pastimes.
Some people have a job that's quite intensively intellectual and may want someting to relax and unwind, or think more creatively or not at all.
Some people need some quiet time to relax and prefer no socialisation or a quiet one.
Some people have solitary job (writers) and use leisure time to meet people, chat and unwind.

and so on. these are all generalisations of course.

Some people don't like gaming as a leisure time activity as it's too social, for some it's too competitive, for some it's too involved, for some it's too structured and for some it's just boring. Frankly for a lot of people party games are just what the doctor described, and for some other the cure is solving crosswords or reading.

And that's why there so many genes of boardgames - you want competitive gaming or want a fun ride, you want brainy tension or emotional tension, you want open ended simple games or dabble in complex structures?

In short: there's people who can think, but don't want to do it their spare time, or don't like to think in the ways the game requires of them

Sub issues:

A) Learning the game. A lot of people get confused by this as it requires a particular kind of mind set to get new rules all the time and a lot of the hobby evolved in this direction.

There are many factors about this, but in general people are not used to learn new rules about anything all the time and I would claim it's even more common with women. I'll get flak for this, but have you worked in an office? A woman coworker will find some problem with computer, or printer or cables. Who's gonna solve it? Well you, the male coworker who evolved from the hunter archetype into the technical manual master and regular lightbulb changer. Face it: as a male you have no alibi. The ability to read manuals and to learn set of rules or instruction is a skill that can be practised, it's just more commonly practised with some part of the population. You may have a case of a person not used to being forced to learn rules and they just can't find any reason to change their habit. Or more commonly you'll have people who just aren't used to it and it's a frustrating situation if you play a game and some people get faster through the learning curve compared to others, hence giving them an advantage that seems unfair, well it is unfair. These things get mitigated by playing less competitive games (so that people are not frustrated by their lack of in-game knowledge) and so-called gateways where learning a simpler game would supposedly help you get over the learning curve of a more complex game faster (theory I don't agree with). Fact remains: if you want people to game, it's your responsibility to get them past the learning curve with as little frustration and bad feelings as possible (preferably none). With RFTG for instance, I won't agree on teaching new players unless they devote to at least 4 consecutive games. Also it might be wise that you don't constantly force new games on new gamers, let them pick what they want to play is good way to go about it.

And some people just won't find structured activity with rules fun whatever you do (though they might be persuaded in open type game like werewolf)

B.) Competition is no fun (for some)
You get a brief explanation of the rules and now you fall into the gaming test where only one can be a winner.
It can feel like an exam and it takes a competitive type of person to enjoy this kind of challenge. A lot of people don't feel this is the what their leisure time should be like. You need to create a laid back atmosphere and take it slowly.

3. Social environment - society
- We do live in ages of anti-intellectualism and instant gratification. We are spoiled little brats. Putting an effort might be something more suited for working situation with a pay check (look no. 1)
- I find that a lot of people stop stimulating their brains after they finish university, at the same time level of stress usually increases and other things in life become more important than intellectual ability.
- If I go back to spoiled brats, I think that it also brings more pressure from peers of being "cool" and fear of not embarrassing oneself. We are less secure in ourselves, so games with heavy conflict elements are out (bye bye Diplomacy) in come the games where anybody can win with little effort.

Sure it would be great if everybody would exercise their brains (in as diverse ways as possible), but as we're adults one can do much more than suggest things to people and let them decide themselves. In the meanwhile you might find teenagers and adolescents as better partners for some serious gamerism.

That's a lot of generalisation and broad observation, BUT I'm not saying this is bad or complaining about it, such is our reality. Hmm, maybe it even means that much more important part about gaming groups than "IQ" should be social and emotional intelligence. I believe we should see gaming, especially with gaming groups where you meet new people, foremost as social situations. So it's about tact and making people welcome, but also about setting limitations to each individual with goal of making the best experience for everybody.


That means:

- Understanding that people new to gaming have trouble grokking any rules they're not familiar with and adapt accordingly (simpler games or playing the same game a couple of times or sessions in a row). But it also means explaining them that their skills of learning new rules will increase with practice. This way both sides should show some patience.

- Understanding that some people have problem with competition, so the first thing to do is to create a welcoming environment where the ride is more important than the goal of winning and that the winning doesn't matter as much or at all.

- Accepting that some people might find games, fantasy themes and geeks "childish". Apart from being mature yourself there's not a lot of what you can do - you can adapt or meet them halfway, depending on what and who is more important to you. Oh and: don't mug yourself. That wouldn't help anyone either.

In the end it's different strokes for different folks. It's not like we're some kind of majority and neither are we an elite, so no real excuse for us to go around passing judgements on other people.

EDIT: spelling in the latter part. I was tired...
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BelgianBillie wrote:
To be honest... for you to say that watching sports does not require processing just proofs that you are not understanding it.

I like playing boardgames, but i love watching sports on tv. It is not just sitting there. You watch it, you analyze is. You see the strategies unfold and if you know your team you know what they will attempt to do. It is just the same as where you size up you opponents strategy.

Pretty weak argument on your side that only furthers the stereotype.


Couldn't help thinking of this article on how watching TV helps build essential looking skills.
 
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Jesse Samford
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With people I know, I would say they don't have the "patience" for board gaming. It's not the instant gratification they are used to.
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I don't see how playing Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure could involve less "processing" than Stone Age.
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