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Thread: How should you feel about computer games?

  1. #1
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    How should you feel about computer games?

    I don't play any involved computer games. I play some of
    the simple, single-player games that come with Windows
    and a small handful of similar games. One that I picked up
    somewhere online for free, in the same general category
    as checkers or reversi, always results in the same set of
    emotions at the end of the game, and they are exactly the
    wrong emotions. Completely not what I want from a game.

    That prompted me to wonder what I do want a game to make
    me feel. And to ask you: What do you think a game should
    make you feel when you reach the end of a game?

    My intention is that this information could be used to help
    someone design better games.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

  2. #2
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    I use games first to keep sharp, and then to have fun. I want to feel challenged and entertained, or laugh with others if playing in a group. Lots of excuses for friendly faux-insult banter.

    Everyday I do a few puzzles, such as the "I, Zombie Endless" level in Plants vs Zombies. All simple puzzles, but try getting to 22 levels! Did that once and never again. I use Lasertank for more difficult puzzle solving, though I have to drop it for a couple of years so I don't remember any solutions. There are some really, really tough puzzles in that one. I have quite a few favorites, but #184 gives me fits for hours.

    Must've played 10^gazillion Solitaire levels in Windows, and Minesweeper, too (I use the gray XP version; works under 7.) Throw in a few Chess Titans, which I only play at speed and lose 90% of the time (level 8 only). As for video games with little fun puzzles that also have some action, I enjoy replaying Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and finding all the upgrades and secrets (under PS2 emulation on Win7).

    But the number one, all-time, major time sink has been The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. I easily spend three times the time I play on setting up and adjusting a full set of mods and tweaks, then play through a stunning world with a new twist or two each time. Every major PC upgrade since 2006 has been to improve performance on that game. A number of people here have played it, but from what I gather have mostly moved on to the next game in the series, Skyrim. The fact that the games have bugs and require patching, plus are CPU limited, means that one gets to delve into PC tweaking land to make things really go smooth, which appeals to my geek side.

    There are so many games that are fun to play as a family. We are about to unbox some of our old gear, and in it is a PSOne with Crash Bandicoot Team Racing, one of our old faves. Hilarious and competitive, a great time. Wife loves it, too.

    So, there you go. All oldies, but goodies.

  3. #3
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    I don't play any computer games, never have. (Except for classic things like chess or backgammon, or the occasional word game.)

    I was learning serious computer programming at the time computer games gained wide availability, so my interest has always been in creating graphics, not in appreciating them. The idea of maneuvering down some graphic tunnel and shooting anything that pops up just doesn't appeal to me. Add to that that I have really bad tactical skills (I must have some learning disability here) in the few games that I have tried probably makes it worse.

  4. #4
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    I love games. Minecraft, Bolo, various MUDs. Spore is fun.

    Basically, classic games over newer titles. I have website titled "These old games". I have gotten out of the habit of updating it, so I may be getting rid of it soon. (Hence, no link.)
    Solfe

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    I burned out my video game gland when I was in my 20s - on standup arcade games such as Williams Defender.

    It's left me with the distinct feeling that, any time I try to play a game now, it's just burning time. Then again, I've always stuck with single-player games, so not a lot of socializing.

    The only games I've spent any time on as an adult are SimCity and Myst. For me, I like puzzle games or construction games.

  6. #6
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    My computer gaming is pretty much limited to Sudoku on my phone! It's got Angry Birds on it, but I haven't been playing it much.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  7. #7
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    We seem to be begging the question.
    Is it at all common to experience emotion on finishing a game like Reversi or Minesweeper? Surely that's a bit like grieving for your chewing gum.

    Grant Hutchison

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    We seem to be begging the question.
    Is it at all common to experience emotion on finishing a game like Reversi or Minesweeper? Surely that's a bit like grieving for your chewing gum.

    Grant Hutchison
    You mention Minesweeper and my wife happens to be amazingly fast at that and certainly crows when she beats her previous time. It involves very fast arithmetic and practice makes you faster and faster.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  9. #9
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    I compared the game which prompted my question to reversi
    and checkers, but it is actually more like minesweeper in some
    ways. Like minesweeper, there is no opponent. Like reversi,
    the board is gradually filled until no more pieces can be placed.

    The problem is that the game cannot be won. It always ends
    with a series of increasingly useless moves. All strategy and
    plans made toward the end of a game fail. The last four or five
    moves of the game can never increase the player's score. Plus
    the game board and the score are instantly cleared when the
    game is lost, so unless I remembered to notice the score while
    the game was in progress (or it was in the top five), the score
    is lost. This results in increasing frustration as the game nears
    the end, and disappontment and disgust when it does end.
    Those emotions-- frustration, disappointment, and disgust-- are
    bad guys. I'm asking what good guys should replace them.

    BTW, my question was probably also prompted by hearing a
    story on NPR several hours earlier about an arcade owner in
    Uganda who found that his clients were destroyng the game
    controllers at an unusually high rate because they were taking
    their frustrations and anger out in the games. I'm sure this is
    relevant, but I'm not sure how.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

  10. #10
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    Minesweeper is actually the only game that came with Windows 7
    that I play. I play older or third-party versions of a couple of the
    others.

    My best time on Minesweeper (beginner level, 10x10, August 1) is
    10 seconds, but it is extremely dependant on how the mines are
    randomly placed. The frustration in Minesweeper is to end the
    game with a situation that has a 50-50 chance of a correct choice,
    and choosing incorrectly, thus ending a winning streak and having
    to start over from the beginning. Bad, but not nearly as bad as
    the other game, which isn't worth naming.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

  11. #11
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    That's the only game I ever played on a computer (at work I confess)

    But after a minute or two, I have to get up. First person shooters I might play at a movie theatre once in a blue moon.

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    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Minesweeper.png 
Views:	60 
Size:	7.4 KB 
ID:	19768 (113 sec.)

    Was a shameless addict, especially when depressed. Only played on Expert. Stopped mostly nowadays.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Minesweeper.png 
Views:	60 
Size:	7.4 KB 
ID:	19768 (113 sec.)

    Was a shameless addict, especially when depressed. Only played on Expert. Stopped mostly nowadays.
    I think my wife at her prime was about 32 s on expert, sorry, but for me 113s would be really good. Don't fret about it hey? I wish I had not told you now.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  14. #14
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    Impossible, the physics of clicking do not allow it with that many squares and mines. Seriously. I switched from a wireless to a wired mouse to improve my score. Unless it was an uncanny, self-revealing distribution with a trivial number of clicks. You can get that on Beginner or Advanced, but Expert?

    OK, now out comes the proof and I have a miserable afternoon...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
    Impossible, the physics of clicking do not allow it with that many squares and mines. Seriously. I switched from a wireless to a wired mouse to improve my score. Unless it was an uncanny, self-revealing distribution with a trivial number of clicks. You can get that on Beginner or Advanced, but Expert?

    OK, now out comes the proof and I have a miserable afternoon...
    maybe my mistake, i checked, 40 mines, 27 s is that advanced or expert,? it seems pretty fast to me.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  16. #16
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    OK. I'm sorry, I seem to be on the wrong planet.
    You guys play Minesweeper because you care about the score? Not just to pass the time when you've simultaneously lost your book, your headphones and your internet connection, and got tired of looking at people and out of the window?
    Wow.
    Really. Wow.
    I'd never imagined such a thing.

    Grant Hutchison

  17. #17
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    I was surprised I cared about anything at the time, so I went with it. There are competitions in a third-party downloadable version. I don't do those.

    Anyone play Internet Hearts?

  18. #18
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    No, it is unlikely that anyone here plays Minesweeper because
    they care about the score, but that doesn't mean we don't care
    about the score when we play...

    Some aspects of Minesweeper scoring are decent compared to
    other games: It doesn't keep track of an average or total over
    all games played, which removes any pressure to ger a fast
    time every time. That would be cruel. But many games *are*
    cruel like that.

    The score tells you how well you did. We want to know that
    we did good. Is that bad?

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    The score tells you how well you did. We want to know that
    we did good. Is that bad?
    Not bad. Just ... flabbergasting.
    I can't imagine caring about such a thing. I didn't know there were people who cared about how well they did playing Minesweeper.

    Grant Hutchison

  20. #20
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    You compete against yourself. Repeating without improvement is no further challenge at all. Only reason I have a screen shot is that XP used to need frequent reinstalls, so I kept screen shots of my high scores.

    Among Windows games, what I really enjoy is a nice 25-1 mauling of some would-be moon shooter in Internet Hearts, often as a result of my initial toxic 3 card pass, or doing the fake run and forcing the Queen on high card holders trying to stop me.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
    You compete against yourself. Repeating without improvement is no further challenge at all. Only reason I have a screen shot is that XP used to need frequent reinstalls, so I kept screen shots of my high scores.
    You kept screenshots of your scores?
    I'm definitely in the wrong part of town.

    To me, the challenge is in figuring out how the game works. Once you see how it's done, the interest is gone. Repetition is just ... repetitive.
    Sudoku's a fine example. Why do people keeping playing Sudoku when it gets to the point of systematically repeating a small number of well-known algorithms?

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2014-Aug-16 at 10:47 PM. Reason: Added the latter two paragraphs

  22. #22
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    Perhaps. One must pause to consider before venturing to make judgement. Even in the absence of mitigating factors, it is not a simple thing to take full and proper measure of things. You are missing information, and much, in this case. I would advise a moment's caution, and reflection on what it is you truly wish to say, and above all, why, and what it conveys.

    ETA Posted prior to edit above.
    Last edited by Hlafordlaes; 2014-Aug-16 at 10:29 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
    Perhaps. One must pause to consider before venturing to make judgement. Even in the absence of mitigating factors, it is not a simple thing to take full and proper measure of things. You are missing information, and much, in this case. I would advise a moment's caution, and reflection on what it is you truly wish to say, and above all, why, and what it conveys.
    There's no judgement being made here (by me, at least).
    I'm just encountering a new area of human endeavour. Keeping screenshots of your high scores implies that they matter to you quite a lot, no? The fact that the OP enquires about emotional responses to playing these games, and the fact that others know their best scores, too, suggests that this deep level of engagement is pretty common.
    Don't you have a strong sense that you're part of the majority, and I'm an outlier? Because that's the feeling I have. Very much the wrong part of town.

    Grant Hutchison

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    There's no judgement being made here (by me, at least).
    I'm just encountering a new area of human endeavour. Keeping screenshots of your high scores implies that they matter to you quite a lot, no? The fact that the OP enquires about emotional responses to playing these games, and the fact that others know their best scores, too, suggests that this deep level of engagement is pretty common.
    Don't you have a strong sense that you're part of the majority, and I'm an outlier? Because that's the feeling I have. Very much the wrong part of town.

    Grant Hutchison
    Why the wrong part of town? Your score obviously reflects your skill at the game (comprising in this instance of, for example, very quick arithmetic with low numbers). Suppose you want to increase your skill. For example, you're a bartender so it's very handy to quickly do these things in your head while people order drinks etc. So you decide to play Minesweeper to increase that useful skill, and you keep track of your scores to see your progression.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Keeping screenshots of your high scores implies that they matter to you quite a lot, no? The fact that the OP enquires about emotional responses to playing these games, and the fact that others know their best scores, too, suggests that this deep level of engagement is pretty common.
    Screen shots require Alt+PrtScn, then dumping into an RTF file with Ctrl-V. Trivial, takes seconds, and keeps information that is otherwise lost on an OS reinstall.

    Hadn't thought about this for a long time, but in fact it was a claim on another board, in a similar thread, that someone got a score below 90. I decided to test that, and found it was impossible. Turned out to be true of some of the other claims the same person was making.

    I do have other pursuits, depending on time, inclination, evolution of disease, and available budget after medical expenses of no small import.

    (1) I seem to be on the wrong planet. You guys play Minesweeper because you care about the score?
    (2) Not bad. Just ... flabbergasting. I can't imagine caring about such a thing.
    (3) You kept screenshots of your scores? I'm definitely in the wrong part of town.
    There's no judgement being made here (by me, at least)
    In keeping with baseball, three iterations with the same outcome may be considered decisive, which coincided with the timing of the observations made.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
    In keeping with baseball, three iterations with the same outcome may be considered decisive, which coincided with the timing of the observations made.
    I see no judgement in any of the phrases of mine you quoted. Expressions of surprise, yes. A clear declaration that I don't understand the take others have on this topic, yes. And a very definite sentiment that I am out of step with everyone else - for sure.

    Grant Hutchison

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
    Why the wrong part of town?
    Because on this thread a large number of people are conducting themselves in a way I don't understand.
    I feel like I got lost somewhere, and I have that edgy sense of being misplaced that comes from winding up somewhere you shouldn't be.
    And now, for some reason, it seems to be a big deal that I've announced I'm in the wrong place.
    Maybe I'll just see if I can flag down a taxi ...

    Grant Hutchison

  28. #28
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    Grant, I think you are overdoing this.

    I, personally, don't keep records of my scores in games. Other people do. Okay, so we're different in this respect. So what?

    Some gamers like to focus on combat, others like to focus on racing, or graphics, or a combination of these things. I like to focus on exploration and situational problem-solving and story.

    Gaming is a broad church. Different people get different things out of it. Needing a metaphorical taxi to get out of here just because people "do things different" sounds much more socially aberrant to me than a penchant for recording scores does.

  29. #29
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    What surprises me is that Grant can be surprised when people
    care about how well they do playing games, when he must be
    aware of things like football, cricket, tennis, and poker.

    Not to mention school. Students care about and keep records
    of the grades they get on tests in school? What a strange
    notion! Games are so often tests.

    Exploration and situational problem solving has a huge appeal
    for me, but either I haven't been exposed to any games where
    they are done well, or I wasn't any good at them, or I just had
    bad luck. Like, an ancient text game which I think was titled
    "Lost in New York City" started out on Liberty Island, but I
    couldn't discover how to get off the island.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    What surprises me is that Grant can be surprised when people
    care about how well they do playing games, when he must be
    aware of things like football, cricket, tennis, and poker.
    I have to say, I am with Grant on this one (whether it is Minesweeper or football). It is an important part of other people's lives which is quite alien to me.

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