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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » What is "fun" exactly?

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45 posts found
  Biskop

Novice Member

Joined: 10/06/11
Posts: 731

 
OP  5/13/13 1:17:10 AM#1

The word "fun" keeps coming up in discussions on this site, often without any clear definition but used in a way that indicates that the poster's own definition of the word is universal.

It seems to me it's mostly avid themepark and MOBA fans - advocates of action-based gameplay - who use the F-word when they try to promote lobby-based, linear co-op games, as opposed to virtual worlds and sandbox MMOs.

In these posters' opinion, the former games offer more fast "fun" than the latter, but the definition of the word "fun" always seems to be taken for granted. It's almost like there's this universal law saying that combat-related gameplay is always more "fun" than community building, exploration, character development and metagames, and that anything not related to combat is tedious, boring, and a waste of time.

This is really interesting, because all games are essentially a waste of time, are they not? They are all played as an escape from real life. But they offer different escape routes, and what's to say that only one of these escape route are to be considered "fun" and valuable? Does the fact that the mass market caters to short attention spans and unceasing blood lust mean that players who prefer something else than constant combat and the "epic heroism in an over-the-top fantasy world" theme are objectively wrong and should alter their tastes?

 

 

  waynejr2

Elite Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3732

RIP City of Heroes!

5/13/13 1:25:49 AM#2
There is a book called the theory of fun.  Check it out
  RefMinor

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3542

Hipster

5/13/13 1:28:53 AM#3
Originally posted by Biskop

The word "fun" keeps coming up in discussions on this site, often without any clear definition but used in a way that indicates that the poster's own definition of the word is universal.

It seems to me it's mostly avid themepark and MOBA fans - advocates of action-based gameplay - who use the F-word when they try to promote lobby-based, linear co-op games, as opposed to virtual worlds and sandbox MMOs.

In these posters' opinion, the former games offer more fast "fun" than the latter, but the definition of the word "fun" always seems to be taken for granted. It's almost like there's this universal law saying that combat-related gameplay is always more "fun" than community building, exploration, character development and metagames, and that anything not related to combat is tedious, boring, and a waste of time.

This is really interesting, because all games are essentially a waste of time, are they not? They are all played as an escape from real life. But they offer different escape routes, and what's to say that only one of these escape route are to be considered "fun" and valuable? Does the fact that the mass market caters to short attention spans and unceasing blood lust mean that players who prefer something else than constant combat and the "epic heroism in an over-the-top fantasy world" theme are objectively wrong and should alter their tastes?

 

It's generally used by posters who do not really like mmorpgs and would be better off in one of the other mmo genres.

  jpnz

Elite Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3547

5/13/13 1:33:48 AM#4
Some people find theme parks fun and some don't. Guess who the majority is?

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  MMORPGRIP

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/08/13
Posts: 90

5/13/13 1:35:10 AM#5

WAY too broad to define...as everyone has there own definition of fun...especially when it comes to things found in a MMORPG.

  DamonVile

Elite Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4657

5/13/13 1:38:37 AM#6
I don't think we've ever had a topic about sandbox vrs theampark before.

People are like cats. When they die, you get a new one.

  Scalpless

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/22/07
Posts: 1290

5/13/13 2:11:05 AM#7

I'm pretty sure people mean

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fun

when they talk about "fun".

  Biskop

Novice Member

Joined: 10/06/11
Posts: 731

 
OP  5/13/13 3:08:06 AM#8
Originally posted by DamonVile
I don't think we've ever had a topic about sandbox vrs theampark before.

This thread is not about that. It's about the concept of fun and why there often seems to be no need to define it when talking about MMOs.

Some people claim that certain activities are objectively not "fun" (because they personally dislike them and/or because "the majority" dislike them) and that said activities therefore are superfluous in an MMO despite the fact that others obviously enjoy them.

I'd just like to know why one concept of fun should be considered universal and rule them all. Is it because the masses prefer it?

  Gorwe

Elite Member

Joined: 9/16/11
Posts: 1775

5/13/13 3:35:23 AM#9
I'll try to be poetic. :)

Fun is:

When the time slips by like it's skidding on Ice
When you just want to keep moving on
And that awesome feeling when someone lets you all the power don
When the action is so intense that you lose every sense of pace.

When the story gets so intense
As to make you shout "oh damn!"
When betrays you the fellow man
And you say when you finish "oh what a great sense!"

:)
  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19003

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

5/13/13 4:02:39 AM#10
Well, you did sort of hit the nail on the head when you said because the masses prefer it.

At the end of the day developers tend to focus on activities that they feel will appeal to the largest audience, because in general that leads to greater profits.

There are some Devs who will focus on a feature set with more limited appeal, such as CCP with EVE, but in general most major titles will be designed around features that are favored by the larger audience.

"In these forums 'honest' seems to be a symonym for 'hates the game just like I do'" - ohioastro
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 3101

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

5/13/13 4:18:31 AM#11

QUICK! Make another post, Biskop! You are sitting at 666!

Fun is very personal, defined by each individual, but I agree that many posters seem to think their idea of fun is universal, backed by large numbers of game players that agree.

I happen to be of the mindset that numbers do not dictate to me what *I* happen to describe as "fun."

Fun is also hard to pin down with words. It is a feeling and feelings often lose out when trying to translate them into words. What may be fun in one game may not be another. A player's mood also affects how they define fun at times.

This is such a broad topic...

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
- FARGIN_WAR

  allendale5

Novice Member

Joined: 8/19/12
Posts: 125

5/13/13 4:36:36 AM#12
I don't really see how you can separate real life from playing games.  Playing games is part of our real lives, as much a part as anything else.  Our realities are just our own individual perceptions, all taking place inside of our minds.  What is real life?  Our job or our family or our pet or mowing the grass?  Seeing the stars or bird crap on a car window?  As long as time is passing and we are participating in any MMO, it is real life.  In terms of what is real, there is no difference between playing a game and attending a class, except for our perceived image of what society deems important.  Fun is the same, it is dependent on how each person perceives it and therefore is as subjective as an opinion or a favorite color; it is unique to each person based on their experiences and genetic makeup.
  Wizardry

Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 6693

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

5/13/13 5:02:53 AM#13

I can sum it up very easily.

If you look forward to playing your character which is what ROLE PLAY gaming is suppose to be about,then it is fun.

You should never mention the word GRIND,if you do the game is obviously not fun.If you think ONLY one aspect of a game is fun,then i have no idea why you would call that GAME fun,when it only offers limited satisfaction.

The keywords are Role Playing.

For many people the challenge is a large part of the fun factor.This is not relevant to gaming alone,it is everywhere in life,example kids/adults/women/men all play sports for fun.When you play sports you play to win,so it is most definitely about challenge.I mean seriously anyone could lose if they didn't care,why bother if you just want to stand there and lose?

There is a complicated aspect and that would fall under the topic of friendship.I don't feel like getting  into that however,that is along the topic of personal needs ,not to be confused with gaming fun.

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/Napolianboo#p/u/15/rCYLLQCNc1w
Samoan Diamond

  Adokas

Novice Member

Joined: 10/06/12
Posts: 221

5/13/13 5:10:17 AM#14

Fun can never be a universal term as everyone is their own individual. What some find boring, others find awesome fun, and so on.

To me, fun is when I can't wait to log into whatever game I'm playing, and once I've done so, time simply slips away. I like to see my character progress, although not at the rate most MMOs offer nowadays. I find it fun when I know that my character has a long road ahead of him/her, and that I have to "work" for those skills/riches, whatever it is you set your goal as. Last time I had this feeling was when I played vanilla WoW, and before that, an old game called the Myth of Soma ^^ I felt there was plenty of character progression there, and lots to work towards to, that you wouldn't be done with in a month or so. On that note, I suppose I do tolerate grinding a bit, and find it fun, but it's because of the goal I set. Anyway, it was merely to point out that fun is subjective, and comes down to the individual person ^^

  Jemcrystal

Elite Member

Joined: 1/02/08
Posts: 1320

Let em put a slave ring thru u're nose u're prob not going to like where they're taking you. Think.

5/13/13 5:14:55 AM#15
I think the idea of mmo's is that we all agreed to find this thing game fun and do the fun game thing together.  And it was a step up from making mud pies.

http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130324141403/gaea-the-legendary-realm/images/4/47/Illena1.jpg

  Caldrin

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/04
Posts: 4116

5/13/13 5:20:57 AM#16
@op every ones idea of fun is different..

My 3D models
http://dragon3d.webs.com/

  Sulaa

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/13/11
Posts: 838

5/13/13 5:22:07 AM#17

There is no universal 'fun'.   It's subjective.   Regardless of what some posters on this forum are trying to push. 

Some of activities deemed as 'unfun' time-sinks are fun for me and some of things that are deemed  'fun' loudly by some people are 'unfun' for me.

  Gorwe

Elite Member

Joined: 9/16/11
Posts: 1775

5/13/13 5:31:22 AM#18
I deem my poem post factually 100% correct.

Anyone else agree?

;)
  TheHavok

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/13/04
Posts: 2423

"Free crack and everybody gets laid."

5/13/13 5:35:20 AM#19
Are we seriously at the point where people are questioning the definition of 'fun'?  This is so ridiculous.  FFS, no wonder why people ignore the vocal minority on this site.
  Deivos

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/14/04
Posts: 1703

Iarð skal rifna, ok upphiminn.

5/13/13 5:36:08 AM#20

More often than not I think it's what game play elements they consider hallmark to their entertainment. Which aspects they most often come across and the style with which the interact with the game.

 

In the case of a lot of MMOs this tends to mean combat, because that's usually the aspect given the strongest focus in a game. The means by which a vast majority of problems will be solved and quests will be done.

 

As consequence, activities that are seen to support that aspect are seen as 'fun' since they are furthering that primary goal. Activities that fall further away from contributing to that goal are considered to be increasingly less fun.

 

This hinges a lot of the perceived entertainment value consequently on a pretty small set of objectives. With the way most games are built, there really isn't often many alternative goals to achieve or means to achieve them with.

 

You do get other kinds of games, like A Tale in the Desert, where the core focus of the game play is on economy, trade, and craft instead of combat, and that creates a very different perception of what contributes to the fun to be found on the game.

 

Similarly, EVE is arguably a title that pulled some focus off combat to build a large economic simulator. Combat in a sense actually takes on a major supporting role, a means to an end instead of the central mechanic that drives many players in that game. It's still huge, but it is driven by the players intention to achieve in their economic, corporation, and personal goals rather than simply for the sake of combat.

Though there are more than likely still players that play EVE just to putt about in a ship and blast away at others, it's just that EVE is not a game that supports that endeavor on it's own.

 

If you want to consider a game that introduced a way to approach the core game play through many varied elements, promoting a more tailored ability to have 'fun' you can look too at the original Deus Ex title and how even as an FPS it's skill system gave the player the ability to treat the game as variable, deriving fun from choosing your own path to completing the goal rather than having to follow a specific game play mechanic, and how that influenced people's perception of the title.

As the size of an explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of solving approaches zero. - Vaarsuvius

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