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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Happiness = Reality - Expectations

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49 posts found
  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12278

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

 
OP  9/12/13 9:16:54 PM#1

 

This could very well apply to why many MMO gamers feel many MMOs today suck.

http://www.waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are-unhappy.html

 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

9/12/13 9:54:24 PM#2

As a FB friend pointed out when that article was linked, the "formula" is a bit wonky but has a grain of truth behind it.

Mostly I feel happiness is largely a matter of attitude.  And a big part of having the right attitude for happiness revolves around having an accurate perception of how the world has worked in the past, which carries forward to accurate expectations of how the world will work in the future.  So I suppose I don't exactly disagree with the "formula", but it's a little awkward to discuss it the way it's presented.

Attitude is tied to success too.

About 13 years ago, I got my start in the games industry by tagging along with a friend who interviewed for a testing position at Nintendo.  Both of us got the job.

While there, I took the job seriously and acted professionally (despite Nintendo's testing dept being something of a joke at that time.)  My friend did not, and had a loudly disappointed attitude.  He's one of two people I've known, in all my time in the industry, who has probably played as many or more games than I have, but instead of working with the system his attitude of entitlement made him (and those around him) miserable, which resulted in his being laid off.

Fast forward 13 years and I have extensive experience in the industry as a professional game designer, while he took a break to go to college and now makes Facebook posts about how frustrated he is that he can't break back into the industry or get a weakly-presented Kickstarter game backed by anyone.  It was a difference in attitude which caused us to end up on these entirely separate paths in our lives.

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

9/12/13 10:41:17 PM#3

Reasonable, but I would just point out that it's possible to *imagine* a world of rainbows and unicorns without *expecting* it.

  tilleroder

Novice Member

Joined: 6/08/13
Posts: 12

9/12/13 10:53:01 PM#4
What's wonky about the formula? It says that if your expectations are less than reality, you will have positive happiness. If your expectations are more than reality, you will be disappointed (unhappy).
  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12278

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

 
OP  9/12/13 10:56:56 PM#5
Originally posted by Axehilt

As a FB friend pointed out when that article was linked, the "formula" is a bit wonky but has a grain of truth behind it.

Mostly I feel happiness is largely a matter of attitude.  And a big part of having the right attitude for happiness revolves around having an accurate perception of how the world has worked in the past, which carries forward to accurate expectations of how the world will work in the future.  So I suppose I don't exactly disagree with the "formula", but it's a little awkward to discuss it the way it's presented.

Attitude is tied to success too.

About 13 years ago, I got my start in the games industry by tagging along with a friend who interviewed for a testing position at Nintendo.  Both of us got the job.

While there, I took the job seriously and acted professionally (despite Nintendo's testing dept being something of a joke at that time.)  My friend did not, and had a loudly disappointed attitude.  He's one of two people I've known, in all my time in the industry, who has probably played as many or more games than I have, but instead of working with the system his attitude of entitlement made him (and those around him) miserable, which resulted in his being laid off.

Fast forward 13 years and I have extensive experience in the industry as a professional game designer, while he took a break to go to college and now makes Facebook posts about how frustrated he is that he can't break back into the industry or get a weakly-presented Kickstarter game backed by anyone.  It was a difference in attitude which caused us to end up on these entirely separate paths in our lives.

I'd have to agree with your take on that. Attitude does play a lot into it. 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

9/12/13 11:06:09 PM#6
Having lived on both sides of the coin, I've noticed that it's very easy to fall into a trap of rationalizing one's own successes and judging the failure of others.
  Morrok

Novice Member

Joined: 12/26/08
Posts: 132

9/13/13 7:47:02 AM#7

That high expectations which aren't met by a result results in at least disappointment is a no-brainer and appliesfor basically everything.

That's why "managing expectations" is so important, especially in a professional life.
Can't really afford to have a customer's expectations run wild.
But unfortunately, that's not only done but actually fostered by the gaming industry,
it's what causes these hypes.

The thing imo is that expectations are set not only by past experiences and "accurate perceptions which carriy forward to accurate expectations", but also by a customer's imagination "of what should or could be" and then the developer's announcements on "how special they are" or "how different they do everything" which stimulate that imagination portion even more.

  Kevyne-Shandris

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/10/08
Posts: 1980

You can't † BURY † ¤¤ Holy Paladins ¤¤ As we will always __.- ASCEND -.__

9/13/13 12:11:55 PM#8

Hype = high expectations = devs can't deliver = players feel cheated = bye bye.

 

Never hype a game. Start slow and build a following with polishing the game for the long haul. So new players can see/feel that the game is but fast food thrown out to "get rich quick".

  Frostvein

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/11/13
Posts: 160

9/13/13 1:06:46 PM#9

I see this (and stuff like this) tossed around the SWTOR forums a ton. There seems to be a trend now and days that whenever a game releases in a shoddy state, it does poorly because "people have unrealistic expectations" or "are entitled"

 

Do some people have unreasonably high expectations? Sure. Is that number vastly overinflated? Absolutely.

 

 

 

 

 

  Arclan

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/29/07
Posts: 1372

"Ideas are worthless. The only currency that holds any weight is the ability and drive to execute."

9/13/13 1:12:55 PM#10

Lok, kudos for linking an interesting article with some intellectual value. Highlighting a couple quotes:


"According to this definition, most people are not special—otherwise "special" wouldn't mean anything"


"They often feel entitled to a level of respect and rewards that aren’t in line with their actual ability and effort levels..."

Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit
video game company layoffs are twice the national average.

  Nadia

Elite Member

Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 11491

9/13/13 1:37:03 PM#11
Originally posted by Loktofeit

This could very well apply to why many MMO gamers feel many MMOs today suck.

http://www.waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are-unhappy.html

interesting article

but the bickering in the comments was more interesting to me

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

9/13/13 1:37:11 PM#12
Originally posted by Arclan

Lok, kudos for linking an interesting article with some intellectual value! I found one quote particularly interesting:


"According to this definition, most people are not special—otherwise "special" wouldn't mean anything"

 

You might want to think a little about the roots and meanings of the words "special" and "specialized".  Special can simply mean a role within a small group, a role that nobody in that group can perform better. 

The idea of using the word special to apply only to world champions comes from ignoring local communities to instead focus on creating large-scale celebrities.  In the end, I believe this to be counter-productive because in the end, celebrities are irrelevent and putting them on pedistals to the point of diminishing the people around you just means that there's less holding your local community together.

So I would actually flip the table on the quip and say "a person who is not special is just a commodity, almost worthless to society, so a functional community needs to make sure everyone can find a way to be special/specialized".  I feel this applies to both games and to reality.

  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 3204

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

9/13/13 2:40:03 PM#13

While I agree in principle, what happens when a player has zero expectations? Does that automatically mean ultimate happiness?

- 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

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17224

9/13/13 2:46:44 PM#14
Originally posted by Axehilt

 

Mostly I feel happiness is largely a matter of attitude.  And a big part of having the right attitude for happiness revolves around having an accurate perception of how the world has worked in the past, which carries forward to accurate expectations of how the world will work in the future. 

I very much agree with this.

there was a time in my life that I was an "unhappy" person. One day I realized that my perception of my life and the world and how I thought I should be doing things just didn't work as I wasn't getting the results I wanted.

So I adjusted my expectations, changed my perception, accepted things I felt I couldn't realistically change, and now I have a great life, little to no stress and am very happy with where I am.

I don't know about any formula but I do know that shifting expectations, on both yourself and others is a step in the right direction as far as I'm concerned.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12278

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

 
OP  9/13/13 2:53:33 PM#15
Originally posted by AlBQuirky

While I agree in principle, what happens when a player has zero expectations? Does that automatically mean ultimate happiness?

No, it means that the reality of the experience is the sum of it. It will be liked or disliked entirely on its own merits.

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Darknessguy64

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/30/13
Posts: 237

9/13/13 3:06:56 PM#16
Maybe this is why I am able to fully enjoy a game like D3. I didn't have any expectations going in other than believing it will be a polished game. And it delivered.
  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19101

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

9/13/13 3:53:07 PM#17
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by AlBQuirky

While I agree in principle, what happens when a player has zero expectations? Does that automatically mean ultimate happiness?

No, it means that the reality of the experience is the sum of it. It will be liked or disliked entirely on its own merits.

But are expectations always a positive value?  I mean a person can have either positive or negative expectations about a new game. (or anything really)

A person could have negative expectations regarding a new title, and when it meets them by being largely a bad game they could end up wildly happy about it since they got exactly what they were hoping for.

In fact, these forums seem to be full of people who behave exactly this way.

 

Arrogant, Condescending, Dismissive, Elitist, you speak as if these are bad things?
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

  Kevyne-Shandris

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/10/08
Posts: 1980

You can't † BURY † ¤¤ Holy Paladins ¤¤ As we will always __.- ASCEND -.__

9/13/13 4:05:17 PM#18


Originally posted by Axehilt As a FB friend pointed out when that article was linked, the "formula" is a bit wonky but has a grain of truth behind it. Mostly I feel happiness is largely a matter of attitude.  And a big part of having the right attitude for happiness revolves around having an accurate perception of how the world has worked in the past, which carries forward to accurate expectations of how the world will work in the future.  So I suppose I don't exactly disagree with the "formula", but it's a little awkward to discuss it the way it's presented. Attitude is tied to success too. About 13 years ago, I got my start in the games industry by tagging along with a friend who interviewed for a testing position at Nintendo.  Both of us got the job. While there, I took the job seriously and acted professionally (despite Nintendo's testing dept being something of a joke at that time.)  My friend did not, and had a loudly disappointed attitude.  He's one of two people I've known, in all my time in the industry, who has probably played as many or more games than I have, but instead of working with the system his attitude of entitlement made him (and those around him) miserable, which resulted in his being laid off. Fast forward 13 years and I have extensive experience in the industry as a professional game designer, while he took a break to go to college and now makes Facebook posts about how frustrated he is that he can't break back into the industry or get a weakly-presented Kickstarter game backed by anyone.  It was a difference in attitude which caused us to end up on these entirely separate paths in our lives.
 

This shows that you can work in a corporate environment. It doesn't show you're a Michelangelo or da Vinci -- which is the wonky part of gaming -- conforming is more important than new ideas and self-promotion is more important than actually fixing problems.


Innovation doesn't come from the cube rented by EA or Activision-Blizzard, it can come from that genius who maybe still living in his car, even.


Creativity in corporations isn't so much as fixing the problems to make gaming enjoyable, but about meeting deadlines -- and more importantly -- dividends.


I have a perfect example from another industry too: a think tank group got together thinking of ways to streamline their business and save money also. They modeled it after one of their nationally known products, right down to it's name and purpose. The workers were required to work longer hours; get certifications beyond what they ever did before; and their the products they used were severely rationed to control costs.


What did I learn from all that? My state has their own branch of the FDA, especially when the FDA, state FDA and health authorities raided their plant. Which caused all of the corporation plants to be also investigated and nationwide product recalls issued.


The corporation saved some money to the point of losing millions of dollars of down and cleanup time, and families losing a paycheck as plants were shut down to test. That nifty program to save money round up costing the plant much more -- ***all that could've been prevented anyway, if management listened to those very workers in the first place.***


That program was never mentioned again. But was the company happy that it was found early and people saved from a terrible death? Nope. They went on a witch hunt trying to find who "ratted" to the FDA, especially middle managers looking after their own backside as some were given walking papers.


Does that sound like EA and Activision-Blizzard?

  Ozivois

Novice Member

Joined: 4/17/10
Posts: 600

9/13/13 4:30:29 PM#19
Originally posted by tilleroder
What's wonky about the formula? It says that if your expectations are less than reality, you will have positive happiness. If your expectations are more than reality, you will be disappointed (unhappy).

It's wonky because to achieve happiness, Reality = Expectations. In this formula, that would equal zero happiness. It is wonky.

How about

 

Happiness = 2 ^ (Reality - Expectation)

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

9/13/13 6:19:03 PM#20
Originally posted by UNATCOII

Does that sound like EA and Activision-Blizzard?

It really doesn't, at least not from what friends who've worked at those places indicate, and what I can infer based on the end products of both companies.

I mean especially with Blizzard you can tell their unwavering goal is fun gameplay, which is why they've developed such a rock-solid, non-stop track record of smash hits.  That track record creates so much player loyalty that even their weaker offerings (like Warcraft 3 and Diablo 3) are still smash hits (and admittedly even these "failed" games are far more fun than the alternative experiences at the time.)

Without that underlying goal, Blizzard would've never got where it is today.

It's harder to defend EA the same way, but they're certainly not at all similar to the situation you're describing.

If anything it's Rockstar which is closest, and only in terms of the "shitty working conditions with bad management and witch hunts" aspects of your example.

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