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Are You Gaming For the Right Reasons? 220

Posted by Soulskill
from the gotta-make-that-int-bigger dept.
An editorial at IGN discusses healthy (and unhealthy) ways to play video games. The author says that while gaming is a perfectly legitimate hobby, it needs to be approached with moderation and an understanding of what you get out of playing. Without understanding your motivations and compulsions, it's quite possible to play video games in a way that's detrimental. From the article: "Games, especially modern ones, revolve around the principle that if you put the time in, you will be rewarded. Many gamers claim to not understand how anyone could put up with grinding in a video game. But grinding is comforting. Grinding tells us that, no matter what, if you keep playing you'll become more powerful. ... The real world does not operate this way. You can 'grind' at a job for 10 years and still be laid off. You can 'grind' at your physical health your whole life but if you switch to an unhealthy lifestyle you will immediately begin losing this progress. ... It's important for gamers to have mastery of their own mind. Are you grinding out a level in World of Warcraft because you're truly enjoying the experience, or are you doing it to replace missing feelings of self-worth that you don't want to confront? Do you revel in your virtual successes to avoid the uncomfortable internal dialogue regarding of your abandoned gym routine? Are you playing games because you're having fun, or because you have an unconfronted fear of failure?
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Are You Gaming For the Right Reasons?

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  • by Subway Analogy Guy (2717033) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @06:38AM (#41163977)
    Sometime during the last year I realized that I was not eating healthy. My lifestyle mostly consisted of eating nachos and pizzas and playing World of Warcraft. While perfectly ideal lifestyle for young gamer, I realized I was getting too old for it.

    Since then I've gamed and eaten healthy. I play with my Wii. I use Kinect for Xbox360. I eat Subway sandwiches.

    And I feel better. You can't even imagine how good Subway's The Big Philly Cheesesteak and Subway Melt tastes. Omnomnom, some extra cheese and bacon to go. My choice of sauces usually includes light mayo and chipotle southwest in Italian Herbs & Cheese bread. I order all the veggies except for tomatoes. I don't know why but I just can't eat tomatoes on a subway or pizzas. Do you know what happens if my mom haven't bought me that days subway in my basement? I feel angry.

    This new healthy lifestyle has not only improved the quality of my life but given me a reason to make it through Mondays. Sweet Onion flavor, mmmm. Ranch sauce.. Breakfast B.M.T gives me the extra power I require for Mondays!

    Remember to game and eat healthy, folks!
    • by Walterk (124748) <dublet AT acm DOT org> on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @06:44AM (#41164001) Homepage Journal

      You try to preach the virtues of healthy eating and then proceed to advocate Subway "sandwiches"? Oh boy, wait till you learn about this thing called fruit!

      • by realityimpaired (1668397) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @06:57AM (#41164081)

        To be fair, it is one of the more creative trolls I've seen, though... certainly more entertaining than the usual goatse or racist crap. I especially love the part where he says he gets angry if he hasn't had his daily subway, like he's as addicted to it as he is to video games... :P

        Healthy eating is part of the equation. You can eat as healthy as you want to, if you're not getting enough of the right exercise you'll still have health problems. Humans evolved to move, and the sedentary lifestyle we live today is bad for our health.

        • by X0563511 (793323)

          It is amusing. But even still - it has a kernel of truth (like all really good trolls). If you're sitting around eating fast food and junk food, eating something like Subway instead is a marked improvement. Could you be eating better than that? Yes. But it's still worlds better than what you were doing before.

          • This is an excellent point. I'm studying nutrition and I see a lot of "all or nothing" attitudes out there. If all somebody can afford or is willing to do is eat fresh fruit instead of a processed snack once a week, I still encourage them to do it. 6 days of processed snacks and 1 day of fresh fruit is better than 7 days of processed snacks!

            Furthermore, incremental improvements in one's diet eventually add up into big changes and are, besides, easier to turn into habits. Going full vegetarian overnight?

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        Oh boy, wait till you learn about this thing called fruit!

        Unless it's served on sugared white bread lathered with butter, comes in XXL size with extra bacon and covered with sauce, I don't want to know about it.

        Given the rest of his post, I think GP was being sarcastic. I mean; "Do you know what happens if my mom haven't bought me that days subway in my basement? I feel angry."... does that sound like something a grown up person would say?

        • Did you even notice his username?

          I'm pretty sure this is PizzaAnalogyGuy. And Dr Bob (I think?) the chiropractor :p And I know who made Dr Bob since he slipped up one day..

          • Ah, that reminds me also about our dear friend BadAnalogyGuy [slashdot.org]. He seems to have had radio silence for pretty much exactly an year though. But hackers never die, they only disappear.
    • by Nyder (754090)

      Sometime during the last year I realized that I was not eating healthy. My lifestyle mostly consisted of eating nachos and pizzas and playing World of Warcraft. While perfectly ideal lifestyle for young gamer, I realized I was getting too old for it.

      Since then I've gamed and eaten healthy. I play with my Wii. I use Kinect for Xbox360. I eat Subway sandwiches.

      And I feel better. You can't even imagine how good Subway's The Big Philly Cheesesteak and Subway Melt tastes. Omnomnom, some extra cheese and bacon to go. My choice of sauces usually includes light mayo and chipotle southwest in Italian Herbs & Cheese bread. I order all the veggies except for tomatoes. I don't know why but I just can't eat tomatoes on a subway or pizzas. Do you know what happens if my mom haven't bought me that days subway in my basement? I feel angry.

      This new healthy lifestyle has not only improved the quality of my life but given me a reason to make it through Mondays. Sweet Onion flavor, mmmm. Ranch sauce.. Breakfast B.M.T gives me the extra power I require for Mondays!

      Remember to game and eat healthy, folks!

      I like subway, how much do they pay you post messages like this? Free food? I want in!

    • by BenoitRen (998927)

      I order all the veggies except for tomatoes. I don't know why but I just can't eat tomatoes on a subway or pizzas.

      Tomatoes are fruit.

      • Tomatoes are fruit.

        So are green peppers, cucumber (pickled and fresh), hot peppers and olives. If you just want non-fruits, you're stuck with the lettuce and onions.

        • by X0563511 (793323)

          Hey, don't forget about spinach!

          I always sub in spinach instead of lettuce if I can. Lettuce has no damn flavor. Spinach is probably better for you anyway.

      • by Miseph (979059)

        If tomatoes are a fruit, then how is ketchup a vegetable? Clearly you are mistaken, sir. Check and mate.

    • by yurtinus (1590157)
      Flaimbait?! Come on people, this post was glorious!

      Now if only we could get a MyCleanPC analogy...
  • Pffft... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @06:43AM (#41163991)

    I play games to shoot people in the face. Call it end of day "stress-relief."

    • Re:Pffft... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @06:48AM (#41164015)

      I used to think that's what I was doing. Then I realized that, more times than not, the night ends with my blood pressure being higher than when I started and I'm inches from throwing the xbox remote through my TV.

      Maybe I should pick games I'm better at. That or we euthanize known campers and snipers as a public health measure.

      • Re:Pffft... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @08:39AM (#41164825)

        Maybe you shouldn't play a FPS with a fucking controller.

        • Re:Pffft... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Skarecrow77 (1714214) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @09:07AM (#41165125)

          Modded down for truth?

          Every FPS game I've played on both Console and PC (when available for both, obviously), I enjoyed immensely more on PC, simply because I didn't feel like I was fighting both the damn physical and virtual interfaces just to play the game.

          • by tepples (727027)
            If you have friends over but only one gaming PC, do you enjoy sitting and waiting your turn until they finish?
            • Plenty of great "couch co-op" games on PC. [co-optimus.com]

              Recently I've played:

              A Virus Named Tom

              Trine 2

              Rayman Origins

              Portal 2

              Magicka

              Dungeon Defenders

              Disney Universe (we've got a 3yo in the house!)

          • I mostly agree with this statement, with one exception. I intentionally hooked a Dualshock2 controller up to my PC to play Descent 3. The number of degrees of motion available made the two analog sticks really handy.

        • Where did you get a Fucking controller? I want one!
      • by gomiam (587421)
        Snipers are snipers. Campers, though, should only be allowed with a knife (at least that requires someability). OTOH, I miss the pre-Source Counter Strike times when you could actually move sideways so quickly a sniper would usually miss (tested with, AFAIK, quite good players; it annoyed the hell out of them).
      • The same thing happened to me whenever I played fighting games. I was never really good at them but I played them a lot because in my mind it was a way of getting out my frustrations, but I would leave a session of gaming feeling much angrier than before. After a while I just had to stop, it was making me feel miserable to not only lose a lot but also to walk away with my blood pressure high.
      • Re:Pffft... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by gman003 (1693318) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @10:15AM (#41166249)

        Pro-tip: Play against bots, not other people, and at a lower difficulty than you normally would.

        Don't play against people for stress-relief, because there are players who play specifically to annoy other players, either to win in a dirty way (campers) or for its own sake (trolls).

        Play at a low difficulty. Normally, you *want* to hit a point that you ave to get better, have to work at it, in order to win. But when playing to vent, drop the difficulty a notch or two below that, so you don't frustrate yourself.

        Also, pick the right games. I've found Unreal Tournament 2004 (especially the Mutant gamemode) and Counter-Strike are the best for stress relief. The right music helps as well - I generally go for thrash metal, Ride the Lightning, Endgame, that kind of stuff.

        • either to win in a dirty way (campers)

          Since when is finding and securing an advantageous position "dirty"?

          • by gman003 (1693318) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @11:12AM (#41167245)

            Since when is finding and securing an advantageous position "dirty"?

            When it pisses me off, mainly.

            I'm not saying it's not a valid tactic. I'm not saying you shouldn't use it in competition, or even in a regular match. But it messes up my stress-vent "shoot everyone in the face" matches, so I just play against bots.

          • by Carrot007 (37198)

            Since when is finding and securing an advantageous position "dirty"?

            Depends how you know it's an advantageos position I would have thought.

            If it is becuase you are that familier with the map then you have an unfair advantage over someone who only play casualy and does not.

            Oh for a truely random 3d map generator that does not just spout crap!

        • As a person who has played competitive Counter-Strike (the original, not the Source remake) for about ten yen years, i have to laugh every time I read something like, "either to win in a dirty way (campers)." I wasn't aware that "camping" was dirty play? So because when YOU'RE running around the map and YOU are too lazy to check corners and YOU assume no one is there, I am somehow a "dirty" player? Laughable. It's the same response I have to people who complain about the AWP (sniper rifle). It's part of the

          • by gman003 (1693318)

            Either that, or I don't want to play like a "skilled" player, I want to play like a "having fun" player.

            When I'm actually playing a "serious" match (read: LAN match with friends), I play "properly" - slice corners, use flash, all that. But when I'm just trying to shoot terrorism in the face? I don't want to do that. I just want to grab an M4 and a Deagle and shoot terrorism (in the face).

            I call it a dirty tactic only because it's an "un-fun" tactic, and I call it an un-fun tactic because the gameplay elemen

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      I play games to shoot people in the face. Call it end of day "stress-relief."

      I honestly play for a different reason, you know those studies that were released showing that people who game also gain the benefits of being distracted from their chronic pain? Well I figure that gaming is probably better than popping drugs all the time(it is), I can only take so many narcotics in a day before it really starts wearing on me pretty heavily.

      I couldn't care less about some busybody and their "gaming for the right reason" I care that it's distracting me long enough that I'm not taking either

  • Escape reality (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Quakeulf (2650167) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @06:44AM (#41163997)
    I play games to escape reality, hence I dislike the attempts at reality in a game as the current tech generation does not handle it very well. I also play games to socialise, and PVP is a great way of doing that, especially fighting games and shooters, but other arcadey genres are welcome too. There is a social aspect to gaming that I keep returning to when I am not busy playing Fallout 1 or Fallout 2 just one more time to get all the possible combinations of endings like I have done since 1996 and 1997.
    • by gomiam (587421)
      Interestingly, I have managed to get almost no socialization from other online players unless I played some kind of PvE or team PvP game. Pure PvP and free for all games seem (IMO) to make interaction a bit more difficult. Those I usually reserve for playing with people I already have some previous interaction.
  • WHOA !! DUDE !! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @06:45AM (#41164005)

    If you are GAMING and think you need any sort of reason, you are one messed up dude !!

  • by Neil_Brown (1568845) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @06:48AM (#41164017) Homepage
    Or because it is a better means of escapism than reading cod-psychology online?
    • Or because it is a better means of escapism than reading cod-psychology online?

      Or writing cod-psychology online.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Is that anything like salmon neuroscience [blogspot.com]?

    • Call of Duty: Psychology? Dude, when then did that come out? Imagine, gunning down the bad guys *and* rooting out their deep-seated anxieties! (Which are mainly about you gunning them down, but whatcha gonna do?)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @06:51AM (#41164041)

    all they have to do is play it 100 hours a week and they're gods. that's why i don't play multiplayer rpgs, i don't want to be in a "no life contest" with some unemployed fat guy in kentucky.

    • by Skarecrow77 (1714214) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @09:12AM (#41165211)

      quite honestly, in all truth, modern western MMOs (fuck that eastern masochism-as-an-mmo shit) are way better than trying to beat a 13 year old who has been off of school all summer at call of duty. kids today are inhuman, I swear.

      I'll get my revenge though, by the time my own spawn is 13 years old, this current crop of kids will be in their mid-late 20s, and my boy will avenge his daddy! avenge I say!

    • When I catch myself Grinding or getting obsessed with winning that one quest. I tell myself it is time to quit for the day. If I am not having fun, it means I should stop playing.

      The last time I really just Grinding was because I was obsessed in winning a quest, In my obsession all my usable gear became to broken to use, and I spent all my money to get it fixed, then I ended up breaking it again. So I spent a weak a few hours every night grinding to build up cash, to first repair my stuff so I can do othe

  • I confronted my fear of failure long ago. Now, grinding has more to do with my hatred of [unnecessary] failure.
    • Why are you playing the game if you are not having fun?

      • by tepples (727027)

        Why are you playing the game if you are not having fun?

        Because I'm testing the video game that the industry requires me to make before I'm allowed to make the game I want to make. As far as I can tell, the standard way into the industry is 1. make a game for a touch-screen phone to build a portfolio, even if you don't like games for touch-screen phones; 2. work for an established video game studio for several years to build "relevant video game industry experience"; 3. finally start your own company, become licensed, and make the game you want to make. Is there

        • by neminem (561346)

          Being a genius? Doesn't work for most people, but it certainly made Notch a jillion dollars...

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @06:56AM (#41164075) Homepage

    Good idea: Playing a game to have a good time, challenge your mind, and reduce your stress.
    Bad idea: Playing a game instead of having a good time, boring your mind, and causing stress.

    In other words, the moment a game starts interfering with your friends, family, work, marriage, etc, stop now! The game will be there for you if and when you come back to it.

    • by Tempest_2084 (605915) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @10:06AM (#41166091)
      This is exactly why I stopped playing Final Fantasy XI all those years ago. At first I really enjoyed it, I was young, unmarried, and had plenty of free time to do the endless grinding the game requires. However as time went on I discovered that it was beginning to interfere with my life. I was staying up to 2 or 3 at night in the hopes that I might be able to claim some unique spawn that I needed for some weapon or another (along with about 100 other people I might add), I was farming monsters over and over again for materials for my linkshell and not even getting to the enjoyable parts of the game anymore. I even changed my character from something I enjoyed to a very cookie cutter build that was boring as hell to play because that was the only way people would invite you into a party. Sure I was 'winning' the game, but I was having a miserable time doing it. The game was becoming a second job, I was running home from work just to log in and start accomplishing whatever tasks I needed to do that night in order to keep up with the game. When I dared do something else like watch a movie or play another game, I felt guilty because I was falling behind the rest of the linkshell and then I felt stressed out because I hard to work twice as hard to catch up/

      One day while I was sitting for my second or third hour looking for a party, the heavens opened and everything in my brain just clicked. Here I was sitting around in real life watching my avatar sit around in a game (MMORPG Inception!), neither one of us enjoying ourselves. So I logged out the game and never returned. My Paladin may still be sitting around in Jeuno waiting for something, but I'm not.

      I still play games (classic and modern), but I only play games that are fun and stay far far away from MMORPGs. I also balance gaming with a decently active (for a nerd anyway) social life and spending time with my non-gamer wife. When a game starts to become a second job it's time to sit back and question what you're doing. MMORPGs are insidious in this regard because they demand constant attention. If you put a MMORPG aside for a few weeks to do other things then you're several weeks behind and have to work twice as hard to catch up. With any other type of game you can wait months if not years to finish it and your game doesn't care, it's still there waiting for you and you're right where you were when you left.
      • This is what clicked for me.

        On an old mud I was playing, my character's XP was stored in a 32 bit variable. This variable was serialized to disk.

        I had 29 days played time. Most of that time was spent incrementing that value in that variable.

        Ultimately in the end, it dawned on me that I was spending a lot of my life energy to flip a single bit on a hard-disk somewhere.

  • by Ostracus (1354233) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @06:59AM (#41164093) Journal

    I'm 'grinding' to get 'first post'.

    • by azalin (67640)
      I was thinking of a bad joke that included the words "good time" "grinding" and "wife", but hereby refrain from writing it out.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @07:02AM (#41164109)
    Are you sure you're reading Slashdot for the right reasons?
    • No I am not, I am not afraid to admit it. I am doing it because I don't want to do work at the moment.

  • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @07:12AM (#41164161) Journal

    Is it just me who reads TFA and things "this guy's just taken a basic intro-to-psychology course and is all excited thinking he can now explain the whole world"?

    If you like gaming, are able to financially support yourself and your gaming and can do so without ruining the rest of your life, then play whatever the hell you like.

    Also, the guy doesn't understand modern (Western) MMOs. These are MUCH less about grinding than is commonly considered to be the case. The level "grind" in World of Warcraft is so short as to barely merit the term. Going from 1-85 is best thought of as an extended tutorial where you learn how to play your class ahead of the real game, which begins at level 85.

    And once you're at level 85, the game is fundamentally skill based. On the PvP side, that's so obvious that I don't even need to explain it. On the PvE side, it perhaps deserves a slightly longer explanation of what the commonly perceived "gear grind" actually is.

    WoW's end-game PvE content is, over the course of each expansion, a series of co-operative challenges of increasing difficulty. The series starts with relatively short 5-man dungeons, which require fairly simple tactics. What then follows - released gradually via patches - is a series of challenges for larger groups (10 or 25 people) which require better reactions, better planning and more complicated tactics.

    It's a common misconception that the only difference between the bottom end raids in a WoW expansion and the top end raids is the gear requirement. Yes, you will need better gear to tackle the top-end raids, but this can essentially be thought of as a skill-check system. Before you can progress to the top end raid, you need to prove that you have the skill to defeat the easier, lower-end ones. If you don't have that, then you'll end up banging your head against a brick wall, no matter your gear level.

    So back when I was most deeply into the game, in the Burning Crusade era (1st expansion), the bottom end raid was Karazhan and the top end raid was Sunwell Plateau. Karazhan's bosses required fairly simple tactics, with generally just one or two mechanics that players needed to respond to during each fight. The difficulty increased substantially throughout the raid, culminating in a fairly tricky final boss. Said boss was, however, massively simpler than even the first boss in Sunwell Plateau, which required each player to keep track of a large number of factors at once, with any failure resulting in more or less instant death. Also, as you are level capped for this, the fights are not magically getting easier just because you put more time and effort in.

    So the attraction in modern, Western MMOs isn't the grind at all - it's about team-work and overcoming challenges co-operatively. Indeed, Western gaming in general has been remarkably successful in eliminating "the grind" - you don't tend to spend much time running in circles doing random encounters in a Bioware game, or one of the Witcher games.

    The grind does still live on in some Japanese gaming and in some Eastern MMOs - but that's likely just due to the conservatism of Japanese and Korean developers. It would be great if at some point during the next few years, a high profile Japanese RPG developer (perhaps Square) could take the step of eliminating grinding from its games.

    • by Exitar (809068) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @07:44AM (#41164345)

      Raiding Ice Crown or Dragon Soul for one year isn't considered grinding? Expecially in WotLK, when you could find yourself doing the same raid FOUR time a week (normal 10/25, heroic 10/25)? Kill Marrowgar 208 times in a year?
      "Hardcore" players try to justify themselves saying that raiding isn't grinding, but actually it is.

      • by RogueyWon (735973) *

        The reaction of most half-way decent guilds to the late stages of WotLK and Cataclysm has been to raid less, not to carry on grinding.

        My own guild, having been a hardcore 25 man guild for most of Cataclysm, is down to a single 10-man run of Dragon Soul Heroic each week (which takes around 3 hours). Note that this isn't to grind gear - it's just to make sure there's a core team of players still "in the game" to pick things up when the next expansion comes out.

      • by ildon (413912)

        Most high end raiding guilds only "grind" long enough to finish their sets or get their mounts or whatever, and then take a break until the next expansion. Only the bad players who can't finish the dungeons "grind" the parts they can complete until Blizzard nerfs the content enough for them to finish it.

  • I'm bored, that's why I play video games.
  • Game to pass time. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nyder (754090) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @07:12AM (#41164165) Journal

    I game to pass time. It helps winds down the time till I die. One of the games I play is Everquest II. You end up doing a lot of grinding in the game. But grinding for purpose, not because it makes my mind numb. I grind to level up toons, for a quest, or probably to get a rare item to drop. But grind because I think that is what life is about? No.

    Life is the grind. Does it make sense? No. Do you always get rewarded? No. Is it going to change? No. So is it so weird that we grind in a game for rewards? No, I don't think so.

    And who is to judge why people play games? Does it really matter? The games are for escape, we all find our own way to escape reality. So what if someone is making up for whatever from their day job in a game? As long as they aren't being abusive towards others, I think whatever they want to do is fine.

    The article? Stupid. I'm not even sure what the problem is. Apparently, if we play games where we do good, and in real life we are doing bad, the video games are bad for us. Because we are trying to get over are real life failures online.

    Here's my take. Dude is a gamer that is hitting middle age. He's think back on all his wasted time in life and what he's missed out on, and want to blame it on video games. yes, another person blaming Real Life on video games.

  • This article should be required reading for kids today. This is an issue I find myself wrestling with from time to time. I spent two years [ideonexus.com] wasting time in Star Trek Online with the purpose of wasting that time. It was a pretty game and I decided this was where I was going to grind away in thoughtless leveling-up--and it was brainless, repetative nonsense. I basically voluntarily put myself in a Skinner Box [wikipedia.org], holding down the "fire" button while runing around for hundreds of hours in order to get that little

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      I wont play skyrim, I remember the months wasted on Oblivion and the other rehashes called fallout 3 and it's expansion pack new vegas. Slyrim is nothing but a grindfest, In fact it's no different than Oblivion right down to the massive bugs you find everywhere. yes I tried it and have several friends sucked into that time waster.

      If they had a better storyline path that was actually HARD and required though to solve puzzles and tactics for battle other than ,stab,stab,stab,fireball,stab,stab,stab... I

      • by Carewolf (581105)

        Slyrim is nothing but a grindfest,

        Huh? You can grind in Oblivion and Skyrim, but what would be the point? The biggest flaw in both games is that all challenges are scaled to your level, so you never need to improve before battling anything or to start specific quests like you do in MMOs. In some ways this is good, in other ways, it makes getting better equipment and leveling up completely pointless, which makes both games unique among RPG by having completely pointless and thereby non-addictive, and non-int

  • "....it's quite possible to play video games in a way that's detrimental."

    Say it ain't so!!1!1!!1
  • I definitely don't look on grinding as an aspect of gaming that has no real world analog. While the implementation varies from game to game, it can almost always be looked upon as akin to saving up for what you want, which definitely has real world parallels - especially if you equate things like optional side missions to volunteering for overtime and so on. Sure, you can 'grind' at a job for 10 years and still be laid off, to use the example given in the article, but you will still have been earning duri
  • by Zibodiz (2160038) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @07:38AM (#41164299)

    Are you playing games because you're having fun, or because you have an unconfronted fear of failure?

    Umm that's why I don't play games. Nothing says 'failure' like getting killed repeatedly in quick succession.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's interesting to contrast articles like this one to the findings of people like Lynda Sharpe.

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2011/05/17/so-you-think-you-know-why-animals-play/

  • I play mostly FPS games, and I get sheer enjoyment after a long day at work of blowing the heads off of the "enemy" Lately I have been getting extra joy out of doing it creatively.. Like falling off of a building directly behind the guy and shotgunning his legs off.

    It's very stress relieving and calming.....

  • by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @07:45AM (#41164357)

    Slow news day, it seems, both at IGN and Slashdot.

    Gaming can be a fun past time, but if abused, it'll consume your life, much like drug or alcohol abuse.

    Nothing to see here.

    • An editorial at IGN discusses healthy (and unhealthy) ways to play football. The author says that while football is a perfectly legitimate hobby, it needs to be approached with moderation and an understanding of what you get out of playing. Without understanding your motivations and compulsions, it's quite possible to play football in a way that's detrimental

      Sports, especially modern ones, revolve around the principle that if you put the time in, you will be rewarded. Many sportsmen claim to not understand

      • Didn't want to interfere with my above post by adding thoughts to the end of it.

        I've seen so many examples of superstar sports people being complete asses. It's so prevalent that it makes its way into almost EVERY american movie and/or TV show. you have the Jocks who bully the nerds. So many sports people have this hugely inflated ego, and you hear so many stories that they only did it to get their parents attention/affection or approval. So many of the mega stars were forced into it at a young age and know

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @08:07AM (#41164513)

    Are you grinding out a [paycheck] in [employment] because you're truly enjoying the experience, or are you doing it to replace missing feelings of self-worth that you don't want to confront? Do you revel in your [monetary] successes to avoid the uncomfortable internal dialogue regarding of your abandoned [other factor]? Are you [working] because you're having fun, or because you have an unconfronted fear of failure?

  • If someone really was using games to gain a sense of self-worth I don't think they want some smart-ass article diagnosing their problem. It's not even posing a solution. It just exposes people to a problem they might have and then leaves them in the cold.
    "Hey J. Random Gamer. Are you gaming to to hide from your own short comings? If you are, then that sucks for you. Avoiding social situations with games is a BAD thing. I bet you never thought of that, now did you? You should really get control of your life,

  • I have a paycheck, a house to live in that is paid for, and no debt. I may not have a wife and kids but that isn't as big of a deal really since I'm surviving. I think my gaming is just fine.
  • Are you playing games because you're having fun, or because you have an unconfronted fear of failure?

    I play games because I fear death. I realize every time I play that's what I'm doing. For that short period, in the game, I am not an aging, fragile, cowardly creature balanced on a ledge surrounded by darkness, but for that short time, I am immortal, eternal. For that moment, my life has a shadow of meaning.

    I also play because I'm hoping to see Bayonetta's camel toe.

  • I found that the thing that kept me investing time into two types of games (fps and mmorpg) was the camaraderie of my clan and guild (respectively.) I was absolutely substituting my lack of friends in the real world with faceless avatars of the digital. When I came to this realization about 7 years ago, I almost completely quit playing games except for the occasional single player campaign. Since I've cut back, my life has blossomed in countless ways, I have a stable career, a girlfriend I always have ti
  • You have to have a reason to play games? And it has to be the right reason?

    Damn. All those wasted years, doing it wrong...

  • by Bigbutt (65939) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @09:31AM (#41165519) Homepage Journal

    I'm actually learning how to play guitar and bass guitar by "playing" Rocksmith. I took lessons for about 18 months to get a foundation and have now played almost 300 arrangements, some as many as 40 times to really learn it (most under 10 though). I find there are actually rewards when playing :)

    [John]

  • The tag at the end of TFA says "Justin... thinks a lot about the role video games play in his life & in modern culture." I might suggest Justin read more, and think less. That does seem to be the issue with nearly all armchair philosophists. In this case, he might be well served by "The Grasshopper" by Bernard Suits. Then he might realize that most of what he just thought, and wrote and published, is bullshit, and things are much more complex. Then he can go back to thinking, but hopefully about some o
  • Last night in DDO I lit myself on fire with blue fire, turned into wraith mode, and floated around throwing banked pumpkin head grenades at unsuspecting players in the main area, calling myself the ghost of Halloween past. It caused some lols. :-P So I think I'm good.
  • I game for these so I'm able to exercise my brain on a regular basis. Sports competitions are a test of discipline, pain tolerance, and genetics, but don't require as much mental effort as do computer gaming and its predecessors like chess. Gaming is the opposite. Its the mental fulfillment I need to be happy, considering I unfortunately can't get that kind of mental exercise at work. Whether you challenge yourself through your career, your education, or your entertainment shouldn't matter as long as yo

  • The things that people pin on "fear of failure" really crack me up. Some people are better at some things than others, and running with your areas of expertise while eschewing others seems perfectly reasonable.

    And then so much of life is a roll of the bones anyway... Why aren't you playing the lottery? It must be your fear of failure...

  • I am currently halfway through Secret of Mana
    It's quite relaxing to play through taking advantage of game mechanics to avoid unessential or boring grinding and enjoy the game play

  • I started playing WoW a number of years ago, and at first, actually did have a lot of fun leveling, seeing all the sights and everything. But I quickly realized that the real fun was at endgame, and when I got there, I wasn't proven wrong. Raiding -was- a lot of fun. And every so often I'd decide I had some time to blow, and level another alt, which I also for the most part enjoyed.

    Then I noticed that they felt compelled periodically to introduce boring grindy crap even at levelcap, if you wanted to raid op

  • There is nothing that I hate more than grinding, repetitive work towards a virtual goal that is ultimately meaningless. Maybe if I got paid $50 for finishing the game I'd be more motivated. I feel the same way about jigsaw puzzles, a company prints a nice glossy photo and cuts it into 500 pieces, and I'm supposed to feel fulfilled by putting it back together? It's a complete waste of time to me.

    To me games are about strategy, living vicariously, and the journey/experience. Nothing embodies that more tha

  • Next question?
  • Who would stop Caesar troops from taking New Vegas, if not for me?

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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