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  1. #41
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    I remember the boring scanning mini-game in Mass Effect 2


    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    and how the Mass Effect 3 solution was not to eliminate scanning but to remove everything about it that made it even remotely game-like to produce a less wearying but ultimately even more pointless mechanic.
    ME3 added a failure state. That actually makes it more game-like.
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  2. #42
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post

    ME3 added a failure state. That actually makes it more game-like.
    It did? Do you mean the reapers? Because I meant the planet scanning itself. The thing with the reapers and having to run away was mildly interesting, but it was more frustrating than interesting.

    In ME2, you land on a planet. To collect resources for upgrades you had to do that tedious find-the-peak thing. If there was a mission, you had to roll your mouse around the planet until you found the dot and then send a probe. In ME3 ... there's just the second part.

    Now they did add a level higher then that where you fly around the little solar system pinging planets and dodging reapers. I felt it was still more tedious than interesting and the way alertness of the reapers was figured never really seemed to make a lot of sense because they were easy enough to avoid that you never had to care too much about it. But why not just have that higher level planet ping part? Why force me to scrub around on the planet to find a dot when there's an arrow telling me exactly where to find the dot? There was no failure state on that lower level, but they still forced you to go through the paces.

    But you're right. They made it more of a game with the higher-level system scanning thing. But they kept the least game-y, most silly part of the lower-level system.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 30-08-2013 at 02:33 AM.
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  3. #43
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    There was no failure state on that lower level, but they still forced you to go through the paces.
    90% of the mooks you face in any third person shooter don't have a snowball's chance in hell of causing you lasting harm but you mow through them just the same. So?

    Shit, I've spent the last week and a half playing a game that's so disproportionately biased towards my own power fantasies that I don't hardly even register the deaths of individuals amid the gross, wholesale carnage my presence entails. Is it a game? Who the fuck cares?
    Last edited by Nalano; 30-08-2013 at 02:59 AM.
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  4. #44
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    90% of the mooks you face in any third person shooter don't have a snowball's chance in hell of causing you lasting harm but you mow through them just the same. So?

    Shit, I've spent the last week and a half playing a game that's so disproportionately biased towards my own power fantasies that I don't hardly even register the deaths of individuals amid the gross, wholesale carnage my presence entails. Is it a game? Who the fuck cares?
    Er ... I guess I find wiggling the mouse closer to a dot for between 2 and 30 seconds inherently more boring than shooting mooks in your typical shooter? Also in a decent shooter they typically provide some sort of obstacle en masse and when they don't it's typically presented in a way that's exciting and interesting and when neither is true it's typically considered shit.

    So I care.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 30-08-2013 at 03:25 AM.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  5. #45
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zetetic View Post
    The neuroscience is almost a distraction from the psychology - it's surely worthwhile having a greater awareness of the various approaches that game companies certainly believe will help they make money of you, regardless of the witterings about underlying neurochemistry.
    Do we really care, though? If somebody is having fun throwing down money for a new hat and it's not affecting their life, do we really need to intervene?

    WoW for example seems like having a 2nd job to me, but for others they find it rewarding even if it is a lot of work. I don't know if we need to rally against things like that until it becomes a health issue. All of this stuff is very interesting but hardly a call for action.
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  6. #46
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Do we really care, though? If somebody is having fun throwing down money for a new hat and it's not affecting their life, do we really need to intervene?
    Yeah, I mean, it's not like it's a 16 ounce soda or a clove cigarette or a joint. Those will result in the destruction of mankind, so it's a good thing we have our guns to save us from them.
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  7. #47
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Do we really care, though? If somebody is having fun throwing down money for a new hat and it's not affecting their life, do we really need to intervene?

    WoW for example seems like having a 2nd job to me, but for others they find it rewarding even if it is a lot of work. I don't know if we need to rally against things like that until it becomes a health issue. All of this stuff is very interesting but hardly a call for action.
    I'm most interested in what these game elements are intended to do and whether the designers are fully aware [of player] attitudes [towards them]. I can be difficult to asses harm in this context so I look instead at effectiveness. In my example, what were the designers of the planet scanning mini-games in Mass Effect 2 and 3 hoping to accomplish? What design problem were they trying to solve and would the game be negatively impacted without them?

    My suspicion is that quite often compulsive gameplay elements get into games because someone things it would be cool for a specific reason but that once it's implemented ... the compulsive nature of it makes it less of an editing priority whether or not it's really effective. Especially with (as someone put it earlier) "gating" of content. Once you've gotten past the reapers and scanned the sector, what compelling reason is there for yet another gate (one with no failure state, even) to be placed between you and the objective? It doesn't compel you to read the planet's backstory becasue it's hard to do both at once and forcing you to just click a "land" button on the planet menu would have confronted you with the planet menu as well.

    In a game like Diablo, however, while the choice between two particular swords might not be very mechanically compelling, it forms a part of an overall rhythm of play. It provides a breathing space, provides a feeling of ownership and customization, and is not conceptually jarring within the game-space. It may be more compulsive than explicitly fun for a lot of players, but it isn't dead weight.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 30-08-2013 at 04:48 AM.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Do we really care, though? If somebody is having fun throwing down money for a new hat and it's not affecting their life, do we really need to intervene?

    WoW for example seems like having a 2nd job to me, but for others they find it rewarding even if it is a lot of work. I don't know if we need to rally against things like that until it becomes a health issue. All of this stuff is very interesting but hardly a call for action.
    The point is that in many cases people are compelled but not having fun.

  9. #49
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoLAoS View Post
    The point is that in many cases people are compelled but not having fun.
    I don't even know if I buy games solely to have fun. "Compelling" is not an altogether dirty word, after all.

    Of course, certain games do come around that basically say "what the fuck were you thinking? This is what fun is; don't you remember fun?" but Volition is special in that regard.
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  10. #50
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    I don't even know if I buy games solely to have fun. "Compelling" is not an altogether dirty word, after all.

    Of course, certain games do come around that basically say "what the fuck were you thinking? This is what fun is; don't you remember fun?" but Volition is special in that regard.
    Sometimes it's nice to just be compelled along. It's like a roller-coaster for your mind and fingers.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  11. #51
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoLAoS View Post
    The point is that in many cases people are compelled but not having fun.
    What is fun? Why is it a crime for something not to be fun? What's wrong with being compelling? Maybe something being compelling is what makes it fun? Take my most hated genre of 'art-games' - none of these are really fun but they are compelling for some people, does that make them bad?

    (They are bad but not for that reason.)


    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    I'm most interested in what these game elements are intended to do and whether the designers are fully aware attitudes.
    Oh it's all very interesting but it doesn't necessarily have to be some big warning or carry a practical implementation for gamers.
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  12. #52
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Oh it's all very interesting but it doesn't necessarily have to be some big warning or carry a practical implementation for gamers.
    I wouldn't go in for warning labels, no. I think content creators have a responsibility to understand their products as fully as possible, harmful or not. It is an artistic responsibility when not also a practical one. But sure, behavioral "addiction" is a behavioral concern not a consumer safety concern.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Do we really care, though? If somebody is having fun throwing down money for a new hat and it's not affecting their life, do we really need to intervene?
    I don't think that really follows from what I said.

    I think part of what I was getting at is that we sometimes we can catch ourselves doing things 'for fun' that we aren't really finding fun at all. If there's any 'intervention' I'm suggesting about that, it's discussing the issue - which I think isn't always easy, despite the fact that our folk psychology just about carries the necessary distinctions in motivation without having to appeal to 'THE DREADFUL DISEASE OF ADDICTION' and all that this entails.

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    Well, I say we can cope with these different motivations in our folk psychology and then...
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    I don't even know if I buy games solely to have fun. "Compelling" is not an altogether dirty word, after all.
    arathain first used 'compelling' in this thread as an alternative to 'compulsive', which confuses matters a bit (since at the very least they're clearly cognate). I'm not sure it's a good choice here, as clearly you and soldant have adopted 'compelling' to mean something that compulses you (as I was using 'compulsive'). So - a bit messy.

    Perhaps it's not as easy to divide these things as I thought, but I do think we're making it harder than we need to.
    Rather oversimplifying things, I tend to think of it as being the difference between playing a game because I've been conditioned to keep hitting 'NEXT TURN' and because I have reasons to keep hitting 'NEXT TURN' (which might be 'fun' but might cover a range of other reasoned motivations).

    It's complicated because certainly I probably enjoyed the process that constituted operant conditioning - I did like watching the buckets fill up and the special advisors tell me what a good boy I was - and it's plausible that I enjoyed for quite a while acting on that conditioning. The points remains, for me, that I can find myself continuing to play - out of having settled into a habit, out of the remains of that conditioning but now largely free of affect - beyond that.
    Last edited by Zetetic; 30-08-2013 at 06:47 AM.

  15. #55
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    @soldant:
    I actually thought you were gonna slip a BDSM porn link after that line of thought.
    Last edited by tadada; 30-08-2013 at 07:55 AM.

  16. #56
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tadada View Post
    @soldant:
    I actually thought you were gonna slip a BDSM porn link after that line of thought.
    I suppose I could if you really want one...
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.
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  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    I suppose I could if you really want one...
    Yes, yes,
    The link to that scene with a nasty publisher fisting his hand up till the elbow into a player's wallet, player who dangles into some weird bondage he can't escape until he screams the safety word: uninstall, or shift-delete.

    After that the player is recorded, on film or forums, sporting a fake grin saying it's ok for him to be compeelled into things he doesn't really like, and here continue reading your post,

    "What is fun? Why is it a crime for something not to be fun? What's wrong with being compelling? Maybe something being compelling is what makes it fun? Take my most hated genre of 'art-games' - none of these are really fun but they are compelling for some people, does that make them bad?

    (They are bad but not for that reason.)"

    Who has been a noughty player lately ?


  18. #58
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zetetic View Post
    arathain first used 'compelling' in this thread as an alternative to 'compulsive', which confuses matters a bit (since at the very least they're clearly cognate). I'm not sure it's a good choice here, as clearly you and soldant have adopted 'compelling' to mean something that compulses you (as I was using 'compulsive'). So - a bit messy.
    No, Soldant and I used "compelling" in a manner to which to describe something that compels us.

    Compulsory gaming is still different. Soldant's example of compelling gaming, even if he doesn't agree with the specifics, would be art games. A good example of compulsory gaming is the inclusion of RPG-style progression on FPSs.

    Not that it matters, the point yet remains: Of all the addictions of the world, this is one of the most benign, the occasional dead Korean kid in some internet cafe notwithstanding.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  19. #59
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tadada View Post
    Yes, yes,
    Okay well if-

    Quote Originally Posted by tadada View Post
    The link to that scene with a nasty publisher fisting his hand up till the elbow into a player's wallet
    Um, wait...

    Quote Originally Posted by tadada View Post
    After that the player is recorded, on film or forums, sporting a fake grin saying it's ok for him to be compeelled into things he doesn't really like, and here continue reading your post
    Erm, uh...

    Quote Originally Posted by tadada View Post
    Who has been a noughty player lately ?

    Okay, I'm out.



    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Soldant's example of compelling gaming, even if he doesn't agree with the specifics, would be art games.
    *Twitches slightly*
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.
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  20. #60
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    That's easy. There should be mandatory basic psychology course in high school or somesuch. Just like goddamn sexual education. Our genitalia and our brains are the most powerful elements in our lives - not learning their basic mechanics is stupid and criminal.

    My education in psychology is strictly amateurish - a few university courses now and then - but whenever I read even the most basic psychology books I was thinking "boy, if the general population _understood_ a quarter of that, the society would be much much less stupid". Alas.

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