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  1. #1
    Obscure Node
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    Are games worth the investment put in them?

    Yes, i know it's the logical culmination of what been bandied about by RPS commenters recently. Yes, the username could do with some work, and it's a goal rather then a statement, and to be honest, i like books. Regardless, it troubles me. This site and it's readership are very much for everything that's good in gaming, and avidly working against it's bad points. They help small companies gain deserved attention and business, and have helped to raise the game or at least... well, pointed it out when it's clonking construction workers on it's way down. Gaming is something that''s not going to die, and neither should it, and it can, has and will achieve great things.

    I read this site marveling at an industry where when one of my friends says maybe he's grow out of games and i retort that he'll come back with the rest when VR hits, we can laugh and have more then a little uncertainty as to whether I'll end up being right. I look at the announcements of new and drool worthy games like the Witcher 3, whatever obsidian's doing by all accounts, and star citizen. I know that i likely wont buy them though, or only after extensive rationalization when there on a preposterously cheap sale. Billions are sunk into this industry, and on a site which discusses current events in gaming, apple's and others prohibitive outlook on such, closed markets and much else, i struggle to yes, justify the 40 quid i spent on Arkham City, or even to a lesser extent the ridiculously cheap bundles i snapped up. Do games, especially games as they are now, or even in their ideal form, need this much time and resources, irrespective of how much i want to venture into new worlds? Aren't their better ways of doing it, of sating our need for rest and relaxation and creativity without neglecting the rest?

    I know that the market for bigger and better is not going anywhere soon. I know it's symptomatic of a much wider and pervasive way of doing things, which need to be addressed before a considerable impact can be made, but with the platform that games have, perhaps we could make a start.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    Is fun worth the time investment ?

    What your friend is really saying is that he cares more about social pressure than his own fun. It's similar to how you're perceived as immature if, as a grown man, you dress in shorts and t-shirt. There's no logical, factual explanation for this, it's just looked down upon for cultural reasons.
    Video gaming carries no stigma in Asia, and no one raises an eyebrow when he sees a grandma at an arcade machine.

    As to the claim that games are shallow or dumb, yes, many games are. As far as proportions go, games have become more expensive to make and simpler. Tell me what games you play and I'll tell you who you are. There are tons of shallow books as well. Go into a library and you'll see several bookshelves of uniform, pink books.
    Last edited by b0rsuk; 19-02-2013 at 08:30 AM.
    pass

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Voon's Avatar
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    Why not? I video games are entertainment for you, I don't see what's wrong with that. I mean, heck an audiophile would buy a huge sound system for thousands of bucks just to hear his/her collection of songs better than with just a measly Walkman and that guy would still say it's good investment, although not many would agree and see that as just a waste of money.
    Art blog here.

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  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node Velko's Avatar
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    Are movies worth it? Is music worth it?

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus jnx's Avatar
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    Worth and value are very subjective things. I for one find myself sometimes spending too much time entertaining myself (playing). Too much here means that I don't spend enough time with other aspirations that I personally value higher than fun. Fun is fun though, and games produce that with very little work whereas these other aspirations are like work. Sometimes I have problems striking a balance between fun and other hobbies.
    Twitter! Occasional impressions on random sim games.

  6. #6
    Network Hub KauhuK's Avatar
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    Is life worth living?

  7. #7
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    Yes, they are worth the investment if you like them more than doing other things. No, they are not worth the investment if you don't like them more than doing other things. If you like them more than doing other things, they are extremely cost-effective entertainment.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Aww man, you didn't use the word 'posit' or end with 'Discuss?'

    How can we have a discussion now?
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus somini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KauhuK View Post
    Is life worth living?
    Not if there are no games to play...
    Steam(shots), Imgur, Bak'laag, why do you forsake me?

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    Yes, they are worth the investment if you like them more than doing other things. No, they are not worth the investment if you don't like them more than doing other things. If you like them more than doing other things, they are extremely cost-effective entertainment.
    I'm not sure liking things more than other things makes it worthwhile, to me. I mean wanking, loads of fun but it doesn't really give you a sense of achievement.

    I often find myself derailed from things I consider more fulfilling hobbies (the littering of my flat with half written essays, half drawn pictures and half written computer programs) by video games. As they're an easier form of entertainment. But this is true of trashy novels, TV, lots of music and many films. So meh!

    Basically I'm suggesting that enjoyment isn't necessarily the be all and end all. Personally I get an uneasy sense of dread about how I'm a programmer in the industry, I mean I could probably get a job programming educational software to improve schools or hospitals or something else with a social impact I consider more fulfilling.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    I'd say about 85% of my gaming time in the last year has been taken up by DotA 2 and The Binding of Isaac, games I paid a total of about $5 for. Games that occupy my hands and eyes while I soak up a good podcast.

  12. #12
    Lesser Hivemind Node Fanbuoy's Avatar
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    It's hard to say whether games are worth the investment, as quality varies so heavily. Some games are utterly brilliant, while others are distilled crap. Then there's the huge chunk of average games.

    The amount of time required to properly evaluate a game is a factor as well. I rarely leave the cinema thinking that I've just wasted two hours of my life, but many games leave me with that feeling. Some games, chiefly decent-but-not-good RPGs, require quite many hours of play before I discard them (I'm very cautious about trying new RPGs because of this).

    If I don't really enjoy the game, it isn't worth the time I spend on it. The same applies if the game is okay, but too long. If the net value of my time spent is negative, it is inherently not worth the money spent either. I really wish developers would make shorter games with more distilled enjoyment. Quality over quantity and all that. Am I expecting this to happen? No.

    Following this argument, I should probably quit gaming. The truth is that most of my time in games feels more like passing time than enjoying it. Few games are genuinely enjoyable to me. However, the games that really get me make the whole thing worth it.

  13. #13
    Activated Node lithander's Avatar
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    Zephro... that's creepy. I just pretty much wanted to write exactly the same post. O_o

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    I'm not sure liking things more than other things makes it worthwhile, to me. I mean wanking, loads of fun but it doesn't really give you a sense of achievement.

    I often find myself derailed from things I consider more fulfilling hobbies (the littering of my flat with half written essays, half drawn pictures and half written computer programs) by video games. As they're an easier form of entertainment. But this is true of trashy novels, TV, lots of music and many films. So meh!

    Basically I'm suggesting that enjoyment isn't necessarily the be all and end all. Personally I get an uneasy sense of dread about how I'm a programmer in the industry, I mean I could probably get a job programming educational software to improve schools or hospitals or something else with a social impact I consider more fulfilling.
    If you like doing things you consider "fulfilling" more than doing things you consider not "fulfilling", then you should do the things you consider "fulfilling". If you like doing things you consider not "fulfilling" more than things you consider "fulfilling", then you should do the things you consider not "fulfilling". And probably change your thoughts about what is "fulfilling".

    If it's more a matter of liking some things but realizing other things are better for your life in the long run, that's quite normal and reasonable and you just have to find a decent balance and not spend every waking hour wanking. But the occasional wank never hurt anyone, and can even be considered worthwhile if it makes life better for you for a while.
    Last edited by NathanH; 19-02-2013 at 12:32 PM.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    If you like doing things you consider not "fulfilling" more than things you consider "fulfilling", then you should do the things you consider not "fulfilling". And probably change your thoughts about what is "fulfilling".
    Nah I don't think you should. My point which is somewhat lost here is that words like worthwhile, fulfilling, enjoyable and liking aren't all equivalent and can't just be swapped for one another. Which is what that seems to suggest. For instance the afor mentioned wanking, by the logic above if that's what you enjoy most redefine the word fulfilment to mean "have a wank".

  16. #16
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    I never suggested enjoyable should be swapped for anything. I never used the word. Presumably "fulfilling" is a subset of "liking", in that it's more what you get out of it that you like rather than the act of doing it. But still, in the end you have to like being fulfilled, or you wouldn't do it. I question a value system that always has things that are "fulfilling" valued higher than things that are not. I think that's dangerous.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    I question a value system of basing it around things you like rather than things that are good for you. I think that's dangerous. :P It must be some built in Scottish Presbyterian thing.

    For instance I like smoking, hell I love smoking, but it's not good for me and I shouldn't be doing it. I'm not suggesting gaming is comparable, just expressing my own doubts that I feel I waste time on them I could be spending on something better.

    Also there's liking in the short term and liking in the long term, which is something human's are rarely capable of reasoning about. Also for the semantics I don't think fulfilling is a subset of liking, I fucking hate exercise but it is fulfilling.

    Anyway this is just quibbles.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus pakoito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabrage View Post
    I'd say about 85% of my gaming time in the last year has been taken up by DotA 2
    Just last year? It's my 5th already. The only time I'm not playing is when I am stuck with my crapbook, which was good part of 2011 and half 2012.

  19. #19
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    I'd say that in principle I like things that are good for me. Of course, some things that are good for me in the long term are bad for me in the short term, and vice versa, and so in those cases I have to estimate which one I'm going to like more and have some self-control.

    Why do you do exercise if you hate it? It's because the conclusion of the exercise leaves you in a better situation than the start. Most people like being in better situations than they used to be, so I'd say that you like being fitter. The exercise itself is like some sort of obstacle that you just have to overcome to get there. It's like work. I hate going to work, but I really like going to work in exchange for money. I'd rather just be given the money, but nobody seems to want to do that.

    Fundamentally, "is X worth doing" is far too personal a question for anyone else to answer. I'm suspicious of this sort of thing, because usually there is an underlying assumption that some things are canonically worthwhile, but typically "canonically" just means "generally accepted by society/the culture you are in/aspire to".
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    I wasn't for a moment saying that it's not worth doing for other people. Nor do I think the "canonically is equivalent to generally accepted" part holds.

    It's fine saying wanting to attain a goal justifies doing something you don't enjoy, (i prefer the word enjoy or entertain and is what I originally used.). But this is fairly obvious and pretty sure is what I was saying originally...

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