Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"play 4 fun" people can't have fun

The "i play for fun" is the favorite statement of bad players. It seems perfect in multiple ways. At first it's a conversion stopper: you can't argue with it. If I say licking windows and tilting my head left to right for an hour is huge fun for me, you can't tell it's not. You can tell at best that it's not fun for you, then I pull the "people have different priorities" joker and won. Secondly since we are people sitting front of a computer, the one who has fun definitely won over the one who didn't as the game items and achievements are worthless by definition. So the claim that I had fun and you didn't, imply that I am right and you are wrong.

People at this point use to come up with the "but your sucking is not fun for the rest of the raid", however it's a wrong argument. At first why should I care for your fun, secondly you should also "chill" and "have fun" instead of being an "elitist dick".

Finally I found the logical error in the "i play 4 fun and the srs players are loosers" statement: It implies that there are two ways, the fun (which is not serious) and the serious (which is not fun). They must be different as a "fun and serious" way would obviously chosen by everyone. The whole "i play 4 fun" can only make sense if there is a "not fun" way.

Why is this a trap? Because if we accept that the "fun" and the "serious" ways are exclusive, we must come to the conclusion that someone is either a sad no-fun person or a homeless bum in real life. After all real life is not a game, actions have consequences, so you either live seriously (without fun) or fun (as a drunk, junkie, hobo).

The "i play 4 fun" and "dun be srs ina game lol" people actually confess that they don't have fun in real life. They are slaving on the weekdays in the hope that they will have fun at the evenings and weekends.

It’s Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday
Gettin’ down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Lookin’ forward to the weekend

This is how these creatures live their life, just as Rebecca Black sung in her internet viral "Friday" (Warning: watching this video can cause permanent brain damage). It was ridiculed by all critics, yet was a huge popular success, exactly because those who write critics are people who work seriously while the plebs has lot of "fun people" who felt Rebecca is singing about their life.

The whole "no lifer" term came from their basic experience, the distinction between "serious" and "fun". They believe that we can't loosen up even in a game, so we surely have no fun in our lives. The truth, that we simply find the "serious" way "fun" by deriving our fun from winning, is unbelievable for them. They can't believe that I can have fun defending Lumber Mill all match while I watch the scores going up and literally looking down on the bridge fighters.

If you hear someone talking about "fun activities" or "going out to have fun" or "doing something the fun way", you see someone who don't have fun most of the time, who experience his real life as a series of chores and slaving that can be spiced up by having fun sometimes.

The "play to win" attitude is part of the "live to succeed" attitude. When I see a project going well under my hands, see a new machinery starting to work that I designed, I have fun in real life. "Success is fun" is the underlying attitude of the "play to win" people and since we seek the optimal way everywhere, we have success, therefore fun.

If I had to give a criteria of a happy man, it would be: "one who enjoys Monday just as much as Saturday". I'm writing this post on Monday. I'm writing a blog post, a hobby of mine on Monday. You are reading a blog post on Tuesday. Where are the "fun ppl"? Are they having fun now somewhere or flipping burgers/studying something they hate?


Anonymous said...

Interesting thing that if you are in a good guild with good people (aka progress raid) you spend LESS time in the game (overall) than the fun people. At first, sure you will spend more time while you learn the encounters (1-2 weeks) but at the end you clear the whole place in less than half time investment than the fun people. Interesting. Fun people may still banging their head into the second boss in a new raid, while you spent a week to learn them well, THAT took time, but now you spend 1 hour overal/week where they spend STILL 4 hours/raid night and they don't progress.
Also fun people doesn't count the "standing in sw and chatting" as time spent with game. They count it as socialization. This is interesting again... Last time when someone brought up this fun vs. progress topic it was found out that they spend almost twice much time in the game (from typing the password to quit the game) than I with "serious" raiding. The sad thing is now I can't sit down at 20:00 to start raid (got family), so I had to quit, and I refuse to go in a "social" guild to suck for hours and hours FOR NOTHING (the point is: for nothing), so I am on a parking place with raiding.

Andru said...

I wouldn't call "Friday" a popular success, no more than I would call lolcat pictures a work of modern art.

Viral videos have less to do with popularity, and more to do with memetics.

Saying that "Friday" has a huge popular success because it's singing about the concept of 'having fun' over the weekend is being ignorant of the internet at best, and deliberately delivering a strawman argument at worst.

Otherwise, if you grant "Friday" the distinction of being popular, you must also grant the same distinction to Rick Astley (rickrolling) and Edward Khil (trolololo guy) and CATS ("All your base are belong to us" guy).

"Friday" says more about the structure of the internet in particular and information theory in general than it does about 'weekend fun'.

I don't argue with your point, it is valid, but it would be much more valid when it wouldn't be leaning on a rather shakey strawman argument.

Twinstar said...

Good Post. I have fun by winning also. Researching my role and practicing it to get better are fun for me. The research and practice are not fun for some and hence they find fun in other aspects of the game, things that don't require them to not have fun. It's just a different way of playing for them.

I will not pug, definitely not fun. Even if you get a good group and face-roll the LFR... where is the fun? it's just boring. PvP has nearly ruined WoW, it's the most un-fun thing in the game for me. Raiding is fun, 2 or 3 manning current tier 5 mans is fun. Trying to clear a current tier raid where no one had prior knowledge of the fights, no research of the strategies and no Journal would be extremely fun.

Writing this post made me realize why I cancelled mt SWTOR subscription. I didn't really know why I was getting bored with it before reaching max level. Now I realize there has been no challenge, everything is easy to do on the first try. There is no thinking required after lvl 20 and you have a good rotation, just mash buttons until the bad guy is dead. To me, that's not fun.

Riptor said...

i heared if you play SWOTR as if it was a single Player game, you'll get a good 25-30 hours out of it. Which is on par with most other games these days...

@ first Anon: I couldn't agree more. Also if you tell a "fun" player that your guild will now have a break from raiding for a month, or that you personally will not be online for another three weeks after that they con not understand that.

Azuriel said...

What a ridiculously convoluted argument.

While it is true that the "i play 4 fun" card is often used as a defense mechanism in response to criticism, it is also a rather apt rebuke to unsolicited advice. Clearly the yelling party is not having fun, which brings up the question of why they are willingly putting themselves into no-fun situations in their leisure time.

The truly sad thing, Gevlon, is that your argument is that you only have fun when you succeed.

Should anyone really be looking down on people who can find amusement even in their moments of failure? People who cherish the journey as much as (or more than) the destination? Success is always fun, by definition; it is the achievement of your desires. Is the person capable of deriving enjoyment from both outcomes truly the deficient one?

Gevlon said...

@Azuriel: yes, we should look down on people who can have fun when failing, simply because failure is much easier than victory. So the "fun person" will not be motivated to make effort to win (as failure is just as fun), so he'll fail.

He is a failure.

Anonymous said...

You have to play for fun.
Winning can be your fun.

Let's assume this:
doing AH gives you 2k/hour
soloing old raids gives you 1k/hour

You get bored after 1 hour of AH. But you don't mind doing old raid for 4 hours. I'd say fun does have a value.

Anonymous said...

Let's go over the arguments, but first a Disclaimer:

For me it's fun to prepare, read up and improve, and I wish everyone would do. But I think the way Gevlon argue in favor of this style of play is flawed / useless. In my opinion it's the major problem of posts right now: I support the ideas but I think the way you get to the conclusion can't be supported at all.

About the current Blog:

Assumptions: I assume playing seriously/play to win requires preparation and reading before playing the game itself.

As we can't prove it either way, one can either assume they have fun at "reallive work" or not.

If they don't have fun there, the argument of gevlon holds, as even if we assume they have fun playing, they have less fun than someone having fun at work.
This holds independent of how they achive their fun when playing. This might hold true for a "serious player" aswell as for someone of the "play 4 fun" crowd.
The article didn't claim this direction but it's added for the sake of completeness

The other way round (the article way):

Let's pick up the often used football analogy:
After working someone plays football. At some point it's rather obvious, that they would improve a lot more, when reading up, doing pyhsical training or the likes. Still, most of these people prefer to simply keep playing. They "play 4 fun" not "serious".
Following Gevlons arguments, this means they don'T enjoy their job.
This assumption contradicts the observation that football teams exist even with "high level people" that enjoy their work (actually, most people in the team wil be colleagues from work in that case).

So where is the Flaw in the agumentation?:
Serious play requires additional step, preparations.
If someone doesn'T enjoy these preparations, and can have fun without them, then it's obvious, that he can get more fun by not doing them.

On a side note: where I see the more intresting problem where these "play 4 fun" people contradict themselves is this:

1. People in the "play 4 fun" crowd diminish the fun of the people around them, to maximise their own fun. This is a behavior that can actually be motivated by many posts in this blog, as it is asocial.

2. Many of these people want to impress their "peeps", thus want Gear, progression, sparkling mounts ...
This is highly social (or almost the definition of it).

Anyone just claiming to play for fun and doing it, is asocial and can't really be "caught in a net" like this.
However: as soon as they start caring for their peers, they start contradicting themselves.

Anonymous said...

To every "I play for fun player"

In a solo-game, nobody cares about my fun, or your fun.

In a multiplayer onlinegame, nobody cares about my fun, or your fun if we play it solo.

But if you play in a group you have to follow the rules of this group.

And if you like to loose, or want to see the content and do nothing for it (play like a marone), then go and play with yourself or watch a video of the content.

But "Stop bugging me!" in a raid or a battleground with your sucking playstyle of "I want to have my fun".

Egoistic bullshit to play in a team and act like that!!!

Anonymous said...

Azuriel, if 10 failer meets, they will guess: fail.
BUT failers still want reward, even if/when they fail, thatswhy they want to be near (more or less) success people. THIS is the reason why they should be looked down. Because they are clinging on people who they hate by the way, because (like they say) they have no life, the are elitsit. Yet, they are cling on them as good as they get boosted and get reward.
If they would group together and fail on morchok? God bless them, do it! But you never see a 10 man fail guild wiping happily on a boss that even trade pugs can kill, do you?

The arguing always start when different interested people meets. Success people with success people are fine. Failers with failers are fine. The problem only comes when a failer wants something from a success one. And they usually want... boost.

Anonymous said...

"What goes up, must go down."

It is impossible to always have maximized fun. The reason for this is you need a reference point. It is possible to enjoy the things you have to do in life, but this fun is relative and depends on what your reference point is. Even if you enjoy your job there are aspects you enjoy less or don't enjoy about it. Are they not fun, or less fun? It depends what you compare with.

In MMO world for one fellow it is fun wiping 4 hrs and then killing the boss. For another fellow it is more fun min-maxing for 1 hr, wiping 1 hr, and then killing the boss. For another person, the fun ends after 2 wipes. For yet another person, wiping all night and not achieving any progress whatsoever but making yo momma jokes on vent and misdirecting the warrior DPS is fun.

We have another saying which sums it up quite nice, no big story or blog post necessary:

"Winners never quit. Quitters never win. Those who never quit AND never win are losers."

Those who are having fun while achieving nothing fall in the last category. You can also take into account the amount of effort put into achieving a goal. For example, 500 wipes on Ragnaros Heroic is this worth it? Is it worth it to work your ass off to afford a Porsche? Ask your sister if your WoW subscription is worth any time or money.

Whatever floats your boat. My problem is not that he is having fun. The problem lies in the fact that he is having fun and tries to convince you that your playstyle is wrong ("why so serious?"). The proper response to him is either a short logic argument, or simply ignore. Also, if you do not have fun during your raid on a wipefest then I feel sorry for you. You should be playing the game on a level where you have fun; perhaps one where you can easily beat the encounters, the AH game, world PvP ganking, whatever. Meanwhile, I will play what I call playing to win and having fun while achieving that. It includes theorycrafting, min-maxing, making a joke inbetween a wipe, focussing during the encounter, and a lot more you find in every hardcore raiding guild.

That said, I've found a joke inbetween a wipe on difficult encounter an important aspect in the group vibe to keep going, it is the up, the break. Some people cannot handle this responsibility and become downright silly (like not able to corpserun, pull extra trash, misdirecting the warrior DPS, underperforming, failing the dance, chit chat on voice chat during fight). This has purely to do with the maturity of the group and the ability of the leadership to deal with such should it occur. It should also not influence your ability to analyse data, seeing opportunity to improve performance. The 2 are not mutually exclusive though.

spinksville said...

" There is no thinking required after lvl 20 "

There's actually about two step increases in difficulty in the game so if you were judging it on the ease of the sub level 20 game, you missed out on the better parts.

Success is fun, but not everyone finds 'success at all costs' to be fun. I like success but don't like hanging out with people who live for nothing but success since they're often rude, so I have more fun redefining success so I can avoid those people in game. (I suspect they have more fun avoiding me too.)

spinksville said...

Anonymous: "But "Stop bugging me!" in a raid or a battleground with your sucking playstyle of "I want to have my fun".

Stop queuing for random raids or bgs if you don't want to play with randoms. Make premade groups instead, you'll have more fun and it will probably be better for your bloodpressure.

But if you do queue for random groups, understand it is your own fault if you end up grouped with players who you think are bad because you chose to group with them.

Anonymous said...

I personally find it hard to categorize a lot of the things I like to do as "fun" but that's mostly because the word is almost never applied to that situation, so it doesn't feel right. As a general rule of thumb, if you can do something for hours on end and get caught up in it and lose track of time, other responsibilities, etc, then I would say it is fun for you. I can (and have) spent many days worth of "played" time on WoWhead just looking at the talent calculators and gear stats with my real life calculator on hand and trying to figure out what is really best, and get this I had a 2 year period where I didn't even play WoW and I would still occasionally come back to WoWhead and just theorize, the only explanation is that I find it fun.

Skathe said...

The thing that always bothers me about posts like this is the lack of grey areas.

Anyone who [i]truly[/i] "lives to suceed" won't be spending thier time competing in WoW - they'll be doing something where said competition is actually productive.

Since it's the winning that provides the fun, the inherent entertainment value must be less important than for the "fun ppl" (since they don't win, they are effectively in it 100% for the value of the medium itself).

WoW could have the quality of "rest time", but again, if you are just as competetive in game as out, it isn't any more restful than anything else.

So if the only way to have fun is to win, and not through the "entertainment medium" - why are you winning at something so useless?

Ray said...

but sometimes "fun" people just want less winning than "serious" people. For example, "fun" people can accept OK income while retain their spare time. But "serious" people call them lazy because they don't want to maximize their self. In WOW example, elitist people who use best gem or enchant or gear call other people who don't use them lazy despite they both still able to kill boss but with different time.

ps: sorry for bad grammar.

Anonymous said...

I play football for fun = I play to win against my friends.
Most importantly I don't cry when they don't let me play in Champions League.
I don't cry when I don't win footballer of the year award.
And if I, by some miracle, find myself in the same team with Ronaldo and Messi I know that I'm nothing but a noob compared to them.
If I thought otherwise then I would be an idiot ... which is exactly what the M&S act like in WoW

JackTheManiac said...

Reading the post and the comments...

This is quite interesting. Gevlon's theory is good, but shaky. Yet in his rebuttal against Azuriel, he has a good argument.

But reading more comments, it made me think about some things...

Perhaps the "I play 4 fun" excuse is just a canned response to people criticizing. Perhaps when someone tells you that, instead of shutting up, you should go and tell them : "I play for fun, too, but unlike you, I'm well gemmed, enchanted and don't fail, and that didn't take me much time" or/and "How can you have fun while losing?" "If you find failure fun, you're a failure".

I'm curious as to how they would reply to that.

I assume this post is slightly linked to the pet battles.

Here's how it goes:

Theorycraft your Wowkemon Team (I assume you slightly can, as they have various skills + equip slot according to MMOchamp, and will work in synergy with the two others) = Play to Win dude

Raise a Wowkemon randomly without thinking = Play4fun Mclosesatlot.

It's still a a difficult topic. I just try to avoid players who are uneffective, dumbasses or uneffective AND dumbasses.

Camo said...

"by deriving our fun from winning"


"So the "fun person" will not be motivated to make effort to win [...]"

I'm unsure if success is the only part of the definition of fun.
I think the mentioned effort plays a huge part of it, too.
Would you say that winning in your random BG massacres against braindeads is fun?
What about losing in a perfect match making system where you are pushed to your limits?

Anonymous said...

"Writing this post made me realize why I cancelled mt SWTOR subscription. I didn't really know why I was getting bored with it before reaching max level. Now I realize there has been no challenge, everything is easy to do on the first try. There is no thinking required after lvl 20 and you have a good rotation, just mash buttons until the bad guy is dead. To me, that's not fun."

Smashing buttons? Funny, that was how I played my jedi knight (got bored at level 10 though) yet as healer in SWTOR I have the exact opposite of what you describe. When soloing I need to keep all my DoTs up and use certain spells on CD. There are certain very good combinations (which you learn to exploit especially in PvP and during hard soloing). I cannot "mash random buttons." I guarantee you that if you PvPed whilst lvling you were an utter fail when you were "mashing random buttons".

Moreover, I've found it fun and challenging to heal instances 3 levels above my level. It requires a properly geared tank and DPS (not necessarily outlvling it; would make it too easy), mana breaks inbetween trash and before boss, and it requires everyone to follow the tactics of proper LoSing, interrupting, focus DPS (first boss Taral V), managing CDs, and last but not least my own performance: using proper healing spells, priority on burst, not overhealing, possibly using pot or "life tap" (noble sacrifice) + health potion. I remember wiping on Maelstrom Prison because I could not outheal the high dmg received because people were not following the tactics.

If you play with people who play to win they will want to learn, to improve. You will wipe, learn, and eventually kill boss. I've also soloed certain extra bosses, class quest above intended level, and go to areas above my intended level. Yes, I sometimes died because I fail to use proper tactic (or my companion breaks CC or stands in the fire, or use wrong companion). But I am far, far more challenged than when I have been leveling a heirloomed alt. I don't know about end game experience (PvP-wise I found various issues whilst leveling), but I found leveling in SWTOR more satisfying than leveling in WoW, LFR, or normal raid. Not more than DS heroic though.

Oh and even though I've always found the Star Wars universe rather childish and immature (especially after Return of a Jedi and The Phantom Menace) I've played with some people who behaved mature, and performed. If anything, it appears the the norm. Of course you also have /trade trolls; I mean players who I ran instances with.

PS: How can you have cancelled your subscription when the game has only been live for 1 month? I had to buy a 2 month subscription.

Anonymous said...

"i play 4 fun and the srs players are loosers" isn't a claim about the world. It's an expression of one person's attitude: "I regard serious players as losers." It's a subjective opinion and, as such, cannot be proven or refuted.

At this point, "play to win" has the following choices: 1) remove the window licker from play, 2) leave the bad company or 3) suck it up and carry the sub-par player. There is a time and a place for each of these.

Other people are free to play as they like and I am free to choose whom I play with. It's pointless to argue about how to have fun or to justify why success is satisfying.

Rodos said...

There is a theory, that I'm inclined to agree with, that gamers seek a level of challenge to complement their situation out of game. If you're finding challenge and fulfillment in everyday life then you're much more likely to play games "for fun" without care for challenge, or even success. If you find everyday life (i.e. your job, or schoolwork) to be easy and boring then you'll look for ways to challenge yourself in a game.

I think this may be why you see a lot of smart school-age people playing the more hard-core games (PvP, FPS, competitive raiding) and older business-people on the bus playing Bejeweled in "infinite" mode. In between there is a spectrum, and people can move along it even from week to week as their situation changes.

I'm happy with the addition of LFR to WoW because it helps stratify the players to mitigate the situation of your fun conflicting with my fun. The logical next step would be a PvE ladder like the PvP rating system, but that could have a serious impact on queue times.

Anonymous said...

- You aren't using voice comunication.
- You aren't using a fixed raid roaster.
- You don't require a minimum raid attendance.
- Your time spent on raiding each week is pretty low (once per week only?) besides you spending quite lot more time on WoW or computer games in general.

In terms of raiding in WoW you are NOT playing seriously. And The Pug's raid ranking shows.

So how does this fit into your "I play to win" claim?

boatorious said...

I never said super serious WoW players were bad people, or that they are losers. I said they were insane.

You are not insane for wanting to succeed. You are a "killer", Gevlon, so I expect you to be full-throttle at work and full-throttle at play.

The mystery (and your insanity) is taking your considerable drive and applying it to something as unrewarding and unremarkable as playing World of Warcraft (and then fruitlessly scolding fellow players because they don't have the same personality as you).

For example, John Carmack is a killer too. But it's not like in his spare time he's the world champion of Frogger. Picking something so insignificant and unrewarding wouldn't make sense. For fun, John Carmack runs a company that sends rockets into space. Space Rockets makes sense as a hobby for killers. Video-games/complaining-about-people-who-play-video-games does not.

Now, I'm sure you don't have space rocket money. That's fine. But people buy beautiful old houses and remodel them for fun. People climb mountains or run marathons for fun. They swim/run/bike triathlons. They build beautiful furniture for fun. People sail around the world. People even have hobbies that make them money.

But video games? Please. Next to those people, you are the laughingstock of the killer club. That's why being super serious about WoW is insane.

(To be clear, I don't think video games are a bad hobby for non-killers like myself. Everest, amateur space rockets, and all the other exciting stuff I mentioned are not typically part of the non-killer hobby equation.)

Azuriel said...

It occurs to me now that you are treating fun as a binary condition: either you are having fun, or not. And yet surely all of us recognize that fun is a continuum, that one particular activity can be more or less fun than another. Imagine a choice between a massage and sex. Either one would be preferable to nothing (but we can imagine scenarios where that might not be true!), and both can be variable amounts of fun depending on the circumstances. My problem with your argument vis-a-vis fun is precisely this lack of distinction or nuance. Anything less than sex is failure.

As I have mentioned before, sometimes I queue for BGs simply to kill other players - since there is no Endless Deathmatch mode (Arena doesn't have respawns), the bridge at Blacksmith will have to do. Labeling players as failures because they are not conforming to your definition of success (nor did they ever agree to it) is ridiculous - the easy counter-argument is that playing videogames at all is failing, and you should be doing something that actually has productive, real-world effects.

@Anon: The arguing always start when different interested people meets.

Yes, precisely. Considering every grouping interaction in WoW is on a voluntary basis, who is really to blame here? The failures who fail? Or the successful who choose to be randomly assigned to failures?

Matt said...

In the real world the "fun" excuse doesn't work. If a police officer pulls you over for speeding and asks:

"I have clocked you here on my radar gun driving at 100kmh in a 70kmh zone area."

And you reply with

"Oh I was just having fun".

It won't get you anywhere. But if you are Harvard Educated you can do this:


Truthbringer said...

Articles like these show just how much the IQ of "hardcores" WoW players dropped. The need to rebel against a "for fun" affirmation (which is used nowdays to cover up for mistakes rather then expressing an accurate emotion) and comparing that with real life situations where the normal course of action is a required success is , to respond with another meme, fake and gay.

There is a clear distinction between players in WoW. Those who think that playing non-stop and being overachievers will influence their life OUTSIDE of the game like yourself(Greedy goblin) and those who realize that the game has NO influence in the real life success.

A dedicated player is one that shows interest in the game. He/she is most likely above average at executing key commands required and knows a great deal. A fanatic believes that in-game rewards offer satisfaction that transcend the virtual world and "warm" them. Now the problem today is there are to many fanatics in WoW, people that can't live without raiding or getting thousands of achievements and they lie to themselves and others saying that they are good players when in fact they are not. Do you consider yourself good because you beat a boss on heroic? Well guess what so have other people. Do you consider yourself pro because of the gear you have? There is always someone else with better gear and even that gear becomes obsolete in the next big patch. Do you consider yourself good players? No because that would imply that you have a vast knowledge and skill regarding multiple games and genres.

The self entitled hardcore are nothing more than junkies. Their drug is WoW and their goal is to obtain satisfaction from virtual/imaginary rewards.

Spending hundreds of hours at the AH/raid boss X is a WASTE of time and effort. Gaming is a way to relax, solve puzzles and interact with others. But the sole purpose in a game is not to "feed" you gratification but relaxation.

The "play for fun" is most times used as an excuse by those who believe themselves to be pro-raiders and make mistakes yet they don't want to be told or acknowledged that.