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What is "fun" exactly?

BiskopBiskop AvalonPosts: 709Member

The word "fun" keeps coming up in discussions on this site, often without any clear definition but used in a way that indicates that the poster's own definition of the word is universal.

It seems to me it's mostly avid themepark and MOBA fans - advocates of action-based gameplay - who use the F-word when they try to promote lobby-based, linear co-op games, as opposed to virtual worlds and sandbox MMOs.

In these posters' opinion, the former games offer more fast "fun" than the latter, but the definition of the word "fun" always seems to be taken for granted. It's almost like there's this universal law saying that combat-related gameplay is always more "fun" than community building, exploration, character development and metagames, and that anything not related to combat is tedious, boring, and a waste of time.

This is really interesting, because all games are essentially a waste of time, are they not? They are all played as an escape from real life. But they offer different escape routes, and what's to say that only one of these escape route are to be considered "fun" and valuable? Does the fact that the mass market caters to short attention spans and unceasing blood lust mean that players who prefer something else than constant combat and the "epic heroism in an over-the-top fantasy world" theme are objectively wrong and should alter their tastes?

 

 

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Comments

  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,481Member Uncommon
    There is a book called the theory of fun.  Check it out
  • RefMinorRefMinor MyTownPosts: 3,452Member
    Originally posted by Biskop

    The word "fun" keeps coming up in discussions on this site, often without any clear definition but used in a way that indicates that the poster's own definition of the word is universal.

    It seems to me it's mostly avid themepark and MOBA fans - advocates of action-based gameplay - who use the F-word when they try to promote lobby-based, linear co-op games, as opposed to virtual worlds and sandbox MMOs.

    In these posters' opinion, the former games offer more fast "fun" than the latter, but the definition of the word "fun" always seems to be taken for granted. It's almost like there's this universal law saying that combat-related gameplay is always more "fun" than community building, exploration, character development and metagames, and that anything not related to combat is tedious, boring, and a waste of time.

    This is really interesting, because all games are essentially a waste of time, are they not? They are all played as an escape from real life. But they offer different escape routes, and what's to say that only one of these escape route are to be considered "fun" and valuable? Does the fact that the mass market caters to short attention spans and unceasing blood lust mean that players who prefer something else than constant combat and the "epic heroism in an over-the-top fantasy world" theme are objectively wrong and should alter their tastes?

     

    It's generally used by posters who do not really like mmorpgs and would be better off in one of the other mmo genres.

  • jpnzjpnz SydneyPosts: 3,529Member
    Some people find theme parks fun and some don't. Guess who the majority is?

    Gdemami -
    Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  • MMORPGRIPMMORPGRIP Canton, OHPosts: 90Member

    WAY too broad to define...as everyone has there own definition of fun...especially when it comes to things found in a MMORPG.

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member
    I don't think we've ever had a topic about sandbox vrs theampark before.
  • ScalplessScalpless SnowballvillePosts: 1,396Member Uncommon

    I'm pretty sure people mean

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fun

    when they talk about "fun".

  • BiskopBiskop AvalonPosts: 709Member
    Originally posted by DamonVile
    I don't think we've ever had a topic about sandbox vrs theampark before.

    This thread is not about that. It's about the concept of fun and why there often seems to be no need to define it when talking about MMOs.

    Some people claim that certain activities are objectively not "fun" (because they personally dislike them and/or because "the majority" dislike them) and that said activities therefore are superfluous in an MMO despite the fact that others obviously enjoy them.

    I'd just like to know why one concept of fun should be considered universal and rule them all. Is it because the masses prefer it?

  • GorweGorwe Ald'RuhnPosts: 2,476Member Uncommon
    I'll try to be poetic. :)

    Fun is:

    When the time slips by like it's skidding on Ice
    When you just want to keep moving on
    And that awesome feeling when someone lets you all the power don
    When the action is so intense that you lose every sense of pace.

    When the story gets so intense
    As to make you shout "oh damn!"
    When betrays you the fellow man
    And you say when you finish "oh what a great sense!"

    :)
  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 20,008Member Uncommon
    Well, you did sort of hit the nail on the head when you said because the masses prefer it.

    At the end of the day developers tend to focus on activities that they feel will appeal to the largest audience, because in general that leads to greater profits.

    There are some Devs who will focus on a feature set with more limited appeal, such as CCP with EVE, but in general most major titles will be designed around features that are favored by the larger audience.

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member

    QUICK! Make another post, Biskop! You are sitting at 666!

    Fun is very personal, defined by each individual, but I agree that many posters seem to think their idea of fun is universal, backed by large numbers of game players that agree.

    I happen to be of the mindset that numbers do not dictate to me what *I* happen to describe as "fun."

    Fun is also hard to pin down with words. It is a feeling and feelings often lose out when trying to translate them into words. What may be fun in one game may not be another. A player's mood also affects how they define fun at times.

    This is such a broad topic...

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR

  • allendale5allendale5 kansas city, MOPosts: 124Member
    I don't really see how you can separate real life from playing games.  Playing games is part of our real lives, as much a part as anything else.  Our realities are just our own individual perceptions, all taking place inside of our minds.  What is real life?  Our job or our family or our pet or mowing the grass?  Seeing the stars or bird crap on a car window?  As long as time is passing and we are participating in any MMO, it is real life.  In terms of what is real, there is no difference between playing a game and attending a class, except for our perceived image of what society deems important.  Fun is the same, it is dependent on how each person perceives it and therefore is as subjective as an opinion or a favorite color; it is unique to each person based on their experiences and genetic makeup.
  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,464Member Uncommon

    I can sum it up very easily.

    If you look forward to playing your character which is what ROLE PLAY gaming is suppose to be about,then it is fun.

    You should never mention the word GRIND,if you do the game is obviously not fun.If you think ONLY one aspect of a game is fun,then i have no idea why you would call that GAME fun,when it only offers limited satisfaction.

    The keywords are Role Playing.

    For many people the challenge is a large part of the fun factor.This is not relevant to gaming alone,it is everywhere in life,example kids/adults/women/men all play sports for fun.When you play sports you play to win,so it is most definitely about challenge.I mean seriously anyone could lose if they didn't care,why bother if you just want to stand there and lose?

    There is a complicated aspect and that would fall under the topic of friendship.I don't feel like getting  into that however,that is along the topic of personal needs ,not to be confused with gaming fun.

     

     


    Samoan Diamond

  • AdokasAdokas KristiansandPosts: 217Member

    Fun can never be a universal term as everyone is their own individual. What some find boring, others find awesome fun, and so on.

    To me, fun is when I can't wait to log into whatever game I'm playing, and once I've done so, time simply slips away. I like to see my character progress, although not at the rate most MMOs offer nowadays. I find it fun when I know that my character has a long road ahead of him/her, and that I have to "work" for those skills/riches, whatever it is you set your goal as. Last time I had this feeling was when I played vanilla WoW, and before that, an old game called the Myth of Soma ^^ I felt there was plenty of character progression there, and lots to work towards to, that you wouldn't be done with in a month or so. On that note, I suppose I do tolerate grinding a bit, and find it fun, but it's because of the goal I set. Anyway, it was merely to point out that fun is subjective, and comes down to the individual person ^^

  • JemcrystalJemcrystal Champaign, ILPosts: 1,558Member Uncommon
    I think the idea of mmo's is that we all agreed to find this thing game fun and do the fun game thing together.  And it was a step up from making mud pies.

  • CaldrinCaldrin CwmbranPosts: 4,533Member Uncommon
    @op every ones idea of fun is different..
  • SulaaSulaa nPosts: 1,151Member Common

    There is no universal 'fun'.   It's subjective.   Regardless of what some posters on this forum are trying to push. 

    Some of activities deemed as 'unfun' time-sinks are fun for me and some of things that are deemed  'fun' loudly by some people are 'unfun' for me.

  • GorweGorwe Ald'RuhnPosts: 2,476Member Uncommon
    I deem my poem post factually 100% correct.

    Anyone else agree?

    ;)
  • TheHavokTheHavok San Jose, CAPosts: 2,398Member Uncommon
    Are we seriously at the point where people are questioning the definition of 'fun'?  This is so ridiculous.  FFS, no wonder why people ignore the vocal minority on this site.
  • DeivosDeivos Mountain View, CAPosts: 1,813Member Uncommon

    More often than not I think it's what game play elements they consider hallmark to their entertainment. Which aspects they most often come across and the style with which the interact with the game.

     

    In the case of a lot of MMOs this tends to mean combat, because that's usually the aspect given the strongest focus in a game. The means by which a vast majority of problems will be solved and quests will be done.

     

    As consequence, activities that are seen to support that aspect are seen as 'fun' since they are furthering that primary goal. Activities that fall further away from contributing to that goal are considered to be increasingly less fun.

     

    This hinges a lot of the perceived entertainment value consequently on a pretty small set of objectives. With the way most games are built, there really isn't often many alternative goals to achieve or means to achieve them with.

     

    You do get other kinds of games, like A Tale in the Desert, where the core focus of the game play is on economy, trade, and craft instead of combat, and that creates a very different perception of what contributes to the fun to be found on the game.

     

    Similarly, EVE is arguably a title that pulled some focus off combat to build a large economic simulator. Combat in a sense actually takes on a major supporting role, a means to an end instead of the central mechanic that drives many players in that game. It's still huge, but it is driven by the players intention to achieve in their economic, corporation, and personal goals rather than simply for the sake of combat.

    Though there are more than likely still players that play EVE just to putt about in a ship and blast away at others, it's just that EVE is not a game that supports that endeavor on it's own.

     

    If you want to consider a game that introduced a way to approach the core game play through many varied elements, promoting a more tailored ability to have 'fun' you can look too at the original Deus Ex title and how even as an FPS it's skill system gave the player the ability to treat the game as variable, deriving fun from choosing your own path to completing the goal rather than having to follow a specific game play mechanic, and how that influenced people's perception of the title.

    "The knowledge of the theory of logic has no tendency whatever to make men good reasoners."
    - Thomas B. Macaulay

  • ScalplessScalpless SnowballvillePosts: 1,396Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by TheHavok
    Are we seriously at the point where people are questioning the definition of 'fun'?  This is so ridiculous.  FFS, no wonder why people ignore the vocal minority on this site.

    But without topics like this, people couldn't bash the dirty masses of uncivilized themeparker plebs and their "short attention spans and unceasing blood lust"! Clearly, the definition of "fun" those uh... "people" use is inferior to the brilliant, smarter definition the sandbox master race uses.

    Luckily, topic isn't about sandbox vs. themepark, because TC only spent half of his original post comparing the two.

  • CalerxesCalerxes LondonPosts: 1,630Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Biskop

    The word "fun" keeps coming up in discussions on this site, often without any clear definition but used in a way that indicates that the poster's own definition of the word is universal.

    It seems to me it's mostly avid themepark and MOBA fans - advocates of action-based gameplay - who use the F-word when they try to promote lobby-based, linear co-op games, as opposed to virtual worlds and sandbox MMOs.

    In these posters' opinion, the former games offer more fast "fun" than the latter, but the definition of the word "fun" always seems to be taken for granted. It's almost like there's this universal law saying that combat-related gameplay is always more "fun" than community building, exploration, character development and metagames, and that anything not related to combat is tedious, boring, and a waste of time.

    This is really interesting, because all games are essentially a waste of time, are they not? They are all played as an escape from real life. But they offer different escape routes, and what's to say that only one of these escape route are to be considered "fun" and valuable? Does the fact that the mass market caters to short attention spans and unceasing blood lust mean that players who prefer something else than constant combat and the "epic heroism in an over-the-top fantasy world" theme are objectively wrong and should alter their tastes?

     

     

     

    Well this thread is definitely not fun image. I'll add some brevity to jolly it up.

    THIS IS FUN!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAbkuMclgGE

    This doom and gloom thread was brought to you by Chin Up™ the new ultra high caffeine soft drink for gamers who just need that boost of happiness after a long forum session.

  • AdokasAdokas KristiansandPosts: 217Member
    Originally posted by Calerxes
    Originally posted by Biskop

    The word "fun" keeps coming up in discussions on this site, often without any clear definition but used in a way that indicates that the poster's own definition of the word is universal.

    It seems to me it's mostly avid themepark and MOBA fans - advocates of action-based gameplay - who use the F-word when they try to promote lobby-based, linear co-op games, as opposed to virtual worlds and sandbox MMOs.

    In these posters' opinion, the former games offer more fast "fun" than the latter, but the definition of the word "fun" always seems to be taken for granted. It's almost like there's this universal law saying that combat-related gameplay is always more "fun" than community building, exploration, character development and metagames, and that anything not related to combat is tedious, boring, and a waste of time.

    This is really interesting, because all games are essentially a waste of time, are they not? They are all played as an escape from real life. But they offer different escape routes, and what's to say that only one of these escape route are to be considered "fun" and valuable? Does the fact that the mass market caters to short attention spans and unceasing blood lust mean that players who prefer something else than constant combat and the "epic heroism in an over-the-top fantasy world" theme are objectively wrong and should alter their tastes?

     

     

     

    Well this thread is definitely not fun image. I'll add some brevity to jolly it up.

    THIS IS FUN!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAbkuMclgGE

    Win :D

  • RavingRabbidRavingRabbid Virginia beach, VAPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon

    The word "fun" is subjective depending on the individual what he or she likes. It is not any different than sports, hobbies, fashion, foods etc. Just because i find something fun doesnt mean you do. I enjoy and having fun playing a round of Golf...others wont.

    Game companies develope and release a game. You have the have the option of playing any game because you find it fun or enjoyable or not. There are some self defined "experts" or "elitests" (some on this site unfortunately) who wiil will tell you you aren't allowed to have "fun" or like the game  a game because "they" find it lacking or simply dont like it. PFFT.

    Personally I dont give a rats buttcheeks about what another person likes/dislikes or what they define as fun. I work for a living and will pay a sub fee or buy cash shop items because I support a game that I have fun and enjoy playing. You find Darkfall fun?..go for it. You find SWTOR fun...go for it etc etc.

     

     

    All my opinions are just that..opinions. If you like my opinions..coolness.If you dont like my opinion....I really dont care.
    Playing: SWTOR, ESO, WOT, and Marvel Heroes

  • MadimorgaMadimorga Atlanta, GAPosts: 1,892Member Uncommon

    I can define fun in an MMO by what it isn't.  The first time I conceived the desire to do something and was told how to get the gear I needed to do it I bumped up against unfun.  It involved a very long and repetitive grind.  I was not pleased and I was not having fun.  I had fun when I finally got the gear and did what I wanted to do, but grinding for that gear was awful and you better believe I griped my head off while doing it.  

     

    Also the first long drawn out quest I ever had to do.  Not fun.  Also looking for team in a chat box or with a garbage group finder.  Definitely not fun.

     

    And then there was WoW with the heroic grind.  Fun at first, then very not fun.  So I rolled alts, then I got bored with alting and quit, partly because of another activity I discovered in the course of alt leveling:  getting stomped by premades.  Definitely not fun! 

     

    Usually when I solo I can avoid unfun activities because I just gear to please myself and never grind dungeons for shinies.  Of course that means no PvP for me anymore because there is no point in trying to PvP with substandard gear.

     

    So now I know to move on to the next MMO as soon as someone tells me the game gets fun at level cap or that pvp is great after you get geared or it's fun when you join a big guild and get shiny raid gear or it is only fun if you play with others.  No no no and definitely no.  

    image

    I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals.

    ~Albert Einstein

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,675Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Biskop
    Originally posted by DamonVile
    I don't think we've ever had a topic about sandbox vrs theampark before.

    This thread is not about that. It's about the concept of fun and why there often seems to be no need to define it when talking about MMOs.

    Some people claim that certain activities are objectively not "fun" (because they personally dislike them and/or because "the majority" dislike them) and that said activities therefore are superfluous in an MMO despite the fact that others obviously enjoy them.

    I'd just like to know why one concept of fun should be considered universal and rule them all. Is it because the masses prefer it?

    Can you link to the posts in question? Most people I see define why they feel something is or isn't fun in their post, so I'm curious what you're reading that led you to create this post.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

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