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Happiness = Reality - Expectations

LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,638Member Uncommon

 

This could very well apply to why many MMO gamers feel many MMOs today suck.

http://www.waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are-unhappy.html

 

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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Comments

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,693Member Uncommon

    As a FB friend pointed out when that article was linked, the "formula" is a bit wonky but has a grain of truth behind it.

    Mostly I feel happiness is largely a matter of attitude.  And a big part of having the right attitude for happiness revolves around having an accurate perception of how the world has worked in the past, which carries forward to accurate expectations of how the world will work in the future.  So I suppose I don't exactly disagree with the "formula", but it's a little awkward to discuss it the way it's presented.

    Attitude is tied to success too.

    About 13 years ago, I got my start in the games industry by tagging along with a friend who interviewed for a testing position at Nintendo.  Both of us got the job.

    While there, I took the job seriously and acted professionally (despite Nintendo's testing dept being something of a joke at that time.)  My friend did not, and had a loudly disappointed attitude.  He's one of two people I've known, in all my time in the industry, who has probably played as many or more games than I have, but instead of working with the system his attitude of entitlement made him (and those around him) miserable, which resulted in his being laid off.

    Fast forward 13 years and I have extensive experience in the industry as a professional game designer, while he took a break to go to college and now makes Facebook posts about how frustrated he is that he can't break back into the industry or get a weakly-presented Kickstarter game backed by anyone.  It was a difference in attitude which caused us to end up on these entirely separate paths in our lives.

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    Reasonable, but I would just point out that it's possible to *imagine* a world of rainbows and unicorns without *expecting* it.

  • tillerodertilleroder Walnut Creek, CAPosts: 12Member
    What's wonky about the formula? It says that if your expectations are less than reality, you will have positive happiness. If your expectations are more than reality, you will be disappointed (unhappy).
  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,638Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Axehilt

    As a FB friend pointed out when that article was linked, the "formula" is a bit wonky but has a grain of truth behind it.

    Mostly I feel happiness is largely a matter of attitude.  And a big part of having the right attitude for happiness revolves around having an accurate perception of how the world has worked in the past, which carries forward to accurate expectations of how the world will work in the future.  So I suppose I don't exactly disagree with the "formula", but it's a little awkward to discuss it the way it's presented.

    Attitude is tied to success too.

    About 13 years ago, I got my start in the games industry by tagging along with a friend who interviewed for a testing position at Nintendo.  Both of us got the job.

    While there, I took the job seriously and acted professionally (despite Nintendo's testing dept being something of a joke at that time.)  My friend did not, and had a loudly disappointed attitude.  He's one of two people I've known, in all my time in the industry, who has probably played as many or more games than I have, but instead of working with the system his attitude of entitlement made him (and those around him) miserable, which resulted in his being laid off.

    Fast forward 13 years and I have extensive experience in the industry as a professional game designer, while he took a break to go to college and now makes Facebook posts about how frustrated he is that he can't break back into the industry or get a weakly-presented Kickstarter game backed by anyone.  It was a difference in attitude which caused us to end up on these entirely separate paths in our lives.

    I'd have to agree with your take on that. Attitude does play a lot into it. 

    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

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Having lived on both sides of the coin, I've noticed that it's very easy to fall into a trap of rationalizing one's own successes and judging the failure of others.
  • MorrokMorrok MunichPosts: 130Member

    That high expectations which aren't met by a result results in at least disappointment is a no-brainer and appliesfor basically everything.

    That's why "managing expectations" is so important, especially in a professional life.
    Can't really afford to have a customer's expectations run wild.
    But unfortunately, that's not only done but actually fostered by the gaming industry,
    it's what causes these hypes.

    The thing imo is that expectations are set not only by past experiences and "accurate perceptions which carriy forward to accurate expectations", but also by a customer's imagination "of what should or could be" and then the developer's announcements on "how special they are" or "how different they do everything" which stimulate that imagination portion even more.

  • Kevyne-ShandrisKevyne-Shandris Hephzibah, GAPosts: 1,946Member

    Hype = high expectations = devs can't deliver = players feel cheated = bye bye.

     

    Never hype a game. Start slow and build a following with polishing the game for the long haul. So new players can see/feel that the game is but fast food thrown out to "get rich quick".

  • FrostveinFrostvein Monogahilla, NJPosts: 157Member

    I see this (and stuff like this) tossed around the SWTOR forums a ton. There seems to be a trend now and days that whenever a game releases in a shoddy state, it does poorly because "people have unrealistic expectations" or "are entitled"

     

    Do some people have unreasonably high expectations? Sure. Is that number vastly overinflated? Absolutely.

     

     

     

     

     

  • ArclanArclan Chicago, ILPosts: 1,494Member Uncommon

    Lok, kudos for linking an interesting article with some intellectual value. Highlighting a couple quotes:


    "According to this definition, most people are not special—otherwise "special" wouldn't mean anything"


    "They often feel entitled to a level of respect and rewards that aren’t in line with their actual ability and effort levels..."

    Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
    In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit

  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    This could very well apply to why many MMO gamers feel many MMOs today suck.

    http://www.waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are-unhappy.html

    interesting article

    but the bickering in the comments was more interesting to me

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Originally posted by Arclan

    Lok, kudos for linking an interesting article with some intellectual value! I found one quote particularly interesting:


    "According to this definition, most people are not special—otherwise "special" wouldn't mean anything"

     

    You might want to think a little about the roots and meanings of the words "special" and "specialized".  Special can simply mean a role within a small group, a role that nobody in that group can perform better. 

    The idea of using the word special to apply only to world champions comes from ignoring local communities to instead focus on creating large-scale celebrities.  In the end, I believe this to be counter-productive because in the end, celebrities are irrelevent and putting them on pedistals to the point of diminishing the people around you just means that there's less holding your local community together.

    So I would actually flip the table on the quip and say "a person who is not special is just a commodity, almost worthless to society, so a functional community needs to make sure everyone can find a way to be special/specialized".  I feel this applies to both games and to reality.

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member

    While I agree in principle, what happens when a player has zero expectations? Does that automatically mean ultimate happiness?

    - 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

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,452Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Axehilt

     

    Mostly I feel happiness is largely a matter of attitude.  And a big part of having the right attitude for happiness revolves around having an accurate perception of how the world has worked in the past, which carries forward to accurate expectations of how the world will work in the future. 

    I very much agree with this.

    there was a time in my life that I was an "unhappy" person. One day I realized that my perception of my life and the world and how I thought I should be doing things just didn't work as I wasn't getting the results I wanted.

    So I adjusted my expectations, changed my perception, accepted things I felt I couldn't realistically change, and now I have a great life, little to no stress and am very happy with where I am.

    I don't know about any formula but I do know that shifting expectations, on both yourself and others is a step in the right direction as far as I'm concerned.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,638Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by AlBQuirky

    While I agree in principle, what happens when a player has zero expectations? Does that automatically mean ultimate happiness?

    No, it means that the reality of the experience is the sum of it. It will be liked or disliked entirely on its own merits.

    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

  • Darknessguy64Darknessguy64 Darkness, CAPosts: 233Member
    Maybe this is why I am able to fully enjoy a game like D3. I didn't have any expectations going in other than believing it will be a polished game. And it delivered.
  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,977Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by AlBQuirky

    While I agree in principle, what happens when a player has zero expectations? Does that automatically mean ultimate happiness?

    No, it means that the reality of the experience is the sum of it. It will be liked or disliked entirely on its own merits.

    But are expectations always a positive value?  I mean a person can have either positive or negative expectations about a new game. (or anything really)

    A person could have negative expectations regarding a new title, and when it meets them by being largely a bad game they could end up wildly happy about it since they got exactly what they were hoping for.

    In fact, these forums seem to be full of people who behave exactly this way.

     

    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

  • Kevyne-ShandrisKevyne-Shandris Hephzibah, GAPosts: 1,946Member


    Originally posted by Axehilt As a FB friend pointed out when that article was linked, the "formula" is a bit wonky but has a grain of truth behind it. Mostly I feel happiness is largely a matter of attitude.  And a big part of having the right attitude for happiness revolves around having an accurate perception of how the world has worked in the past, which carries forward to accurate expectations of how the world will work in the future.  So I suppose I don't exactly disagree with the "formula", but it's a little awkward to discuss it the way it's presented. Attitude is tied to success too. About 13 years ago, I got my start in the games industry by tagging along with a friend who interviewed for a testing position at Nintendo.  Both of us got the job. While there, I took the job seriously and acted professionally (despite Nintendo's testing dept being something of a joke at that time.)  My friend did not, and had a loudly disappointed attitude.  He's one of two people I've known, in all my time in the industry, who has probably played as many or more games than I have, but instead of working with the system his attitude of entitlement made him (and those around him) miserable, which resulted in his being laid off. Fast forward 13 years and I have extensive experience in the industry as a professional game designer, while he took a break to go to college and now makes Facebook posts about how frustrated he is that he can't break back into the industry or get a weakly-presented Kickstarter game backed by anyone.  It was a difference in attitude which caused us to end up on these entirely separate paths in our lives.
     

    This shows that you can work in a corporate environment. It doesn't show you're a Michelangelo or da Vinci -- which is the wonky part of gaming -- conforming is more important than new ideas and self-promotion is more important than actually fixing problems.


    Innovation doesn't come from the cube rented by EA or Activision-Blizzard, it can come from that genius who maybe still living in his car, even.


    Creativity in corporations isn't so much as fixing the problems to make gaming enjoyable, but about meeting deadlines -- and more importantly -- dividends.


    I have a perfect example from another industry too: a think tank group got together thinking of ways to streamline their business and save money also. They modeled it after one of their nationally known products, right down to it's name and purpose. The workers were required to work longer hours; get certifications beyond what they ever did before; and their the products they used were severely rationed to control costs.


    What did I learn from all that? My state has their own branch of the FDA, especially when the FDA, state FDA and health authorities raided their plant. Which caused all of the corporation plants to be also investigated and nationwide product recalls issued.


    The corporation saved some money to the point of losing millions of dollars of down and cleanup time, and families losing a paycheck as plants were shut down to test. That nifty program to save money round up costing the plant much more -- ***all that could've been prevented anyway, if management listened to those very workers in the first place.***


    That program was never mentioned again. But was the company happy that it was found early and people saved from a terrible death? Nope. They went on a witch hunt trying to find who "ratted" to the FDA, especially middle managers looking after their own backside as some were given walking papers.


    Does that sound like EA and Activision-Blizzard?

  • OzivoisOzivois Phoenix, AZPosts: 598Member
    Originally posted by tilleroder
    What's wonky about the formula? It says that if your expectations are less than reality, you will have positive happiness. If your expectations are more than reality, you will be disappointed (unhappy).

    It's wonky because to achieve happiness, Reality = Expectations. In this formula, that would equal zero happiness. It is wonky.

    How about

     

    Happiness = 2 ^ (Reality - Expectation)

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,693Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by UNATCOII

    Does that sound like EA and Activision-Blizzard?

    It really doesn't, at least not from what friends who've worked at those places indicate, and what I can infer based on the end products of both companies.

    I mean especially with Blizzard you can tell their unwavering goal is fun gameplay, which is why they've developed such a rock-solid, non-stop track record of smash hits.  That track record creates so much player loyalty that even their weaker offerings (like Warcraft 3 and Diablo 3) are still smash hits (and admittedly even these "failed" games are far more fun than the alternative experiences at the time.)

    Without that underlying goal, Blizzard would've never got where it is today.

    It's harder to defend EA the same way, but they're certainly not at all similar to the situation you're describing.

    If anything it's Rockstar which is closest, and only in terms of the "shitty working conditions with bad management and witch hunts" aspects of your example.

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,638Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kyleran
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by AlBQuirky

    While I agree in principle, what happens when a player has zero expectations? Does that automatically mean ultimate happiness?

    No, it means that the reality of the experience is the sum of it. It will be liked or disliked entirely on its own merits.

    But are expectations always a positive value?  I mean a person can have either positive or negative expectations about a new game. (or anything really)

    A person could have negative expectations regarding a new title, and when it meets them by being largely a bad game they could end up wildly happy about it since they got exactly what they were hoping for.

    In fact, these forums seem to be full of people who behave exactly this way.

    I'm not getting where you are going with that. If you expect it to be garbage and it isn't, then reality was greater than expectation. Thus, WIN. 

    I think you're trying to apply this to expectations of the jaded, schadenfreudean malcontents who are looking for failure in a title. I wouldn't dare try to apply any logic to their outlook on things. I was referring to the MMO gamers, actually, and their expectations as to what the game delivers not expectation of success or 'fail'.

     

    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

  • crack_foxcrack_fox WellingtonPosts: 402Member

    I'm not sure that 'expectation' is the right word - I would have said 'hope'. Certainly, conflating hope and expectation is a reliable recipe for disappointment. I might hope that a game will be one thing and I might fear that it might be another, but my expectations are formed from a mixture of information and experience. Therefore, the difference between reality and expectation is usually negligible. 

     

    I read another article recently that I think is more pertinent. The basic premise was that our happiness was closely related to our ability to "embrace" change. Nothing particularly new about that. We all know what happens when the cheese is relocated. But as someone who doesn't readily embrace change (I'd rather kick it in the nuts, steal its car keys and run over its children), I can certainly see the relevance. Change happens regardless of whether you like it or not, one simply has to learn to adapt and get the best out of it. Or else move on. It's a matter of attitude, as someone already said. 

     

     

     

     

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member

    Happiness begins when you give up Fatalism. But gamer culture rarely expresses any other doctrine.

    I guess it's closer to Defeatism.

    "Doom".

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • FinalFikusFinalFikus Chicago, ILPosts: 906Member

    So tell us what to expect?

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    "If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  • NovusodNovusod Lakewood, NJPosts: 892Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Kyleran

    But are expectations always a positive value?  I mean a person can have either positive or negative expectations about a new game. (or anything really)

    A person could have negative expectations regarding a new title, and when it meets them by being largely a bad game they could end up wildly happy about it since they got exactly what they were hoping for.

    In fact, these forums seem to be full of people who behave exactly this way.

    I'm not getting where you are going with that. If you expect it to be garbage and it isn't, then reality was greater than expectation. Thus, WIN. 

    I think you're trying to apply this to expectations of the jaded, schadenfreudean malcontents who are looking for failure in a title. I wouldn't dare try to apply any logic to their outlook on things. I was referring to the MMO gamers, actually, and their expectations as to what the game delivers not expectation of success or 'fail'.

    You were referring to MMO gamers but lots of MMO gamers ARE schadenfreude malcontents. Just look at all the circular PvP vs PvE arguments, to Free 2 Play vs Subscription arguments, SWTOR haters, TERA haters, haters of every other game. The schadenfreude runs deep here. Not the mention all the cynics here who just hate every game in the genre.

     

    Happiness only equals reality minus expectations to a very limited extent. There is a whole flip side of the coin where if you go in expecting crap you are going to get crap. If you expect something decent you will get decent stuff. It is only people who expect a pie in the sky that end up disappointed.

     

    The real saying is make your own reality. There is always a silver lining to every cloud but if you blind yourself to it you will never see it. The people seeking mediocrity just so they aren't disappointed are being defeatist. For every shut door there is usually an open window somewhere. Some good can usually be found in even the worst games but it takes an open mind to realize it. The defeatist route where people set expectations so low they can't fail is a crazy and depressing way to go through life. Being an optimist is the only to get any enjoyment out of anything. Hope springs eternal the old saying goes.

     

  • PelagatoPelagato PRPosts: 643Member

    I just had one of the biggest laughs of my life!

    Is this the new publishers and developers 'lulzflux' science theory of why their games suck? Blame the playerbase! They are a bunch of spoiled brats. Our games are perfect, the people is the problem here...

    Give me a break!! Companies need to stop producing the same cookie cutting games, pushing inferior games compared to their previous predecessor. 

    Sometimes I wonder if having more and more games is worth something.

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