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It's probably a little premature of me to post this right now, and while it might come across as a little incendiary, I do think it's a topic worth discussing in this forum.  Apologies in advance if things get heated in here, and standard boilerplate:  Let's try to keep this civil.  Please?
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My time in the games industry really soured me to this word.  It was trotted out as a justification and an excuse for harmful decisions, or made to serve narratives designed to undermine alternatives solutions to common problems.  All the way from top to bottom it was bludgeoned over the heads of every employee, being wielded by publishers, managers, and execs as a whip to keep dissenting voices quiet.  And even for years after Blizzard -proved- you can be monstrously successful by making something that is decidedly -not- fun, but still rake the cash in hand-over-fist with "engagement"*, "fun" was still used to silence criticism internally at every place I worked.  
 
*(I'll be honest, I don't remember if it was Blizz or someone else who started pounding that particular drum, but I digress . . . )
 
Meanwhile, the concept of "fun" is completely personal and subjective.
Each of us enjoy different things, and even enjoy otherwise similar things in different ways.  And fun is just one form of enjoyment.
And it's not like the people in charge of the places I worked weren't aware of this truth.  They just didn't like to hear it.  They'd rather wield the "Fun Hammer" for their own ends.
 
While I've been out for . . . shit, what?  Eight years?  Am I at nine yet?
While I've been out for a while now, and haven't really got the same insights in to what's going on behind closed doors, I have at least noticed the public-facing discourse to be using terms like "engagement," or "retention," or "games as service" becoming more common.  And, hey!  Credit where credit is due; those terms are a HELLUVA lot more honest than the "fun" that was constantly thrown around willy-nilly.
 
I've actually been pretty pleased with this community avoiding "The F-word" by and large in most discussions, but it still crops up from time to time.  And there seem to be some players who post in such a way as to suggest that there is:
"One True Fun"
and nothing else.
 
So, in an effort to try and dispel that myth, and encourage thoughtful examination of the game, the community, and all that we've built around ourselves here . . . I wanted to get the ball rolling on a little frank discussion about where folks draw their personal lines on things that are "fun" and "not fun," what's enjoyable, what's engaging, what keeps them around, and then ask them to consider peeling those thoughts apart, and examine them with a fine-tooth comb (if you're up for that, at least).
 
(Full disclosure:  I wanted to do some more groundwork with that research series I had started last month, but looking at my current workloads and limited free time, I think I'll just have to cut to the chase and bring this discussion up now, as-is.)

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32 minutes ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

So, in an effort to try and dispel that myth, and encourage thoughtful examination of the game, the community, and all that we've built around ourselves here . . . I wanted to get the ball rolling on a little frank discussion about where folks draw their personal lines on things that are "fun" and "not fun," what's enjoyable, what's engaging, what keeps them around, and then ask them to consider peeling those thoughts apart, and examine them with a fine-tooth comb (if you're up for that, at least).


I don't know what fun is.  I don't know what I'm supposed to feel when I'm having fun.  I can't even say that I've ever had fun, because there is no emotional dictionary I can reference to be sure.  I can read about what other people feel when they're having fun, but I don't know what that really means for me because I have difficulty understanding things of this nature.  I know what happiness is.  It took me most of my life to identify that emotion, but I do understand it now.  I know what fear is, that's something I was born with.  But fun... that still eludes me.

 

I know that things frustrate or anger me, and I know those aren't fun.  I still do them, but I'm sure I'm not having fun.  19 mph movement speed isn't fun.  Missing isn't fun.  Being defeated isn't fun.  Having to sit back and wait for a critter's god mode power to wear off so I can get the ever-loving fuck on with things... that's not fun.

 

I know that some things make me laugh.  Sending a low level critter flying with a strong KB power does that.  I don't know if it's fun, though, because I don't know whether there's a line at which point amusement becomes fun, or where that line would be.  If you're amused for 12 seconds, it's fun?  Or is there an amusement meter, like the strength of the laughter, that defines it as fun?

 

And I know that some things make me happy.  My characters makes me happy.  Having a build come together exactly as I envisioned it makes me happy.  Finding just the right costume pieces to complete a look makes me happy.  But happiness doesn't necessarily mean having fun.  I don't think many people would define reading a textbook about nuclear physics as fun, but it does make me happy.

 

I can't define fun for myself, so I don't try to define it for others.  I keep playing because making and leveling characters is easier than writing, but still allows me to express my creativity sufficiently.  I don't know if I'm having fun, but I am amused from time to time, I am happy to be playing this game again and I'm not so irritated by the annoying things that I feel a need to move on.

 

I guess that doesn't really contribute much to what you're asking about.  I'm not very good with people... not even myself.  Still trying, though.

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Argh. "Fun"  I hate that word.  I know what pleases me, what gives a bit of satisfaction as I play, but "fun"? Ish, not sure on that. I think @Luminara has expressed a lot of what I'm thinking far better that what I was about to write - not to mention doing it before me so I don't have to, that pleases me - honestly?  I'll have to have a think about this one. I'll be back later, hopefully with cake. Cake pleases me, but cake isn't "fun".  See what I mean?

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This should've been posted using the @MetaVileTerror handle @GraspingVileTerror ! I can't say what fun is for everyone else, but I can say what it is to me. That being said, nobody's fun is worse or better than anyone elses!

 

Edit: Meta, for like self-referential description of fun 😅

Edited by Glacier Peak
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1 hour ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

It's not time to go back to Meta yet.  Gonna be a couple years, before then, I expect.  Was there a particular reason you suggest that, though, @Glacier Peak?

 

Were you going to be able to tell us about your personal fun too?

Oh I guess I was referring to meta to describe what people thought as fun - so by referring to what you or others thought could be considered fun, it was meta. 

 

If you didn't understand that, don't be worried! 😁

 

I'm happy the game is back. It is a rewarding investment of my time to play - so that is fun to me. I can come back to it and it is still the same game I remembered enjoying. So its got longevity, doesn't require payment (though I do try to donate when I can!), and I can invite friends to play it fairly easily. My standards are not too high, I like to think, when it comes to fun. I suppose it involves an amalgamation of rewarding, convenient, inexpensive, and reliable 🤔

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Are "fun" and "having a good time" peers in this discussion?  Because it's been a long while since I had fun, but I "have a good time" whenever I set out to.

Edited by roleki
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Some 50ss: Burner Account (Fire/FF Ctrl) | Dr. Unconventional (Ill/Dark Ctrl) | Lawn Boy (Plant/Nat Ctrl) | Magma Lad (Fire/Kin Ctrl) | Metcalf (Grav/Kin Ctrl) | IcyBM (Ice/Trap Ctrl) | Jim With The Weather (Ice/Storm Ctrl) | Dr. Jonas (Mind/Poison Ctrl) | Coldwire (Elec/Cold Ctrl) | Pyrotoxin (Fire/Poison Ctrl) | Nature Jack (Earth/Poison Ctrl) | Voltswagen (Dark/EA Ctrl) | Time Vampire (Grav/Time Ctrl) | Tootboy (Fire/FF Ctrl) | Polarrhoid (Ice/TA Ctrl) | LoLEnEn (En/En Blast) | Draw (Rad/Rad Def) | Destroyo (Bots/Trap MM) | Con Carne (Rad/Bio Brute) | Senor Smoke (Rad/Fire Brute) | Something Else (TW/Bio Scrap) | Thermador (Rad/Fire Brute) | Electrovox (EA/Son Def) Danzigawatt (Demons/EA MM) | Costumed Adventurer (Fire/EA Ctrl) | Obscured Face Guy (Dark/Storm Ctrl) | Ohm Gott (EA/Dark Def) | Full Recharge (Fire/Storm Ctrl) Spacegrass (Fire/Nat Ctrl) Embarrassing Wetness (Water/EA Corr) Weather Permitting (Ill/Storm Ctrl) Herr Fryer (Fire/Traps Ctrl) Rainiac (Grav/Storm Ctrl) Stokes (Fire/TA Ctrl) Dismembrandt (DB/Bio Scrap) Multidudes (Ill/Traps Ctrl) Meshuggenaut (Inv/RM tank) Miss October (Fire/Dark Ctrl) Spastic Colonial (Elec/Dark Ctrl) Heroic Pyromaniac (Fire/En Blast) Gigantic Robot (TW/Fire Brute| and there's more where THAT came from

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I think blowing shit up is fun. Whenever I pop Nova off in a mob, I'm like, "haha, die get arrested, nerds."

Edited by Spaghetti Betty
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Mainly on Excelsior. Find me in game @Spaghetti Betty. Will help with any content, just ask!

 

Notable 50s: Cross Scar (StJ/WP Brute), Beatwing (Staff/SR Scrap), Twisted Samsara (Dark/Rad Scrap), Spicy Red Pepper (Fire/MA Tank), Calamity Drive (Fire/Atomic Blaster)

 

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Just a reminder:  "Fun" isn't the only metric by which I want people to discuss their play experiences.
Enjoyment.
Engagement.
Retention.
"Having a good time."
"Being happy."
Whatever you want to talk about in this vein.  However you feel while playing.  What the game does to make you feel that way.  What other people do.
Focus on the good stuff for now, please.  The kinds of things you like that keep you here.

And if you're here and you -don't- like it . . . well, now might also be a good time to reflect on that, and ask whether you're better off here or exploring other activities with your time.

But mostly I'd like this thread to be an examination of the positive attractors.

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Oh OK, then I'll post one more -

 

Relaxing is the first word that comes to my mind when I think of playing this game. I'm fairly certain (as I've managed to solo all red/blue/gold content short of hami/msr/incarnate trials) that nothing really poses a mental challenge to me to create too much cortisol in the 🧠. Now if I wanted to feel challenged, I've got avenues for that too in this game. For example, I'm currently running a deathless, street sweeping only, drops only SENTINEL (I assure you I'm not crazy 😜). It's at Level 8, I'm doing Kings Row right now, but I really want to start the first hazard zone (Perez Park). Only travel power is Hover, though I did snag Athletic Run from P2W so I could have an escape power if need be. 

 

I think that sums it up. Relaxing when I want it to be, challenging when I need it to be. 

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52 minutes ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

Just a reminder:  "Fun" isn't the only metric by which I want people to discuss their play experiences.
Enjoyment.
Engagement.
Retention.
"Having a good time."
"Being happy."
Whatever you want to talk about in this vein.  However you feel while playing.  What the game does to make you feel that way.  What other people do.
Focus on the good stuff for now, please.  The kinds of things you like that keep you here.

And if you're here and you -don't- like it . . . well, now might also be a good time to reflect on that, and ask whether you're better off here or exploring other activities with your time.

But mostly I'd like this thread to be an examination of the positive attractors.

 

I think you need to look up the meaning of a "synonym."  With your list, you're either being repetitive or really splitting hairs.

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17 minutes ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

Then let's just call it "splitting hairs," yeah?

Would you be interested in sharing your personal experiences in regard to the proposed thread topic, @Blackbird71?

 

Not really.  I play games that I find fun.  If they stop being fun, I stop playing and find other games.  End of story.

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What is "Fun" is going to be subjective to each player. First of all I'm glad to have the game back in any form, but I'm glad it's back this form. Kind of odd that we are even having these kinds of discussions when a couple years ago we didn't have anything, unless you where in the know. 

 

For me I enjoy server surfing through hami raids. Between Everlasting, Torchbearer, and Excelsior you can stay quite busy. Between raids I tend to be working on some kind of ALT project.

Dazl - Excelsior Grav/Kinetic Controller (SG - Cosmic Council) | Dazl - Everlasting & Torchbearer Grav/Energy Dominator

Shadowspawn - Excelsior Dark/Dark Stalker | Pyro Kinetic -Everlasting Fire/Kinetic Corrupter | Stormie Skies - Everlasting Storm/Electric Defender

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Watching a bunch of orange numbers fly up and mobs fall down is fun.

 

Cracking jokes and keying into the collective wit of a team is fun.

 

Getting a badge notification is fun.

 

Getting a sweet loot drop is fun.

 

Making a unique costume and character concept is the most fun.

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While running Frostfire last night with a group of 3 , including 2 new players (who prefer villains), one of them says, “Let’s slit their throats!” Reply: “We’re heroes, gentlemen. Let’s arrest their throats.”

 

That was pretty fun.

 

Later, villain side, while one of us isn running around doing Dr. Graves’s road trip around Mercy, 2 of us fart around with emotes and have a little dance party in front of the quartermaster. Random player lands next to us, dances for 16 seconds, then zooms away without a word.

 

That was fun.

 

So...sh*t like that.:-)

 

 

Edited by cranebump
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Damnit, @tidge ... Now I have an ear worm to purge. Too early in the day for that!

 

On topic, fun is that thing going on when I'm not angry and the pursuit of fun is often utilized to get rid of anger.

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Ah yes the "F" discussion.  How many "design" sessions devolve into shouting matches because of this word?  I know I've been party to probably dozens.  Hell I even got a poor grade during a game design class because the professor refused to acknowledge that the game concept my group came up with was going to be "fun".  So to say this is subjective is putting it mildly.

 

What is "F" for me?  Well, that's pretty simple really.  It is an activity that I do work to achieve.  In the animal behavior spaces that is how they measure an animal's enjoyment of a reward.  I work all day so I can boot up a current favorite and run around doing stuff with friends.  That "stuff" is all sorts but really this game is just a facility to hanging out with a dozen or so friends and chatting about whatever strikes our mood at the time.  Rarely does it have anything to do with what we are actually doing in game.

 

Granted that is more of a general philosophy that doesn't address this game specifically but honestly this game specifically hasn't been "F" in years.  The only reason I look forward to signing in is because my friends still do and I do enjoy interacting with them in the context of this game.

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Fun is just another way of saying "enjoyable".   I play games as a mode of recreation because I enjoy playing games (i.e. because it is "fun").

 

Fun isn't a dirty word, in and of itself.  I think you've hit upon the real problem here, though, and that is when people say that MY definition of "fun" is the correct one and anyone that disagrees is simply wrong, stupid, crazy, weird (insert whatever adjective here).

 

Anyone who plays this game regularly, thinks it is "fun".  The things that we find fun about that game may vary, though, and we will probably all disagree, to a greater or lesser extent, about those elements of the game that detract from that fun, or what elements might be adjusted or added to make it more fun.

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16 hours ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

I've actually been pretty pleased with this community avoiding "The F-word" by and large in most discussions, but it still crops up from time to time.  And there seem to be some players who post in such a way as to suggest that there is:
"One True Fun"
and nothing else.

 

16 hours ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

And even for years after Blizzard -proved- you can be monstrously successful by making something that is decidedly -not- fun, but still rake the cash in hand-over-fist with "engagement"

 

Well, you were right about the  incendiary part at least.  I had some words to say that were sort of blunt, but instead I'll just let these two comments from your OP sit next to one another for awhile.

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Sometimes a game is just a game... A passtime that you enjoy for its own sake, rather than a monumental undertaking that requires deep personal reflection, endless navel-gazing or pages of philosophical debate. 

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47 minutes ago, Katharos said:

There's a reason philosophy as a discipline holds that you must establish definitions before you engage in an argument: it's so that everyone participating is actually having the same conversation, speaking the same language. It catches a lot of flack for that, and the ensuing arguments about said definitions, but that happens because the minutiae has consequence. 

Fun is definitely a real thing that exists, I think that's something we can take as a given. It's got an anglo-saxon etymology. My aunt's got a million graduate degrees in writing and english and such....

 

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