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hawkeye050

games enjoyment

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Well, this forum is not for doing homework, but it is quite a large topic.

Firstly, I don't think there is any one right answer, but I'll try to help you out a bit. I think what makes a game fun is that it is interactive. Interaction separates it from other entertainment areas such as books, movies, t.v. shows, etc.

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Well, I was about to tell you to check out "A Theory of Fun" by Raph Koster, but I just discovered the book is now out of print and running for over $100 a copy, so nevermind. Apparently O'Reilly is picking the book up for printing, so hopefully it'll get rereleased this year and will be affordable. When it does come back out, buy it! It is one of the best treatises on "fun" ever written.

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Wow, what a difficult question to answer. Not because the the concept in and of itself is very difficult, but because you have not defined what you mean by "fun."

Fun is a very subjective concept, what may be fun for one person may not be fun for another. Within the scope of modern gaming, one person may like multiplayer interaction and cooperative play, some may like competition and challenge. Some players like real-time strategy (RTS) games, some like first-persons shooters (FPS) and others like role-playing game (RPGs). As you can see, "fun" is a difficult question to answer.

Where I think the instructor was going with this question is this: What makes people play games? What is the psychological drive that makes games fun for people to play?
There are many reasons that people play games. Interaction, immersion, challenge, or pure addiction. Some people play games for a living (as in, the eBayers or, remember the CN clan from Lineage2?). Others play for the pure fun of it. Some invest their entire spare time into playing, while others can only find a couple of hours per week to play. The motivations behind both gamers are essentially the same, though...

Games allow players to become the center of all that is. Within the small circle of a game, the player is the star. Some like the pseudo-attention that games bring, others enjoy the challenge and accomplishment.

My thoughts are a bit scattered, purely unrefined. This is a very broad question; take my words however you will....

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I think the reason that games are fun is that they allow you to do things that you can't do in real life (at least not without consequences), and that they are interactive, unlike other forms of entertainment.

In terms of what makes Game A fun VS Game B, I think is a lot more up to personal taste, and I really don't have an answer for it. Hell, even between two competing sports games you see fanboys on each side asserting that their game is amazing and that the competition is crap (even if both are rated well critically).

There are a few things that I find are required to make a good game, which by themselves aren't enough, but are a good start:
-Responsive controls (context-sensitive sucks, I want to know that when I press a button, it does what I think it will, regardless of whether or not it's the best action at the time).
-Believable AI (doesn't have to be mind-blowing or revolutionary, just try to keep it real).
-Interesting Setting (WWII is pretty tired, and it takes a really good game to get me interested in it these days)

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I think it's interesting that so many replies emphasize interaction. As someone who develops games I put 'interaction' and 'game-play' at the top of the list.

And yet, if I addressed the question more objectively, I'd probably be talking about the psychology of rewards, gambling, and socializing. Many popular games have absolutely terrible interaction. Why would anyone find it fun to kill 1,000 goblins in World of Warcraft for 'reputation' or some 'achievement' score, or even a shiny item in the game? Slot machines are about as un-interactive as it gets. Even everyday favorites like solitaire completely fail by every property I'd ever list in game design 101. And then some games aren't even really games, just excuses to socialize. I'm reminded of an old girlfriend who played some tetris variant with her roommate under the rules that once one person got substantially ahead the other was obliged to drop the controller until everything was equal again. Playing together was more important to her than competition.

I would propose that the bounds of this discussion are much larger than they initially appear. We as developers get tempted into ideas of game-play, graphics, physics, and competitive online ladders - and yet these things don't really describe the larger gaming world. In order to really discuss 'fun' and why we play, you have to start with a lot of definitions to constrain the debate into something more manageable.

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I agree with the above really. Interaction defines it from other forms of entertainment. It is also a social thing. The specifics on why people will play certain games changes person to person. People like and enjoy different games for different reasons. People enjoy different genres: RTS, FPS, RPG, etc. It is really down to a persons preference, and if their are elements of addiction. Addiction however goes towards more of the hours of play rather than playing itself.

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