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MMO's: great hobby or huge time-waster?


Tinker
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Personally, I find it rather sad and also amusing at the same time, that despite there being an idea of "gaming" present in most places today, there is still the perception among many that MMO players in particular or that "gamers" (MMO or otherwise) are generally people with no lives, fat/ugly/social rejects, etc., bound on escaping reality through childish fantasy.

 

As a therapist, I could talk a lot about how wrong I believe it is for people to condenm "fantasy" in the first place, since the hallmark of a healthy psyche also includes a fair level of indulging in a rich fantasy life to offset the doldrums of daily routine and hard reason. 

 

All art, whether it is music, literature, film and so on also supports "fantasy" and I for one, hold "gaming" in that category.  When I say this to colleagues who laugh at me if they have found out I game (they joke "she has a secret life..."), they tend to stop and consider the alternatives.  I also think that there are very good studies already out there which support the idea from a biological standpoint, in that gaming (especially strategy games in particular) are good for maintaining healthy cognitive functioning and in fact are activities to be encouraged as we age to stave off Alzheimer disiease, melancholia, etc.  Given the aging population of the US demographic at least, as well as that of today's "average gamer" (mid to late 30s), I'd say that is good news.

 

Of course like all things, if you spend 12 hrs a day every day in front of Lotro (or whatever else you play) it has leeched into the realm of unhealthy because that much time dedicated to anything - including work I might add here- is not the sign of someone leading a balanced life, grasshopper! ;)

 

So for me I consider my gaming time very well spent.  I engage my brain, my imagination, and my heart both in the game itself and also in the friends I meet and make because of the time I spend in it. They add to my life and don't detract from it in any way.  I am quite happy to have discovered them since I am already past the "average age" in question and considered both by education and gender to be outside the above demographic.

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Personally, I find it rather sad and also amusing at the same time, that despite there being an idea of "gaming" present in most places today, there is still the perception among many that MMO players in particular or that "gamers" (MMO or otherwise) are generally people with no lives, fat/ugly/social rejects, etc., bound on escaping reality through childish fantasy.

 

Generalisations and stereotypes are exactly what they are.

 

However, go to any gaming convention or some such similar event and you'll find plenty of people who do meet the criteria that you described. 

 

They may not be the norm but they cannot be denied.

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Generalisations and stereotypes are exactly what they are.

 

However, go to any gaming convention or some such similar event and you'll find plenty of people who do meet the criteria that you described. 

 

They may not be the norm but they cannot be denied.

 

Hehe

 

Happily, I have not met any people who fit that description that game, so for my own experience it has proven false.

 

As far as generalizations in general, yes they exist for a reason - I have however dedicated my life to dismantling the negative effects such stereotypes render in people's lives, so they don't hold much value in my book, no matter what subject they deal with.

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Just want to point out - you would never get this level of discussion on the "Official Forums". And the other thread happening on sexism and racism - would NEVER happen over there. Lot's of different views here - but lots of respect and people are not just bashing each other. This is why I post here and only sometimes read the other forums.

 

 

I was just thinking the EXACT same thing Nosam.

Fascinating isn't it!?

 

I'd like to think that for the most part, the inhabitants of this forum are in general more mature, and if not accepting of views, more accepting of people being allowed to have differing views.

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No, it is the why in "why do some people play games".

 

None of the so called "needs" you listed are applicable to me :)

 

Potentially I may only game because it's the only opportunity I get to actually kill ten boars....

 

and what do you fulfill in killing those ten boars?

 

I don't think you understand the hierarchy of needs very well, or your actually trying to dis-prove it's theory which is fine. 

 

even killing 10 boars counts towards the top tier. setting your self a goal and acheiving that goal is very human, very "self actualization". it's a very high up need, not life or death need, more of a want than a need then but thats just it's name. not many animals get that far up the pyramid as there lives are much harder. even third world countries you'll find people struggle to get past love/belonging and have little to no self esteem (horrible generalization there).

 

however there is a debate over how the actual contents of some can be flipped around depending on social surroundings or enviroment. like same example before, those people in poor countries find there esteem in other area's or know who they are by doing. in fact they could find there love/belonging extremely easily in there roles. where as western children could still not know there belonging till there out of school and face actual life decisions. so yes there are a few issues with the tier-ing here and there.

 

the fact is though, people don't just play games for the heck of playing games. addiction normally comes from games using skinner box style reward schemes and make people waste there time instead.

 

think for a while you watch this, are mmo's treating us like this pigeon?

 

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...

 

I don't think you understand the hierarchy of needs very well, or your actually trying to dis-prove it's theory which is fine. 

 

...

This phrasing is exactly the kind of thing that soured me on you in the Beta forums.

 

Please don't carry that over into these forums.  State your case, but please don't claim that others aren't getting it if they disagree.

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and what do you fulfill in killing those ten boars?

 

I don't think you understand the hierarchy of needs very well, or your actually trying to dis-prove it's theory which is fine. 

 

No I understand it just fine thank you. Nor am I trying to disprove a theory. As I stated above, I do not think this rule set is applicable to everything. It may well be relevant with regard to weighty issues in life.

 

I do not think it comes in to play in lesser matters.

 

 

the fact is though, people don't just play games for the heck of playing games

 

So you say. Please let me know what your academic standing is on this matter. I tend to be a bit picky about where I get my facts from, preferring to glean them from legitimate sources rather than "You Tube" videos.

 

And I understand who and what you are as well :) So please spare us your self aggrandising, hyperbolic prose.

 

Oh and what do I achieve by killing the ten boars? Perhaps the mistake is to try and analyse it in such terms. Is it necessary to fulfil anything?

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This phrasing is exactly the kind of thing that soured me on you in the Beta forums.

 

Please don't carry that over into these forums.  State your case, but please don't claim that others aren't getting it if they disagree.

 

when I learnt about it in college they very clearly pointed out the upsides and downsides of how generalizing it is. "needs" is just a name really, no animal lives on the basic needs, if they are, they'll be extinct soon (reproduction isn't a *need* for you, but is to your race, the sense of self preservation is very powerful in fact)

 

claiming...

 

None of the so called "needs" you listed are applicable to me :)

 

Potentially I may only game because it's the only opportunity I get to actually kill ten boars....

 

is kinda ignoring the point of Maslow's hierarchy of needs

 

even creativity is in the list of needs so you can't do anything without being in there.

 

I guess you only read the first few lines before making an opinion of my post?

 

I guess I could reword it sorry. it wasn't ment to be offensive but he's missing the point somewhat is what I was trying to point out. playing games, "wasting time", is kinda moot when you look at everything else we do as humans.

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So you say. Please let me know what your academic standing is on this matter. I tend to be a bit picky about where I get my facts from, preferring to glean them from legitimate sources rather than "You Tube" videos.

 

nevermind then.

 

thats the sort of argument people make when they have no counter and don't want to discuss subjects anymore and rather pick on people.

 

I forgot these weren't casual forums and needed all my qualifications listen out anytime I had an opinion differ on anything :/

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Generalisations and stereotypes are exactly what they are.

 

However, go to any gaming convention or some such similar event and you'll find plenty of people who do meet the criteria that you described. 

 

They may not be the norm but they cannot be denied.

 

I went to GenCon in '93 or '94 with a friend.  (GenCon was the convention thrown by the makers of D&D before Wizards of the Coast bought them out.)

 

We hadn't been there 10 minutes when my friend said to me, "If another fat guy in a Crow t-shirt who doesn't believe in soap bumps up against me I'm going to punch him in the face."

 

Happily, no face-punching happened.

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Well, to be fair, one could use the Hierarchy of Needs to attempt to justify the amount of time they spend playing games...

 

A chief criticism of the Hierarchy is its ethnocentricism, as you allude to in your reference to 3rd world countries. All wrapped up in that is what a given person will do to satisfy a given portion of the hierarchy. The reason it's only a theory is because a person can simply refute anything of their own volition as doing it "just to do it" and you cannot prove them wrong.

 

Some people like to attempt to pin reason on everything without appreciating the fact that some people do things either for no reason or no apparent reason.

I don't apply reason to every single thing I do in my life. It's hard to be spontaneous and apply thorough reason in many cases.

 

I also do lots of things in my life that I probably wouldn't, but I do them in order to perhaps satisfy other needs in the future. So, indirectly I may be doing something for potential future satisfaction of some need, but the act itself satisfies no immediate need and often has no guarantee of future payoff.

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I went to GenCon in '93 or '94 with a friend.  (GenCon was the convention thrown by the makers of D&D before Wizards of the Coast bought them out.)

 

We hadn't been there 10 minutes when my friend said to me, "If another fat guy in a Crow t-shirt who doesn't believe in soap bumps up against me I'm going to punch him in the face."

 

Happily, no face-punching happened.

Hehe - aftr reading your post, I found myself remembering this:

 

http://vimeo.com/44941848

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nevermind then.

 

thats the sort of argument people make when they have no counter and don't want to discuss subjects anymore and rather pick on people.

 

I forgot these weren't casual forums and needed all my qualifications listen out anytime I had an opinion differ on anything :/

 

Wrong again. 

 

You were making bold claims and were merely asked to validate them. You also got upbraided for posting in a condescending manner.

 

Suddenly, now you're a victim :)

 

Once again on these forums we see an example of someone who doesn't know how to effectively interact with other people. It not what you say but how you say it. A small but very important fact in efficient communication and getting people to go along with your point.

 

As for opinions, there are informed opinions and then there are just "opinions". My default position on pretty much everything in life is one of scepticism. Why should your statements be excluded from this?

 

But you are right on one point and that's "nevermind". 

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The reason it's only a theory is because a person can simply refute anything of their own volition as doing it "just to do it" and you cannot prove them wrong.

 

Some people like to attempt to pin reason on everything without appreciating the fact that some people do things either for no reason or no apparent reason.

I don't apply reason to every single thing I do in my life. It's hard to be spontaneous and apply thorough reason in many cases.

 

all phycologists secretly want to prove freewill to be nothing but a human myth :P

 

pretty much every study is one step by step up a very long stairway to mars to disproving it's existence

 

thats why I added in the Hawfords study about the pidgeons and rewards. every game is about a reward in someway whether it be a storyline, an item, visuals, or just doing something fun. RPG's are the mother of all evil at using the skinner box in the most evil way by drip feeding people rewards slowly over time, and not all the time I might add.

 

"why do you play games" is kinda a big one but there are a few chunky studies on it. most come down to a reward in some way, or a carried on want of play from the childhood when play was a good way to develop the brain. that reward isn't ever one thing too, community / feeling good about yourself, so many things.

 

just "time wasting" isn't ever really a single thing in gaming, and not mmo's too. you are in fact doing something and it's not *just* time wasting. even if you want fun while time wasting, why mmo's? why are you having more fun in mr grind land than anywhere else? even if you closed the chat the game has some mild problem solving, stuff to learn, give reward and a distraction from the real world struggles (look back to second skin quote)

 

waiting or traveling are probably the best examples of time wasting. I find no fun in walking to the fridge, I wish it was next to my computer, pretty much wasted time.

 

 

 

I also do lots of things in my life that I probably wouldn't, but I do them in order to perhaps satisfy other needs in the future. So, indirectly I may be doing something for potential future satisfaction of some need, but the act itself satisfies no immediate need and often has no guarantee of future payoff.

 

thats a goal though :P it's very human to actively think toward something, Zeal iinc, a trait not many people know about and I wouldn't know about if I didn't play lotro XD

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Apart from mostly oversimplifying academic discussions I think there can only be a personal answer to this question and this answer for me is 'no' but for different reasons over time.

 

There were times, when I neglected part of my "real" life to be able to play. That was because I had met people in the game I loved to spend time with. I met wonderful people in game. The same kind of people I could have met elsewhere but by chance I met them in game and we had happy and painful times. Just like we would have had if we had met elesewhere. Part of these friendships carried over to the physical life and will stay alife even if the games we play die.

 

Today it is more like a balance for me. I work hard, I play hard, I practice and train different arts. Only sleep does not get enough time a bit too often.

 

My playing patterns changed over the time but never I had the feeling that I am wasting time. As others said somewhere up in this thread, time spent having fun in a game is not wasted if you had a good time. I would extend that to something like: Time spent with something that makes you feel alive and does not leave you dull, stupid and lonely cannot be wasted.

 

After a hard workday I need something to distract me. It could be passively as a couch potato in front of the TV or with other people in an MMO. I prefer the second alternative. No, definitely no wasted time here.

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Speaking as a psychologist, I am intensely happy to disagree with this - thus so much for "all" :P

 

sure you do ;) you want to unlock the key to how the power to control people, just try for a day, might be fun ;)

 

All power corrupts.

Absolute power is pretty cool, though.

 

secretly* being the key word :P

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sure you do ;) you want to unlock the key to how the power to control people, just try for a day, might be fun ;)

 

All power corrupts.

Absolute power is pretty cool, though.

 

secretly* being the key word :P

Again, no.  That is not my job nor would I want it to be. 

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was ment to be a harmless joke at psychologists sorry :(

No worries.  I am not offended, merely pointing out I am not included in the generalization - hence, proving my own arguement that generalizations are not always worth much, lol ;)

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I are playin' games to kill shit cuz if I kill shit in real life I get thrown in the hoosegow.

 

Some of you people take the fun out of PAST TIMES, get it? It's to past time, because we no longer work sunup to sundown, and then pass out from exhaustion, to provide subsistence for ourselves and our families.

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No worries.  I am not offended, merely pointing out I am not included in the generalization - hence, proving my own arguement that generalizations are not always worth much, lol ;)

 

good point. one I've ironically put somewhere else and don't seem to do a good job of following...

 

although I'm not saying all gamers have an exact reason for gaming. the reason can differ from addition to fun and a billion things between, but I don't think "time wasting" is relevant. if you just wanted to "waste time" you'd do nothing surely? there has to be a reason you'd waste time in a game, more importantly mmo's, than anywhere else that will happily take that time and call it "entertainment". nothings really time wasting unless you classify it as that at which you probably should be doing something more important.

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