Not Having Fun IS a Personal Problem

I’m not having fun, but you are having fun. Isn’t that the very definition of a personal problem?

But what’s also none of your business is telling me how I -should- be playing, in order to have fun.

Maybe the environment is partially at fault.

But if I don’t proceed to change my environment, it falls back on me (aka personal again) as to why I’m not getting any. Fun, that is.

The $64,000 question though, “How do I know when I’m having fun?”

6 thoughts on “Not Having Fun IS a Personal Problem

  1. When it comes to gaming it’s often not a personal problem – it’s a marketing problem. If a business takes your money on the agreed basis that your money is being taken in return for the provision of “fun” and fun is not provided, then you have been mis-sold. In my jurisdiction mis-selling is illegal and comes with statutory penalties.

    The only reason businesses get away with this is that “fun”, as yet, appears to have no agreed legal definition. It should, or, if such a definition proves impossible to agree, then the term, and the concept, should be barred from all marketing and advertising.

    Or we could all just stop using the pointless, meaningless word ourselves and start using whole sentences and paragraphs to explain what we do and don’t want from our games. That might work.


  2. We all know what fun is, although what is fun for every one of us is different.

    With a single player game you know what you get.
    With a MMO your experience will vary as the game changes and evolves to cater to what certain groups think fun is.

    I don’t know Bhagpuss if they are mis-selling fun. I think it lies on the buyers to identify if the game will provide the type of fun they enjoy.

    With so much information available today I think it is way easier to access if you are going to have fun in a game or not.
    Sometimes I listen to players gush about this game or that game because of x or y, and even though they crazy about those I know that x or y is not my definition of fun at all.

    There is another problem which what you looking for isn’t fun but a “fix”.
    You know the “fix” you get when everything is new, mysterious and massive.
    That “fix” is great fun but these days it lasts less and less, since we have seen it before (or something similar) and all the information available kills the mystery and turns the massive in images with routes drawn.

    Fun is a personal problem but it is one that cannot be fixed (I guess we acquire tastes and stop liking things during our lives).

    It is true you can try to fix a game by making noise but it will depend on who makes more noise, although I think eventually a game will either again present the qualities (and the most important one is actual gameplay) that made players get interested in it in the first place or simply fail and fade.


  3. Maybe we should stop calling ‘not having fun’ a problem ? 🙂
    I dont see it as one. Not everyone likes the same things and games aside, I dont know a single product where people discuss on and on why someone else should or shouldn’t like it. Gamers are a little nuts, in many ways lol.
    And you better start liking that blue mountain dew, mkay!


    1. “Gamers are a little nuts, in many ways lol.”

      Eh, you see the same kinds of defenses with every form of entertainment. Sports, TV and Movies – I mean, have you seen the Batman vs Superman fanboys? People just get passionate about the leisure activities they spend their time on.


  4. If anything gaming is more at fault than the player if a game is not fun as there are certain core mechanics that are universally accepted as being enjoyable, it’s more reaction about the implementation of these core mechanics eg, questing, leveling, combat, reponsive controls, etc, etc.

    While the definition of what is and isn’t “fun” is subjective and there are often subtle points of difference between players a game being a success or a failure more often than not revolves around getting these basic core mechanics and principles right, which is totally outside the realm of subjective opinion.


    1. I was mostly being deliberately contrary to produce discussion.

      I think there’s still a personal interpretation element, when we talk about our personal perception of any event.

      Philosophy-wise, related concepts would be stoicism (it’s on my brain lately, reading Epicletus’ Enchiridion for fun) and Carol Dweck’s growth mindset, which puts onus and responsibility on the individual to control the things that can be controlled by said individual.

      Of course, on a broader level, sufficiently motivated game designers can and should tweak their games so that a broader subset of players find it easier to personally interpret playing those games as “fun.”

      At least, if they want to make enough money to keep their jobs and the game going, they should.


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