I don't think games are fun, the way they should be

by Tom Robinson Featured 17 Comments 42 Votes 7219 Views 07/02/2013 Back to Articles

Have you ever played the Nintendo Wii? You know that old console that was the idea of the future of gaming a few months ago, where you’d wave around a controller playing tennis or something, and then break your TV? It was a really fun concept, actually. You could play games in a 3-dimensional space and bring in a whole new level realism to your games. You could be the swordsman, the wizard, the tennis player.

Have you ever played the Xbox Kinect? It’s a rather new addition to the Microsoft console; no controllers, just a system emitting lights so you can wave around in a 3-dimensional space, you could play sports, you could dance and enjoy yourself, you could be a fantastic Jedi knight in quality adaptions, or look after some virtual animals. All you had to do was stand in-front of your TV and wave your body around.

Have you ever played the PlayStation Move? It’s Sony’s addition to the PlayStation 3, somewhere between a portable lamp and a cordless Nintendo Wii. Just like the Wii, except actually 3-dimensional, you wave your arms around like you’re trying to break your TV. It’s not a novel concept, but it’s enjoyable. You could play as an archer or… a bowler. There wasn’t much.


This is what constitutes as “fun” nowadays. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy, and have enjoyed, all of these in their own time. Except the Move, that was done to death before it was even released. I like what the Nintendo Wii did for families; made video games a family-fun time, accessible for all, and frankly Wii Sports was almost as bad as Monopoly at causing fights.

I enjoy the Kinect, too, because of the freedom Microsoft gives with it. You don’t need to pick up a controller. It’s responsive. You can use it and develop for it with Microsoft-made tools to do some cool mods that Microsoft never dreamed of. You can explore and have fun with whatever you learn about the Kinect.

So why am I even talking about this? It’s simple, really. I haven’t had fun with video games in a long time. They’re almost a chore to me. Don’t misunderstand me – I enjoy them, but sometimes I want to have a boat-load of fun like I used to.

Take Far Cry 3 for example, which is a really enjoyable game. The detail is stupendous, the concept and execution amazing. But it almost felt like a chore, grinding animal pelts for items so I could not suffer my explorations in the wilderness. And that’s not the only game, too, where the chores get in the way of fun.

I realised this the other day when I played a little indie title released in 2012 called Super Hexagon. It’s a simple game; you’re a triangle, you circle around the hexagon in the centre and you avoid the walls for at least 60 seconds.


I was shocked that that was all there was to it. I had to avoid the walls. So far, I’ve racked up several hours playing it just trying to beat my high-scores; more hours than I’ve spent gaming in months. There was no hidden agenda. No secret levels to unlock. Just avoid the walls. And it is the most fun I have had playing a game for years.

When did detail and reality get in the way of fun and enjoyment? I understand that “big” games – Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry 3 come to mind – could not be simplified to create proper enjoyment. But why have irritating little systems to just make people keep playing longer? I don’t want to spend 10 hours looking for a rare flower on the top of a hill to make a certain potion that gives me a 1% increased chance of finding the item for the recipe for my super weapon. That’s not fun to me.

Perhaps the issue isn’t with the games; perhaps it is with me. Having played a lot of games, maybe I’ve come to know what to expect, and that’s why the indie genre speaks out to me – developers take steps in a new direction to improve their craft, and I can appreciate the hard work they put into things. Perhaps as I mature, I find myself enjoying different mediums more than the ones I grew up with. Who knows.

But one thing is for certain. I’m rarely having fun with something I’d been enjoying my whole life, and that isn’t ideal. I like playing video games. It’s something I’ve always done to relax and enjoy myself. Having half of that deal isn’t what I envisioned.


Maybe the next series of consoles will change that. I hope it will. I hope that with more budget comes more creative freedom to explore ideas that have never been explored. Audre Lorde, a famous activist, once wrote that “There are no new ideas, just different ways of making them felt” – and I feel that this should not apply to the gaming industry, an industry where creativity comes to shine in ways that no-one ever perceived, and stifled ideas are no more. I would enjoy it a lot more if that were the case.

By Tom Robinson

Do you still think video games are enjoyable but not fun?

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I don't think games are fun, the way they should be Comments

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I still have heaps of fun playing sims 3 and borderlands 2 which is probably why I keep going back to them but I hear what you say.. I mostly "enjoy" the other games but I remember laughing at my sim a few days ago I was actually having fun.. I'm playing DMC but I'm only enjoying it not really thinking omg I'm having so much fun.
"Fun" is relative. You should know that better than anyone, Tom :P

But I get what you're saying. I guess I KIND OF touch on this with this article - 360.mmgn.com/... - in that I don't quite get as excited about games as I used to. I really want to, but I just don't.

Yay! A THIRD Dead Space.

Yay! ANOTHER COD

Yay! A THIRD Crysis

Yay! ANOTHER reboot

I mean, Metro: Last Night is the only upcoming game I'm REALLY intrigued about...but I'm not "gaga" over it.

Ideas are limited down because new IPs struggle.

With new hardware will come "news" experiences.

Hopefully.

Great read!
They're not as exciting anymore.

I used to get super excited for one or two games and follow them right up until release.

The magic just isn't there anymore.
This is why I don't attempt to buy every new game that's released. I used to and I too found myself feeling lacklustre with the experiences I was having.

A game has to be something truly special to get my attention now otherwise I just don't bother.
I get super excited every time a new expansion for sims 3 is released or any mention of fallout
4
you're playing the wrong games tom

also you suck

Beta said: "Fun" is relative. You should know that better than anyone, Tom
But I get what you're saying. I guess I KIND OF touch on this with this article - 360.mmgn.com/... - in that I don't quite get as excited about games as I used to. I really want to, but I just don't.
Yay! A THIRD Dead Space.
Yay! ANOTHER COD
Yay! A THIRD Crysis
Yay! ANOTHER reboot
I mean, Metro: Last Night is the only upcoming game I'm REALLY intrigued about...but I'm not "gaga" over it.
Ideas are limited down because new IPs struggle.
With new hardware will come "news" experiences.
Hopefully.
Great read!



I'm hoping new consoles bring new experiences... but no idea.

sjt333 said: you're playing the wrong games tom
also you suck



._.

I'm the same. Nothing will come close to the N64 for me.
Although I am excited like a little school girl for GTAV. The only game I'm really excited for and am following up until release. *_*
FEZ was the most fun I had in ages, and journey before that.

cod wasn't fun, it was just something that I did to fuel my addiction... do we play games for the sake of playing games? hmmm

i should change my avatar to fez dude
Tano
+

EndBoss said:
cod wasn't fun, it was just something that I did to fuel my addiction... do we play games for the sake of playing games? hmmm




EndBoss said: FEZ was the most fun I had in ages, and journey before that.
cod wasn't fun, it was just something that I did to fuel my addiction... do we play games for the sake of playing games? hmmm
i should change my avatar to fez dude



It's still got a Christmas hat on...

That's a disgrace!
Yeah, they have made too many games just too much work. It gets in the way of so many games. I enjoy the stories. I don't enjoy the work. I think that was why I really liked Homefront a lot, and the last RE game.
Fallout New Vegas has been keeping me going on and off for almost 2 and a half years, WE NEED A NEW ONE...... Or a total conversion mod like a Fallout Nehrim [WTF]

SlappyWag said: I'm the same. Nothing will come close to the N64 for me.
Although I am excited like a little school girl for GTAV. The only game I'm really excited for and am following up until release.


You mean the fact every other console was better at the time. I hated the N64, my least favorite, the Gamecube was one of my favorites.

chucky110 said:

SlappyWag said: I'm the same. Nothing will come close to the N64 for me.
Although I am excited like a little school girl for GTAV. The only game I'm really excited for and am following up until release.


You mean the fact every other console was better at the time. I hated the N64, my least favorite, the Gamecube was one of my favorites.



I didn't hate the N64, but I definitely appreciated and love the Gamecube a whole lot more now. It was, in my opinion, the last true games console. I didn't buy it for a DVD player or whatever; I bought it for the games. And oh man is its games library still great today.
THIS... is why the production rate of video games needs to SSSLLLLOOOOWWW DDOOOOWWWNNN.... to have a "new" game release every week is ok, but it doesnt keep the excitement and "fun" level going.
Last Of Us, Crysis 3, Tomb Raider, God Of War, all of these im super excited for, so i think it comes down to the person as im always excited for a new game but in saying that i have lost total interest in the Wii U and X-Box 360, i only look forward to the PC and PS3 games now

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