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Needful Things

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dete
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Joined: 12/31/1969

man that was such an interesting post about
what drives people to play, and the word NEED was used.

I mentioned something about being brutal in a game (martial arts)
so your civil in real life.

so does that mean that many good games will be based on
sinful deeds? -evil grin

so would games that have sinful tendencies be extremely fun?
more so than those that do not?

-the need to collect (addiction)

-the need to go to war

-the need to flirt

-the need to show your power

-the need to belittle your opponent

-the need to destroy things

Infernal
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Needful Things

I have said this in other posts:

A game allows us to explore various behaviours, both acceptable and unacceptable. The game environment allows us to discover the consiquences of these actions within the game environment. As we all have these tendancies (to a greater or lesser degree) we can safely contain them in the game environment.

We can see how others react to these be3haviours, giving us a view of how this person would likely act in real life (outside of the game).

Try this experiment:
When you next play a game with people who don't know each other, see how they act compared to how they do when the play with people they know quite well. There will be a big difference, in their reactions to their opponents and the amount of time spent looking at their opponents reactions in turn.

Lor
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Re: Needful Things

dete wrote:
the need to collect (addiction)

-the need to go to war

-the need to flirt

-the need to show your power

-the need to belittle your opponent

-the need to destroy things

A great grocery list. It's no secret I'm a big proponent of need motive. Needs can get VERY subtle in distinction!

"Need to flirt" is intriguing. Talk to me when my 12-year mating cycle comes around. ;-)

Some Need notions off the top of my head, varying degrees of depth:

The need to BUILD stuff.
Seems to be overlooked these days, but it's how we got here as a species. Blame it on the fun of explosives.

The need to HOARDE.
Subtly different from collecting, and different from addiction. You can be addicted to any need, and as gamebuilders we fervently hope so! lol

The need to BELONG.
I love a clubhouse, a team effort. I haven't seen this need exploited too often. But avoid that cloying halftime Up With People schmaltz.

The need to LEARN.
From a Yoda archetype, hopefully, to cope with hopeless battles for empire.

The need to TEACH.
Your acolyte could save your life.

The need to INVEST.
It's like teaching but the possible payoff is wealth. Depends on the game theme.

The need to CONTROL..
Oh, yeah! You're in the driver's seat. Except when you've been ejected.

Isn't it interesting how Needs spark eseential game ideas and breed player "wants."? That's the idea.

Keep 'em coming...

Stainer
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Needful Things

Any discussion about need I'm going to now post in this thread. So I'm going to be pulling quotes from other threads, but I'll link to the original thread.

Ok, first off, Lor:

Quote:
Of course I WANT them. All these needs express a giant Want, but they're all driven by my underlying need to achieve some significance in the game design industry, so I can meet interesting women. There you go, right to the core.
http://www.bgdf.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=3011&postda...

That is really funny. When I read that, I just cracked up laughing.

My thoughts on need are very different than the rest of the community here. I never think of "flirting" or "belittling your opponent" as a need. Same as "destroying things". To me, those are all desires of the human condition.

Here is my list of human needs:
- Security
- Adventure
- Freedom
- Exchange
- Power
- Expansion
- Acceptance
- Community
- Expression

and for a great definition and some examples of them go to: http://www.itstime.com/jun97.htm

Note, this website can be inspiring. Enter with care.

Quote:
With the needs and wants I have seen it as a player "Wants" to win, and to do so "Needs" to perform certain actions. This is only within the context of the game however.
http://www.bgdf.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=3011&postda...

This I agree with. Nobody really NEEDS to win a game (at least card and board games, and any other game for entertainment). The purpose of a game is to have fun (to entertain), and really, it's nothing more. I don't believe that every human has an urge to go out and kill people and the only way they are able to do it in a socially acceptable manner is through a game (of say Axis and Allies). I just don't agree with that.

I do want to say that some games cater to people's needs. But people don't play games to have those needs satisfied in a socially acceptable manner. They play games to enjoy themselves and because it's fun. It's fun to backstab your opponent (in the game of Munchkin). There's no human need to stab your friend in the back though.

Getting ever deeper here, there is the fact that games educate us. The game of Settlers teaches us how to manage our resources. This is not satisfying a need though. There is no need to organize our life. Some people do it, others don't. Some will say Settlers fullfills the 'power' need. Players want to win the game, but in order to do so they need to overpower their opponents and build a bigger empire. This is a red herring. The actual goal is to win the game, and building a bigger empire is a consequence (in fact, a requirement in most cases) to winning the game. There is no need being fufilled here, just the desire of winning. The purpose the game is to have fun, not fufill a need. And in so doing, we are in fact educating ourselves about different aspects of life (resource management)

So, going back to this quote:

Quote:
With the needs and wants I have seen it as a player "Wants" to win, and to do so "Needs" to perform certain actions. This is only within the context of the game however.

We see that in Settlers, players WANT to win. And in order to do so, they NEED to build an empire.

Quote:
We play games because they are fun. We find games fun because we have evolved to be attracted to theis behaviour.

I agree with this. This is the underlying reason we play games: to have fun. I think as designer we should never ever lose sight of this. Even when we delve into theory (like we're doing now), some people are losing sight of this. Fun and enjoyment is the goal of a game.

Rob

dete
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Needful Things

I think playing a game should be about having fun,
ask this question, what makes it fun?,

and the Need stuff start comming in.

I use to play tennis with my dad, and we were close in skill at
1st, but then I started getting better, he quit playing.

so when we play Chess, and now that I'm better, we still
play, why? because I am not focused on winning, I'm focused
on making the match exciting and fun.
you have to be much better to control the pace of the game,
and the outcome. where as to you only have to be lucky or a little
better to win.
but if he found out that I was doing this, he would probably stop.
Most people are not just driven by fun to play. or the fun translates
to needs. Competition, Challenge, To win victory over a tough
and worthy opponent etc.

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Needful Things

dete wrote:
I think playing a game should be about having fun,
ask this question, what makes it fun?,

and the Need stuff start comming in.

I'm with Stainer here; I think this "need" stuff is all wet. What you guys are saying amounts a claim that games enable us to pretend to take actions that at some psychological level we "need" to take to be [happy, fulfilled, whatever]. To me, this invests WAY too much importance to the theme of games, and it completely disregards the popularity of abstract games, which simulate nothing, and German games, for which thematic richness is not always a primary indicator of the games' fun factor.

Look at Settlers; the theming is decent, but it's not great. After one or two players, you forget altogether that you're "trading", "building", "producing", etc, you're just performing a mechanical set of actions. Many games are like that: the theme is a useful device to facilitate learning the game's mechanics, and in many cases, it even inspired the game's mechanics. But the fact that the game can be enjoyed even after the game starts feeling abstract indicates that it isn't the individual simulated actions that appeal, but the overall experience of the game, and probably of social interaction the game group.

I am more than willing to stand corrected, but what theory of human nature are you guys drawing from in appealing to these "needs" that we all apparently have and are for some reason only able to fill through gaming?

Quote:
A game allows us to explore various behaviours, both acceptable and unacceptable. The game environment allows us to discover the consiquences of these actions within the game environment. As we all have these tendancies (to a greater or lesser degree) we can safely contain them in the game environment.

I agree that what I find enjoyable in gaming is indeed the opportunity to make choices and see where they lead (and how they interact with the choices of others), but again, this isn't really related to some deep-seated desire to actually do the things the game's theme simulates. It's more correctly understood as academic curiosity than as an opportunity to "act out" in a safe and structured environment.

Quote:
We find games fun because we have evolved to be attracted to theis behaviour.

I'm sorry to be so blunt, but that's just nonsense. In what way does game playing confer a survival advantage such that it would have been selected by the environment? What evidence is there of a "game-preferring gene?", and given how rare it seems to be, how has it survived?

-Jeff

dete
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Needful Things

I'm comparing games to sports and how many athletes
seem to tackle sports.

If all work and no play we cannot feel free.
the need to feel free or at least walk in the path of freedom is
a natural human behavior that has to do with adapting, evolving,
and surviving.

maybe perhaps the recent generation, the mass public
has become conditioned to be more hedonistic than ever to
thwart our eyes off of the reality that we are in essence slaves?

anyways just watch the movie fight club.

is the main thing about games, having fun?
If so is fun a need humans require?

some games cause stress,
some games we don't even expect it to be that fun, yet
we still try it, or buy it, why?

Lor
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Needful Things

Quote:
What you guys are saying amounts a claim that games enable us to pretend to take actions that at some psychological level we "need" to take to be [happy, fulfilled, whatever].

Who said anything about pretending??? ;-)

That Barbara Taylor site Rob mentions above-- http://www.itstime.com/jun97.htm -- is yet another rich lode; thank you Rob! It's even got a game character matrix laid out which I bet dozens of designers have stolen from. She even links to Maslow's hierarchy. Great Psych 101 stuff. And I say, even if your head hurts a little, it's damned important to get a feel for these drivers.

I don't pretend to be expert, but I am sensitive to player need from my other career in filmmaking and storytelling, and these needs don't involve the superficial aspects of a game. They don't involve the rewards and punishments you mete out-- that's the designer's control shtick, informed by your game intention and theme. They don't involve cool handpainted or shiny components-- that's mostly window dressing-- a big sell point, but not the real compelling sell point. Anyone attending a college course in advertising media knows darn well I speak the white light.

All I'm saying is, because there is way too much derivative, imitation, emulation, and hollow echo in the design domain these days, get back to the bonafide sources, the human needs, to achieve originality - nay, HONESTY in design.

Diss it all you like, but there is no better foundation for a game than knowing what it fulfills for the player on all levels. And if YOU don't know-- who does? Work it out. It really pays off in game depth.

I think concrete examples will help illustrate how this helps, and I have a prototype I want put through the grinder soon, and i hope you'll all stomp it.

Lor
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Needful Things

dete wrote:
is the main thing about games, having fun?
If so is fun a need humans require?

some games cause stress, some games we don't even expect it to be that fun, yet we still try it, or buy it, why?

I think the need to act without "real" consequences (need to survive) helped invent the first caveman's game. When he realized it not only taught the kids how to club Pterodactyls without risk of being clawed, lifted and fed to the chicks, that became a good thing, and play was born. In many cultures, entertainment is a critical teaching tool. I say designers teach with every game rule and component.

We buy what appeals to us on more than one level of consciousness. What else is there? So when you design a new game, ask yourself what values and drives will it appeal to? Answers will come quickly when you ask the right question.

Then design the coolest bricks you can.

jwarrend
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Needful Things

Lor wrote:

I don't pretend to be expert, but I am sensitive to player need from my other career in filmmaking and storytelling, and these needs don't involve the superficial aspects of a game. They don't involve the rewards and punishments you mete out-- that's the designer's control shtick, informed by your game intention and theme. They don't involve cool handpainted or shiny components-- that's mostly window dressing-- a big sell point, but not the real compelling sell point. Anyone attending a college course in advertising media knows darn well I speak the white light.

Well, I suspect that the window dressing sells more games than the gameplay itself in a lot of cases, but that's neither here or there.

I'm no longer sure I actually understand your point of view. I thought you were talking about escapism -- how games enable us to simulate actions that we "need" to take, thereby effectively filling those needs for us. But now you're saying that this isn't what you were talking about.

But what else is there? In a board game, there's social interaction, and there's tactile interaction with the game pieces themselves, and there's the mental activity of making decisions. But these are common to all games, with the only difference between games being the relative amount to which they emphasize one over another (eg, a party game emphasizes social interaction, a strategy game emphasizes mental activity, etc).

In other words, I think that the very activity of gaming already fulfills what you're calling "needs", so I don't see how you design a game that, through the very act of playing, fulfills those needs above and beyond what gaming does in and of itself.

Are you talking about the simulation of actions that are "needful", or something else?

-Jeff

dete
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Needful Things

to view games with "primal human needs" is just a
perspective.

to you this perspective may not exist.

a perspective is something your mind creates to better
understand things.

Doesn't even really have to make sense.

If a Dragon to me means inner demons, and I read a book
and imagine it this way even though the author didn't intend
it to be, it can offer me some interesting view points.

That's all.

Lor
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Needful Things

First, I want to thank you for giving me a hard time. lol

Jeff writes-

Quote:
Well, I suspect that the window dressing sells more games than the gameplay itself in a lot of cases, but that's neither here or there.

Yes, I have to qualify that-- that was sloppy. Appearances can be VERY important. If you look at a new Warhammer piece, you may want it because it sports tools (weapons) older Warhammer pieces do not. In fact, if you want to play a current WH tournamant, the gamemaster won't even allow older pieces! Sheesh!

So the window dressing-- especially for players who have already drunk the kool-aid and spent two grand on WH Marine and Ork sets, is critical. (I am still wrapping my head around this side of the business, it's phenomenal.)

Quote:
I thought you were talking about escapism -- how games enable us to simulate actions that we "need" to take, thereby effectively filling those needs for us. But now you're saying that this isn't what you were talking about.

I've been saying the same thing from day one, and imperfectly because it's a tough one and I'm not a psychologist.

The need to escape into a game is surely deep-seated and drives several billion-dollar recreational industries, but it's WAY too general for a discussion of unique design, it's practically a given, it doesn't distinguish one game from another. It goes along with the player's quest for "fun."

Dete's Dragon example however, perhaps to represent a need to express inner demons on a game board, is fraught with potential imagery, theme, art design, and potential rules for play-- shoots out like drgaon's breath! So once you devise an appeal to an unusual need, build on it and apply familiar game tools.

I didn't say this was EASY!!! But it helps avoid sameness.

And my focus on appealing to player need is *not* the only one I apply, I am just as concerned as anybody here about the mechanic and the look and feel. I am very obsessive. In fact, "need" is usually not even the FIRST exercise in my design effort. There's a lot of "push-pull" in forming a game design. Sometimes you jump ahead, build a sand castle in the air, then quickly devise a foundation to hold it up and continue from there. (Computer programmers have a trick where they implement a "Dummy"-- a placeholder variable, even when the code to address it hasn't been written.) That's what makes the process FUN. You're free to begin the weave anywhere you like.

My own abstract strategy item started simply by drawing circles with a green plastic template, just playing and noodling with a pattern design. Absolute truth. But befor eit got too embellished, I did some backtracking to understand *why* I liked it the result, *how* the rules of play could logically fit the artwork with an agreeable "story" or theme I believed in.

And then went forward and refined it "on a mission" to satisfy certain player needs: in this case to Build, Create a Record of my effort that isn't completely wiped out at game's end, and of course Dominate the playing field for a win. I think it's a richer entertainment for the foundation.

Quote:
But what else is there? In a board game, there's social interaction, and there's tactile interaction with the game pieces themselves, and there's the mental activity of making decisions. But these are common to all games, with the only difference between games being the relative amount to which they emphasize one over another (eg, a party game emphasizes social interaction, a strategy game emphasizes mental activity, etc).

Well, those aren't needs, they're game mechanics we rely on as designers and players. I don't go shopping strictly for differences in game mechanic, do you? Yes, I can see using mechanic to sort out the difference between Twister and Goblet, or Trivial Pursuit and... eh.. Cranium. But what am I really looking for, besides the general requirement for "fun" and "escapism"? What hints do i get from the game box that tell me THIS is ONE that will satisfy me... tell me what YOU look for when you go game shopping so I can understand your point of view better.

It IS a perspective, just as Dete says, or a "mindset"-- it helps me justify how I move forward with design. It's not just a "subtext" for the game reviewers to slop over. I have to know what's pushing the design of my board, pieces, rules. Have you ever had a game design torpedo ahead because you suddenly realized what it was "about" and how certain rules seemed wrong and certain moves were just right and certain artwork didn't belong? You tighten it up everything from theme to box cover. Ultimately, whatever appeal it brings to you, will ALSO push the player to the same degree and it usually appeals to unspoken needs.

Watch shoppers in game stores, how a smile creeps onto their faces when they've just disocovered the right game. They're not smiling over the beautiiful game mechanics, believe me. They're forking out cold hard cash because you just gave them the permission, the venue and the tools to kick ass, get weallthy, show off, take over everything or otherwise behave outrageously.

Infernal
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Needful Things

jwarrend wrote:

Quote:
I'm sorry to be so blunt, but that's just nonsense. In what way does game playing confer a survival advantage such that it would have been selected by the environment? What evidence is there of a "game-preferring gene?", and given how rare it seems to be, how has it survived?

Playing games (not just board games) provides an enormous survival advantage. It allows an animal to "try out" behaviours in a safe environment (the nest, den, etc). If a lion cub practices stalking around his mother and other young lions then when he becomes older he will be able to hunt better. Where as if he was left to fend for himself before he was able to stalk properly then he would most likely starve because he would frighten away his prey before he could ever get something to eat.

We are a social animal and many games that we play (I'm not talking specifics here) has a big social aspect.

Call it "Play" or "Games" but they have the same drives behind it. Learning.

Look at how quickly someone picks up new skills while playing games against how quickly they pick up skills when not playing. We have evolved to extend the "Den"/"Nest" play into the abstract realm and have developed very abstract concepts of play and the drives to do so. We call these "Fun", "Enjoyment" and "Entertainment". We have so abstracted these, that it can sometimes be hard to see the link to them.

Humans are born with very underdeveloped motor skills and behaviours. We must learn to walk and that can take a long time. Compare that time with say a horse, they can usullay run a few hours after they are born. Most of our learning does come from games that we play as a child, social skills, motor skills, infact most of what we need to survive in the world.

We are the game playing ape.

dete
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Needful Things

I agree with Lor,
and when you have this perspective of viewing things from
a need point, and further more, the creator intended it this
way because they also used the same perspective, then
man, it adds such a satisfying depth to the game.
You know, like in Chess, they say it was much more than
just a game, it was originally taught to young soldiers to teach
them the value of strategy (true or not very interesting)
then you can go further more and see that when all things equal,
strategy is what makes the difference. What is strategy,
to be a step ahead, to give an opening that you want, to not make
wasted movements, etc. so when I play Chess, it's more than
a game, I feel my primal instincts take over, this is war,
I'm exhausted afterwards and maybe I learn something, and I'm
glad it's just a game, hehehe

Infernal brings up some very interesting points in an almost
Darwinian point of view. Can probably be made into a Sci-Fi
movie like The Time Machine, how humans became conditioned
to go underground when they heard the sirens.

jwarrend
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Needful Things

Lor wrote:

And then went forward and refined it "on a mission" to satisfy certain
player needs: in this case to Build, Create a Record of my effort that isn't
completely wiped out at game's end, and of course Dominate the playing field for a win. I think it's a richer entertainment for the foundation.

If these considerations help you as part of your process, I think that's fine, my point is simply, don't be surprised if this doesn't end up being a major ingredient of your game's appeal with your players. We can agree to disagree; I just don't believe that playing a game can satiate these "needs".

For example, I don't think any well-adjusted adult plays games to "dominate" other people. It's not even that winning can't provide elation, but rather, that winning or losing is irrelevant to most players; you can play for a whole night and lose every game and still come away from the game being satisfied. In other words, I think that game playing satisfies these "needs" at only a very superficial level, and that this, as a motivator for game selection, is absolutely swamped by other factors. People don't buy games because they secretly want to do the things that games let them do; if this were the case, games would quickly be dropped quickly because they fall so short of delivering on the needs that players came to them expecting them to fill.

Quote:

What hints do i get from the game box that tell me THIS is ONE that will
satisfy me... tell me what YOU look for when you go game shopping so I can understand your point of view better.

As a minor clarification, it's rare that I'll buy a game without having read the rulebook first, and ideally, I like to play a game before buying it. I haven't even read the box text of most games I own.

I look for two things, primarily: first (and foremost), the game's mechanics must present me with interesting, challenging, and consequential decisions, in which I have a variety of options and can see what the potential benefits and ramifications of these options might be (although which benefits and ramifications are actualized may be resistant to perfect calculation; ideally, it should be a complex function of the actions chosen by the other player(s) and/or random elements inherent to the game itself). Secondarily, I look for an immersive experience -- a game whose theme is evoked by the kinds of decisions that are presented to the players (and not just by the visual presentation or flavor text of the components).

I don't think there's even an ounce of my conscious mind that sees my preferences in gaming as having any connection to any needs that I perceive myself to have. (As I said, my general preference for the activity of gaming itself may fill certain "needs", but you've already said that's not what you're talking about). And I'm going to need some very compelling evidence if you want to say that at some subconscious level, I really do "need" the experiences that the games I select enable me to simulate. As powerful counterevidence to such a notion, I'll note that my preferences for games span many thematic contexts. And I think this is true of most gamers: many of us are happy to play a fun game, whether it's about car racing, stock trading, military conquest, or whatever. It's gaming itself that is enjoyable, not the ability to "act out" repressed fantasies.

Quote:
Watch shoppers in game stores, how a smile creeps onto their faces
when they've just disocovered the right game. They're not smiling over the
beautiiful game mechanics, believe me. They're forking out cold hard cash
because you just gave them the permission, the venue and the tools to kick ass, get weallthy, show off, take over everything or otherwise behave
outrageously.

Depends which game shoppers you mean. "Hobby" gamers probably buy games more like me, ie, research the game first and then buy. If mass market store shelves are any indication, non-gamers buy games that they played as kids (Monopoly, Sorry, Scrabble, etc), or that have a tie-in to a TV show or movie that they like. The exception to this is party games, but these are much less about simulation, much more about social interaction, so I don't think they're helpful to your thesis.

Infernal wrote:
Jeff wrote:

I'm sorry to be so blunt, but that's just nonsense. In what way does game
playing confer a survival advantage such that it would have been selected by the environment? What evidence is there of a "game-preferring gene?", and given how rare it seems to be, how has it survived?

Playing games (not just board games) provides an enormous survival advantage.

Let's back up for a second, and maybe I can make it more clear what my objection to Lor's comments was. The definition of evolution is "... any change in the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next." (Helena Curtis and N. Sue Barnes, Biology, 5th ed. 1989 Worth Publishers, p.974)

Under this definition, saying that evolution caused us to prefer playing games is, as I said, nonsense. Evolution means a change in underlying genetic information, not a pattern of behavior that is found by trial-and-error to be successful and is subsequently passed down.

We can use a different example to see this: we now know that good hygiene improves our survival chances but that doesn't mean that we've "evolved" to be more hygienic, at least not in a biological sense. (Any parent of a small child can verify this!) There isn't now, as a result of the success of this behavior pattern, a new hy-gene (ouch!).

You're using evolution as a "just-so" story. Why do we game? Because we evolved to like gaming. Why do we fall in love? Because we evolved that way. If evolution is so uncritically accepted and misapplied, then its proponents should be considerably more tentative in belittling as morons those who question its validity. (not that anyone presently involved in the discussion has done such a thing.)

-Jeff

Infernal
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Needful Things

Quote:
Under this definition, saying that evolution caused us to prefer playing games is, as I said, nonsense. Evolution means a change in underlying genetic information, not a pattern of behavior that is found by trial-and-error to be successful and is subsequently passed down.

This is true, but it also is a simplistic view of evolution.

Behaviour is a result of genetics. If the dopamine receptors in your brain, didn't work (or worked differently) then you would have very different behaviour. This is therefore behaviour influenced by genetics.

If we are going to understand the emotions assosiated with playing games and why we feel the need to play games then we should look at the resons that we have those in the first place.

There would be not be just one gene that could be singled out as a game playing gene. It is 1) a complex behaviour and would most likely have many resons to evolve. 2) It is not an explicite behaviour and is most likely arising as a synergy of various behaviours (pleasure/reward, learning, dominance, practice, to name a few).

Quote:
You're using evolution as a "just-so" story.

Not realy. I am aproaching this from the point of view that game playing is a result of evolution, not the point of view that "we play games" and evolution is just an explaination.

An animal that plays and learns in a safe environment has a vastly greater survival chance than one that doesn't. If this trate occured in one of our ansestors (and it probably is not a homonid ancestor), this would have given a considerable advantage to this behaviour and then evolution would have worked on it to enhance and encourage it.

It is very concevable that the origen of our drive to play games stems from this "Nest" situation and the "Need" to learn before we can exist in the wide world. It could be that our intelegence has evolved to take advantage of this game playing so that not only have we evolved to play games but the fact that we play games has had an impact on other traits of humans.

larienna
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Needful Things

From what I know, The human need list, in priority order, is as follow:

1-Physical : Eat, Sleep, etc.
2-Security : Secure and iive in an untreathen environment.
3-Social : Create social relations and be accepted by others.
4-Production : Produce something or work on something.

In some rare situation, it is possible that some games could satisfy directly these needs. For example, in Japan, the people don't have time for social relations because they work too much. This is why there is a lot of social video games, especialy dating games, that allows to satisfy the need of social relations.

dete
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Needful Things

Larienna wrote:
From what I know, The human need list, in priority order, is as follow:

1-Physical : Eat, Sleep, etc.
2-Security : Secure and iive in an untreathen environment.
3-Social : Create social relations and be accepted by others.
4-Production : Produce something or work on something.

In some rare situation, it is possible that some games could satisfy directly these needs. For example, in Japan, the people don't have time for social relations because they work too much. This is why there is a lot of social video games, especialy dating games, that allows to satisfy the need of social relations.

interesting views
1 - the physical is why I like board games over video games
some times, to have the pieces in my hand, to roll a die, or
shuffle is a lil satisfying.
2 - to play in the living room, or kitchen, where I feel safe,
and when done, put it all neatly back in my big box...
3 - play in a group of friends and have fun
4 - this is where those that just play often times loose out.
if the game is real good create a club, or make a fan page,
modify rules, make your own version, etc.

Lor
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Needful Things

Folks here are helping me a great deal. For a reality check I asked my father, a cognitive-development research psychologist for 50 years, to chime in--

"My take on games is that they tap into different needs for different people: The obvious need is to win. But, as in chess, there is also an aesthetic aspect -- a delight in a particularly elegant checkmate for example.

"Common to all games is the feeling of 'being able to cause something to happen' -- a sense of efficacy that the game provides a channel for...This doesn't have to be on a deep, unconscious level, but it could."

I find this helpful in unifying differing stances toward unconscious need here, (I deliberately don't use the word "subconscuious"), including my own perspective where I give it great deal of value as a root or foundation to develop a theme and all that follows. The entire thread displays different needs for different people!

There are those who glom onto game mechanic/tools which are generally important for their catalytic ability to "cause things to happen," which is undeniably pleasureable. This rings very true because-- as I said elsehwere, a shopper who encounters a game box and responds with a sly smile to the outrageous opportunities to Do things within is usually a buyer.

And there are those who place more value on tickling the lower depths-- hence games like Scruples, CCG's like Magic and abstracts with unusual or provocative actions.

I guess Maslow would peg "cause things to happen" under Control and I am perfectly satisfied with that depth as a driver of Player Need. His Nine needs have shown up here on a couple threads and I find them very convenient.

To give Jeff deserved due, I find myself engaged spending an evening playing a short WarHammer game, with so many ways to wipe out the ugly multi-clawlike Gene Stealers (an intentionally designed sledgehammer button-push on the unconscious if ever there was one), that getting from one side of the crash site to the other, the "object" of this particular scenario-- was minor. The story premise next to meaningless; it's the FUN in strategically moving miniatures around and spraying lead and flame that lures. Cannot be ignored.

Of course I did win, but thanks only to the dice. I wish there were some way to minimize dice as a mechanic, it is almost everything in this game. WH is a major franchise, been around for 30 years, 60 retail outlets in the US alone, mor ein UK, and spread around the rest of Europe, selling essentially one product and a zillion spinoffs, developing an entire sideline on the creature painting craft-- just brilliant appeal to kids on so many levels-- making Games Workshop very wealthy. Bravo.

Would I play another WarHammer game? Unlikely. Depends upon who's buying the pizza and beer. Too much reliamce on dice.

Which brings me to evolution -- which is not random -- the ultimate mechanism to survive and adapt. It's obvious to me the result of Jeff's molecular changes is Infernal's adaptive behavior. Evolution is realistically defined as BOTH. You can view it statistically or causally. Darwin observed causality and made brilliant inferences. Today we can also identify adaptation chemically. They are both established facts of life. They cover the true origin of the elephant's trunk. Just-So.

Earliest gameplaying as a survival mechanism aiding evolution --sure! I like my caveman teaching the youngsters how to club attacking pterodactyls by rolling on the ground squawking like one, flapping his arms, and letting the litte ones dance around him whipping him with reeds until he suddenly stops moving. Game over.

Gameplaying supports survival because it's pleasureable yet safe, and gets coded somehow into subsequent generations because less caveman get eaten by pterodactyls-- the gameplaying works. (Oral history probably helps too -- the communication gene.) The activity of gameplaying is hence encouraged and genes show a predisposition for modelling risktaking and coping with theoretical situations, eventually as entertainment often with a teaching function.

I believe there is definitely a gameplaying gene, and I bet you don't find it in many severely disordered autistic children. But I'm only going by observed behavior; they're still trying to identify the biochemistry.

Another important reminder for me, KEEP FUN IN SIGHT.
Identify the "enjoyables" in a game, whether you really need to understand where they come from or not! Do no harm to the enjoyables. They are major sell points.

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