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Fun in gaming

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I think most of us can agree that the majority of people who play games do so for fun. Obviously fun is a very subjective term, but I also feel as if there are certain things that everyone would agree make a game more/less fun. In this post, I want to talk about how I feel about a few different games and their relation with the key concept of fun. A note ahead of time, all of the games I'm going to talk about I enjoy to a certain degree.

To start, let's go back to my favorite console ever, the ps2.

It was the console that got me into gaming, which isn't that surprising with the absolutely astounding list of games it had going for it. Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank, Ace Combat, as well as many, many more. The best way I can think to explain this is to just say that all these games were fun. I enjoyed pretty much all the time I spent playing those 3 game series, but for different reasons. Jak and Daxter had an amazing world that was super satisfying to explore and find new stuff in, Ratchet and Clank had an amazing amount of weapons to obliterate hordes of enemies with and Ace Combat has the perfect blend of realism and arcade for a flying game. For one reason or another, these games have fun injected into their veins for maximum enjoyment.

Fast forward to today, and it's very interesting to me to see that from an outsiders view of gaming trends it almost feels we've gone away from that. The most popular type of game to make right now seems to be battle royales, despite them not quite being as popular as they were when fortnite or apex were at their peak. A game where you wait in a que, drop into a map with randomized items and your enjoyment for the next game is completely based on luck. Will you find good loot? Will you find nothing? Will you have a decent start but then get killed by someone you never even saw? Its a complete gamble, and a big reason why I normally dont enjoy those games that often. I'll still play them with friends, but I'd rather play something where my experience is more likely going to be good.

Another game thats becoming more popular is Valorant, riots new tactical shooter. Its a game that people take very seriously, and that can lead to some VERY bad times playing the game. It also has a problem that drives me absolutely insane, and that problem is downtime.

Downtime is something that has to be used very carefully in games. A good example of downtime is in doom eternal, where a glory kill gives the player a second to catch their breath. This is important because of how crazy that game can get, especially on harder difficulties. Another example is anytime its put there to flex the world. I dont need to list any specific examples youve probably already thought of a couple. While I hate walking sections that are basically cutscenes, I would still take that over waiting and doing literally nothing.

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Lets say youre playing valorant. The game starts, and you have character selection, which is downtime, but it isnt exactly fair to judge it for that so we'll ignore it. Then, you have a 30 second buy period. This is more time where you arent doing anything. I get it needs to be there, and on its own it isnt really an issue. But then lets say youre rushing a site with your team, and you get killed from a guy from behind. Now you have to wait until the next round to play again, which could be around 2 minutes. Now when you start adding up time where youre rotating and your team cleans up before you get there, times when youre defending a site and nobody goes there the whole round, the amount of time you spend doing basically nothing is astounding, and people still eat it up. Add to this the fact that its a super competitive game where character selections can be limited and the ranked grind can be exhausting its not hard to see why people might not like it. Back to my original point though, its clear the game wasnt made with the first word coming to mind being fun.

I will say that if you enjoy valorant and think its the best game ever, good for you! Im happy that you enjoy the game more then I do. You can like whatever you want. The point of this post is just me putting some stuff I noticed out there because I dont know where else to put it.

Compare that to a game like rocket league, which I would say is equally competitive, at least at the highest levels. Yet the game is (in my opinion) much more fun. The amount of downtime in rocket league is very little, youre constantly watching the ball and the other players, trying to predict where you should go to help your team score a goal or make a close save. It constantly keeps you on your toes because one wrong move where you werent thinking could lead to a lost game. Not to mention, this game wasnt made with the intention of being competitive. It was made with the intention of being FUN. It was just that people got so damn good at it that they went "hey maybe we should do tournaments" and here we are today. I always find it strange that some games try to sell being competitive as a main selling point, yet I would rather play a game that is fun first, but can be taken seriously if you so desire. It gives the player more freedom to play how they want and can also lead to more people playing the game in general.

Another fun shooter is titanfall 2, which basically gets rid of all the downsides that I talked about with valorant. Downtime isnt fun, so respawns are fast which encourage the player to try new things because they arent slapped in the face if it goes wrong. The maps are covered in ai enemies so that you always have something to shoot at to help your team. Loadouts are much more varied in titanfall 2 because there are people who arent trying to use the best thing in the game. You have people that use the grenadier weapons so they have to lead their shots, you have people who use the kraber, because sniping someone whole theyre moving at mach 10 is an incredible feeling. The game was made with one sole purpose. To have FUN.

Im not sure exactly what my main point is here, its mostly just a collection of thoughts that Ive been having with multiplayer games as of late and figured Id put them in here. This is the first time Ive posted here so I just kinda went on a tangent. Im all up for discussion in the comments, since everyone likes different things and I know there will be people that disagree with things I had to say, as well as people that add points that I either didnt think of or forgot about while writing this.

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