a smart man once said, "you are what you do". i think those were the words that stuck most with me. could this be applied to gaming? even thoguh gaming doesn't have consequences on the world doesn't mean it won't have consequences on the mind. if you play to win, but you lose, how do you feel? instead what if you play to have fun and enjoy yourself, then losing can feel better than winning. somtimes i wonder if games have two goals, i like to reffer to these as "game goal" and "mind goal". these terms are relevant in both single and multiplayer games. the game goal is simple, it's the objective the games set out for you. if you achieve the game goal you win, if you don't you loose. mind goal is more complicated, it's subjective. it's what you have to do to "have a good time", "fulfilment" or what ever you value the most from the game. it might be speedrunning, or trying to kill every enemy you see, or just having a good time. there are no rules and you can change them whenever you feel like it. it is essentially just "what you are doing", "how you choose to play".
the problem comes when "game goal" and "mind goal" clashes; achivements and bagdes. achivements/badges doesn't help you win, aka achieve the game goal. e.g an achivement can be "kill 10 enemies", while the objective of the game is to capture the flag. they are similar to mind the "mind goals" you might create for yourself. however they are set out from the game, they are no longer subjective, they are objective goals the game chose for you. what does that say for free will? before achivements your job was the play to win, the "game goal", but you also had your own "mind goals" to give youre playstyle your own personality. now the games chooses everything for you, you are no longer playing the game, you are following instructions. you are not exploring a world, you are looking at what the game has to offer. once you have seen everything you move onto the next game and follow the next insctructions. in multiplayer games this effect is the strongest, people play the games to level, thats how you progress. but the fastest way to level is to get the badges. the end result is a game were no one is trying to win the match, everyone are following their own badges to get xp to level and progress. games might become like this in the future.
you might say, fair point, but this is only relevant for multiplayer games, but it really isn't. in single player people want big open world games with lots of small quest or missions you can do. missions, guest, badges, they are all chores. small objectives you accomplish so that you can move onto the next. why do people want this? they don't. but games are designed so that this small tasks gives dopamine. people just continues to play without having fun. you might think this isn't a problem, even though vast majority of players play like this doesn't mean you have to. but the thing is, most games are designed for the vast majority, you will be effected in the games you play. "you are what you do".
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