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March 04, 2005



Why do some people feel that games are "too fun", and that they shouldn't be played?

The same reason that certain religious sects outlaw music/dancing/alcohol? The ascetic impulse is as old as the hedonistic one, I think. Or at least only ten seconds younger...


The term should be 'gabkhron' - which apparently is a word that exists in the Boro language of northeast India, and means "to be afraid of witnessing an adventure". Very apt, I thought.


I don't think it's to do with the game being too much fun, more to do with people realising that they don't have the will power to resist playing it every hour that god sends to the detriment of other aspects of their life. I've pretty much got over the worst excesses of this sort of behaviour, though not before dropping a degree class thanks in part to a choice selection of Japanese RPGS. I can understand why people might want to avoid certain types of games in the same way an alcoholic might want to avoid alcohol.

I'm surprised that as a gamer you've never experienced the feeling after a weekend locked away with a console and a new game that not having been outside for the last 48 hours you might have missed something of life's rich pageant.

Jorn Barger

Saturday's Doonesbury sees both sides:



OH so many a weekend or evening has been spent playing games. Many. Hours.
The difference is, I don't see it as a waste, or in any negative light. Perhaps because most of my play is social .. ? Or maybe it's because if I'm not playing games, I'm usually out and about. Games are my leisure time - and a treat as a result, not a labour..


In the old days I had no hangups whatsoever about spending, oh, 90% of my recreational time playing games. Now there are bazillions of other things vying for my time & I know I'll feel crap if I get sucked into some game & get F-all else done. Mind you, that doesn't stop it from happening...

When I unwrapped KOTOR 2 on my bday I think I groaned out loud. M would go off to nursery on those 2 precious days a week & I'd think "ok, an hour of Sith Lords first thing & then - seriously - hoovering/errands/breakfast/etc." Yeah right. I'd barely manage to stop in enough time to shower before going to pick up M. WEAK. On the plus side, I finished it in 3 weeks & get now get on with my life.


Alice wrote: "If something is very enjoyable, does that - automatically - make it bad, d'ya think?"
In French, we call it bloody "judéo-christianisme", dear... There MUST be something wrong if you are having to much fun! (Ask Marick about that, you'll see...)


Hah yes! Salut toi :)

Raph is well on the way to a solution, luckily: http://crystaltips.typepad.com/wonderland/2005/03/raphs_keynote.html


Protestant Work Ethic.

I refer you to The Hacker Ethic - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0375505660/

Even leisure time is comoddified and constructed as 'valued', as work = godliness in contemporary culture.

Playing too much... the devil makes work for idle thumbs...

Robert 'Groby' Blum

It's not the fact that something is good - it is that it's good at distracting us from reality and *keeping* us in the fantasy world. It's a drug that gives a "better world".

Once you have something that reaches that threshold, you've got to be careful about how you use it. If something said "this drink is soo good, there's no way I could limit myself to one", would you be wondering too? (Or blame it on judeo-christianism?)

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