[GEN] Playing vs. Doing


This is something I was considering earlier today while watching some shows on Gamebreaker.tv (which I love for some odd reason).

I know, I should be working, right?

Well I am.

This is my last month working for the big corporation I work for and I’m mostly tasked with fixing some automation that wasn’t working; instead of fixing it, I decided I’d send them in a different (better) direction so I’ve written a number of automation scripts.

A majority of my morning entails answering questions for the people taking the job over … yes. The remainder of the day they don’t contact me since there is that much of a timezone difference which leaves me to fix the automation (or write new stuff). The area I’m automating is fairly simple, lots of data in, data out and the verifying.

A lot.

I left it to run over night and it took over 6 hours to run – but it ran, without a hitch.

I’m that good.

I digress in my digressing.

One of the hosts on one of the Gamebreaker.tv shows (hmm, it might have been Lore on TankSpot.com – I watch a lot of web shows or they run as background noise) mentioned something that got me thinking about why I left WoW. I realized that I was just ‘doing’ and not ‘playing’.

I wasn’t having any fun with it, there was no enjoyable variance in it which caused me to get bored and just keep ‘doing’ it because I liked the people I was playing with (mostly) – they were fun, but the game wasn’t fun for me anymore. It was becoming a habit I did because it’s what I did or a job where I felt I needed to show up for the other people.

That’s not ‘playing’.

I’m not going to ramble on about SWTOR and how I’m playing because I’m in there for myself, going at my own pace and not needing to rely on others at all – it’s enjoyable and fun.

I will give an example of where you can shift from ‘playing’ a game to just ‘doing’ a game (which doesn’t involve reproductive organs in any way – unfortunately).

Minecraft is a great example. It’s fun to start off on a new level and rush to get yourself set up for the first night. After that, there is a lot of exploring for resources and building up tools you need.

This is playing and it’s fun.

When you’re building a mine, burrowing down to the bedrock it becomes a little tedious and you end up ‘doing’ stuff instead of playing.

However, when you hit lava, water or a cavern the game shifts back to playing as you get to explore or set up defenses before continuing on.

Minecraft has a lot of back and forth so long as you’re not spawning stuff or playing in creative mode (unless you like to just build things). It’s a good game to play. (NOTE: I love using JohnSmith’s texture pack available here)

I believe that all the other games I’m “done” with are much the same – I “do” them, I don’t really play them. Sometimes it’s a matter of subconsciously realizing I’m repeating myself over and over without much in the way of interesting results.

An example of this is Torchlight where I played it for while but the game was just too repetitive with little feel of advancement for my character beyond a certain point. It was all about smashing stuff over and over through constant clicking, gobbling a potion and collecting loot. Yes some of the loot looked different and there was a story to follow but I didn’t get drawn in.

Much of what I said about Torchlight’s gameplay could be said about TES: Skyrim, however Skyrim gave you more options and drew you into the game more so you didn’t realize all you were doing was clicking to shoot, cast or chop at someone; it wasn’t the sole purpose of the game.

For a lot of people, WoW is a game you can easily “play” instead of “do” but for me, the gameplay I got involved with turned it into “doing” – I had a pretty long run with WoW, longer than any other MMO. It’s kind of amazing when you think about it (or sad if you consider how that time could have been used to do something more productive hehe).

Anyway, lunch time… I’m having Ship Daily Missions in SWTOR for lunch!

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