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Gabe Hawkins
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This question is inspired by the discussion on yesterday's QOTD submitted by

p55carroll
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as well as his very interesting blog post.

What are your primary motivations for playing video games? Is it to master it inside and out, be told a great story, or entertained similar to film/books? Perhaps something else entirely?


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Joakim Schön
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Fun and relaxing. I like best if I can explore a world in a game.
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Matt
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Escapism and Skinner Box rewards.

My job is fairly stressful, and being able to disconnect from that and distract my brain with a bounded, understandable environment is like a little mini-vacation for me.

Add rewards, or even just recognition, for missions accomplished (or achievements unlocked!) and this introvert is as happy as a pig in mud on a hot day.

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Gabe Hawkins
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If you read my comment on yesterday's QOTD, you know I tend to think of video games as no different than film, television, or books. While video gaming is its own unique medium, I find myself gravitating towards games for the same reason I do those other forms of entertainment. For instance, story is one of the most important aspects of a game to me, just as it would be in a film or book. Even in games that don't really have a "story," such as a sports game, I tend to create my own narrative in my head. If I'm playing Madden NFL 19, I'm trying to right the sinking ship that is the Denver Broncos or grow from a rookie quarterback to a franchise veteran and make my hometown proud. In many cases, I'm happy to play something with limited or even poor gameplay (within reason) if it has a strong story that keeps me interested.

This is why games like Heavy Rain, The Walking Dead, and Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 5 are right up my alley. They're almost like movies that you get to interact with, but often tell better stories in the process.

Of course, I'm also motivated by things like competition, mastering getting better at a game, building a stronger character, etc. Depending on the type of game, some of those might wind up being more important than others. But I gravitate towards games with strong and engaging narratives more so than others.

I view video games as "experiences," which is admittedly a vague and difficult to articulate term in this case. But generally speaking, when I think of gaming, I'm not out to master the mechanics or become the best player. I want to hear good storytelling, and having some fun gameplay to go along with that always helps.
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Gabe Hawkins
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joakim589 wrote:
Fun and relaxing. I like best if I can explore a world in a game.


Verdigris97 wrote:
Escapism and Skinner Box rewards.

My job is fairly stressful, and being able to disconnect from that and distract my brain with a bounded, understandable environment is like a little mini-vacation for me


I think both of your responses go along with my answer as well. When I watch a film, it's 2 hours of me forgetting about the rest of the world. It's as if all that matters is what's going on in the universe that the film takes place in. I see video games in the same light. But even better, they're far more immersive in most cases.
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Krzysztof Zięba
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Escapism and the chance to immerse myself in a fictional world used to be the primary motivation for me. Nowadays, relaxation is increasingly taking its place - I need more and more time to really get into a game, and I have less of it each year, it seems. In addition, living with my partner and having both PCs in the same room means that immersion is hard to come by, too many distractions.
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Lauren Allbritain
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It's good for my fingers and my brain, I like getting things accomplished, and it's like a regular visit with favorite characters.
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p55carroll
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For the long answer, see my blog post mentioned at the top of this thread.

Short answer: I play games primarily for the joy of learning.

Short elaboration: My impetus for gaming is a desire to escape into something fun and entertaining. But once I'm there, I busy myself with figuring things out, trying to make things happen, working toward a goal. All of that involves learning--gathering and processing information and/or building and employing skills.

I can find satisfaction in a game without a story (e.g., checkers or Pong), but I can't imagine enjoying a game that doesn't involve learning.

Then again, focusing too intensely on the learning (e.g., trying to optimize moves and such) can spoil the fun. A balanced approach works best.
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Seth Brown
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Depends on the game! I can play to explore a world, to lose myself in a story, to be surprised, amused, challenged, to relax, to achieve, to socialize, to unwind from people, to see numbers go up, to make things go splat, to have easily defined and achievable and rewarded goals, pure escapism with no real purpose, or any subset of the aforementioned.

I guess "enjoyment" if I had to name one overarching one. But for me playing Agricola with friends has different motivations than playing Skyrim alone has different motivations than playing a clicker has different motivations than a CCG, etc.
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Benj Davis
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Revenge.
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Geoffrey Burrell
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To stay mentally sharp.
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Lee Dyke
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I would say primarily for escapism, they are my interactive movies. I don't ever really play Ranked or competitive anymore.

A close secondary reason would be for the bonding, it's a great way to play with friends that have moved away and started their own families. Whether they be across continents or only a 2hr car drive, it's great to catch up online and save the world at the same time...
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Ryan Ahr
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Pure recreation as some have mentioned here, but I am also voracious for stories. I absolutely love to read but being able to interact with the story (the good ones, anyway) adds so much more depth to the experience.
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Robert
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Basically, it's for game play. I like interacting with interesting systems and just doing things. I don't care for story in games, or cinematics, or player competition, and while I certainly get into games, learning and playing, I don't set out just to master it in and out.

I just like the feeling of playing well in a good game, for whatever "well" is for where I am with that game.
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Simon Lundström
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ghostpants wrote:
entertained similar to film/books


There we have it. But video games is a completely other medium, as you're (usually) much more in control. But yeah, I'm usually there for the immersion, the sense of involvement. Exploring, seeing. I don't care much about besting myself or my peers. Solving clues is usually a very compatible mechanism with what I want of a game.
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Caroline Berg
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There isn't just one motivation.

It's how I prefer to spend my time - so much so I made it my job. I play games to relax, to wake up, to immerse myself in other worlds, to see what games are out there for comparison, to stretch my mind. I play games because I love to solve puzzles, because I want to visit other worlds, because I love to be enfolded in stories, because crafting is easier in game than in real life, because I like plants but don't want a farm... because I love to create content, because I love to collect achievements. It's hard to know where one motivation stops and the next begins.
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