I’ve been playing computer games for thirty years or so. I have worked in the games industry for well over five years.
I enjoy MMOs. I am not sure to what extent World of Warcraft was created to fulfil the desires of gamers like me, and to what extent I changed my expectations – over time – to slot into the groove they had carved out. Inevitably, a bit of both.
Here’s the thing, though. I don’t always have fun, playing WoW. Especially after nearly ten years. To continue paying every month for a game you aren’t enjoying seems like insanity, right? So why do I do it? It would be reasonable to accuse me of being addicted, and having lost perspective. Stuck in a rut. A mindless ritual. (Rutual?)
I have a different theory. I continue to play, and continue to pay, because it’s satisfying.
I create lists of things to do, and I tick items off that list, and it feels good. I don’t want tough or interesting choices, oft-cited as the central pillar of game design. I just want to feel pleased with the progress of my account.
Satisfaction. I will pay for that. Gladly.
There’s another way in which I hate having fun, but I might do a separate post about that.