raspberry jam, on 21 January 2013 - 09:22 AM, said:
Your last paragraph seems to imply that nonlinear systems are not predictable. Either that or you're skipping a step. And human perception is not fractal in nature. And yes, self-doubt and insecurity are psychological constructs that help motivate us (as a population) to excel.
Anyway, that is all fine, and to answer your question (which I'm sure was rhetorical), one plays a game because it provides not only a challenge, but a challenge created by a dedicated team of, in some cases, hundreds of people, a challenge designed to feed your ego in the exact right way. Also, the challenge is intellectual, not physical - while there are physical elements involved in playing a video game, they are limited to clicking a mouse, pressing buttons/keys, and moving analog devices (sticks, mouse). There is some element of reflex, timing, accuracy involved, but the rest of the challenge pertains to your mind, not to your body.
The nonphysical nature of it makes it entirely different from arm wrestling, attempting to touch your toes with your fingers, jumping into the air and whatever else you mentioned. As I said, it's also a designed challenge, making it different from other nonphysical challenges such as learning Chinese or trying to verify the Riemann hypothesis.
I mentioned feeding the ego. Consider that a video game is a designed challenge. I'm talking only about the PvE, campaign, etc., portion here, not any part where you face other players (since that challenge is not designed). The enemies and bosses you meet in FotM and other places are there to give you a challenge... But consider that in the hyperreality, they are there to kill you, but in the real reality, they are there to be killed by you.
That said, it remains that "fairness" must have a root in the lore to be part of immersion. Is there some (lore) agency/t that rewards you more if you pick a higher level? Of course not, and thus it is not part of immersion. The "fairness" is entirely in the real reality: merely the idea that you dedicate yourself more to beat a higher challenge, dedication that you could spend on farming other parts of the game for more money if the reward didn't match the challenge.
The last paragraph in my last post was simply saying that matters of the mind, which "joy" certainly is, is too complex to be described by your explanation. In many situations you assume that "there can be only one reason for a particular conclusion" especially when these reasons are not of the same form, or not at the same level, with the conclusion itself. For example, "there is one and only one reason why someone could've enjoyed something". When I said "you can't treat the system as a linear system", I am not implying that nonlinear systems are not predictable --- Anything can be predictable given enough information. Everything is predictable if you're omniscient. So that's not worth arguing over, but rather, I'm saying that prediction of nonlinear systems based on linear methods do not give meaningful results.
Regarding challenge, I'd like to say that arm wrestling and learning Chinese are in fact not that different, at least in the sense that I was trying to portray. No matter where the source, enjoyment is only of the mind, your muscle fibre certainly don't "enjoy" being stretched in an arm wrestle match. Whether if you can do something or not, whether if you've "achieved your goal", whether if you realize that you have conscious control in at least some aspect of this process, these are all "mental states". Hence I still maintain that the cases I've listed are relevant to our discussion at hand, in addition adding in those "mental challenges" is fine too --- Let's say "learning Chinese", why don't gamers all just go and learn Chinese then if a "challenge" is the only thing that they care for in gaming? My point still stands that having a "challenge" is only a part of the reason for the enjoyment of a game.
You seem to take it that "immersion" necessarily means adopting completely different concepts and/or standards, but I've mentioned that it is definitely not the case. You may or may not have different beliefs in the game, and there are definitely going to be standards that you bring into the game yourself. Being just and nice outside of the game does not mean I necessarily need to be unjust and cruel inside the game, enjoying jazz music doesn't mean I can't enjoy jazz music in the game too. What I meant by "enjoying myself as an immersed player" is something like: confirmation of my personal belief, such as fairness and effort/reward, as a character in game. I enjoy seeing that principal, or belief, being confirmed in real life. I also enjoy seeing that belief being confirmed when I am immersed in a game through the values that the game world have provided to me. Immersion is necessary here because like you said, if I'm not immersed, I was simply being given digital information which was designed to be given to me upon pressing certain buttons at certain times, in other words the effort and reward wouldn't be at the same level.
Ultimately, people expect things, and when these expectations are not met, they will be upset to different degrees. What do you expect from dedicating yourself to something? Reward. Indeed, if by dedication you mean spending hours pressing buttons, then your reward IS fun itself. But since you're immersed for that whole duration, your dedication in game should be fulfilled by reward under the same assumptions, and this applies to all levels of immersion from there on. You seem to suggest that "playing the game" and "dedicating to something" cannot happen together, and hence you cannot be expecting both "out of the game fun" as well as "in game reward" at the same time. But countless number of different expectations can arrive from the simple concept of "playing the game", because this task itself involves so many different factors at so many different levels.
Lastly, I am confused to why we're arguing about the "feasibility" of something that is already existing. That people are having fun playing the game and yet still wanting reward. Are you suggesting those wanting reward are NOT having fun playing the game? Because many of them are saying they ARE, and I think they know themselves better. It seems to me that you have approached the problem in reverse order --- I mean, there's no argument about it: people have fun playing the game, of course! And those same people still want reward in game, that's true too! So there's no "sense making" here --- That is simply the fact. Those two CAN happen at the same time. Our problem should be trying to figure out "why is that the case and what rules am I not considering to not be able to understand that fact" instead of declaring it "none sense". Or perhaps we're talking about a "should" and "should not" problem, where you're suggesting that people SHOULD not care about reward if they're having fun playing the game already? But I really don't think there's a "should" or "should not" in this case. I mean, it's like saying "you should like hockey because that makes sense to me".