Am I the ONLY one who just doesn't "get" the allure of gaming?

I am not totally ignorant of what is so fun about video or role playing games. My brother had a computer when I was a kid (in the 80s) and I spent many an hour playing Dig-Dug, Donkey Kong, Thexter, etc. But then, I put the joystick down and did something else. Heck, I remember when Dungeons & Dragons was controversial, because of its themes!
While I don’t have any major moral issue with most games (although granted, I know virtually nothing about them now) in this day and age, I am simply amazed at the whole industry and culture that has grown up around both computerized and role-playing games. Am I missing something here? I have occasionally dabbled with the computer type of game, but usually as soon as ran out of quarters I forgot all about it. It was just a few minutes entertainment. I ocasionally played Mortal Kombat with my college roommate, but grew bored after he kiccked my ass with ease. He claimed to have spent half his high school years playing this game, and I believed him But, as annoyed as I was at losing, I never felt the least bit motivated to fire up the game and play it when he wasn’t around.
And I am always reading about how professional athletes – men (mostly) well out of high school – who play tournaments of Quake or Doom or some pro basketball game.
I am also hearing all the time about kids who are “glued to the game Boy” or their PlayStation. Don’t kids read books anymore? Don’t they go out and ride bikes? Build snow forts? I just don’t get it! What is the appeal? I’m only 26, and it seems totally alien to me!

Well Lizard, I got good news and bad news:

  1. Good news: I’m with you. I don’t get it at all and it strikes me as a colossal waste of time. I played 'em as a kid, and have access to 'em now as a youngish adult. I’ve caught myself enjoying SimCity now and then, but not for hours on end and not for any portion of my free time.

  2. Bad News: I think the same thing about pro sports, which generally gets me labeled as some sort of un-american weirdo nancy-boy type (all inaccurate)… Just don’t see the point – would just much rather go watch a little league game in the park where it’s extra ice cream up for grabs than fight my way to the stadium and overpay for parking, tickets and food to watch grown men play for millions of dollars…


Ha! Books? Video games replaced TV, not books.

Also, you’re clearly not alone. (Broad generalization) Most women have no interest in gaming.

Heck, no, you’re not the only one that doesn’t get it.

I am one of the rare, middle-aged women who really enjoys them. Everyone else in my immediate family enjoys them too, but members of my extended family don’t like them and never play. Even some who are close to your age.

We still go outside, read books (my kids and myself are avid readers, not so much the old man, though) ride bikes, etc. We have a cabin in the bush with no hydro. No PC’s, TV’s, or Playstations up there. When we first got the place, the kids brought up their Gameboys to have just in case they got bored, but never end up playing with them. We hike through the bush, take care of the property, chop wood, and generally work like dogs around the place. Fun work, though, feel-good stuff.

We enjoy games in general, too. All the usual stuff, cards, board games, what have you.

I’d say we’re overall fairly balanced about it. Video games are just another fun way to while away free time.

SmackFu: Is that “Broad Generalization” as in wide? Or as in “Broads have no interest in gaming?”

Sorry, couldn’t resist…

I definitely agree that video games didn’t “replace” books, and that the recreational reading rate among young people has been dismal for some time… But they’re certainly one factor keeping it so (along with TV et al)

Why, when I was their age, I didn’t even HAVE a computer! If I wanted to play a game, I had to go outside to do it!

These young whippersnappers. They don’t know what tough is.

(I always wondered what our generation would say when we became old curmudgeons!)

I know plenty of people that don’t like playing computer games or tabletop games or indeed any sort of game at all. It’s a hopbby, and nobody likes every hobby.

Me, I am baffled by the pride people feel in professional sports teams. So the Tarheels won – YOU don’t play for them, why are you celebrating?

And knitting! I tried knitting once, but when I realized that I’d rather use the needles to gouge out my eyes, I put them down.

And don’t even get me started on those tweakers that have thousands of posts on Internet message boards.


Me. Never was interested in RPGs, not a fan of video games particularly, don’t watch or follow sports even. Which is why I was so happy to discover that mr. genie wasn’t very interested in those things, either. Finally, a guy who didn’t want to spend his Friday nights playing Rifts! My BIL and his wife are both very into it, so it’s nice for them. They have gaming parties, we don’t go to them, and everyone is happy.

Video games bore the crap out of me. I have tried very hard to enjoy video games but I just can’t. I must confess that I do play NHL 2001,2,3,etc. every once and a while and I do have a thing for heroes of might and magic, but I can’t play them for more than about 20 minutes (or so) at a time and no more than about once per month.

I’m with you, I’m certainly not caught by the allure of gaming. I’d much rather play hockey than play the video game series, play soccer instead of the Fifa series, skateboard instead of Tony Hawk’s series, or ski and snowboard instead of whatever series they have for that.

No, you’re not the only one. Nor am I the only one who doesn’t get the allure of sports, tv, quilting, scrapbooking, cats, Fight Club, jazz, beer, or cooking. To each his or her own.

I’m a big reader, but I’ve been locked into an RPG-fanatic phase for 5 years now. I dont know…Games like Final Fantasy 8 and Final Fantasy 10 just have better storys in them than most movies I have seen. The only TV/Book/Movie storyline that ever comes close to FFVIIIs is probobly Cowboy Bebop, but thats a hijack in itself.

Some people just dont get interested in them. Personally, I have no clue how somebody could enjoy playing Madden or any other sports game for that matter. They are just so…boring. I wouldnt go so far to say that sports games are boring in general though. People wouldnt play them if they werent any fun. I’d say the same thing applys to your lack of interest in games. They might not be up your alley, but for millions of gamers out there, they are a great way to spend some time.

I have the same reaction to video games as dogs have to television.
When someone captures a dog on video, people will point to the screen and say, “Look Rover! Look, you’re on TV!”
The dog will sniff the TV once, and walk away. The subtext, of course, is that the dog is thinking you must be really stupid.
“Why are the humans watching that thing that doesn’t smell like food?” the dog is thinking.

I share the dog’s frame of mind here.
I cannot, for the life of me, imagine what the fascination is with videogames.

Laughing Lagomorph collapses into chair, gasping in disbelief!!!

A lot of the guys I work with are into video and computer games, some a little bit and some with an all-consuming passion. I don’t get it at all. I haven’t played anything more complex than “Tetris” since the early 80s.

I think its partly generational. I am 38, the guys that are heavily into it seem to be just slightly younger than me, mid thirties on down. I dread the day my 3 year old son discovers them.

daniel, i’m with you, my brother freaks when the tarheels lose(we live near raleigh).i could care less…we are both avid gamers, i’m 27 he is 36. my wife doesnt play, she thinks its stupid, i just think its great. I mean, it isnt as useless as smoking pot, you are actually using brain power to solve really technical situations at times…its fun…i also read, write and exercise…i dont know…i’m hooked…

I probably spent anywhere from 6-8 hours today and yesterday playing Morrowind, a computer RPG (we’ve been iced in). My husband spent an equal amount of time playing another CRPG, Divine Divinity, on his machine. Games are fun…for us. Why? Who knows.

(I do love to read, but because I go through books too fast, I have to ration my reading. As it is, I end up re-reading books two or more times anyway.)

I don’t get the allure of sports, cars, racing, embroidery, knitting, gardening, photography, television, or any of the other billion hobbies people have. Really, you don’t need to “get” it. You like what you like. I like what I like. It’s all good. :slight_smile:

Back in the day (286 was the fastest game in town) when I had free time to burn I’d play auto racing simulations constantly, memorising entire circuits and achieving some stratospheric scores and lap times. The whole man vs machine concept was very intoxicating.

Now I have negative free time and cannot justify the investment needed to get really good. Beyond that, everytime I upgrade an operating system it seems I lose all the settings it takes “years” to figure out and am not interested in starting from scratch.

Books?? You people have it easy! Back in my day, we didn’t have books. If we wanted to hear a story, we had to tell it ourselves!

Come on… video games have stories too, and instead of just sitting there reading about what’s happening, you actually make it happen and influence the direction of the story. Active entertainment beats passive entertainment any day.

Video and computer games bore the heck outta me as well. Ditto for role-playing anything. I tried Dungeons and Dragons in high school. It was okay, I guess, but mainly for the social interaction (and beer!). I found the game itself too hard and byzantine. Most games in general really frustrate me for that reason.

So no, I do not understand what the attraction is. Hey, why waste precious shopping time??!! :smiley:

Yeah, I’ll admit to playing a video game or two when I was younger, but I’ve avoided them entirely for years. I just don’t see any appeal in trying to very precisely duplicate a series of finger movements hundreds of times in the hope of getting a slightly higher score and some high scores list.

I love games of all kinds in all ways. Video, board, role-playing, givem-all to me, except sports video games, never seen the allure, I’d rather play the sport, which I do! I go active stuff as well, I play hockey, b-ball and soccer on occasion, and softball. I also did track and field and x-country in high school. I just love doing something that’s fun.

Books? I have stacks and stacks of books - but not that many are novels. Got books on literature, science, philosophy, how-tos, history, etc. Games, I got a bunch of games - computer games, board games, card games. Books and game are different media. Books are passive, you just read it. Games are interactive, regardless wether you play against a computer, other people, or a combination. Interactivity is what makes game fun. Unlike watching TV or reading a book, you take part in the games.