Submitted by naut in Games (edited )

Alt Title: Open critical thinking and rational discussion go out the window when someone uses VideoGames (TM) as a platform to criticize war and capitalist economics.

I like playing videogames. I also hate what capitalist competition does to exploit the earth and the people living on it.

I don't even know what to say any more, so yeah, thanks for coming.

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masque wrote (edited )

I feel like the author identifies a non-domination-related reason why many people enjoy competition, dismisses it for personal reasons, and then goes on to write as though the enjoyment of competition is always driven by an "urge to dominate".

I'm specifically talking about this bit (emphasis mine):

But there is something that makes me queasy about both games. They seem so spiritually hollow. All you do is kill the other person’s pieces, elaborately. Personally, I can only find this fun about four times, because I can’t be passionate about logistics devoid of values. (This is also why I could never find satisfaction working for a company that did something pointless no matter how much interesting “puzzle-solving” was involved in my job.)

The author doesn't enjoy challenge or problem solving in-and-of-itself, which is fine, but a lot of people do enjoy this. Competition often creates a unique sort of challenge in which an intelligent agent is actively striving to make your job harder. Even when not directed towards a meaningful goal, it still involves exercising general skills that could be helpful in achieving other meaningful goals. If the author doesn't personally see the value in this, that's fine, but I think it's disingenuous to ignore this and then assume that the "competitive urge" and the "urge to dominate" are one and the same.

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moonlune wrote

yeah, and to add to that; games aren't a zero sum game: losers have fun too. And if they don't, they can opt out.

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naut OP wrote (edited )

I think you bring up a great point, and I'd agree that the author's bias skews his conclusion a bit. Competition can be constructive, play can be competitive, and these are good things. I think where a lot of this discussion went astray is that like you say, domination and competition are being compared equally, whereas in reality they have marked differences.

Arguably, a 20yo conquest game with a specific set of mechanics is partly why this article is more controversial. I would give the Civ series as an alternate, of which domination is only one of five or six methods of victory. But even this is an extremely fuzzy simulation of our global society, and I share some of the criticisms of AoE in that the mechanics of Civ are more geared towards combat. This is my opinion of course, so it may also appear biased to others.

The main distinction or clarification I'd like to make is this:

the enjoyment of competition is always driven by an "urge to dominate"

My take is that for any concept, equating a neutral to an extreme is too simplistic an argument. Competition on smaller scales like most of the defenses pose, is not inherently bad. On larger scales however, in economies, wars, and politics, competition (defining it as a drive to win) is bad for society as a whole. Capitalist systems are founded in competition, and on so large a scale it becomes domination instead.

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masque wrote (edited )

Competition on smaller scales like most of the defenses pose, is not inherently bad. On larger scales however, in economies, wars, and politics, competition (defining it as a drive to win) is bad for society as a whole. Capitalist systems are founded in competition, and on so large a scale it becomes domination instead.

I kinda disagree with this. The problem with capitalist competition isn't scale, it's the fact that people are forced to compete for resources and power which necessarily creates a zero-sum situation. Arguably, claiming that a competitive urge creates the problems of capitalism is backwards; rather, capitalism creates material conditions that force people to compete regardless of whether they feel an intrinsic urge to do so.

EDIT: I guess what I think is that intrinsically-motivated competition (e.g. the desire to be really good at something or to achieve great & noteworthy things) is generally good for society, but extrinsically-motivated, goal-directed competition (i.e. competition aimed at achieving a material goal that is mutually exclusive with the goals of others) is typically bad. But competitive games mostly fall into the former category, not the latter.

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naut OP wrote

Well said, my wording around “capitalist systems are founded in competition” wasn’t the right way to describe it. I love the intrinsic-extrinsic concept, I think that really encapsulates the issue. Thanks!

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RadicalConstructivist wrote

I guess what I think is that intrinsically-motivated competition (e.g. the desire to be really good at something or to achieve great & noteworthy things) is generally good for society

I don't think that necessarily has anything to do with competition and doesn't need to take place in a competitive framework.

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masque wrote (edited )

I think a lot of competition essentially consists of people who want to be "really good" using the accomplishments of others as a benchmark for what "really good" means.

EDIT: This is not the only way to measure or inspire progress, of course, but it's one that seems to work well for a lot of people.

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RadicalConstructivist wrote (edited )

Competition can be constructive, play can be competitive, and these are good thing

I disagree. Competition is always destructive - for relationships, play, mental health and performance.

Play is not competitive - it is a fundamentally cooperative act. All parties involved are working towards the same goal: their mutual enjoyment. Even if you want to "play" in a competitive game, you are still ultimately working with the other people to achieve the common goal of having a good time. If the 'competition' within the game starts to supercede that common goal then what you are doing has ceased to be "play" and has morphed into something else. In the context of a culture that valourises competition, this can happen all too easily (see: Gamers)

Capitalist systems are founded in competition, and on so large a scale it becomes domination instead.

In a competitive framework, your goal is mutually exclusive with other people's. I succeed only if you fail - of course one of the most effective strategies is always going to be to make them fail - or better to force them to work for your benefit instead of their own - ie to dominate them. I don't see how this has anything to do with scale.

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naut OP wrote

I'll try to break down my argument a bit more, but at some point I'm going to get lost in the semantic differences we're trying to make.

Play is not competitive - it is a fundamentally cooperative act

This is where we differ in our definitions. I would argue that play does contain competition, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. What matters is the intent the parties have. I think /u/masque makes a good point here in that competition is destructive when there is no other option, when you are forced to compete.

In a competitive framework, your goal is mutually exclusive with other people's

I don't think this can be said absolutely. Even in an ecological perspective, my goal of survival would not be completely mutually exclusive to that of others. Why else would individuals work together to survive? Cooperating allows a group to succeed in a competitive framework. While absolutes are extremely useful for examining concepts, I don't think they can apply to a relativistic world.

I would even consider this debate as a form of competition on some level. We're both trying to argue our points of view, but that doesn't mean there must be a winner and a loser.

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RadicalConstructivist wrote

I don't think this can be said absolutely. Even in an ecological perspective, my goal of survival would not be completely mutually exclusive to that of others.

If there is no mutually exclusive goal, then in what respect is anyone "competing"? What is even the point in the word if you're gonna use it so broadly?

I would even consider this debate as a form of competition on some level. We're both trying to argue our points of view, but that doesn't mean there must be a winner and a loser.

"I would consider this thread a hierarchy on some level, after all each comment appears above another. And there's no problem with that. Just because they have an order doesn't mean those above must be superior to those below. Therefore, hierarchy is good."

What are you even trying to say?

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masque wrote

What are you even trying to say?

Don't act like the idea that "debate is competitive" is incomprehensible.

The parties involved presumably have the goal of convincing the audience (and maybe their opponent) to accept their own viewpoint. One participant's success in this regard will detract from the other participant's success. How is that not competition?

Sure, you could argue that both parties have the "shared goal" of arriving at the truth, but this is no different from the fact that in, say, chess, both parties pursue the shared goal of mutual enjoyment by working towards a mutually-exclusive sub-goal of winning the game. Thus, there is both competition and cooperation present.

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RadicalConstructivist wrote

Honestly this thread is the perfect example of why viewing discussions in a competitive framework is shit, it just devolves into people trying to sound or feel the most right at the expense of coherence or anything useful.

Like, what exactly are you arguing? Because it's got fuck all to do with anything I've said

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masque wrote (edited )

Like, what exactly are you arguing? Because it's got fuck all to do with anything I've said

You appear to believe that "Competition is always destructive - for relationships, play, mental health and performance," which I think is wrong, as evidenced by examples of positive competition. You seem to reject these positive examples by refusing to view them as truly competitive, which is why my other responses to your comments mostly consist of me defending the characterization of play, debate, and the "desire to be really good at something" as competitive. (EDIT: Perhaps I should rephrase the last one slightly, and say that while the "desire to be really good at something" is not inherently competitive, many competitive behaviours are driven by this desire in a way that is ultimately beneficial. Ultimately, I see "competitive" as a description of activity, not motivation)

If I've misunderstood your position, I'm genuinely interested in understanding what it is that you're actually arguing here.

I don't "view discussions in a competitive framework," but I recognize that I am trying to convince you (or others reading this) of something, and I think that this is an example of an endeavour that can be described as competitive but also not necessarily bad.

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moonlune wrote

I would even consider this debate as a form of competition on some level.

Internet debate is capitalism!!!

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ShadesPath wrote

It most definitely can be if not so from the outset. Debate can be a means of generating social capital which can turn into financial capital.

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masque wrote

Play is not competitive - it is a fundamentally cooperative act. All parties involved are working towards the same goal: their mutual enjoyment. Even if you want to "play" in a competitive game, you are still ultimately working with the other people to achieve the common goal of having a good time.

Competitive play involves both players adopting a mutually exclusive goal within the context of the game, which is why it makes sense to describe such play as competitive. And the fact that this is frequently done in a way that effectively accomplishes the shared goal of "mutual enjoyment" is evidence of the fact that competition is perfectly capable of being constructive & beneficial to everyone involved.

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ShadesPath wrote

Competitive play involves both players adopting a mutually exclusive goal within the context of the game, which is why it makes sense to describe such play as competitive.

Yes...

And the fact that this is frequently done in a way that effectively accomplishes the shared goal of "mutual enjoyment" is evidence of the fact that competition is perfectly capable of being constructive & beneficial to everyone involved.

No. In order for competitive play to work towards everyone's enjoyment, everyone has to actively work for that mutual enjoyment. Competition, on its own, is never fun but competing knowing that everyone is following the same set of rules and is actively trying to make things enough of a challenge to help each other improve and increase the quality of their win or loss is what what makes the competition fun.

If you don't believe me, think about what happens when someone cheats, makes up new rules or changes them, becomes hyper-competitive, selfish in their play, toxic, starts throwing, etc. All of a sudden, the competition is no longer fun, is it? The competition itself hasn't changed. If you're in race for example, the race hasn't changed and the competition of it hasn't, but you guys are no longer working together to make it fun enough to be worth it with the additional effect of the competition now being harmful to either one or both of you either physically or otherwise. Competition, in order for it to be healthy and positive, requires cooperation between all parties, ultimately making it a cooperative effort in and of itself.

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masque wrote (edited )

Competition, on its own, is never fun but competing knowing that everyone is following the same set of rules and is actively trying to make things enough of a challenge to help each other improve and increase the quality of their win or loss is what what makes the competition fun.

"Competition on its own" is not fun, but neither is "cooperation on its own." Competition and cooperation are both abstract categories of behaviour that only become "fun" or "not fun" in specific instantiations. If a particular activity is fun, and both competition and cooperation are inextricable parts of that activity, then why insist that "cooperation is what makes the competition fun" without also acknowledging that "competition is what makes the cooperation fun" in this instance? You seem to be going out of your way to avoid acknowledging that competition can be positive.

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ShadesPath wrote

You seem to be going out of your way to avoid acknowledging that competition can be positive

I'm not avoiding acknowledging that competition can be positive. I'm stating outright that by itself it isn't.

Your argument that these are abstract categories of behavior doesn't seem to take into account that they are in fact real behaviors that all sentient living things have engaged in. It's not abstract when animals work together or fight against each other. With that being said, the enjoyment of competition comes from places outside of the competition itself because, intrinsically, there's nothing fun about competing. It requires cooperation to be fun by its very nature. It's never vice versa because the cooperative elements in competitive games are basis for how the competition works. You can't have a fair and fun competition if everyone involved is only concerned with their own victory. In cooperative gaming however, competition is never needed and only ever added for spice because working together never requires us trying to outdo each other.

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masque wrote (edited )

I'm not avoiding acknowledging that competition can be positive. I'm stating outright that by itself it isn't.

Neither is cooperation "by itself," though. Only specific instances of "competition" or "collaboration" can be fun, depending on the specific details of the activity. So I don't see why you're singling out competition here.

It's not abstract when animals work together or fight against each other.

"Competition" is an abstract category of behaviour, which can see specific concrete instantiations, including animals play fighting or what have you. This has nothing to do with the abstract reasoning abilities of the agents doing the competing. The fact that animals do it has literally nothing to do with whether it's abstract or not.

With that being said, the enjoyment of competition comes from places outside of the competition itself because, intrinsically, there's nothing fun about competing. It requires cooperation to be fun by its very nature.

What about the sort of programmers/hackers who enjoy the ad-blocker-blocker-blocker arms race, or trying to break DRM and so on? That can be fun for at least one of the participants, despite being truly adversarial in terms of everyone's ultimate goals. Of course, the ad-blocker-blocker-blocker arms race is not really a good thing, nor is anyone involved primarily motivated by fun, but my point is that it undermines the claim that competition cannot give rise to fun in a non-cooperative setting.

I acknowledge that competition is not inherently fun, but neither is cooperation. Both can be components of a fun experience. Trying to argue about which specific component of a fun experience is the source of the fun seems like the wrong way of thinking about things.

Also, focusing on "fun" ignores other ways in which competition can potentially be positive (e.g. by helping people benchmark & clearly measure their progress in various athletic/creative endeavours, providing positive feedback that encourages further self-improvement).

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ShadesPath wrote

Also, focusing on "fun" ignores other ways in which competition can potentially be positive (e.g. by helping people benchmark & clearly measure their progress in various athletic/creative endeavours, providing positive feedback that encourages further self-improvement).

There is nothing that competition does that individual achievement or cooperation doesn't do save for excelling at creating ire between people. If you want to open up another pandora's box of a conversation, we can go into how useless and inefficient competition is but I feel like that should be saved for another thread.

Honestly though, if you want proof of my point, read this entire comment section. Being competitive in our argumentation has done nothing positive for nobody here but most definitely has negatively impacted the discourse, to the degree that OP felt like healthy discussion has been thrown out the window. Even just between me and you, I certainly won't come away from this discussion any better for it, not for any fault of yours of course but rather the nature of our discussion thus far. Like this comment was supposed to be longer to address your arguments but I realized that my tone was hostile so I deleted most of it because, by the end of the day, you aren't going to suddenly change your views, I won't, and we aren't really doing the original article any justice arguing points back and forth. I only kept the one counterpoint to transition into this paragraph.

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masque wrote

I certainly won't come away from this discussion any better for it, not for any fault of yours of course but rather the nature of our discussion thus far.

I think it's possible that, in the process of formulating arguments, one or both of us may have better clarified our own understanding of our position.

Ultimately, I just don't think it makes sense to characterize the negative outcomes of bad instances of competition as arising from "competition itself" while simultaneously denying that any positive outcomes from competitive situations come from "competition itself." But I guess the disagreement here is abstract enough to not really matter in the grand scheme of things, so I might as well stop arguing.

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CaptainACAB wrote (edited )

So, what I'm getting from this is: Singleplayer games > Multiplayer games.

War strategy games are universally terrible because the general formula is grow -> expand -> conquer -> manage endlessly until you lose or get bored.

EDIT: Video games in general have gone through a decline for me, and I think I know why: there's nothing new anymore. Everything's stagnated, so now the best I can hope for is a decent story that can hold my interest, gameplay that doesn't feel overly repetitive, or a decent character creation system that I can use as an outlet for my creative urges. What a terrible hobby to invest all of my interest into, FUCK.

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celebratedrecluse wrote (edited )

EDIT: Video games in general have gone through a decline for me, and I think I know why: there's nothing new anymore. Everything's stagnated, so now the best I can hope for is a decent story that can hold my interest, gameplay that doesn't feel overly repetitive, or a decent character creation system that I can use as an outlet for my creative urges. What a terrible hobby to invest all of my interest into, FUCK.

Many games are crap for your soul. But there's some good ones that, while still colonial in some ways, are also offering of the capacity for creation. we should make a minetest server for raddle where we make a big old treehouse forest city on the hardest survival setting. I would love that, because I love all of you, and wish I could touch your hand and tell you all how much you mean to be, being a fellow weirdo idealistic contrarian. Each and every one of you, to the extent you join me on this special place we have.

So, what I'm getting from this is: Singleplayer games > Multiplayer games. War strategy games are universally terrible because the general formula is grow -> expand -> conquer -> manage endlessly until you lose or get bored.

The great game designers of the future, some of who are already and will be anarchists, will find ways to disrupt this stagnation. I think games of resistance and rebellion,

For example, I could see many people playing an online MMO where the task is to generate food forests or "PVP" by attempting to destroy the forest by various means. Same with a city; some trying to repair, others to destroy. Playing with the logic you mention, but in a subversive way, for some of the players will choose to smash or misdirect the Collective Will manifested by the base default environment.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

I don't know, I'm just really high and thinking about minetest. Someone play with me? I'll figure out how to run a server, ok?

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moonlune wrote

maybe you just grew out of it?

Objectively, there are more and better games today than ever.

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CaptainACAB wrote

maybe you just grew out of it?

Nah. I just crave novelty, and it's rarer for me to find a game I can obsess over that also has the marketing for me to be aware of it. I feel Dwarf Fortress would hold me over once its adventure mode is more developed. Not a lot of big titles have much in the way of replayability, most of the games that I'm looking forward to are made by indie devs, or are otherwise not finished.

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masque wrote

Have you tried NetHack?

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yam wrote

Objectively, there are more and better games today than ever.

I think there are a lot of crap games being made today, with their loot boxes and in-game purchases, and games like candy crush that are hyper-optimized for user-engagement (i.e. addiction).

But, yes, there are more and better games today as the older ones haven't disappeared because emulators. I just found out that Sonic The Hedgehog 1 and 2 isn't just two games, because those in charge of porting to different consoles just ended up making entirely new games.

Have you tried NetHack?

I love how Nethack is the exact opposite of modern AAA games that are all graphics, no substance. Encountering a lowercase c can be terrifying.

I like how you're mentioning Nethack as an example of the "better games today" as it's initial release was 1987. (Nethack being under active development, I also don't disagree with the mention at all.)

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masque wrote (edited )

(I'm not the one who commented about there being "more and better games today" and didn't intend NetHack as an example of that, I just thought it was a good example of a single player game with a lot of replayability that might interest someone who is already interested in Dwarf Fortress's adventure mode.)

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ziq wrote

multiplayer games can be co-operative rather than competitive tho.

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CaptainACAB wrote

Yeah, many multiplayer games can have both forms inside of the same game; you could do firefight or a deathmatch on an FPS, for example. A lot of those are single player with a multiplayer mode tacked on, though.

Single player games don't really feed into this weird competition/cooperation binary at all, so they're superior.

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ShadesPath wrote

The major flaw here is to assume that competitiveness and cooperation exist as exclusive binaries as opposed to being in a spectrum.

For example, Speedrunning is a form of competition that relies heavily on collaboration since the goal of speed running exists in two forms that feed each other:

  1. To find the fastest way to beat a game.

  2. To beat the current fastest record.

At first glance, they seem to be the same but they are actually quite different. The former can be seen as a collaborative effort between speed runners as they pool together resources to accomplish a collective goal. The latter is them actively seeking to outdo each other by being just a millisecond faster than the last guy, relying on their learning and skill to accomplish personal goals. Speedrunning basically proves that competition can be collaborative or cooperative such that one doesn't feel like they have to outdo their peers for the mere sake of doing so but rather they do so because they can pave the way for others to be even faster than they were. It might be the case that we need to change the nature of competitive gaming (for most games) and, of course, the nature of competition in the rest of our society.

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ziq wrote

116 comment? the fuck happened here?

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lastfutures wrote (edited )

lol what a fucking loser, socialist youth pastor

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naut OP wrote

what a fucking loser

I urge the author to take his own life, life is too much for him

socialist youth pastor

Basketball? Capitalism! Dogs playing? Colonialism!

gg wp

I think it's important to be critical of why we enjoy what we do. Sure, this probably doesn't apply to everyone, but it did clarify some of the apathy I've been feeling towards videogames recently.

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lastfutures wrote

There's being critical and then there's Christian rock. This is Christian rock.

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naut OP wrote

Huh, turns out christian rock can slap.

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lastfutures wrote (edited )

Christians looked at the sexual themes of rock music, and instead of critiquing it for the patriarchy or queerphobia, created their own version of it where they pretend those drives don't exist, where everything complies with their nonsense (opposed to the evil sexy rock music). That's what this essay is. There are critiques of games to be made, "competition is sociopathic" ain't it & that take is fucking gross.

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inthedustofthisplanet wrote

'uwu competition is great, fuck the 'weak,' only the mighty should prevail!'

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GlangSnorrisson wrote

Surely you can enjoy some competition without turning into some “fuck the weak” type.

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ruin wrote

I wouldn’t bother with reason.

Ironically, this is clearly a “competition” of virtue signaling at this point.

Are you a fascist or an anti fascist? With us or against us?

The most boring game of identity politics there is.

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GlangSnorrisson wrote

Yeah I’m pretty bored. Mind you it feels a bit funny to be on this many layers of virtue signalling.

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ruin wrote

Yep. I wouldn’t bother usually but this situation seems especially absurd and I had a free moment so...

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GlangSnorrisson wrote

It’s addictive isn’t it?

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inthedustofthisplanet wrote (edited )

You're certainly trying to twist my words. You chugging that ideology too?

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inthedustofthisplanet wrote (edited )

Have you ever met a Gamer? The point isn't that 'games will make you into x,' but there should be no surprise why most Gamers are fucked up.

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GlangSnorrisson wrote

Are you suggesting that the slightest bit of competition will make you as bad as they are?

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inthedustofthisplanet wrote (edited )

In a hyper-capitalist society where competition is fetishized and held to a grand ideal, yes, quite possibly. Especially when the vast majority of Americans have such strong desires of gloating about how hard they hustle and how deserving of their petty desires because they worked hard.

Competition and survival of the fittest is deeply ingrained in even some of the most anti-capitalist people.

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bloodrose wrote

This is an interesting take. My mother really enjoys board and card games. She becomes hyper competitive. I have for years avoided playing with her because the hyper-competitiveness sucks and I don't enjoy it. (My brothers and I would play for 2nd place growing up because she always won)

With Covid, all of our visits are outdoor and she has started to push us to play board games. She's getting meaner and meaner now. Our last visit, she was meanly competitive with my 6 year old, making her cry when she lost. It was disgusting. (I promised my kid next time we play, I'll be banker and will secretly cheat so her grandma loses.) I think this gaming competition is making my mom a worse person.

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inthedustofthisplanet wrote

I'm sorry you have to go through that. It's a problem that is showing it's face in other replies to this post. This is an issue in every part of our culture and it's so deeply ingrained people like OP will ignore it while saying stuff like:

"I would even consider this debate as a form of competition on some level. We're both trying to argue our points of view, but that doesn't mean there must be a winner and a loser."

Or even worse, those people trying to make comparisons to the way dogs play, and the issue with that is, well, we aren't dogs. The ideology of competition is so strong and difficult to shed. The moment "play," becomes as toxic as this it is no longer "play," but now about the desire to dominate and feel superior to others.

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GlangSnorrisson wrote

Ok, we’ll have to agree to disagree.

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inthedustofthisplanet wrote (edited )

There is no we in this moment. Competition is a sickness that is dragging this planet into a spiraling hell-hole. We're doomed and there is no stopping it.

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GlangSnorrisson wrote

Yep, and checkers are to blame.

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inthedustofthisplanet wrote (edited )

Where did I say video games cause it? Did you even read the article?

The desire for competition is the problem, not video games. Try harder, buckaroo, no one is trying to take your video games away lol wtf.

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GlangSnorrisson wrote

No I’m just being an asshole because this thread started by talking about competitive games and now we’re talking about the doom of our species, which is strange.

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RadicalConstructivist wrote

The article was using video games as a jumping off point for talking about how ingrained competition is in our culture more generally. It was never really about video games specifically

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GlangSnorrisson wrote

Never mentioned video games actually. Was mostly pushing back on absurd leaps of logic.

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RadicalConstructivist wrote

tbh it looks to me like you came in here and made some incorrect assumptions about the actual arguments being made because you didn't read the context (ie the article)

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GlangSnorrisson wrote

I skimmed it and found it pretty irritating. So you’re right that I didn’t fully read it, nor do I care to.

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inthedustofthisplanet wrote (edited )

Then why did you feel the need to jump in and discuss it? Seems like you had no interest, but yet still felt the need to join the conversation. It's because you think this is a case of 'video games will make you a killer,' and that's not even the point being made.

Blowing hot air.

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GlangSnorrisson wrote (edited )

Because I found the overall tone of the article pretentious as well as its defences.

And reread the fucking thread, I offered some mild pushback on your weird leap to social Darwinism.

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inthedustofthisplanet wrote (edited )

You said you skimmed it.

You told me we need to agree to disagree. I don't think there is anything to agree on. Competition is a sickness that will destroy this planet. Is climate change now suddenly not happening? Are whole forests now suddenly not being cut down? Are wars not being fault for dwindling resources?

People crave competition because they are told to from a young age.

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GlangSnorrisson wrote

Yep. I gave it a quick look and found it irritating.

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inthedustofthisplanet wrote (edited )

Astonishing, really. Willing to derail a conversation because you didn't like the 'feel,' of an article.

That other person was right. No sense in reason.

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GlangSnorrisson wrote

I’m willing to derail a conversation purely for personal entertainment but yes in this case I decided the author was being annoying.

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inthedustofthisplanet wrote

I should have listened to the people telling me about this place. They weren't wrong.

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GlangSnorrisson wrote

Which ones? There’s a lot of people who hate this place.

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inthedustofthisplanet wrote

I’m willing to derail a conversation purely for personal entertainment

The people who told me it's just Reddit 2.0 with a lot more self-arrogance. It's literally just Reddit with extra steps and actually LESS useful dialogue, which is strange to say.

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GlangSnorrisson wrote

You can find some really interesting and insightful stuff here as a matter of fact. This article failed to provide it.

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inthedustofthisplanet wrote (edited )

As long as you follow the party line, yes. If not, as you said, you will derail it for your own enjoyment.

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inthedustofthisplanet wrote (edited )

The unwavering defense of 'competition,' is what is dooming our species. Read the articles and let's talk about the desire to dominate that is endemic to most hyper-capitalist cultures. This is about way more than just the video games.

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GlangSnorrisson wrote

Never put one forth actually. You’ve been making increasingly absolutist and melodramatic statements.

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inthedustofthisplanet wrote (edited )

And you keep avoiding the discussion related to the article in the thread about said article.

You reduced the point to 'lol games don't make you x,' which wasn't even the point to begin with.

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GlangSnorrisson wrote (edited )

Oh that’s because I don’t really care to discuss the article itself, more the discussion around it.

Oh and I was answering your logical leap where “competition doesn’t need to be awful” became “kill the weak” in your mind.

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inthedustofthisplanet wrote (edited )

I think mental gymnastics are neat.

OOh and I was answering your logical leap where “competition doesn’t need to be awful” became “kill the weak” in your mind.

You clearly don't know many Gamers.

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lastfutures wrote

Basketball? Capitalism! Dogs playing? Colonialism!

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RadicalConstructivist wrote

critical reflection? Moralism!

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lastfutures wrote

There's nothing critical about it.

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Weedsmoker420 wrote

You have to be very deep into ideology to respond to simple critique so aggressively.

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lastfutures wrote

I think that play is one of the few redeeming qualities of humans in this world so yes I'm hostile to socialist content mill assholes with shit condemnations of it.

"The competitive urge is a destructive and sociopathic urge"

This is fundamentalist Christian level propagandizing.

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black_fox wrote

considering you think the author is a loser it’s weird what strong opinions they’ve elicited from you

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train wrote

Idk why but people really dislike NJR. You find the same kind of reactions to him wherever any of his articles are posted.

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lastfutures wrote (edited )

People who elicit strong negative opinions from me are who I usually insult, I don't know how that's weird.

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RadicalConstructivist wrote (edited )

This is fundamentalist Christian level propagandizing.

Ok Evola

This is hardly a "condemnation" of play, did you read the article?

I am not one to apply moral standards to video games, but something does depress me about playing this kind of simulator for too long.

The competitive urge is a destructive and sociopathic urge—it means total dedication to one’s own success and a desire to prevent that of others. The spheres in which this is useful need to be carefully delimited; in foreign policy it is deadly, in economics it creates ceaseless exploitation, in education it puts students under constant pressure to outperform their peers, though on an Xbox or chess board it is relatively harmless.

If the desire to hold and exercise power over others is innate and ineradicable, then let us confine it to empire-simulators and football games.

what exactly are you objecting to here? It certainly doesn't look like it's anything to do with the games given that the author explicitly states they are not condemning them several times

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lastfutures wrote

Literally everything you put in bold, the very next word is but (you edited around that). Do you accept the performative hedging of every preacher this easily?

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RadicalConstructivist wrote

And the "but" is followed by a personal preference. Which is the only kind of objection the author gives.

following the first quoted statement:

but something does depress me about playing this kind of simulator for too long.

following the second quoted statement:

But I certainly do not want to spend much of my time coming up with new ways to try to be better than other people, whether at canasta or at maneuvering pixelated paladins across 15th century Europe.

In fact, I confess that I don’t like competitive games generally.

It always seems to me to be somewhat arbitrary.

following the third quoted statement:

But personally, I grew weary of playing Age of Empires again quite quickly, and I doubt I will return to it. I am no longer in the mood to compete with anyone.

so the guy doesn't personally want to play your favourite video games so much anymore. wishing they killed themselves is obviously the only sound reaction to such heresy

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lastfutures wrote (edited )

If you can't even acknowledge that the author is arguing a point, that this is an essay with a thesis & not a private diary entry, then there is nothing to talk about here. It's hard for me to believe that you really think the use of I and personally mean they aren't condemning anything here, that you would accept that argument in any other context, if you didn't agree with the thesis.

"The competitive urge is a destructive and sociopathic urge" but since I used the word personally in the last paragraph I'm not making a point or trying to get you to agree with anything. Like what the fuck are you talking about?

As for the suicide comment, that was an edit that I didn't keep, because it didn't communicate what I wanted. Life-denying asceticism was the imagery I was going for.

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RadicalConstructivist wrote

It's hard for me to believe that you really think the use of I and personally mean they aren't condemning anything here, that you would accept that argument in any other context, if you didn't agree with the thesis.

Of course they're arguing something. But that something isn't "video games bad" or "dogs are colonialism" or whatever the fuck you were spouting initially.

"The competitive urge is a destructive and sociopathic urge" but since I used the word personally in the last paragraph I'm not making a point or trying to get you to agree with anything. Like what the fuck are you talking about?

So what you're objecting to is their condemnation of competition and domination - which is what the article is actually about. So just straight up say that instead of dancing around with "ooh this is christian propaganda coming to take away our games". Though I suppose that wouldn't give off as good as an aesthetic

Life-denying asceticism was the imagery I was going for.

and you were going for that because?

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lastfutures wrote (edited )

Do I need an analytic philosophy degree to talk to you or something, do you need logical formulas? Are you asking me to do your interpretation & reading comprehension for you?

The essay - on the face of it - is about a competitive game & why the author doesn't like it. You just said the article is a condemnation of competition and domination - but that condemnation & the discussion of games is somehow unrelated? Please don't make me go thru this essay line by line to draw the connections.

I haven't danced around anything. Basketball is a competitive game. Therefore, the author has a problem with it, and said so explicitly (Nor do I like prizes or the Olympics or capitalism (note that this is in the list) or card games or anything that involves pitting people against each other to see who is better. It always seems to me to be somewhat arbitrary, given that much of the outcome is predetermined by the random distribution of privilege, money, talent, and free time.). Dogs competitively play-fight with each other, most of us find it cute. If you do a little interpretative work here, you can see that I am mocking the author for his take on play-fighting, being unable to separate it from real fighting for survival. I thought some might find the image of a socialist calling puppies wrestling the seed of colonialism humorous!

When I reference Christianity, I'm referring to Nietzsche's critique of it - resentment, life-denial, & so on. I think the parallel to socialists being against competition in games is an obvious one, that shit belongs in a Stalinist reeducation camp (or Christian opposition to art with evil or sex in it). If you disagree , whatever let's not get into it, a Current Affairs article seems difficult enough here nevermind Nietzsche.

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RadicalConstructivist wrote

not liking competitive games as a symptom of a pervasive culture that valorises competition is basically the gulags and literally the same as Christians thinking porn is sinful

k

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lastfutures wrote

So that's how you communicate eh? I untangle one bullshit misinterpretation so you just come up with another without acknowledging you had moved the goalposts. I'm just going to block & move on, every conversation we've had has been a waste of time.

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inthedustofthisplanet wrote

You literally entered this conversation with useless drivel and now you want to pretend to be some bigbrained.jpeg bringer of civility? Look at yourself lol.

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GlangSnorrisson wrote

I think that play is one of the few redeeming qualities of humans

With you there.

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inthedustofthisplanet wrote

Can you show me where they are a pastor? I'm having trouble seeing this information. Thanks.

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GlangSnorrisson wrote

It’s an expression. In this case it means they’re boring and moralistic.

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RadicalConstructivist wrote

in other words, "lastfutures doesn't like them"

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GlangSnorrisson wrote

Yes, but to be clear I mean that literally. I’m not trying to be snarky or anything. “Youth pastor” as far as I can tell means exactly what I said.

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