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University of Chicago - Supplement, Gaming

SquishyShot 1 / -  
Dec 31, 2009   #1
From game theory to Ultimate Frisbee to the great Chicago Scavenger Hunt, we at the University of Chicago take games seriously. We bet you do, too. Even if "just a game," sport, play, and other kinds of games seem to share at the very least an insistence that we take seriously a set of rules entirely peculiar to the circumstance of the game. You might say, in order to play a game we must take it seriously. Think playfully - or play thoughtfully - about games: how they distract us or draw us into the world, create community and competition, tease us and test us with stakes both set apart from and meaningful to everyday life. Don't tell us about The Big Game; rather, tell us about players and games.

My life as a gamer has offered a long time for me to develop my own ideals and opinions on competition. A big fan of multiplayer competitive games, I have always strived to play the best and to play to win. However, sometimes playing to win may not go well with other players. In an online multiplayer game Dungeon Fighter Online, the gunner class is notorious to being the class that wins the most, and requires the least amount of skill. The reason is that all a gunner needs to do is jump and shoot bullets. Their bullets already possess the range needed to keep other players at bay, while jumping renders the gunner nearly impossible to hit. The controllable recoil of the guns only adds to the evasiveness of the gunner. While shooting in the air, recoil pushes the gunner back, allowing for a nearly undefeatable strategy. Players call those who excessively use jumping and shooting "noobs," spammers, and skill-less. As a result, gunners throughout Dungeon Fighter Online have garnered much hate and resent for being cheap, unskilled, and boring. Therefore, this break in ideals creates two distinct factions. The gunner faction plays to win, while the losing faction plays for fun. The "play to win" faction believes that one should do anything within the boundaries of the game to win, no matter how much skill or hate it may require. The "play for fun" faction believes that one should play honorably and skillfully. They deem this fun.

Personally, I am in the "play to win" faction. I believe that the game only knows two outcomes: winning and losing. There are no stats or rewards for how much fun you had, or how much honor you had. Therefore, I wonder why those who play for fun or play with honor strive to prevent themselves from winning with imaginary restrictions. If jump shooting wins, why would anybody restrict himself or herself from that goal? In addition, losing because of these imaginary restrictions takes away the fun, since nobody likes to lose. In my opinion, winning is fun, so playing to win for me is the same as playing for fun. This heated debate also occurs in other games, such as the reality T.V. show Survivor.

Survivor seems like a fun show for anybody. The goal is simple. As Survivor puts it, "outwit, outplay, outlast." Players in Survivor frowned upon alliances since these teams could easily pick off individual survivors. However, there are no rules against alliances, and as a result, a division forms between playing to win and playing with honor. In the end, only those in alliances survive to the end. Although players may frown on those in alliances, they should ask themselves "Who has the million dollars?" The answer to this question is obvious and thus makes my point. One must play to win to succeed.

Through the debate between playing with honor and playing to win, a community of players joins. Although they may share differing ideals, they all share a love for the game.

I really need help on grammar, ideas, and the like. Thanks, please flame as hard as possible, but with reason.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 8, 2010   #2
...garnered much hatred and resentment for being cheap, unskilled, and boring.

This is inspired, for sure, but it lacks an introduction. What is the man idea? Say it at the start. Consider googling and mentioning play-based assessment, game theory, and other manifestations of play.


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