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Games as Time-Wasting

 

Disciplines > Game Design > Games as Time-Wasting

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Sometimes we play games just to occupy time.

In those dead spaces when we are waiting or cannot do anything more interesting, we just want something to alleviate the boredom.

Alternatively when our brains are so full that we do not want anything more stimulating, we just want a no-brainer activity to pass the time.

Example

A person plays a game on their phone on the way to work on the bus.

Whilst waiting for emergency calls, a fireman plays games of card patience, hardly noticing if he wins or loses.

Discussion

Some people see time as a precious resource and spend it carefully, always doing something of value. Others have no such view and see time as a nuisance that fills the gaps between doing the things that they really want to do. This latter type may well use games to fill in these gaps, perhaps even making up pointless activities such as counting windows or not stepping on the cracks in the walkways.

This highlights two very different types of player. Some always seek stimulation while others are just going along with the game, seeing it as something to do rather than something to achieve. The first type typically plays more competitively, enjoying the challenge of trying to win. The latter is less likely to be concerned about winning, which can puzzle and frustrate the challenger who may think they are 'not trying' or otherwise breaking the implicit rules of the game that require energetic competition.

See also

The Construction of Time

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