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On Meta-games

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On Meta-games

Unread postby bunuelo » 20 May 2009 10:22

http://culture.vg/forum/topic?p=4953#p4953

icycalm wrote:And what is "meta-game" supposed to mean?


People talk about meta-games a lot. Do they exist?

I can think of three main ways this term is often used.

1. Peeling the Onion

When a player first plays Tetris, he tries to get good at quickly solving many small problems. Namely, "where should I put this piece?" and eventually "given the next piece, where should I put this piece?". Eventually, though, he can arrive at a system which is guaranteed to always work. At this point, he is simply reacting to the stream of blocks according to some fixed set of rules.

Some people call this higher-level reasoning about an algorithm that "solves" the decision-making part of the game (reducing it to a reflex game) "meta-game".

2. Know your Enemy

Adversarial games with human opponents are rarely played in a vacuum. Poker might be the easiest example of this. Good poker players first learn the probabilities, then the game-theoretical optimal plays, and finally become good at reading (or knowing) individual players. Some people call the third part "meta-game". An extreme example is a player who always folds. Optimal play in this case is to always bet. Against other (particularly, optimal) players a different strategy is best. Since none of this is part of the rules of poker, is it "meta-game"?

3. Community Impact

I always hear StarCraft players talking about "meta-game". Specifically, they refer to community-wide trends and innovations as "meta-game". A player will discover some new Zerg build or something, and as it becomes popular other players will discover ways to counter it (if they exist), and people will call this whole process "meta-game".


There is a fourth possible interpretation that does not get mentioned as much. When MMORPG players buy and sell characters and items for real money, is that "meta-game"? I have heard it called that.

Do meta-games exist? Is it a meaningful term? In what sense?
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Unread postby JoshF » 20 May 2009 13:06

If it has anything to do with the game it would be a redundant term (because then you would call it... the game). Best guess is it's an attempt by artfags to have some profound/postmodern-sounding word whether it's redundant or nonsensical or not.
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Unread postby Bradford » 20 May 2009 14:48

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metagaming

There's not necessarily anything wrong with having a word to describe the conduct discussed in the Wikipedia article or in bunuelo's post, but using "metagame" as the term for it is pretentious. The prefix "meta" implies that the conduct lies beyond or outside of the game, which is stupid, because no one can define what a game is in the first place. Whatever the game is, it exists in the world, and is necessarily affected by other things in the world while it is being played, like the knowledge, emotions, etc. of the players, the events after and prior to the formal conduct of the game, and so on. Is physics a metagame of baseball? Is genetics a metagame of chess?
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Unread postby JoshF » 20 May 2009 16:14

beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game.

See, nonsense. How can there be rules outside the parameters of a game's rules? If they exist, wouldn't they be within the parameters? We're talking about video games here, not war (where the term originated). One of them isn't limited to a sequence of code on a disc. If it's on the disc, it's called "the game". Unless maybe these meta-rules are lost binary digits idly floating just outside the discs and cartridges that are somehow also activated when you turn the power on, and somehow work with the code on the disc or cartridge. That could explain why it's a recent trend, because we were inadvertently blowing away the mega-game when we blew all the dust out of our SNES games.
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Unread postby losganados » 20 May 2009 19:49

Bradford wrote:because no one can define what a game is in the first place.

icycalm wrote: It would be good if you paid some attention to the articles I post on the frontpage -- I post them for a reason you know.

Jean Baudrillard wrote:
The world is a game.

http://forum.insomnia.ac/viewtopic.php?p=9778#9778
Last edited by losganados on 21 May 2009 01:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby icycalm » 20 May 2009 20:03

losganados, whenever you quote people in this forum, please include links to the relevant posts/threads, so that people who want to can follow the links for the context.

Also, to add to the above:

Electronic games are above all games, that is to say "activities or contests governed by sets of rules" (Encarta).


http://insomnia.ac/commentary/sequel_the_videogame/

Bradford is simply not paying attention.

On topic, I have this to say: the original poster approached the issue rather clumsily. For one thing, some of his examples are of videogames, and some of real-life games. Since he is obviously incapable of tackling the issue as a whole, it would be best to break it down. I.e.:

-What is a meta-videogame?

-What is a meta-real-life game?

In brief, meta-videogames do not exist, because all the rules are on the disc, and meta-real-life games exist only if by "game" in this context you mean "mini-game" (because in real-life there is only one game). And then you can also expand the second definition to include the first, because in the great scheme of things a videogame is yet another mini-game.

I have to go to the supermarket now. I think some people will understand what I meant -- they can explain it to those who still have questions.
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Unread postby Bradford » 20 May 2009 20:51

losganados wrote:
Bradford wrote:because no one can define what a game is in the first place.

icycalm wrote: It would be good if you paid some attention to the articles I post on the frontpage -- I post them for a reason you know.
Jean Baudrillard wrote:
The world is a game.


icycalm wrote:Wittgenstein was not able to define the concept 'game' -- because it is not a concept that can be circumscribed in any way. . . .

icycalm wrote:Fundamentally, there's no difference between toys and games, nor rules and objects. That's why every attempt to make a distinction here will be abortive (see Wikipedia, Wittgenstein, and any game-related books, papers and articles ever).

The point is to grasp the nature of the flux. Once you've done that, you'll realize that rules and objects are illusory -- mere failures of the intellect -- products of the imagination.


http://forum.insomnia.ac/viewtopic.php?t=2809

By 'no one can define it' I meant no one can do what I was attempting to do in the linked thread, which is create a definition which delineates or circumscribes the essential elements of a game in a consistent and exhaustive manner that covers all cases, large and small. The best we can do is come up with illusory definitions which are useful for certain limited purposes. Also, "no one" was hyperbole, as I meant only the vast majority of people who would be generally inclined to add useless and/or pretentious prefixes to concepts that they already don't understand.

Nevertheless, that is no excuse for lazy writing that failed to make that clear the first time, and I apologize.

icycalm wrote:Bradford is simply not paying attention.


I'm trying. Failing, maybe, but trying.
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Unread postby bunuelo » 20 May 2009 20:55

icycalm wrote:For one thing, some of his examples are of videogames, and some of real-life games.


My apologies; I used poker as an illustration. The same thing happens when playing, say, Street Fighter 2 against an opponent that one has played or watched before. One reasons about how best to play against this opponent, given knowledge of his previous play or other external cues.
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Unread postby icycalm » 20 May 2009 21:22

I responded to Bradford here: http://forum.insomnia.ac/viewtopic.php?t=2819

On the present topic, a simpler way to put it would be this:

A meta-game is the opposite of a mini-game.

The only difference, which is rather spurious and can therefore be disregarded, is that meta-games are by definition always influencing the main game, whereas you could imagine mini-games (especially mini-videogames) which do not in any way influence the main game.

But, like I said, this distinction is not important. The mini-videogame does indeed influence the main game, even when it seems that it doesn't -- if for no other reason than diverting the attention of the player from the main game.

I think I might write an article on this subject. It'll be tricky, since to fully understand it one would have to first understand the nature of the flux (mentioned in the thread I linked at the top of this post), which, at the end of the day, is the chief insight of philosophy. So it's not really possible to fully explain the meta/mini-game business in an article without attaching Plank's book to it. But I think I'll give it a go anyways. The thing with these articles is that, even if some of them or parts of them do not immediately make sense, they eventually will once one has read all of them.
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Unread postby icycalm » 21 Dec 2009 20:51

http://forums.selectbutton.net/viewtopi ... 815#662815

ninjafetus wrote:So, uhhh... I'm reaaaalllly enjoying this game. The comment above about the different scoring systems really making the game is spot on for me. It turns the base game into a platform for super-smooth metagames, and I'm loving it. I can score attack to stage 4 in maniac and normal (still not touching ultra), and I'm refusing to credit feed, so I just keep getting better at the earlier stuff (icy would be so proud).


I'd be even prouder if you stopped abusing profound-sounding terms (like for example "meta-game"), when you clearly have not the faintest fucking clue what they mean.
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Unread postby Joshua » 03 Mar 2013 10:24

http://culture.vg/features/commentary/dr-mundolove.html

I know there will eventually be an essay explaining this word "metagame" in great detail, but Sulla's write-up got me thinking ahead of time. Does anyone need this word "metagame", or even anything like it, at all? Obviously the particular word is dumb as shown above, but my current thinking is that one should not even want to replace it with something else less pretentious or ignorant.

All the professional sports Sulla mentions get by just fine -- better, really -- without ever talking about the "metagame". Imagine if you were lined up to go into the ring in a martial arts match. The natural thing to do would be to find out who your opponent is and look up YouTube videos of his prior matches. Everybody does it, and you'd be an idiot not to, and there are no special words for it, apart from perhaps "common sense". If all the "metagame"-hating fagots from League of Legends invaded combat sports, what would they have you do? Konk yourself on the head right before the match in an attempt to induce amnesia so you don't know anything about this person you're about to fight, and no doubt forgetting a bunch of other stuff as well?

(Actually it would be great if all the fagots tried to invade combat sports, because then maybe they'd get taught a lesson :)

All of the above is probably banal at this point (for Insomnia readers at least). But I haven't seen anyone talk about this: JoshF mentioned how the term originated in war. If war is "the continuation of politics by other means" then it makes no sense to talk of the "metagame" in a real-world warfare scenario either. The "metagame" in war is the real game! And warfare is simply a minigame within it, and soldiers who think otherwise are deluded. All the fags who complain about the "metagame" are, I think, trying to propagate this... arbitrary morality, so to speak, that one should only play a certain minigame within their games, because they're too weak for the REAL GAME, which they call the metagame.

So that's my attempt at predicting at least part of what's going into the essay on "metagaming".
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Unread postby icycalm » 03 Mar 2013 18:01

The first "fags" you mention are aspies, not fags. Only the second fags are fags. Get your terms straight.

Joshua wrote:All the fags who complain about the "metagame" are, I think, trying to propagate this... arbitrary morality, so to speak, that one should only play a certain minigame within their games, because they're too weak for the REAL GAME, which they call the metagame.


The fags are right in this (but for the wrong reasons). The "certain minigame" you speak of is THE GAME, and all that going onto YouTube does (the metagame) is RUIN IT. But the fags are not decrying going onto YouTube because it ruins the game, but because it results in their losing. So both sides are ultimately wrong and only I understand why, and what's to be done about it.

But you are right on the money on one thing: the fact that no one in sports ever speaks of metagames is proof positive that it is a superfluous term that's only making things harder to understand.
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Unread postby icycalm » 03 Mar 2013 19:40

Actually, on second thought all your fags are indeed fags, my bad.
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Unread postby icycalm » 03 Mar 2013 19:43

They are a fagotistical subspecies of aspie -- fag-aspies, in short -- since pure fags don't play games like LoL.
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Unread postby icycalm » 05 Mar 2013 04:22

What's interesting to me is that you still haven't managed to learn anything from all the scathing criticisms I've directed against those who view videogames as sports -- never mind combat sports, lol. "The fag-aspies are stupid because they don't want to do what fighters in combat sports do", is basically your reasoning, but this reasoning is blatantly MORONIC, because LoL IS NOT A FUCKING COMBAT SPORT GODDAMNIT -- in fact it's not even a sport at all!

I basically have to take each one of you by the hand as if you were little children, and guide you patiently all the way to the end, and if I let go of your little hand for even the tiniest of moments, I turn around and find you all the back at the starting point. It's utterly exasperating, but it is what it is, and that's why I am the genius here I guess. I wouldn't be a genius if the gap between us was not fucking enormous.
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Unread postby icycalm » 08 Nov 2014 02:39

http://culture.vg/features/art-theory/a ... -metagame/
http://culture.vg/features/art-theory/o ... ni-gaming/

http://www.reddit.com/r/gamedesign/comm ... or/clo9nci

CaptPic4rd wrote:You're right about needing a taxonomy. I think we can do better than yours though. Every game can be solved, not just puzzles. A Turing AI on a super computer playing Starcraft 2 could account for every factor and calculate the best choice for every decision in the game, every millisecond. Game = solved.

The difference between spoiling an adventure game and spoiling a MOBA is that the adventure game is completely ruined, whereas the MOBA isn't because the strategy guides are far from 100% comprehensive like the adventure game guides are. They can give you item builds, but they can't tell you when you should teleport to bottom-lane to gank, etc.

The equivalent in a MOBA would be installing a mod that added a layer to your UI that told you what you should be doing and what spells you should be casting moment to moment. Which some WoW addons have actually approached.


It's really obvious when you think about it. Reading someone's strategy guide is letting them tell you how to play. The more you read, the more you are being told how to play.


The part I bolded is a slightly more detailed explanation of the one I gave in the first article, so I'd like to see if I can work it in when I sit down to revise the article at some point. I especially liked the example about the WoW addons, which I know nothing about.

CaptPic4rd is jeffrobot by the way.
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Unread postby icycalm » 15 Jan 2015 18:27

Do you make your own combos and/or combat-strategies?
http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/730873-g ... 081?page=1

antman811 wrote:
AlbedoX wrote:Why would you do that when everything is available for you from players that are in every way superior to you.


Short answer: It's not about them. It's about maximizing the enjoyment you get from your games. Many players get much more enjoyment out of figuring things out for themselves such as that player from the Arcana Heart forum that I quoted than from copying / adopting combos and strategies from other players. Even if that means being worse in the game at the beginning or losing a lot before getting a single victory.

The long answer is that essay that you didn't like: http://culture.vg/features/art-theory/a ... agame.html

I thought you were already aware of the arguments though, so is this a leading question?


That's the second page of the thread. The rest of the 10 pages are this guy trying to explain my essays to them. I am going to copy-paste all his posts so far here, and note the difference between what HE is doing (which is referencing his sources), and the plagiarism that many others are doing today (not just J. Michael -- I have an entire article on this coming up). Note also that the arguments of the non-plagiarizers are better than those of the plagiarizers. Plagiarism is essentially what bad students too, bad students who have not understood much and resent their teacher, and try to further themselves at his expense and the expense of his ideas.

antman811 wrote:Trying to build a plane by yourself, you won't get anywhere. Whereas anyone can hop into a fighting game with no experience and at least do stuff, maybe even win.

But I get the analogy.

What's the shared goal of the fighting game community? The culmination of all the work of all those scientists and engineers is that you can travel in the air while sitting in a chair, in the sky now. That's very cool.

With the FGC it's more like...destroying games. Unearthing every single detail about the game until it's no longer interesting to them (because all the mystery is gone -- all character combos have been optimized, frame-data discovered (outside the game I am guessing), the exact amount of recovery and blockstun moves have/give to a numerical value, etc.)

It really is just butchering. It's like someone taking the time to make you a mille-feuille only to have you peel it apart layer-by-layer before eating it. It's not the same thing anymore.

Sure it might be fun getting that combo out in the short-term, but the long-term results are that you missed out on all the steps involved in getting to the point of being able to do that cool combo (and the enjoyment of gradually figuring out those steps on your own) for immediate gratification (well...relatively lol).

And that's just you. Now imagine if everyone is doing the same thing. It can only get worse.

The essay mentions that the price the game has to pay for this is changing itself, to become a new game (like with balance patches).

Sure, to the FGC you making your own combos might not be useful. Which is why I keep saying it's not about them. Making your own combos is more enjoyable than copying 'factory-made ones' (EVEN if you end up 'creating' the 'factory-made' combo at some later date -- that it is still more useful than having it given to you from the very beginning precisely because you took all the steps to get to that point, you understand exactly how it was done and so have a good chance of expanding it further (if possible).

Does some smugness come with that? Sure, possibly. But that smugness is more excusable than the smugness of the man who learned some new combos from a Youtube video and used them online to grab a few wins.

Hopefully that makes sense (I don't know if you're really interested in understanding another perspective or just disagreeing because it's strange or unfamiliar). I tried to explain it.

All I can say is to give it a shot. I bet many of you haven't. It's really not as bad as you make it seem.

Oh and that quote was from homingcancel not the Gamefaqs Arcana Heart forum.


antman811 wrote:Yes but they go through the most BORING methods to get to that point. Training mode is never as fun as actually fighting (even against the AI).

And of course it matters if you see it on Youtube or not. The Youtube video gives you information that you may not have been aware of in-game. Observing something and doing it are two different things.

I'll try to give an example. Say you discovered bursting mid-fight. In the midst of all the chaos it might not even dawn on you what happened at first because you're still focused on the match or whatever. Whereas if you discovered bursting through a Youtube video, well for one thing the surprise is gone -- there's no 'what was that'? feeling because you already saw it.

That's a very important part of fighting games to me. It's fun to hop onto a new fighting game for the first time and discover your chosen character's attacks mid-fight on-the-fly.

Also seeing it on Youtube might give it context that you wouldn't have mid-fight. A better example of this would be escaping Carl's loop. How would you do that mid-fight if you had no idea about it? You'd have to figure it out right then and there. Whereas if you see it on Youtube the other player may know how to escape it and show you in the video before you've ever encountered the move in-game (I'm trying to say that this is a bad thing but I'd see why you guys might not think so since it saves you the trouble).

I like having limited knowledge in a game, it keeps the surprises coming more often and allows for more discovery (which is fun). It's why I don't like learning the movesets for characters I don't want to play as (or I should say I don't like learning their movesets by playing as them -- fighting them is different). I mention this because I know some people advise it when learning match-ups.

Major -- I don't doubt the methods that the pros use are good. The issue is how they got to that point, whether it was enjoyable and/or game-destroying or not.


antman811 wrote:Dreiko -- I am not really putting words in anyone's mouths. I am not saying that they claim that this is their stated goal just that it is a result of their actions. Evidenced by the fact that many games end up becoming 'unplayable' to them because they took 1000 shortcuts to 'git gud'.

More so training in videogames is not fun. Developers know this which is why they go out of their way to try to make it interesting (say via dialogue like in Blazblue's tutorials for example).

You'd like for everyone to prolong this unfun training stage even further by browsing forums and Youtube videos instead of just playing the game and improving naturally like you would in any other game. And the stakes aren't high enough to justify enduring the boredom of training. The worse thing that could happen is you lose a couple times which could happen in single-player mode just as well (and likely will especially when fighting bosses).

'We want more people to make BREAKTHROUGHS rather than just "feel good for coming up with what we already know"

The thing with that is, that might never happen. And judging by what I hear players say, many don't even bother to try it (because the 'Japanese Gods' already got it figured out, you see).

So you're suggesting we take shortcuts and follow everything from Youtube or Dustloop for the possibility of making a new strategy / combo (meanwhile neglecting the combos / strategies we spoiled for ourselves by going the Youtube route in the first place -- just because the FGC knows them doesn't mean they aren't worth discovering on your own if possible but I said that earlier already) only to give it away wholesale so everyone can steal it and act like it's common knowledge?

The part about the 'real' game beginning after getting caught up on the 'metagame' -- was addressed in the article with examples. Sulla said pretty much the same thing. Games don't have an infinite amount of complexity. By following the metagame you're reducing the limited amount of the complexity the game already has:

'Another counter-argument Sullla would bring is that the in-game discovery never ceases, since no matter how advanced the "metagame" will get, there will always be new, more advanced strategies to discover inside the game, and someone will need to play the game to discover them. The FRONTIER of strategies, he will say, is where the REAL game is, when using the "metagame". But this argument is flawed because it assumes that games have infinite complexity. Example: Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance, in which, as I have heard, the best strategies have all been long discovered. So if you buy this game, and immediately read up on these strategies, you have almost robbed yourself of the joy of playing the game at all. Nor has the game become unplayable for you, as it has for the "metagamers", if you refuse to do this. You can simply round up a bunch of your friends who've never played the game, and dive into it for as many weeks or months of joy it contains while completely ignoring the *****. And voila, problem solved. Games do not have infinite complexity, and if you advocate "metagaming" you are advocating the reduction (and DRASTIC reduction, considering how many and how hard-working "metagaming" ***** losers there are out there) of the usable, enjoyable complexity for any player who falls prey to decadent ideology of gaming.'


antman811 wrote:And the thing is, I have no clue what's on Youtube. So everything is new to me anyway. I don't know what strategies are popular right now. The only way I'd possibly know is by encountering it repeatedly while playing. And that's the way it should be. So even if I was following popular tactics, I wouldn't know it ( like a friend of mine who was a Sol player discovered Guilty bits after playing for awhile only to realise he'd already been doing that stuff in the video).

You're suggesting players simplify their games by skipping steps to catch up to you because it is useful to you (because you already skipped steps, so if they don't as well how could they possibly help you?).

Whereas a new player could go about discovering things on their own and get enjoyment from that from the very beginning. Sounds a lot better than adopting all current optimized combos / tactics (and so spoiling the chance at discovering them for yourself) all for the possibility of maybe creating a new tactic -- only to have it stolen from you and parroted by everyone else when you do so anyway.

I also like how you conveniently ignore the smugness of the parrots. How is the smugness of someone who copied combos from Youtube not far worse than the smugness of someone who created his own? Even if his combos are worse, the fact that he created them without outside help makes them more valuable to him. Isn't that what's most important? Why do you look down on his 'accomplishment' just because someone else already did it? How does that suddenly make it useless to him?

I thought the goal of playing a fighting game was getting enjoyment out of it. Playing well is nice and all, but the method you're using to go about it isn't fun and even destroys the game in the long-run. I don't want to put in any real effort into 'improving' via unfun methods such as training, 'challenge mode', etc. I'd rather just rack up the losses while learning -- it'd be that way anyway and even losing is more fun than the stuff you suggest new players do to 'improve'. That's how we played versus mode anyway, you just hopped on whether you knew what you were doing or not. Hopefully you caught up.

But yeah, I see no any reason to go back and forth over this when you're firmly entrenched on to other side of the issue, to the point where you said I'm 'misinterpreting everything' and that I'm drawing 'deluded conclusions'. It's safe to say you disagree.


antman811 wrote:And the mille-feuille is probably still pretty good after being stripped apart layer-by-layer. It just obviously wasn't meant to the be eaten that way.

Games are all about mystery and discovery. 'Knowing all the tricks' is bad, because it leaves nothing to left to discovery, nothing left to the imagination.

Kinda like playing something like the Walking Dead. Going back and picking the choices you didn't choose the first time destroys that game. You find out X character dies no matyer what you do, blank results in blank no matter what. The illusion of choice is completely destroyed.

Much in the same way, fighting games weren't to be dissected on an autopsy table. And in the same way autopsies destroys bodies -- this method of playing destroys games by removing every secret and semblance of mystery from them.


antman811 wrote:Since we went down the competitive gaming road, I'm obliged to link this essay again:

http://culture.vg/features/art-theory/w ... han-jrpgs/

An excerpt:

'The bottom line is that the "competitive" player does NOT want challenge, he wants the OPPOSITE of challenge: he wants to "WIN"; and moreover, he wants to win specifically against a HOMO SAPIENS opponent, NOT because the homo sapiens is a better or a more unpredictable opponent (for he isn't), but because unlike the AI bots, he is the only kind of opponent that CAN FEEL SAD. That is what the "competitive" player's fixation with "winning" (i.e. with the game over screen) betrays: the "competitive" player does not draw his enjoyment so much from his interaction with the game world, but from FORCING A PARTICULAR FRAME OF MIND ON HIS OPPONENT: more specifically the depressive emotion of SADNESS.'


antman811 wrote:
IAmMC2 wrote:Will you please stop posting the misinformed clickbait garbage from that site holy hell.


You say that every time I post link from Insomnia and I always ask you if you mind explaining why you feel that way -- and you never do...

I even PM'd you asking this.

I'd try to address any of your objections if I can but you have to make them first.


antman811 wrote:
SWBF2Pilot wrote:Dude... yea... calm down with that article. The author was almost definitely crying salty tears while he wrote it.


I doubt it. Noone else is talking about videogames at the same level as him anywhere else on the internet.

Even if you don't like that one -- there are plenty more that you may find agreeable. You can even buy some of them in book form.


antman811 wrote:'Winning is about feeling the joy that comes from your work paying off, not crushing the other person. And maybe you don't seek challenge, but you do seek to prove yourself.'

But you measure all of these things by crushing the other person don't you?

I have a hard time believing any of you would be satisfied with seeing yourself gradually improve while still losing consistently.

Would have of you really be happy with a 0-100 record despite improving from your very first game?


antman811 wrote:
shooty93 wrote:You should take a hard look at the site you're quoting from, btw. Hard to take it (and by extension, you) seriously when the author constantly calls people with differing mindsets "aspies".


To understand why he uses that term -- you'd have to read a lot of stuff but I don't think any of you want to.

But whatever I'll link it anyway:

http://culture.vg/features/art-theory/w ... jrpgs.html

http://imgur.com/a/q6BUr#0

http://culture.vg/forum/topic?f=16&t=3854

It's not just some random insult for people that disagree with him.


antman811 wrote:That essay does address the AI thing you mentioned:

'Recent developments in the field of artificial intelligence have led to experimental AI bots in modded versions of games like Quake that behave in a more human-like fashion than actual humans. That is, players facing these bots tend to identify them as humans more often than they do so when playing against real humans. What this means in the long term is that there will come a time when a developer will be able to populate an entire game's leaderboard with bots, with no one being able to tell the difference — at least not in-game (as opposed to in chat lobbies, etc.) Does anyone care to bet on what the reaction of the "competitive" players will be to this development? Will any of them consent to taking part in a leaderboard largely populated by bots? On the contrary, there will be a drive to purge the bots from leaderboards, and verification measures to ensure that no developer can cheat on this score, and that only human players can be allowed. There will be, at the very least, human-exclusive leaderboards, and all the tournaments and prizes will be reserved specifically for them.

Never mind that one of the ***** chief arguments against bots is that the unpredictability and intelligence of humans provide for superior matchups. Well, ******, these bots will be scientifically demonstrated to be MORE unpredictable and MORE intelligent than humans, so if this hogwash you are peddling were genuine and not merely a s***** excuse, YOU WOULD COMPLETELY SWEAR OFF PLAYING AGAINST HUMANS WHEN THEY ARRIVE. And yet the ***** will doubtlessly do the exact opposite of this.'


antman811 wrote:'This implies that leaderboards already aren't a joke and that AI has no set pattern (which it does) that can be exploited.'

This is why you have to read the other articles I linked. He talks about scoring systems, leader-boards, cyber-athletics, etc., in the scoring essay (http://imgur.com/a/q6BUr#0) I linked earlier.

You're all looking at this from a fragmented position. I only posted excerpts to catch your attention! To encourage you to read the full articles! Not for you to take the excerpt, run away with it out of context (of the full essays), and try to refute the them based on that one isolated passage!

Current AI has set patterns that can be (easily) exploited (at least in fighting games). He's talking about future AI that will be better than humans (more challenging) and how competitive gamers will react to it when it happens. He talks about this because he's debunking the idea that competitive gamers want a challenge. Because future AI will be more competitive than any human players. And yet competitive gamers won't want to play against them.

It makes perfect sense.

Besides, humans have patterns that can be exploited as well. Not to the same degree as current AI obviously but still. Why else would we talk about 'reading' your opponent?


Chickenfrogman wrote:Antman doing a good job cementing himself as the worst poster in this board.


Note how the best poster on this board is being bullied and referred to as the worst poster on the board. This is the pressure the subhumans exert on him, to try and turn him into a plagiarist.

antman811 wrote:Again you have to understand that having the knowledge and then being able to apply all that knowledge properly, accurately at the exact instance required, are two completely different things. You don't seem to understand the difference.' -- AlbedoX

I do get the difference. Which is why I keep talking about not adopting other people's combos / tactics. Because the step before even 'having the knowledge' is obtaining the knowledge. You obtain your knowledge outside of the game via wikis, forums, and Youtube videos. Others prefer to obtain their knowledge inside of the game via fighting opponents (AI or human ones) and perhaps an in-game tutorial or the official game manual(s). How can you look down on them when you prefer to get the bulk of your knowledge about the game outside of it?

If your goal is to improve as quickly as possible then what you're doing is correct. However if you goal lies outside of that such as 'discovering things in the game for yourself' then how could I follow your advice and read wikis and watch Youtube videos? These things don't enable me to figure things out for myself. They actually prevent me from doing this to the point where I have to avoid them.

As for feeling sad, why else would they invent words such as 'salty' or 'free'? They not only want them to feel sad, they collectively tease the losers (which makes them feel sadder I'd guess).

Demonstrating your skill and winning aren't one and the same thing. Earlier I said something along the lines of none of you would be happy with a 0-100 lost ratio even if you 'improved' and 'demonstrated your skill' consistently in every game.

As for not being competitive... why is it that you can't play with/against human players without butchering your games? It's either your way or the highway with you guys. Either following the metagame or playing JRPGs alone forever.

Some people just don't like spoiling their games before they've had a chance to play them. Is that so hard to grasp?

You can play with/against humans without dissecting your games into 1,000,000 pieces and spoiling them in the process. Looking up combos and strategies is spoiling the game.

But none of you understand that because you're so terrified of losing that you couldn't fathom not doing it.


antman811 wrote:He created a clan for Planetary Annihilation (and Planetside 2, I think) and they've played in tournament matches so I don't think it's that simple.

Also even if you didn't like these articles -- he's written on so many different topics that there's bound to be something of value to you if you like videogames, examples:

http://insomnia.ac/commentary/arcade_culture/

http://insomnia.ac/commentary/on_role-playing_games/

http://culture.vg/features/art-theory/rip-nintendo/

http://culture.vg/features/art-theory/w ... etter.html

Written by someone else but the translation was posted on his site:

http://culture.vg/features/postback/the ... chnocrats/

Not to mention all of the reviews.


FragranceofDew wrote:You forgot a few good ones though like this one where he tells a "subhuman" to kill themselves for asking for advice on certain genres of games.

http://culture.vg/forum/topic?f=16&t=49 ... 990#p23479

Or this one where he calls people 15 year old aspies for talking about their personal lives.

http://culture.vg/forum/topic?f=16&t=45 ... 589#p21027

Or my personal favorite where he claims that black people feel racially inferior to white people.

http://culture.vg/forum/topic?f=16&t=4497

This is the kind of stand up guy more people should take advice on how to best enjoy video games from.


antman811 wrote:'Yes, great observation. I mean fun is a completely objective concept, and we're all just enjoying the game the wrong way.'

Yes perhaps. You may be getting enjoyment out what you are doing now but perhaps there is more enjoyment to be had by going another route? How would you know if you haven't tried it? The difference is if someone suggested I was playing the game wrong, I'd actually consider what they were saying.

As for you not enjoying screwing around in training mode -- that's no surprise, since training mode is boring. You'd know almost immediately if what you were doing was effective or not if you tried it in a match.

Besides, that's where some of the joy comes from. There's some joy in not knowing EVERYTHING about a game from the moment you turn it on. Why do you think you hear so many developers say they don't play their own games? Secondary reasons aside, the main reason is that there is no mystery in their games because they made them. The game world just won't have the same effect on them as it would on you or I.

Maybe you just don't enjoy discovering things in the game for yourself? Or perhaps you're just impatient and not willing to work up to that cool combo you looked up (I mean to discover it)?

How can you honestly argue that looking up strategies and combos is not spoiling the tactical element of the game? You're essentially turning Guilty Gear into one of those rhythm games when you remove the tactical element (which is, choosing which moves to do when and how to chain them together). Why not play one of those rhythm games if that's what you're going to do?

It may not be the 'one' method to play the game but there is such a thing as an 'ideal'. And ideally you'd discover everything in-game on your own terms. There are exceptions to this obviously such as the passive effects of Arcana in Arcana Heart and perhaps some mechanical elements of Guilty Gear that aren't worth the trouble to figure out on your own. But combos and combat tactics definitely aren't included in that.

The meta-gaming article describes what you're doing as subjecting the real-game (Guilty Gear) to a mini-game:

'At the end of the day, then, the question is whether you prefer to spend dozens upon dozens of hours navigating with Firefox or Chrome, skimming forum threads and fast-forwarding YouTube videos, OR PLAYING THE ACTUAL GAME. So just as I've shown (in my scoring essay) that scoring in games creates a game OUTSIDE the game (the king-of-the-ladder game), while demoting the actual game to a mini-game, so does "metagaming" demote once again the actual game by subordinating it to web-browsing.'


antman811 wrote:Dragonblade --

'How can you call training mode boring while, at the same time, placing the enjoyment of an activity in the exploration thereof?'

I am not sure what you mean.

' Also, a single match will only tell you if what you did in that specific instance was effective or not. It won't tell you whether you're approaching it from the right direction.'

That's true and yet it's still more effective than his training-mode escapades.

' Why do you consider it the main reason? Why could that not be a "secondary" reason?'

Let's take Yagawa (shmup developer -- he developed Ibara, Ibara: Pink Sweets, and Muchi Muchi Pork under CAVE and is mostly known for Battle Garegga).

I remember reading once that he doesn't play his own games because he would look at them and see all the 'mistakes' he made. The reason why I consider this secondary even though he said straight-up that this is his reason is even if he could get over that -- he'd still be left with the bigger problem of being the lead programmer of those games and thus having knowledge that the players wouldn't be meant to have.

Whereas if he wasn't involved in development then he wouldn't have this problem and be able to play the games in the same way you or I would.

' Furthermore, why the presumption that the full knowledge of one's character removes the mystery from play?'

Because knowledge removes mystery? That's like asking 'how does knowing the ending remove mystery from this movie?'.

Does it remove all of the mystery from play? No -- you still have to guess what your opponent will do and many times you'll be wrong.

But the way you asked this question confused me for a bit. It's not necessarily that the knowledge of your character removes mystery from playing the game (even though it does). It's that knowledge of your character gained outside of the game removes the chance for you to discover your character for yourself in-game. That's where we're getting at.

'Does one not enjoy discovering things in a game if they look in a manual or at a tutorial to see what the buttons do?'

The difference is those are official tools while the wikis are unofficial and usually reveal stuff that the developers didn't want to be known (otherwise it would have been in the manual). But yeah it's nicer to find out what the buttons do in-game during a tutorial than reading the manual.

You're probably thinking 'so is challenge mode' and yeah it is -- it's apart of the game. But that's where a bit of discernment has to come in, I suppose. I mean there are many elements of modern game-design that aren't benefical to the game world and you have to decide when these are good or bad in regards to playing the game in the best way possible, even if they are official or included within the game. An example is the glowing objects option in a game like Thief. Obviously immersion-breaking, hand-holdly, nonsense that should be disabled if possible. But how do I explain that to someone who likes it? Who says it helps him find all the objects and get the best rewards? I can't convince him that the game would be better with that option turned off. Nothing I say will get through to him -- he just doesn't see it.

Or a better example that's closer to home -- how do you convince someone that playing Blazblue in beginner mode is s***** and ruins the game when he likes it?

'Does using tools bought from the store spoil the joy and challenge of creating something with them?'

But that's my whole point. You didn't create anything -- you copied them from someone else. And you mitigated the supposed 'challenge' by copying them from someone else instead of creating them yourself. You must see the difference between the two things.


antman811 wrote:'However, just as easily, one could say that the act of utilizing these things is fun.'

Of course, both are fun. Thing is the wiki-dude skipped the first-step.

'Whether one makes the combos themselves, or whether one looks up combos online; at the end of the day, the game is the very thing that they're both playing.'

Yes but one person took shortcuts and used information gleamed outside of the game to affect his play within it. If he didn't look up those combos, would he really be as good as he is (assuming he can perform the combos he found)? Even he doesn't know. Would he have been capable of creating the very combos he uses? Even he doesn't know because he cheated himself out of the opportunity to find out. The game certainly gave him the chance to try.

'And supposing that scoring systems do extend the game beyond the game itself, is that a bad thing?'

The scoring essay explains why scoring system are bad for games with stage progression from a theoretical aspect. And the thread expands on the ideas from a more practical (more current) stand-point. He says that although the theory says that scoring systems are bad that doesn't necessarily mean to never play for score with current games. And he talks about how scoring systems could be reworked to reward you in the game as opposed to outside of it. I mean you know your score is meaningless when someone can make it to level 5 and have a lower score than you when you only made it level 2. The player who made it to level 5 is clearly better yet his score is somehow lower. All of this and a lot more is explained in the scoring essay (and the thread).

This is related to the other posts above me and not necesarily to you Dragonblade. But I find it funny how many of you will argue that say...'fun is subjective' and then turn around and call someone a filthy casual for using beginner mode in Blazblue. Even you guys don't believe all opinions are equally valid though many of you pretend they are on this issue.


antman811 wrote:Xtra -- You know I wasn't talking to you when I wrote that right? I am asking because you wrote 'again' like I brushed you off or something.

In any case, this even applies to Grand Strategy and open-world adventure games so there's no way some fighter is going to escape it.

The developer simply has too much knowledge of the game for it to affect him in the same way. For example, the music in Xrd -- some of the tracks are really good. But Daisuke composed them -- he can't go 'WOW!' at hearing Millia's or Elphelt's theme in-game in Xrd cause he heard it 1000 times already.

Maybe you think I am saying the developer will know 'everything' about the game but I'm not saying that. I mean cross-ups developed as a glitch from SFII. So that demonstrates that.

Which leads us to another article from Insomnia again -- the emergence one where he says that the only thing that is 'emergent' in videogames are the bugs.
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Unread postby icycalm » 01 Feb 2015 06:00

Thread is up to 26 pages now lol.
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