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The relation between expertise and pleasure

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Posts

  • ZekZek Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I think it's about personality types - some people innately feel a strong desire to gain more knowledge or get better at something just for its own sake. This is a great quality for work and an unfortunate affliction for personal hobbies. I'll use video games as an example - there is no practical benefit to getting really good at a video game(assuming you're not winning any tournaments). People do it anyway to satisfy that personal desire - they have fun by getting better and improving their game. Unfortunately the better you are the harder it is to find good competition and the more aware you become of other people's shortcomings. It isolates you from the casual majority and makes your games either less fun or less frequent. You also might start to depend upon performing well to have fun at the game, thus not having fun when you do badly. I don't think skilled players playing a good game have more fun than ordinary players playing an ordinary game - they're just much pickier(though some games are more fun competitive than casual and vice-versa). And of course getting good at the game often involves time investments that detract from your everyday life.

    Basically I think pursuing this sort of knowledge/skill in meaningless hobbies is a character flaw. Ignorance really is bliss. Maybe it can't be helped and we have no choice but to embrace it and find other people like ourselves, but there's really nothing objectively positive about it IMO.

    Zek on
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Eljeffe said the same thing, why didn't you pick on him too? He made the distinction between authentic and good (eg tasty) and stated that there's several authentic foods he prefers the american version of, for taste reasons.

    I'm cooler.

    You certainly have a damn fine hat.
    Zek wrote: »
    I think it's about personality types - some people innately feel a strong desire to gain more knowledge or get better at something just for its own sake. This is a great quality for work and an unfortunate affliction for personal hobbies. I'll use video games as an example - there is no practical benefit to getting really good at a video game(assuming you're not winning any tournaments). People do it anyway to satisfy that personal desire - they have fun by getting better and improving their game. Unfortunately the better you are the harder it is to find good competition and the more aware you become of other people's shortcomings. It isolates you from the casual majority and makes your games either less fun or less frequent. You also might start to depend upon performing well to have fun at the game, thus not having fun when you do badly. I don't think skilled players playing a good game have more fun than ordinary players playing an ordinary game - they're just much pickier(though some games are more fun competitive than casual and vice-versa). And of course getting good at the game often involves time investments that detract from your everyday life.

    Basically I think pursuing this sort of knowledge/skill in meaningless hobbies is a character flaw. Ignorance really is bliss. Maybe it can't be helped and we have no choice but to embrace it and find other people like ourselves, but there's really nothing objectively positive about it IMO.

    I think this is all pap. I enjoy playing the games and along the way I happen to develop skill at them that furthers my enjoyment. Calling it a character flaw to want to get good at anything is ridiculous. I would say you have an incredibly negative slant on such people that is biasing your perceptions of them. You also make sweeping general statements about personality traits you personally think are associated with such players, which is a straight out "argument denied" as far as I am concerned, up until the point you bring out some proof of such assertations.

    The argument about things being more fun or whatnot is silly as well. People don't try to get better to have more fun, they just happen to have fun getting better. Fun is fun is fun is fun. It doesn't have goddam power levels or some shit. My fun is just as much fun as anyone elses fun. I just have fun differently.

    Morninglord on
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) (WiiU: Morninglord22) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited December 2009
    Zek wrote: »
    I think it's about personality types - some people innately feel a strong desire to gain more knowledge or get better at something just for its own sake. This is a great quality for work and an unfortunate affliction for personal hobbies. I'll use video games as an example - there is no practical benefit to getting really good at a video game(assuming you're not winning any tournaments). People do it anyway to satisfy that personal desire - they have fun by getting better and improving their game. Unfortunately the better you are the harder it is to find good competition and the more aware you become of other people's shortcomings. It isolates you from the casual majority and makes your games either less fun or less frequent. You also might start to depend upon performing well to have fun at the game, thus not having fun when you do badly. I don't think skilled players playing a good game have more fun than ordinary players playing an ordinary game - they're just much pickier(though some games are more fun competitive than casual and vice-versa). And of course getting good at the game often involves time investments that detract from your everyday life.

    Basically I think pursuing this sort of knowledge/skill in meaningless hobbies is a character flaw. Ignorance really is bliss. Maybe it can't be helped and we have no choice but to embrace it and find other people like ourselves, but there's really nothing objectively positive about it IMO.

    I think this is all pap. I enjoy playing the games and along the way I happen to develop skill at them that furthers my enjoyment. Calling it a character flaw to want to get good at anything is ridiculous. I would say you have an incredibly negative slant on such people that is biasing your perceptions of them. You also make sweeping general statements about personality traits you personally think are associated with such players, which is a straight out "argument denied" as far as I am concerned, up until the point you bring out some proof of such assertations.

    The argument about things being more fun or whatnot is silly as well. People don't try to get better to have more fun, they just have fun getting better, fun is fun is fun is fun. It doesn't have goddam power levels or some shit. My fun is just as much fun as anyone elses fun. I just have fun differently.

    I think he has a bit of a point, though I agree that "it's a character flaw" is bullshit. Wanting to excel at something - anything - is anywhere between neutral and great, depending on what it is. I mean, if you want to be the best damned tiddly-winker in the world, I fail to see the harm. I fail to see the utility, either, but there's certainly no harm (unless we're talking about it becoming an unhealthy compulsion).

    In that sense, limiting yourself by way of demanding excellence is no different than limiting yourself by way of, say, genre preference. If you only like JRPGs, you've just limited yourself in the exact same way.

    Me, I really like Rock Band. And I am really good at it. Not competition-level good, I don't think, but I can five-star all but the very hardest songs without much effort. When I play, I pick fairly difficult songs, because I derive enjoyment not just from playing, but from playing well at something hard. When I gold-star something like Carry On My Wayward Son, it feels awesome. I like feeling awesome.

    Ditto something like cooking, or playing (real) guitar. When I challenge myself and succeed, it's fun. And I think this sort of drive to excel is, in general, an undeniably positive trait. Because a drive to excel typically carries over from frivolous matters to non-frivolous. I would say the sort of person who wants to kick ass at their hobby is also the sort of person who's going to want to kick at ass at their job, provided it's a job they enjoy.

    ElJeffe on
    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Zek wrote: »
    I think it's about personality types - some people innately feel a strong desire to gain more knowledge or get better at something just for its own sake. This is a great quality for work and an unfortunate affliction for personal hobbies. I'll use video games as an example - there is no practical benefit to getting really good at a video game(assuming you're not winning any tournaments). People do it anyway to satisfy that personal desire - they have fun by getting better and improving their game. Unfortunately the better you are the harder it is to find good competition and the more aware you become of other people's shortcomings. It isolates you from the casual majority and makes your games either less fun or less frequent. You also might start to depend upon performing well to have fun at the game, thus not having fun when you do badly. I don't think skilled players playing a good game have more fun than ordinary players playing an ordinary game - they're just much pickier(though some games are more fun competitive than casual and vice-versa). And of course getting good at the game often involves time investments that detract from your everyday life.

    Basically I think pursuing this sort of knowledge/skill in meaningless hobbies is a character flaw. Ignorance really is bliss. Maybe it can't be helped and we have no choice but to embrace it and find other people like ourselves, but there's really nothing objectively positive about it IMO.

    I think this is all pap. I enjoy playing the games and along the way I happen to develop skill at them that furthers my enjoyment. Calling it a character flaw to want to get good at anything is ridiculous. I would say you have an incredibly negative slant on such people that is biasing your perceptions of them. You also make sweeping general statements about personality traits you personally think are associated with such players, which is a straight out "argument denied" as far as I am concerned, up until the point you bring out some proof of such assertations.

    The argument about things being more fun or whatnot is silly as well. People don't try to get better to have more fun, they just have fun getting better, fun is fun is fun is fun. It doesn't have goddam power levels or some shit. My fun is just as much fun as anyone elses fun. I just have fun differently.

    I think he has a bit of a point, though I agree that "it's a character flaw" is bullshit. Wanting to excel at something - anything - is anywhere between neutral and great, depending on what it is. I mean, if you want to be the best damned tiddly-winker in the world, I fail to see the harm. I fail to see the utility, either, but there's certainly no harm (unless we're talking about it becoming an unhealthy compulsion).

    In that sense, limiting yourself by way of demanding excellence is no different than limiting yourself by way of, say, genre preference. If you only like JRPGs, you've just limited yourself in the exact same way.

    Me, I really like Rock Band. And I am really good at it. Not competition-level good, I don't think, but I can five-star all but the very hardest songs without much effort. When I play, I pick fairly difficult songs, because I derive enjoyment not just from playing, but from playing well at something hard. When I gold-star something like Carry On My Wayward Son, it feels awesome. I like feeling awesome.

    Ditto something like cooking, or playing (real) guitar. When I challenge myself and succeed, it's fun. And I think this sort of drive to excel is, in general, an undeniably positive trait. Because a drive to excel typically carries over from frivolous matters to non-frivolous. I would say the sort of person who wants to kick ass at their hobby is also the sort of person who's going to want to kick at ass at their job, provided it's a job they enjoy.

    Yeah I agree with you, I think there are two points to be made here and his argument includes both but is labelling them both with the same bad brush.

    The first point: If you have fun playing games no matter how good you are, but if you do have the time to put towards them, you work towards getting better, this is a perfectly acceptable approach to take.

    On the other hand, if you only have fun when you are absolutely excelling at the game and can't have fun until you get good at them, I think this is an unhealthy approach as you have too high expectations of yourself.
    But I also think this is an unbalanced approach to everything in life, and that one's motivation for getting better shouldn't be "or else I can't gain pleasure from this thing", for anything at all. So I agree with you on this point and also agree that there's no call to be calling all of it a character flaw or anything. Unhealthy expectations are simply expectations: attitudes that are easily changed. They're not stable enough to be characteristics.

    Morninglord on
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) (WiiU: Morninglord22) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited December 2009
    Yeah, that sounds good to me.

    I mean, I enjoy all manner of things I suck at. Say, bowling. I am ass at bowling. Still fun, though.

    ElJeffe on
    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I suck ass at real time strategy games and I still loved all the red alerts to bits.

    Same with bowling, although I don't love it to bits it's still fun.

    Morninglord on
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) (WiiU: Morninglord22) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
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