Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fun, and Not Fun

I love vacation. Partly because I get to reflect back on the accomplishments of the past seven months (we haven't had a significant break since the wedding), and partly because... well, because it's vacation. I can drink beer and play video games at 3 in the afternoon if I like. And, people: to a certain point, a point which represents admittedly more than Teslagrl might be hoping for but much, much less than it would have been not so long ago, I like.

It's been a very good year overall, and the clinical phase of school has been different in ways that are almost entirely good. If I made New Year's resolutions, I'd think seriously about promising to 'splain some more about how this phase of my education works. Now that time has passed, it's probably safe to jumble up patient-specific characteristics and tell some stories about each rotation, to give a sense of what this is all about.

But for today, I'm talking about video games. There's a really cool discussion going on at a blog I read called Twenty-Sided, where Shamus the host put up a ten-minute YouTube video he made, for discussion and comment. The video itself is a commentary, wherein he asks deep questions about the nature of games (he's a programmer himself, as well as a creative-type). He wonders how come some of them are no damn fun to play. A related question is about why there are so many folks, even in the age of Wii, who can't or won't get into games that don't involve bowling and whatnot. If this sounds even remotely interesting, and you have ten minutes, you should check it out. He's a smart guy, and knows what he's talking about.

Like everything I see on the Web and then run back here to write about, it got me thinking. And I've formed kind of a wobbly early version of a Unified Theory of Fun. But before I go spewing my opinions and deep thoughts about the subject, see what Shamus has to say. I have a hearty handful of readers. A few might have a little time to kill. I'd like to see how his arguments sound, to gamers and (maybe especially) to non-gamers.