I Am Become Psycho Poker Bitch

I Am Become Psycho Poker Bitch

We always have something to learn from our moms, including how not to be a gaming chump.

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Another great article. My parents are the same way when I attempt to teach them how to play games...

Well said, Susan, bravo! Some of the most enjoyable memories I have from games comes from going to some odd spot and just taking in the view created for me by those hard-working environment artists...

-- Steve

Great article, I share the sentiment. I don't game to win, have a high score, or own noobs - I just want to enjoy the moment and oddly enough, sometimes it can be fun to lose. I love games where even when I am losing I am still having fun, I think those are the best kinds of games.

I am a goal-oriented gamer, and I get much the same way. Mindless exploration drives me insane - WHERE am I going? I hate 'meandering' in real life, too. I don't mind if I set out with a clear goal in mind, and end up accumulating many more and taking a few wrong routes and learning new things - but aimlessness drives me crazy. I find it difficult to watch people play a game "wrong". I recently had to sit through my housemate's approach to playing GTA4 - hailing a cab whenever it wasn't a chase mission.

Now, in a social setting, when I'm playing a game like that, sure, I'll play without looking at my cards - I'll play by whatever rules are laid down in front of me - but when something in the game is outright ignored (like the missions in Endless Ocean), it frustrates me. I suppose I *am* Psycho Poker Bitch - I have no problem with the players who simply miss hidden content, or skim over the cutscenes, but those who wilfully ignore a distinct piece of the game, and not just for 'a single hand', seem foolish to me.

However... that's just in my own, goal-driven mindset. I know these people aren't fools. If they're having fun, all the more power to them. The majority of casual and non-core gamers (core here referring to the typical audience of the gaming enthusiast press) are "Wanderers" or "Participants" in gaming, whereas most core gamers seem to be "Conquerors" and "Managers". I myself fall under both of these latter terms - and while I wouldn't neglect either of the former, that's only another sign of my completist mindset. What gaming needs is more games that cater to wanderer and participant mindsets - why do you think there are so many gamers who only play World of Warcraft, in which the things you end up doing most are ambling from place to place and chatting to your friends? Conquerors love legendary items and beating raid instances, and managers guide their guilds to success. A game that appeals to all types of gamer, as opposed to the classic "hardcore" and "casual" dichotomy, might just be the way forward...

and as for myself, I have increased awareness of my propensity to be the Psycho Poker Bitch, and will cease watching my housemate and his cab-hailing ways, lest I wrench the pad from him. XD

Geez, you didn't try to pull the "Oops, I didn't realize I had a flush" stuff with the Psycho Poker Bitch? That's the best part about having those people around.

I think most people reach a point where they become pretty jaded by whatever activity they've mastered. When you experience something new, you're generally flying by the seat of pants trying to figure out exactly what you're doing. So the rules aren't really a big deal. It's kinda tourists in New York city admiring all the pretty tall buildings... While the locals just want them to get out of their way.

Mario Kart has always done that to me. Everyone's hollering about that ridiculously close finish, and I'm getting semi-pissy over that stoopid blue shell at the finish line that bumped me into 2nd. That series is definitely a game where you have to repeatedly tell yourself that winning isn't everything.

I don't think it's at all a thing worthy of mortification to realize that you were frustrated by not realizing that "play" means different things to other people.

Mr. Jims:

I think most people reach a point where they become pretty jaded by whatever activity they've mastered. When you experience something new, you're generally flying by the seat of pants trying to figure out exactly what you're doing. So the rules aren't really a big deal. It's kinda tourists in New York city admiring all the pretty tall buildings... While the locals just want them to get out of their way.

Excellent analogy. I think you're spot on with that observation.

I guess i'm PPB, didn't use to, but that changed sometime during the last couple of years. Back when i was a kid i loved just faffing about, but no more. As said in the article, it also annoys me when others do that in my presence. I think most of those who dedicate alot of time to gaming reach this point sooner or later. If you spend ten or twenty so years doing something in a certain manner, ofcourse you'll be irritated when someone does something in another way, which you percieve as wrong. And by that stage, really, the wrong way is anything but our way.

Well, the thing with real life games is that rules can be bent. You can decice to play with less players, or introduce new parameters, and still obey the other rules and, somehow, go through rounds and still have winners.
With video games, that's hardly possible. The only way to play and advance is the way it's been put into the game. It's less a question of playing a video game like it was meant to be played than actually focus on a function of the game which won't take you anywhere deeper into the game.
Now, there still are variants, like complete games as fast as possible, but these player chosen mods have actually more to do with the obsessive and challenging part than the rather unconcerned casual player.

While this article is, globally, another "member X of my family plays Wii it's fantastic", it also provides ammo against the mandatory bag of unlockables any game has to come with to stretch its life, because some people don't care much about systemic rules which are inherited from several old decades of gaming, and couldn't care less about the challenge the designers want the players to go through.
It shows that a new market couldn't care less about those locked levels, locked functions, locked models and what have you things you try to shove own. They're more in for the experience of what's already available.
Globally, it highlights the problem that some games have by locking too much of the content.

That's probably where casual sandbox games kick in, far from the likes of GTA IV.

If an article has the title, "I Am Become Psycho Poker Bitch," you know it's gonna be good.

the irony of the Psycho Poker Bitch is that she was too stupid to understand how to adjust to the dynamics of a free play, poker game. this means that she thinks that you raise from early position with AQ because that is the "correct play" while not understanding the intended result or purpose of the move.

haha

Wanted to comment on this since I read it, but was banned until now.

I would say there's a subtle, but major difference between you and PPB. PPB thinks she knows the way *everyone* should play, and that's where her advice comes from: she's saying we shouldn't play without looking at our cards because no one should have fun playing poker unless they are playing it the way they do on ESPN.

You on the other hand have accepted--embraced, really--that there are many ways to enjoy a game. Like you mentioned, you "saw her grinning like a 5-year old with an ice cream cone and a pony because she had just discovered a sailfish tang" and your frustration wasn't over her not playing the game you would play, but rather her not *maximizing* her own play strategy. If she gets excited about discovering the existence of new fish, then it's only logical that she should *also* be excited about "missions that might...tip us off to the existence of new fish."

It's more that sometimes we have to not only allow others to play the way they want (that's what PPB doesn't understand) but that we actually have to let them play in a way that is *inefficient* for achieving what they want. Which is what you realized in writing this article and I guess I did in reading it: that when it comes to play, just because someone says they enjoy something doesn't mean they'll enjoy twice as much of it twice as much.

The difference between you and PPB is that she thinks she knows what everyone else *should* want out of playing a game; you just know how your mom *could* get more of what she obviously wants out of play. PPB is frustrated that other people don't share her preferences; you were just frustrated at inefficiency.

That's the thing about play though, isn't it? Not only is whether people are having fun the only criterion, but it even allows for that kind of fuzzy logic!

Well, I am certainly obsessed with Borg-like efficiency, so what you're saying makes sense, Cheeze. Hadn't thought about it that way before, but you make some really valid points.

You see this a lot when you introduce someone who doesn't play to a really immersive game. I think we've all sat there and ground our teeth as X_younger_sibling/cousin spent the better part of a half hour changing the color of their jacket or chasing an npc around in circles. We're so numb to it we forget we once had that same sense of wonderment. How many times did you fly into a building in starfox on SNES just because? How much time did you waste playing that jump rope game at the beginning of final fantasy 9?

 

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