Play Like You're Five

Play Like You're Five

Sometimes we're so focused on playing a game that we forget to stop and have fun with it.

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I'm going to try this in every game I own now. Thanks for the idea.

I already do this. I used to spend hours in WoW just exploring lazily, seeing the sights. Same with Oblivion and such. Goals be damned.

While "acting like a five year old" may be fun to do when playing a game like Super Mario Galaxy or even the GTA series as you mentioned, I can't really think of ways to do that in a linear-style play (think Half-Life 2) or online (think Team Fortress 2, Call of Duty), and unfortunately, these are pretty much the only type of games I play.

Mind you, when I launch Knytt Stories I'm ready to explore and not focused so much on the goal of "win" but moreso "have fun". However, this is honestly the only game I have in my possesion that isn't as I mentioned before. Do I have a horrible taste in games? I wouldn't say so. I enjoy the titles for what they are. Yes, when I go over to a friend's house to play GTA, I will ramp my motorcycle off into the ocean as many ways as possible. But when I'm playing through Portal, I don't really see the need to stop and create some kind of little maneuver - the main goal is fun enough.

Great idea, this will be my new outlook to gaming!

Part of it's because of the character I play, but in WoW I spend hours just riding lazily through Azeroth on the back of my Kodo (soon to be Talbuk). I really love the way Arathi Highlands looks. It's very nice.

In Fallout 3, I would often stand in a corner and throw frag grenades at the ground, or I would run up to the highest section of highway I could find and jump right the hell off. Back when I played Halo, I'd also hit my feet with a plasma grenade and run around yelling "Shiny SHOOOOEEEEES!" and had the joy of seeing myself explode on my friend's co-op screen.

I think this type of playing started because I had to impress my brother and sister when I was younger. I was the oldest of the three of us, and the only one who could handle the controls for games like Resident Evil, Megaman Legends, and Metal Gear Solid, so I had to do silly things to keep them interested - like setting 20 lbs. of C4 on a wall outside the Revolver Ocelot boss battle and blowing up every one of the endless, stupid guards that ran up to see what all the commotion was about.

Honestly, it's influenced my life so heavily, I couldn't imagine my gaming life without that perspective; some of my best memories in life are of those times with my siblings.

Great idea.

Welcome to adulthood - where we get to look back and remember how fun being a kid was.

Glad to see that's no different even for people who make a living out of entertainment.

I often get the opportunity in Warcraft to play like a five year old. Several members of my guild have taken the basic Hide & seek gameplay and enacted it when bored in Dalaran or Stormwind. Simply turning off friendly nameplates (for the seeker) and a change of clothing for the hiders enable a whole stealthy level of playing "in" the game.

Another old favourite was in Stranglethorn Vale, where there is a calm bay with a handy cliff which is begging to be jumped off. Many times in the past I have had competitions with friends and guildies to try the most "bodacious" moves in mid air.

The amount of hours I have "wasted" in these simple past-times would probably stagger me, but meh, I loved every minute of it!

LBP kind of was a similar experience for me. It's such a laid back game that just running around and occasionally messing with your coop buddies is great fun.

At one point me and my brother started doing a dance routine, rotating our arms at a certain speed in specific motions. The other 2 online players caught on and soon it was 4 sackboys standing around and dancing.

I laughed so much while playing the game, it was an incredible experience. I'd recommend any dad or mother to try this with their kids.

It's always good to stop and remember why you were having fun. Appreciate what is, not what you think it ought to be.

Thank you good sir! You have made me realise why I am a gamer!

I have gamed since I was... 4 or something and in the recent 3-5 years I have felt myself grow bored of games and pondered what it was about them that have kept me hooked for the past 15 years. I, like you, have matured into a gamer that eagerly seeks the next goal and pushed forward without exploring and, how you put it, playing in the game.

Off the top of my head, I can complete Little Big Adventure 2 in about 3-4 hours... easily, but I spent months, years playing that game as a pre-teen and thus I know pretty much everything about the game... every secret, every hidden item, every hidden line of dialogue because I explored and actually played the game.

Thank you for solving this dilemma for me and reminding me about what I love about games.

I've come to the conclusion that the zen of gaming--and game design--is when the playing the game and playing *in* the game are indistinguishable.

Like in Fallout 3, going to a new marker on the map wasn't a run for a checkpoint, it was a road trip with Three Dog on the radio. I actually used to enjoy leaving in the afternoon so most of my trip was spend in 'golden hour' sunlight. I had purpose, but I also was enjoying the game in a way that had nothing to do with any need to complete an objective.

Say Anything:
While "acting like a five year old" may be fun to do when playing a game like Super Mario Galaxy or even the GTA series as you mentioned, I can't really think of ways to do that in a linear-style play (think Half-Life 2) or online (think Team Fortress 2, Call of Duty), and unfortunately, these are pretty much the only type of games I play.

That brings up the difference between 'playing' and 'gaming'. TF2 is all about 'gaming': using your command of the rules to overcome obstacles/defeat opponents. GTA for people is a lot of times about 'playing': using the technology to do fun stuff.

What's challenging--and amazing--about video games is that they are both a 'toy' and a 'game'. Sure you could play with chess pieces as if they were toys, but unless you have the Civil War Chess Set, it's more fun with a bag of cheap plastic Army Men. At the other side of the spectrum from a chess set is a stuffed animal--you could play chess with stuffed animals, but it doesn't really add much to the experience.

Video games, on the other hand, have both 'toy' and 'game' aspects. I think the particular magic of a video game is how it uses the two in combination to make an end product that is more than the sum of its parts.

Or ya know when playing TF2 when everyone cries out "Everyone go spy" and when everyone does, true fun is had.

nice idea...i'm also going to try this out
actually i never even thought about how i used to play when i was a kid

MaxTheReaper:
I already do this. I used to spend hours in WoW just exploring lazily, seeing the sights. Same with Oblivion and such. Goals be damned.

Who knows how many hours I wasted in Orgrimar (?) literally doing nothing. I wasn't AFK I just didn't do anything except chase people's pets and look at shiny objects.

i feel bad for you man, sounds like you don't even get to play the game anymore. well, back to Fallout then, right?

the_tramp:

Off the top of my head, I can complete Little Big Adventure 2 in about 3-4 hours... easily, but I spent months, years playing that game as a pre-teen and thus I know pretty much everything about the game... every secret, every hidden item, every hidden line of dialogue because I explored and actually played the game.

There was a good column about this over on SVGL:

I felt a little stir of delight once again at how well GTA IV had managed to capture its New York vibe -- and realized it'd been a long time since I felt much of anything toward the title.

And that's a little bit humbling, especially since back in the day I could play Hudson's Bomberman on TG-16 for years. I'm not even kidding; years. I could play the original Sonic the Hedgehog trilogy over and over, I must have played some 16-bit platformers to completion a hundred times (Altered Beast, Legendary Axe, et al).

Why is it that the more complex games get, the less time we spend playing them?

http://sexyvideogameland.blogspot.com/2008/08/four-month-bell-curve.html

Flap Jack452:

MaxTheReaper:
I already do this. I used to spend hours in WoW just exploring lazily, seeing the sights. Same with Oblivion and such. Goals be damned.

Who knows how many hours I wasted in Orgrimar (?) literally doing nothing. I wasn't AFK I just didn't do anything except chase people's pets and look at shiny objects.

I also spent a lot of time looking at the sky in Outland. It was so damned pretty.

In the rare points in my life when I played MMOs/RPGs, I almost always did something like this. Rather than fall into the trap of completing my quest list, I just had fun and goofed off more often than not. I'd talk to/at/around people, chase things/people, wore weird/cool outfits, and explored the world. The end result was that my character took a lot longer to level up and stuff, but I had fun along the way.

I had a lot of Fun messing around with Fallout 3, and stopped to play entirely when i decided to follow the main quest.

On the other Side, playing GTA 4 TLAD now, i am completely devoted to the missions (+ Races and Gang Wars) that the Game throws at me, rushing from one to another, without messing around.

Am i strange? :'(

MaxTheReaper:

Flap Jack452:

MaxTheReaper:
I already do this. I used to spend hours in WoW just exploring lazily, seeing the sights. Same with Oblivion and such. Goals be damned.

Who knows how many hours I wasted in Orgrimar (?) literally doing nothing. I wasn't AFK I just didn't do anything except chase people's pets and look at shiny objects.

I also spent a lot of time looking at the sky in Outland. It was so damned pretty.

I stopped playing before that came out but I bet if I didn;t I would of been right beside you haha.

Argh, I guess everybody has this problem. I remember when I was younger I would have so many fun yet pointless experiences. One thing I would do is find a safe haven in games and hold off from enemies or get an overpowered vehicle and go on slaughter-fests. I tried this with Saints Row 2 and quite a bit of fun was had.

Flap Jack452:

MaxTheReaper:

Flap Jack452:

MaxTheReaper:
I already do this. I used to spend hours in WoW just exploring lazily, seeing the sights. Same with Oblivion and such. Goals be damned.

Who knows how many hours I wasted in Orgrimar (?) literally doing nothing. I wasn't AFK I just didn't do anything except chase people's pets and look at shiny objects.

I also spent a lot of time looking at the sky in Outland. It was so damned pretty.

I stopped playing before that came out but I bet if I didn;t I would of been right beside you haha.

Probably. I took a few different screenshots and used them as my desktop background when I couldn't find anything nicer.

Gameguy151:
i feel bad for you man, sounds like you don't even get to play the game anymore. well, back to Fallout then, right?

Welcome to the Escapist.

Oh, and I think you missed his point.

"Play like you're five" is excellent advice, I think. Sometimes people get too fixated on the goals in the game and forget the rest of the opportunities... that, I think, is at the core of a lot of complaints about games being too short.

I'm not a "fast" player. I don't sprint from objective to objective. I may never, ever do a speedrun in my life, but there's nothing quite like getting "into" a game by going outside it. I mean, it's amazing to get up on an odd ledge somewhere and just gawk at the scenery from an odd angle; climbing the Agency Tower in Crackdown and looking down at the city, or to the top of Cairo Station in Halo 2 to get a clear view of the Earth, or to the SatCom arrays in Fallout 3 to watch the MIRVs rain down. "Tricking" and map exploration add a lot of fun to the game.

(One notable "odd" achievement had a player take the Gold Elite you encounter at the start of the Halo level "Assault on the Control Room" and kite him all the way to the end of the level, the successful run taking something like an hour... just because. Another, famous one was the "Warthog Jump" video wherein a player used grenades to "punt" a Warthog jeep over an arch.)

If there's one thing to admire about Achievements, it's that often they're used to prompt players to try this sort of off-the-wall play.

-- Steve

Cheeze_Pavilion:

There was a good column about this over on SVGL:

http://sexyvideogameland.blogspot.com/2008/08/four-month-bell-curve.html

Thanks for the column, very informative. One of the comments has a very good point:

"Kevin said...
I think it was because I had more time and had less money to buy new games with."

Now that we're older, and have jobs and therefore more disposable income we can afford to move on when the next big thing comes along. For example I've only just gotten the full version of Duke Nukem 3D, I had to make-do with the shareware version as a child.

its genious!!!! pure genious!!! im going to try it....once iv finnished stressing about finnishing the game with a good outcome and getting all the achievments i can..jokes....but i dont actually remember the last time i did that..i stopped gaming for a while cos it was all getting boring...i might start again

Sorry if someone already said this, but wasn't there already a article called "Play like a 3 year old" on the escapist?

Playing like a 3 year old is so 2007...

The cool people are 5 year olds now.

This is what makes me pick up a game like Viva Pinata and play it for hours. There is no definitive goal. Just today I planted a dozen Venus Pinata Traps and killed about half of my pinatas. Why? Because I wanted to find out what would happen. Similar with something like Animal Crossing. I also love wandering around in World of Warcraft climbing around on things, finding new places to go, and collecting items that I think look cool. There are many different reasons to play games: to experience an engaging story, to be challenged mentally and... er... agilityly? Agiley? Dexterously? Lets go with that. But sometimes you just play to have fun. People decry things like Electroplankton or this as mindless toys, but so what? You aren't being led around by the hand to achieve some goal, you're playing around in a sandbox and seeing what you can imagine. It frees the mind.

Oh, and I would also like to say, even if there was an article like this a few months ago, I think we need to be reminded of this every once in a while. Just so we don't forget about fun. You can have some, you know. It's not outlawed yet.

Me and a group of friends were playing CoD 4 like five-year-olds about a week ago. One of my friends (Let's call him Sean) was completely destroying us, so we all decided to team up and use only explosives. Another friend (whom I'll refer to as Adam) wasn't even trying to kill Sean. All he did was throw C4 everywhere, plant claymores around random corners, cook grenades, and laugh maniacally. Needless to say, Adam was having the most fun in the group. Eventually, we went to Shipment and had a C4/Noob-Tube/Martyrdom battle while I played ragtime music on our stereo. Some strange feeling called Fun ensued.

Sadly, I forgot all about our "death"match and continued beating the CoD4 campaign on Veteran a few hours ago. Not fun. It hurts us, Precious.

I'd love to play as I did as a child, except I've always been obsessively objective focused. Maybe because I grew up on games that didn't lend themselves to just goofing off and exploration. Sonic was always about getting to the end of the level as fast as possible, and yes I did meander about looking for secrets, but always with intent. I didn't explore just to see how much of the level there was.

 

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