"I can't just play an MMOG anymore. It is imperative that I multitask; watching television or surfing the web. The only challenge left is staying awake through hours and hours of leveling." Laura Genender explains the appeal of monotony in the service of fun in "Drudgery."
Where There's a Whip
"Your presence will point me in the direction of something to do. However, wherever you may take me, you invite yourself along." In The Little Things, a letter to Ennui, Whitney Butts expresses the frustration of a life with the promise of limitless adventure always on the horizon, and the spectre of boredom always one step behind.
"Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss was designed to take at least 60 hours to complete. The lead tester could finish the entire game in 47 minutes." In Speed Thrills, Allen Varney explores the world of the speedrunners, gamers who get their kicks the old fashioned way: pure speed.
"Chess is thought to have been invented in sixth century India. The rules have been tweaked, but the game has endured for a millennia-and-a-half. I can guarantee World of Warcraft doesn't have that kind of re-playability." In The Forgotten Gamers Dana Massey explains how game designers are often their own worst enemies.
"The beginning is always the same: A lone zombie appears on the horizon, hungry, mean and ready to ruin your day." In Zombies Ate the Master Chief, Russ Pitts takes a light-hearted look at how player-made game variants have given Bungie's Halo 2 the staying power of ... well, the living dead.
"It seems counter-intuitive to say an entertainment form can be boring, yet it obviously happens, because everyone's tastes are different. But do we have an epidemic on our hands?" In But I Thought Games Were Supposed to Be Fun! Peter Robinette examines the causes of boredom in games, casting game developers in the role of "boredom managers."