Saturday, 14 July 2018

I have an inherited indifference to/ dislike of all games/ puzzles and the like

I dislike all forms of games and puzzles - card games, board games, computer games - chess, draughts and the like - quizzes and puzzles whether linguistic, symbolic, mathematical, knowledge based - role playing games, fighting games, questing games...

I have never yet encountered any such thing that failed to leave me stone cold, and induced escalating dysphoria when compelled to participate.

I would much rather do nothing at all, then pass time in such ways. I don't regard this as a virtue; indeed there are several games I would rather like to like: chess, scrabble, crosswords, Dungeons and Dragons... I would like to like them, also, in order to be sociable -  not least with my family...

But nope.

It's not that I regard games as trivial because I spend my time well, either; I waste a really tremendous amount of time... at least, I don't accomplish anything visible or useful with it. 

So far as I know, only my father shares this trait in full - I have never heard of anyone else.


14 comments:

William Zeitler said...

I have always loathed games. To me there are so many REAL problems in the real world that are so much more interesting. I get the concept that games can be 'mental exercise' and I guess I'll take their word for it. Meanwhile, in my career domain (computer programming) I am regarded as well above average in ability to solve problems for my employer. Meanwhile games are repellent to me -- they are simply NOT FUN or INTERESTING! I don't know why.

strata florida said...

Now, this is curious. I also dislike all games. I feel I ought to like chess but don't, and feel either loathing or indifference for all the rest, including all sports. As for role-playing games . . . well.

And even more curious, I find The Notion Club Papers fascinating. I admit I've only read it three times that I can recall, nothing compared to your score, yet I know I'll read it again, and each time I read I'm sorry that Tolkien never finished it. I wish I could understand what it's about.
.

So, there! You may be inimitable, even unique, but here in the Great Dominion there is one a little like you.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William and sf - Well, there it is - apparently there are others; or perhaps we are all related?! But in my extended family and friends; I think I am the only one - except for my father.

Bradley Matthews said...

I enjoy most games and puzzles. What I have the same disinterest in is 4 suited deck of card games. My wife cannot understand. Truth be told, neither do I. I simply loathe the royal deck of cards and all games such as spades, hearts, rummy, poker. It is rather strange.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Board games and card games are like watching TV. I can patiently participate for a limited time if sociability requires it, but I start to get restless after half an hour or so. I did have a D&D phase in my teens, but even then I enjoyed reading the rule books and designing characters much more than actually playing the game.

My father, on the other hand, is a board game aficionado, with dozens of German board games he's always itching to play.

William Wildblood said...

Count me in as another person who has no interest in games, especially bored games as I call them. I used to enjoy sports but games, puzzles and the like, never!

Bruce Charlton said...

I'm surprised at the number of people who agree with me about this! I thought (from experience - being the 'only one' who doesn't want to participate...) I was pretty much unique in this trait.

a probst said...

I envy all of you! I was never much of a 'games' person either until demon MS Solitaire, Spider Solitaire, Free Cell, Minesweeper, and Mahjong Titans started coming free with Windows twenty-odd years ago. And, come to think of it, I was showing a weakness for acrostics, Sudokus, and Kenkens before that.

Addicted to distraction...

Chiu ChunLing said...

I like to play, but I don't care to compete. I often win, but if winning is all that there there is to a game, it means that there is no real value in the game at all.

The main shortcoming of D&D is that it tries to be a game you can 'win' or 'lose' rather than simply one you play. When you stop trying things that are obviously in character for the character you've created because the DM will assign it an impossible DR and declare you dead (and thus out of the game), there is no longer any point in playing.

On the other hand, there are people for whom the entire point of the game is to compete, establish who is the winner and who is the loser. It's not like you can design a game and not make allowances for what such a player will do if you don't provide a formal outlet for their competitive impulses.

After all, that competitive aspect is the reason we have a play instinct in the first place.

Some people hate games because they aren't any good at competing, others don't find competing particularly interesting in the first place. My innate capabilities are high enough that I don't actually need a play instinct...but I have one and so I enjoy playing.

John Fitzgerald said...

Like William W, I like sports but not games. I used to work night shifts at one time and really enjoyed the silence and contemplative stillness of it all - no managers around, punters asleep, etc - until someone suggested a game of cards, which totally ruined the atmosphere for me. 'Jokes' were even worse though - 'an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman walked into a pub,' and so on.

Bruce Charlton said...

@John - I used to be mad on playing football in junior school; but then went-off sports completely until about 25 years ago when I became mad on cricket (as a spectator and 'analyst' - e.g. https://the-doosra.blogspot.com/). This cricket mania has subsided after peaking in the Hussain, Vaughan and Strauss Test Captaincy eras; but I still read/ watch a bit most days. Unfortunately, the 'institution' of cricket has (from the top down) gone the way of all the other institutions - and the enchantment of the sport has ebbed considerably. I suppose this takes a place in my life that for some people is occupied by games, puzzles, and such pastimes.

NLR said...

Games and puzzles (and also mathematics) are the autonomous mind, the mind existing in its own realm.

The mind at play, not in competition, not scheming to serve the sub-rational instincts, but existing for its own sake.

This is not meant to criticize those who do not enjoy games, but merely to explain their value.

Seijio Arakawa said...

I seem to be at the opposite extreme - enjoying board games and puzzles (perhaps a bit too much), whereas I do not understand at all the desire of most people to watch/follow sports. Needless to say during the World Cup this trait of mine makes itself known.

My one critique of board games is that they preclude irrelevant conversation - while the game is going on, everything is about the game, which works well as an icebreaker with strangers but prevents a deeper connection from forming.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Seijio -I'd like to like some board games - I enjoy the gaming scenes in Big Bang Theory; and I do participate in family games sometimes; but whereas others enjoy them, I enjoy the family aspect but not the game...

BTW I don't like 'sports' at all - only cricket, and, a decade ago, baseball - which is similar; but significantly I enjoy them (theoretically, of course) from the bowling/ pitching angle... However, both sports are being popularised and destroyed by privileging batting over balance; so both have lost their magic significantly.