Difference in the Press of a Button

How would you approach a person who believes that games are a waste of time and that there’s no difference between a mindless ‘clickr’ game and any other game, other than different and more difficult ways of clicking?

They are a waste of time, relatively speaking. They’re things we aspire to waste our time on.

For one, different games affect us differently, put us into different mental states. Clickr games are made to create an addiction more than genuine enjoyment. http://sirlingames.squarespace.com/blog/2012/8/22/addiction-diablo-3-and-portal-2.html
We play different games and different genres of games for different reasons, obviously. This is why similar tastes congregate in similar demographics.

I mean, sure both cookie clicker and whatever other game eat up your time, but not all recreational activities are created equal.

You don’t necessarily have to approach them with the intent of convincing them that games aren’t a waste of time, but how would you explain what separates, say, Quake or Melee from Cookie Clicker?

The games operate fundamentally differently. What separates programming from essay writing? What separates playing a guitar from guitar hero? What separates weight lifting from sports? Painting from note taking? Even though something might have a similar or identical input system, they’re not the same thing. The difference is created by context.

Cookie Clicker and games like it are built specifically to prey on extrinsic rewards, which tend to grow weaker over time, which is why they keep up interest by steadily exponentiating your income, so you don’t just earn move, you earn orders of magnitude more, like the entire thing is steadily accelerating, and the amount you’re earning now dwarfs what you originally earned, so things that were troublesome to buy a second ago are now simple.

Quake or Melee are based more on intrinsic rewards, feeling good for something that you did, as opposed to something you got.

Also, do you think there is only one way to truly press a button? Do physical factors such as pressure, speed, and even position make button presses different? Or is there really one fundamental way of pressing a button, with the *pattern(s)* in which you press the button (and why)?

For a digital button, most of those physical factors don’t matter (though the PS2 and PS3 had pressure sensitive buttons, almost nothing took advantage of them). It depends on what type of game is receiving it. Most game functions don’t really care how long a button is held for or when it’s released, but they do care very much about when it’s pressed. Some games do care about these things, and they care a lot about what other buttons are currently pressed or have been pressed recently.

Melee is a game that can go up to 300 Actions Per Minute. Each of those button presses is relative to a specific situation, in conjunction with other buttons. That’s what separates a ground attack from an air attack, from a smash attack from a tilt.

Then you get different mouse movements for shooters and for strategy games, even within those categories: https://imgur.com/a/FoMNy
https://www.reddit.com/r/starcraft/comments/jj0jj/playing_starcraft_2_for_almost_three_hours_iograph/
https://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/hnmq5/iograph_of_402_minutes_of_css_in_window_mode_so/
https://www.reddit.com/r/wow/comments/dzuj4/an_iograph_of_playing_wow_for_12_hours/
Have you ever dealt with a desync in an online game? If you are out of sync with your opponent, even by a single frame, the entire game is ruined and both your actions become nonsense to each other.

There’s a lot of ways to press a button or buttons in conjunction. These help add to the kinaesthetic feeling of games which differentiate their button presses.

Reminds me, I was thinking recently of how cool it would be if some of the advanced tech Snake can do in Smash Bros were possible in The Phantom Pain. Like jumping at someone and doing Snake’s back air. Or doing the DACUS. It would probably look weird and not really fit into the game, but it’s fun to think about. It’s really cool to hit people with reverse back airs in P:M, feels nice.

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