[Geeks are Sexy] technology news

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Joy Of Sucking

I know the title of this post may sound a bit, uh, innapropriate, but I swear I didn't come up with it, Wired did! Anyhow, according to a new study, being bad at games can be just as fun as being good. Hmm, I wonder why I never felt that way while getting pwned by my friends in unreal tournament, there must be something wrong with me.

Recently, a team of psychologists led by Niklas Ravaja at MIND Labs in Helsinki, Finland, decided to study precisely what sort of emotions people experience while playing games. So they took a bunch of gamers in their 20s and had them play Super Monkey Ball 2 bowling, competing amongst each other (the top scorer won free movie tickets). While they played, the gamers were wired up to a bunch of biosensors -- including skin-conductance meters, cardiac monitors and facial electromyographs. Psychologists have long found that by detecting spikes in one's physiological activity, they can pinpoint the precise moment you find something fun or frustrating.

Read more.


  • sucking at stuff is the best. I suck at pretty much everything, and I love to do all the stuff I am no good at. It's really all in how you take it.

    By Blogger Sheena, at 3:12 PM  

  • Hardly. My ex had a Bond 1st person game I was just plain afraid to play- the idea of even a computer generated 007 dying because of my ineptitude was petrifying! I'd rather screw up at air guitar or something less "save the world"-y.

    By Blogger Liz, at 4:08 PM  

  • See, I think it is sort of like a bell curve... where sucking is only fun when it goes horribly wrong and not getting something almost perfect and then messing up so close to completion.

    By Blogger MC, at 12:44 AM  

  • There's something to be said about basing a somewhat scientific study around "Super Monkey Ball 2 Bowling." I get pleasure just from the name itself.

    People love monkeys, especially digital ones.

    Perhaps had they used a more realistic first person shooter (where the character death occurs) there would have been more meaningful data.

    By Blogger unimental, at 7:13 AM  

  • There's a distinct dichotomy in the art of "sucking". For instance, it's fun to suck when you're drinking with your friends and playing the latest "Mario Party". It is, on the other hand, NOT fun to suck if you're playing an MMORPG in the PVP area and getting pwned.

    By Blogger Tracy, at 2:10 PM  

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