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Posted: Dec 6th 2011 10:39PM Bramen said

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WRONG! It's JUST a game! And saying that often and on a regular basis saves friendships and keeps people playing. When you forget that it is JUST a game, then you are taking it way too seriously. I've heard "It's just a game" said most often when settling arguments! It is used to remind people that we are here to play as friends, and if the game is ending the friendship lose the game not the friend.

You said "And belittling them [games] ignores all the bonds you form over them" and that is simply not true! Belittling the game focuses the importance on the bonds and not the game! Would you rather someone say "It's JUST a friendship?"

I hope if I'm ever in a game with you. And I start taking my character too seriously and start to treat others around me like crap, that you would have the courage and good sense enough to help me refocus my priorities and remind me that "it is JUST a game" I don't really care that much about +2 stamina on trinkets.

Posted: Dec 7th 2011 12:55AM Azules said

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@Bramen +1 this.
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Posted: Dec 7th 2011 10:39AM BlackFx said

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@Bramen

Hear hear!
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Posted: Dec 6th 2011 11:12PM Slayblaze said

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I totally agree E.L. and it's also my least favorite statement.

Golf is "just a game"
Chess is "just a game"
Football is "just a game"
Fantasy Football is "just a game"
Poker is "just a game"
Bowling is "just a game"
The Stock Market is "just a game"
World of Warcraft is "just a game"

I actually feel sorry for those who believe those statements are true, yet it is almost certainly the vast majority of the population who think that way. Dont bother arguing with them, they only deserve our silent pity.

Posted: Dec 7th 2011 12:01AM Bramen said

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@Slayblaze
I disagree with you. But save your silent pity, it's JUST an opinion.
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Posted: Dec 7th 2011 12:47AM Jeromai said

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Hear, hear. Well written piece. This one goes into archive-worthy along with the CoH Resistance and Loyalist articles.

Just - "no more than; merely; only"

The main point is that the "just" implies dismissiveness and a disregard of the other person's viewpoint. Which is never taken very well even if you mean well with whatever advice that follows.

It's a game, but it's certainly "no more than, merely, or only" a game.

Posted: Dec 7th 2011 12:48AM Jeromai said

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@Jeromai

Insert a "not" right after the certainly.

WTB: Edit function.
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Posted: Dec 7th 2011 9:28AM Dblade said

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Once your "hours played" starts to creep over the two hundred hour mark, it is no longer just a game, it is your new girlfriend.

Posted: Dec 7th 2011 11:26AM (Unverified) said

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I'm kinda surprised by this article Eliot. Usually you write some of the better articles on Massively, but I feel you missed an important part of the puzzle here. Namely, you seem to have totally forgotten that labels like this are entirely subjective and thus very personal.

For example, to me Guild Wars IS just a game. It's a game that I picked up on a whim, played for maybe 5 hours and then never touched again. I have essentially zero interest in it and whatever Arenanet might ever do with it. I cannot attach any significance to it beyond a resounding "meh."

This even works for games I put hundreds of hours into. WoW was never more than "just a game" for me. It was always a vaguely amusing distraction that I played with a core group of friends for the express purpose of keeping the guild together after our ability to put up with Mythic's bullshit evaporated. Like with GW I pretty much can't give a damn about WoW and it's panda-filled fate, except for a detached sense of incredulousness that grows with each new feature I hear about.

Whether a game is "just a game" or not isn't even a concrete thing. Take WAR for example, unless just last year I would have said that WAR was not just a game for me. Even after all the shit that Mythic put us through I still felt that it was more than just a way to waste my time after work. I can't quite explain why, but my guess would be the community. Of course, the WAR community has undergone a lot of attrition of the past few years and it has devolved to the point where I would say it's the ruins of a community rather than an actual community itself. However, the lack of community didn't keep me from coming back to the game for a good few months with my friends, it just meant that we had no real connection to it anymore and it was really easy to drop once we stopped having fun with it. As opposed to the first time we quit en masse where there was a definite feeling of loss.

Posted: Dec 7th 2011 11:28AM Kalex716 said

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Would saying "its just a hobby" be better?

Posted: Dec 7th 2011 3:22PM Space Cobra said

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@Kalex716

Well, I think some qualifiers/explaining would work better diplomatically, when throwing out a one-liner. Unless it's your intent to make people angry (which it seems in some comments).

Your "hobby" line is alright, but some people may not get it, so you still have to explain, "your devoting too much time to it."

Even with the LOLs and whatnot, people still forget that it's hard to figure out someone's meaning/intent on the internet without visual body cues, much less a one-liner or short abbreviation that comes out of nowhere.
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Posted: Dec 7th 2011 3:24PM Space Cobra said

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@Space Cobra

Basically, like in Bramen's example, it is just better to stop and "sit down" with the person and have a one-on-one chat about it, if they are concerned friends.
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