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Water Mage

Games without a clear end: What are their charm? Are they unhealthy?

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I’m currently dealing with an Animal Crossing addiction(which really made my life harder) and while trying to deal with this addiction, I started to wonder: 

What’s the point of games like Animal Crossing that doesn’t have a clear end? Does it make players obsessed with them? Are they unhealthy in the long run? Is it pointless to play them?

For those that play games without a clear end, why do you play them? And for those that don’t, why you don’t play them?

I’m starting to think that life simulator games may be a very unhealthy genre of gaming.

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I don't tend to play games that don't have a clear end.

I typically like to have a way to measure any forms of official achievements made within a save file and the like. I like to follow stories and go on great vast adventures. If I don't, how do I know what I have or haven't done if I take a break long enough to forget what's been done?

I suppose that with games that have a clear end in mind, it's great that you get to experience it and it doesn't constantly drain on your time so that when new games come out, you don't still have outstanding games to play if you've already finished them. But with something like Animal Crossing that has no clear end and that could be continuously played forever, you can kinda develop into a mindset of feeling the need to play it all the time or at the very least, it can eat into the time you can spend doing other things.

Then again, maybe I just don't like playing games with no clear end because once you've done everything you can do once, there's really nothing left to do that's new or exciting.

But maybe that's just me.

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13 minutes ago, Light Strategist said:

 But with something like Animal Crossing that has no clear end and that could be continuously played forever, you can kinda develop into a mindset of feeling the need to play it all the time or at the very least, it can eat into the time you can spend doing other things.

Yes! That’s exactly my problem with AC! It has a mechanic that punishes you heavily for not playing everyday. This can’t be healthy in the long run.

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I never got the craze either. I found Sims to be boring as hell. I spent 2 hours making my character and then after an hour of playing I sold it. I prefer games with an end. Unless it's a multiplayer game like Street Fighter or Mario Kart.

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Has anybody else read the comic about the mom that played Animal Crossing? Actually I'll go get it.

http://cdn.duelinganalogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/A-tear-jerking-story-about-Animal-Crossing1.jpg

Food for thought I guess.

I played Animal Crossing a bit back in the Gamecube days, but yeah, now I want games with a clear ending.

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As someone who has played games like the Sims for a long while, I've thought about this kind of stuff a bit.

I think it's sort of the same thing that as the "grinder appeal" that occurs in things like MMORPGs and Disgaea.  It's something of a distraction that can go on forever.  It's something to get lost in.  Each of these games have different things that make them appealing, but for me I feel that sometimes it's nice to not really have an end goal to work towards; I can just do things at my own pace.  I guess I'd compare it to something like a sandbox, an amusement park, or, yes, a multiplayer game; it doesn't have a clear-cut "ending", you can pretty much come back to it whenever you want (barring seasons) and it'll still be a fun experience.

In regards to health, it's the same with anything you can find enjoyment in; it depends on if you have the inclination to get addicted to that kind of stuff.  Games with no end definitely aren't predatory; the only aspect of gaming I've seen as actively predatory are the lootboxes and maybe gacha games, but even then that's roughly on the same level as gambling, which is typically considered okay as long as they aren't luring in minors.  All in all, I think it just comes down to the individual.  It may be slightly easier to get addicted to an endless game as they typically require more investment to get anywhere and obviously don't end, whereas most games that have an ending can be a one-and-done deal and get to the meat pretty quickly.

 

This reminds me...  I believe it was this very issue that disillusioned TotalBiscuit to video games, and that's how he became the "Cynical Brit".

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I'm already used to playing games without a clear end, so I manage to keep myself motivated enough to play them.

For me, it's about exploring every side there is to it in a game. Take Harvest Moon, for example. It'd be knowing all villagers, doing events I care about, trying to improve my farm etc. After I reach a certain threshold where the game does not impress or challenge me anymore, I leave it be and maybe take it up again much later to explore the other stuff I didn't on my first playthrough, or try a new run with a new mindset as a challenge.

There are games without a clear end that have endless possibilities, like Grand Strategy games such as Crusader Kings 2, Stellaris etc., where it is fun regardless of being endless as long as you set a goal and, eventually, self imposed challenges.

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Endings make me sad.

Games that don’t end make it easier for me to call the experience my own. They become more about the events I happen upon (like shiny Geodudes) rather than the scripts I follow. They’re usually easier to share with other people too, and that means more to me than anything.

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4 hours ago, Zera said:

If there is no end, There Is No Game. Call it a toy, simulation, whatever you want, but if you can't "win" or "lose" then it's not a game.
BTW, the full comic Dragoncat linked is here - http://www.duelinganalogs.com/comic/a-tear-jerking-story-about-animal-crossing/

How does that make it not a game?

regardless games like animal crossing are just really relaxing to me.

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I used to like games such as Sim City. Perhaps not for their unending nature, but I was interested in urban planning.

Nowadays though, I try to stay away from them, precisely because they are very addicting. My addiction is big enough when it's a game with a defined end, let alone one without an ending.

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