This is a edited discussion on what we as individuals want, need, and desire, using the example of casual and competitive games.
S: I have argued that efficiency as a goal is not sufficient to be logical. It arbitrarily assumes efficiency is good, even if that efficiency has no real effect on our lives.
Any such practical thought assumes a goal is good, like assuming that winning is good. There’s no inherent reason for winning to be good, because wiinning is arbitrarily defined for each case. A friend of mine thought winning is always a good outcome in its own right. His obsession with winning meant he was competitive, and cheated, even when it made others not have fun, or made them uncomfortable, or strained his relationship with them.
D: Thats kind of the thing though, we’ve been able to detach the telos of every activity. Like some gamers.
S: Yeah but some people play competitively. I assume that derives from a misintepretation of how games work. Victory states are implemented, I think, to give the game structure that allows the fun parts to make sense. By telling people what the goal is, it gives them a reason to engage in the game and keep enjoying the fun parts. They’re just meant as a general guide, not the main point of the game.
D: That’s my point when I say that people are able to detach the telos of any activity.
S: Without the goal it becomes a sandbox, which is fine but it gets old.
D: OUR LIFE IS A SANDBOX
S: But some people see the goal of the game as the defining characteristic, not just a necessary tool. And I understand the appeal of trying to figure out how to win. It’s the same fun of a math problem, but that doesn’t compare to the fun game mechanics and experiences. They border on obsessive, and some people are just obsessed with winning for no apparent reason, other than they took the premise of the game too seriously. It seems cool a first but then you get caught up in the work required to continue to do it, and you focus on what’s necessary to achieve the goal. The goal isn’t there solely for you to overcome it, it’s there to give you a general direction to go in so you can enjoy the ride, not the destination. The destination is just a nice part of the whole.