Finally, some hard evidence of what many of us have been claiming for a while now: fun is totally overrated. Or, to put it in a more clear way, fun is not really what we think it is. Clive Thompson at Wired reports on this paper (.doc) written by Finish researchers (including Aki Jarvinen and Jussi Holopainen) and presented at last year's Digra conference. According to the researcher, failing at a game is also a source of pleasure. I don't think that the problem here is that this is counterintuitive but rather that we have been -wrongly- assuming that fun equals with winning (another example of how hard core bias have tainted our concept of gaming aesthetics). Of course, if you TOTALLY suck at the game you are not going to enjoy it that much, at least not for a long time. However, try to pay attention at people playing party games, especially those involving performance such as DDR or Eye Toy: there's always some player who is really bad at the game but turns his goofyness into his strength.