Time to Fun is an actual phrase used to describe what could otherwise be called work to get to the fun parts of a game. And this is messed up or maybe not.
That is an actual phrase. It is real. It is a thing. It is common vocabulary for the games industry and considering it’s in relation to games, yes, actual games, I think massively wrong. To have to wait for fun sucks. It’s like saying “time to breathe.” Yet, this is apparently how things work.
I was gamer curious until about a third of the way into Red Dead Redemption. I realised how much time I didn’t have I was spending on this thing and all’s I was doing is riding a horse around 80% of the time after my wife was complaining about the galloping noise at night.
My auspicious forays into game reviews have shown that I’m a massive fan of fun being actually fun. Granted, I’m not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination, but I like fun, and even more so I like watching other people have fun even more. But having to have the player/reader/user waiting to have fun is the worst thing I’ve ever heard of for a thing that is supposed to be fun. This is how it is and is interesting as to why.
Fun can only be fun when something is not. This is the grander philosophical issue. A thing is largely proven by its negative. From personal experience I can tell you that the most fun I’ve had was largely after extensive periods of being bored shitless by work and family. I suppose this is the same really, the player gets into this thing and is give just enough to keep them going with story, with visuals and sound, and then has to work. Then they get a taste of the fun. And then back to work. And so on and so on, teasing them to continue further down the spiral to the end of what can almost be a job considering some games take 40 hours or more to complete. The mental construct is what is key and whether the manipulation is okay or not depends on the player really, because after all, they decide what is fun and what is worth it.