It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how drunk you get.
The issue of “play-to-win” versus “play-for-fun” has honestly never made itself known to me until just recently. I only play for fun. And truly, the vast majority of the games I play just can’t be made competitive. It’s hard to pick up Metroid and say “You’re goin’ down son.” cuz who are you talking to? Well, mother Brain I guess. Bad example. Shut up.
What I’m getting at is that the games I play are generally single player, or 2 player co-operative. I’ve played head to head games in the past, and certainly I must admit that I derived a certain satisfaction from being the Former Grand Master of Mario Kart 64 (Sadly, Jared has stripped me of my title). By and large though, I’m a platformer. I like jumping and flipping and shooting and climbing and swinging and ducking and rolling and all the other activities inherent in a game where you’re navigating a totally impossible landscape in search of some treasure or item or boss or what have you.
I love to explore game environments, find the hidden goodies. When I do finally finish the game, I’m not worried about how long it took me. I suppose I could be said to be competing with the game itself, attempting to find everything that there is to be found, but honestly, that’s for my own personal enjoyment as opposed to any need to “win” the game.
There are tons of games I’ve never beaten but that I continue to play, often times from scratch. Playing to win? That’s for FPS, TBS and RTS. I’ll stick to running and jumping. My motivator, the thing that keeps me going, is the story. If I’m not interested in the plot of the game, no matter how threadbare it may be, I’m not interested in the game.