Mutual FUBAR Enjoyment

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The enjoyment of together with other players handling very chaotic or challenging gameplay situations.

Many games put players in stressful situations where they need to quickly handle multiple or confusing challenges. When players need to do so together and somehow manage to feel that they are handling the situation to some level of satisfaction, they can have Mutual FUBAR Enjoyment.


The players of the board game Space Alert need to plan their actions together in advance to handle multiple treats while at the same time making sure that the logistics needed are maintained. Since players can rather easily become overwhelmed or be unsure if they have taking into account everything that needs to be done, the game opens up for opportunities of Mutual FUBAR Enjoyment.

Players of Left 4 Dead series have an easier time completing levels if they work together but simultaneously handling hordes and the special enemies that can incapacitate players create very chaotic situations in which Mutual FUBAR Enjoyment can occur.

Using the pattern

Creating Mutual FUBAR Enjoyment is basically creating FUBAR Enjoyment for a group of people. Thus, the main requirement for Mutual FUBAR Enjoyment is to design Mutual FUBAR Enjoyment in a Multiplayer Game but also make players experience that they are playing together. The latter can be done through enforcing or encouraging Parties or Teams, but pitching players against the game system through PvE or by having Mutual Goals can also work. A slightly more risky design solution is to make some players suffer from Helplessness and giving other players Rescue goals related to this. The experience of all of these ways to create gameplay where players are working towards similar goals can be augmented by allowing or making necessary Coordination or Negotiation.

Diegetic Aspects

Making players feel that they are in each other's proximity, either because they Unmediated Social Interaction or Virtual Co-Presence can increase the feeling of players having the experience of Mutual FUBAR Enjoyment together.

Interface Aspects

Both the likelihood and intensity of Mutual FUBAR Enjoyment can be increased if players can communication with each other. While Communication Channels can be necessary if Coordination or Negotiation is a part of what encourages Mutual FUBAR Enjoyment, having Communication Channels also lets players talk about the experience they are having as they are having it.


Mutual FUBAR Enjoyment is a way to provide players with both Mutual Experiences and Togetherness, and successfully handling the gameplay can create sense of Team Accomplishments. However, failure might cause Guilting to occur and this can work against the sense of Togetherness.

Like the case for FUBAR Enjoyment, players having Mutual FUBAR Enjoyment are preoccupied with immediate problems and therefor may have difficulties considering Risk/Reward situations.


Can Instantiate

Guilting, Mutual Experiences, Team Accomplishments, Togetherness

Can Modulate


Can Be Instantiated By

FUBAR Enjoyment together with Helplessness, Mutual Goals, Parties, PvE, Rescue, or Teams in Multiplayer Games

Can Be Modulated By

Communication Channels, Coordination, Negotiation, Unmediated Social Interaction, Virtual Co-Presence

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



Updated version of the pattern "Spectacular Failure Enjoyment" first described in the paper Exploring aesthetical gameplay design patterns: camaraderie in four games[1].


  1. Bergström, K., Björk, S. & Lundgren, S. 2010. Exploring aesthetical gameplay design patterns: camaraderie in four games. In Proceedings of MindTrek 2010.