I've been working on some game design theory recently so I thought I would share my two cents on why conflicts occur. (Why so serious?) I think it is important to recognize the fundamental differences between Casual Gaming and Competitive Gaming as well as the different psychological processes that drive each kind of gaming. The attitude towards competitive gaming is one of seriousness and stems from the desire to better oneself by being pushed to the very limits. It is accompanied with a somewhat ruthless sense of efficiency (being tested to the limits demands that sort of efficiency) that is completely dependent on what the game has predetermined to be "most efficient". This is also what is known as the "metagame", or "meta" for short because what is "most efficient" is determined by game balance and game balance is always changing. (Meta being Greek for Changing) Despite the the transient nature of the metagame, one thing remains true always. That is whether intentional or not, the metagame tends to kill diversity by narrowing down through competition the most overpowered(efficient) route available in the game. In other words, depending on the community you are in, your freedom to play the game can be deeply affected by what the metagame has determined to be the most effective at winning the game. What you want to do and what is most efficient will often be at odds because of this phenomenon and unfortunately, players may find out the hard way when they are "corrected' or even ridiculed for doing something that is not considered "meta" or most efficient. In truth many a times those less efficient choices aren't stupid. At least they are not according to the precepts of the game. This in Civ 6 may include choices like conserving bonus resources/features instead of harvesting them, building certain wonders, spacing out cities, playing peacefully etc. They just aren't powerful enough to justify their usage in the context of efficiency. Unfortunately, humans are creatures of comparison and there is no better mirror of that then competition. In competitions, results always matter the most, or at least that is what humans are pre-wired to think. This by default gives extra weight to the opinions of competitive gamers who often leverage on their balance-determined results to define right and wrong in the game for others. (Pride being an inevitable result of "winning" the competition.) This is when conflict enters many discussions because one side has attempted to play god. Which brings me to the other side of the spectrum, Casual Gaming. Often used as a derogatory term by competitive gamers, players of this spectrum are not interested in pushing themselves to the limit under tight constraints. That is not to say they are not interested in bettering themselves, it only means they value one thing much more than competitive gamers; the freedom to choose, to explore, to experiment. That same freedom is responsible for nearly all the innovations and inventions of reality. Such a freedom is not compatible with the highly exclusive nature of the metagame and one can then see now how conflict arises when a casual gamer and competitive gamer get together, both to talk or to play. Personally, I don't find it alluring to restrict the way I play solely for efficiency because I know that the ones who control that can change "right" and "wrong" at a whim. Nor do I appreciate the drive that some have to end the game as quickly as they can. To me, I find it important to manipulate the experience that releases the dopamine such that it is unnaturally prolonged, much like how Cats play with half-dead mice. They never seem to be in a hurry to kill them off do they? Why that is so is perhaps worth considering for you "efficiency-mongerers" out there.