On the "GM as Prime Listener" thread, the problem of bored players popped up.
Specifically it popped up in the tricky form of: sometimes certain players (myself included) get bored in a game and zone out.
Now, obviously, this is more likely to happen in some games than others. For instance, I don't like Monopoly very much (even when I play with the real "auctions and loans" rules - which vastly improve it, by the way.) So, I spend a lot of the game thinking about something else whenever I get drug into a play session (consequently, I lose at Monopoly. A lot. I'm also rather lousy at Chutes and Ladders, but I'm quite good at Clue and Clue Jr.)
The same problem pops up when I run into certain standard situations in a DnD game. Divvying up treasure, for instance. I just don't care, so I often end up with the crappiest chunk of the take. I'm often in the worst attack position in the group (back when people still obsessed about marching order, it was a nightmare.)
And as for the standard opening tavern brawl... I do whatever I can to avoid it (but the last DnD game I played a few months ago made it a pre-requisite.)
As for the new crop of story games, I haven't gotten bored in Prime Time Adventures or "With Great Power..." yet*, but I recently played a Dogs in the Vineyard game that bored me silly. We spent a lot of time waiting for the GM to concentrate on each of our characters in turn, often for long periods of play time, all unable to add our own suggestions to the motley of the current turn or even to play one of the many NPCs the GM introduced or to participate by means of any of the usual diversions I'm starting to crave in my games. Also, I didn't much like the escalation system, so that helped add to my disinterest. (The GM really, really loved the escalation system, but by the end of the demo, me and the other players were either trying to avoid it or, in one guy's case, to successfully break it. He figured out how to play the odds and win just about every conflict before it needed to go up to the first stage of violence.)
Now, I'm not looking for defences of your favorite game, here. I would like to know what makes people bored in games. I know, I know, it's very likely somebody was doing something wrong in these games (it was probably me, I admit.)
I'd also like any suggestions people might have on improving this situation, although these aren't as important as I don't have any to offer at the moment.
(All I can do is harp on some old theories, and quite frankly, I'd like to hear some fresh ones.)
*I haven't really been able to finish a game of PtA or a full game of "With Great Power..." either, so I have no basis of comparison.