I have been playing video games all my life and at this point, I would like to think that I have a good grasp on them. I mean, with countless hours of gameplay logged over the years in everything from shooters to strategy, one would be led to believe that they excel at their favourite hobby.
Well, as it turns out, I don’t.
I have a select group of friends that I play games with and talk about games with and out of that group I am by far the most hare core gamer. I play the most games and spend the most time being infatuated with them, but for whatever reason, my raw experience just doesn’t stack up in the gaming world.
Take for example the Call Of Duty series. When my friends and I jumped on during the Call Of Duty 4 days, we would play for hours and hours. The most crucial thing when playing quickly became your personal kill to death ratio. To my friends (and many others), this became the gold standard for judging Call Of Duty skill. And who could blame them? Having a high K/D meant you killed more than you died meaning that you were consistently performing well for your team. The majority of my friends could pull off a K/D of anywhere from 1.15 all the way up to 2.55 while I could never break 1.00 always coasting around 0.75.
This trend has continued for the last three years with no end in sight and with every new entry I have tried to make strides to push forward towards the holy grail of a 1.00 K/D for years. Call Of Duty: World At War? 0.73. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare ? 0.93. And now as I play online in Call Of Duty: Black Ops, I maintain a steady 0.76.
Most recently in the black ops, I have tried every trick and tip to try and push up this stat. Watching the pros on YouTube, listening to what they have to say about their play style, or reading about good class setups to maximize performance. Nothing seems to work. For the past few days I have even been convinced that it actually has to do with my aiming speed which I currently keep slower than the default.
But, my piss poor performance in video games does not stop at Call Of Duty.
The other game in recent memory that seems to accurately convey how much I suck at video games is Fallout: New Vegas. Me and my friends were huge fans of the earlier Fallout games and were of course excited for the new entry in the series. After picking up the game, I was taken aback by the games difficulty. I struggled through the first few hours surviving in the wasteland, failing to fight effectively and constantly falling low on supplies.
After hours of frustration, I bit the bullet and dropped the game from normal down to the easiest difficulty, but as luck would have it, I still sucked at the game. Although things were easier, I consistently struggled through mission after mission, barely making it through the game. Upon talking with my friend over voice chat during a play session; my bad performance in Fallout came even more clear.
I was struggling with a mission and my friend was not only able to help me out, but actually recite from memory, the entire layout of the mission area and he never failed to know the placement of both key quest items and characters. Along with this, he was also able to tell me not only what types of enemies I would be facing, but even how many there would be and often times, what kind of weapon they were holding.
Needless to say, I was floored.
I mused with him about my struggles in the game and when I told him I was currently playing on very easy, he too was floored. He informed me that he was playing on the game’s new hard-core mode on the highest difficulty setting and mentioned that “It’s not even that much harder than normal”. Needless to say I was infuriated and continued in my rut of trying to play Fallout: New Vegas without failing miserably.
So then the question becomes not: Am I bad at video games? but rather: Why am I bad at video games?
I can honestly say I don’t have a definitive answer to such a question, but I think I have a clue. I would like to think it is because I just don’t dedicate much time to any one game. I move from game to game very fast and generally never take the time to really master any one of them. I am far more concerned with getting to play a little of everything than a lot of one thing.
That being said, it might go far deeper. It is very possible that I might just have to do with the way I am wired. There is the very real possibility that my mind just simply can’t wrap its head around some of the ideas presented in video games and for me that’s a shame.
I know there must be other people out there in a similar situation to me and for them I hope that I have been able to shed some light on my own personal battles with gaming difficulty. read