My name is Christopher Lage, I've been playing video games since I was a small child. The first this I can honestly remember is getting an NES for Christmas when I was 3 and playing the Mario Bros./Duck Hunt Game that came with it. Ever since I've been a gamer. I even spent a few years claiming to be "industry personnel" and it's gotten me into an E3 at a very reduced cost! (Thanks GameStop). Not to mention half of my wardrobe is free advertising for old games. I did work for the company as an assistant manager for three years and now I'm currently a security director for a shopping center.
What I'm currently playing:
New Super Luigi U (Wii U)
Pokemon X (3DS)
The Stanley Parable (PC)
What I'm waiting for:
Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS)
Bayonetta 2 (Wii U)
Six hours into my lovely campaign of Resident Evil Revelations and everything is going great. Now to add some backstory to this lovely adventure with our favorite zombie/ B.O.W. hunters I can say that I've beaten every single Resident Evil title before; excluding RE6 because it's shit (and also why I say every). But things changed during chapter 12; and those who are playing this game on the Wii U know what I mean...
The integration of Miiverse for Resident Evil Revelations is absolutely fantastic. When you die you'll receive a a series of messages posted by others who were killed in the same place you were. It's the entire reason I picked this up for the little next-gen that could - but only if you die in the same area once or twice. And let's just say that I've died at the hands of this title's version of Nemesis (to keep it spoilerish free) way too many times. How many? Seventeen. Yep, 17 times I tried to defeat that guy, and 17 times I had failed. I couldn't understand why I kept dying; I knew the patterns and weak points. I even swapped guns around mid-fight as to never run out of ammo and score damage min-maxing. It felt like my reflexes just weren't fast enough to hit him after teleporting. And I began to question whether or not I could kill this bloke. And for the hell of it, after staring at the same death messages pop up sporting the same "OMG I keep dying!" and "How do I kill this guy!? No Fair! :(" theme, I decided to refresh the messages. This is what showed up on my screen:
I couldn't believe it. Someone else seemed to be having the same problem I had. I couldn't describe the frustration and rage I felt from constantly dying, and then taking a break to clear my head, and then dying some more. However, when I saw this message it really got me thinking. What if at some point I just can't play video games any more? Not due to death, financial struggles, or lack of interest. What about if I can't react fast enough to kill an enemy teleporting, or I fail a QTE during a cutscene, or just cannot for the life of me get beyond a certain point? What if I pre-maturely can no longer play video games because I am not good enough. This is the first time in the 20 years of engrossing myself in a hobby that I ever thought this way. We've all been unable to complete a game before for one reason or another, but for some reason after coasting through Revelations at a fairly brisk pace with lack of death and not really getting stuck this hit hard. What if I am getting older, delaying my reaction time and reflexes and I can't play video games even if I know what I'm doing? It scared the crap out of me.
Which brings up the point of interactive media and how the game industry differentiates itself from movies, TV, etc. I'm never going to be "too old" to appreciate a musical composition, or not "good enough" to finish watching a film. But to see a narrative of a game to conclusion there may come a point where you simply will not be able to experience the content ahead without proving some sort of skill. It's the reason we see games ranging from Mass Effect, to Journey, to Bioshock Infinite. All three sow enthralling narratives, however present unique gameplay scenarios where you may get gated from following through the story. It's something that proved itself very real to me today. But sure enough, after the attempts hit double digits, and minutes turned to hours I escaped by the skin of my teeth. Without any remaining herbs, and one hit away from death on trial 18, one rocket to the chest finally put the baddie down, and it made me re-appreciate how much I love video games and the reward for saving the day. Even in a virtual sense.