Serious question. You play stupid games and I want to know why. Is it because you enjoy getting your ass kicked by cheap bastards who donít know that ninja swords are supposed to kill them? Is it all the bright seizureĖinducing colors flying by as you snatch up those precious golden cockrings? Do you like all the little people saying all the words and making pedophiliac innuendos? Do you like playing your b-movies more than watching them? Are you just playing that silly shit because some fat guy on the internet told you to? Or is it simply because you have nothing that doesnít suck to do? What gives? Why are you playing such terrible games?
Iíll tell you why. Itís because of all the coms you enjoy. After giving it a bit of thought (and half a liter of cheap vodka) I deduced that the reason you play the games you do is based on how you receive these six coms: communication, complexity, competition, companionship, completion, and compulsion. These coms can all be mixed together. You may enjoy the taste of one com and none of the others or you may enjoy all the coms at the same time. There are even variations of each of these coms that must be taken in. The thing is that we all prefer different coms, and these coms dictate the types of games that we play.
This is all theory, of course, but itís also cosmic truth. So shut your mouth, open your head, and allow me to break this mess down for youÖ
Art. Sound. Story. These things come together to form an atmosphere, a universe and offer you an experience within it. You can meet fascinating people, travel to beautiful foreign worlds, and have the time of your life without ever peeling your ass from the sofa. You can cruise around with Commander Shepard to bang Bartarian heads together in the Exodus Cluster or you can ride alongside John Marston to round up the outlaws harassing your local snake oil man. The experience that is communicated to you could be what makes or breaks the game. It could be the only reason you play games at all. Or you could simply not give two shits about it.
You are the epitome of human growth. You like the learning process involved. Itís competition for your mind and you fucking love it. You probably dig RPGs with immense battle and leveling systems or RTSs with a list of rules that resembles a Manhattan phonebook. Having to think out your every move and put your brain to work to turn someone elseís into gray snot sucks you in and gets you pumped like nothing else can. On the other hand, you may have the brain capacity of a Mabari war hound and would rather not play games that remind you that you suffer from animalistic stupidity. Or, of course, you might be intelligent enough to just sit back and enjoy a bit of mindless fun from time to time. In either case, the amount of cognitive aptitude a game requires can prepare you for launch or result in a premature evacuation.
The challenge. Do you like getting your pimply butt handed to you a gazillion times until you learn to be the ultimate badass and hand butts back? Do you want to face off against real live preteen racists and homophobes in the fiercest competition of your bro-gaming career? Would you prefer to be left the hell alone so you can jump on stuff and get treasures? Some gamers want to be challenged and prove that they can overcom it. They use their Gamer Score and leaderboard positions to inflate their eCock so they can shove it in your face. Sometimes they keep their eCocks to themselves and use their virtual triumphs for a sense of personal satisfaction Ė kind of like masturbating.
Because sometimes you like to do it with a friend. I canít tell you how many times I heard games like Left 4 Dead and Borderlands defended by the simple phrase, ďItís fun with friends!Ē Some games only get played because they can be played with friends, and some people only play games because they have friends to play with. If you canít do Masterchief without the Arbiter behind you or donít want to fuck with that weeping witch without a friendly shotgun watching your ass, companionship is probably something youíre really into.
You want a lot to do and you want to do it all. It doesnít matter if you have to grind for a month before you finally reach the climatic doom of a giant turtle thing or if you have to use your hidden weapon to relieve the umpteenth damsel in distress; you wonít stop until youíve peeped the very last pixel in the game. You are the all-seeing, all-knowing Intel and Cog tag collector, the diligent breeder of golden ostriches and finder of legendary materia. You are a completionist and you will play on even when a game has little else to offer other than that holy carrot hanging in your face. You could also not be a completionist, if you want. You could just play through the main story and move on. You could leave hours of a game untouched. You donít care how many endings were in Heavy Rain. You just wanted to see Madisonís boobies.
You really donít know why you are playing this garbage. Someone told you it was cool and you just havenít stopped long enough to realize that itís not. You just have nothing better to do. You could be standing in line at the DMV with an iPhone. You could have received one too many Farmville invites and finally allowed yourself to get suckered in. Or you could just be stupid.
And there you have it. Those are the six coms. You can take them or leave them, but they all rate on your scale somewhere. The coms tell you what games to play. You are merely a com puppet...
You may have noticed that I did not directly mention gameplay. Thatís because gameplay derives from major aspects of each com and can be the most important thing or not important at all based on your personal feelings toward those coms. How high your space marine can jump or whether they can jump at all is determined by physical communication. How hard a puzzle is to solve is based on its complexity. A good looting system involves completion. A game that is easy to pick up and play lacks complexity and is a real wiener when you play games compulsively. Your gameplay preferences originate from the coms.
For example, stealth gameplay can be despised or revered due to how you perceive competition. You may think that not getting spotted is a good challenge while others think itís lame and that you should grow a pair and start shooting motherfuckers. RPG gameplay is greatly affected by how complex you like your games to be. You may prefer FPS gameplay to TPS gameplay based on how you want the experience communicated to you. When a game has shitty physical communication the character movement and aiming is just plain shitty, but if you like the way the story and aesthetics are communicated, you may end up giving it a perfect 10/10. Gameplay is eye-balls deep in the coms. Kapeesh?
So what about when you like one game because it is pretty even though itís too complex or another game because it is simple, mindless fun but ugly as homemade sin? Well, itís because you could hold two coms up on the same pedestal, or even all of them. And while one is flunking, the others can still be delightful enough to hold your interest. We trade coms all the time, one for another, making sacrifices when necessary for the sake of enjoying the damn game. Not everyone is like this, though. Sometimes too much of one com or a lack thereof can be a complete turn off.
The hierarchy of your coms and how you combine them is what really determines what games you decide to play. There are some people who only play games for competition. I know plenty of rabid Call of Doody bro-gamers who wonít touch a damn thing else. Some of them will even tell you that video games are for pussies and buttplugsÖ with a DualShock 3 in their hands. There are some people who play mostly for competition but also feel that the visual communication is important. Therefore, they choose Halo over Battlefield because they like the sci-fi settings. Yet they will choose Killzone over Halo because they prefer the dark and gritty visuals. Then companionship becomes a factor and they choose Halo again over Killzone since all of their friends are pathological teabaggers.
There are even twisted fucks like myself whoíve played Final Fantasy XIII for 107 hours to get a bunch of crappy XMB themes and a platinum trophy, the result of a regard for completion so high that standards for narrative communication and worthwhile competition where tossed right out the freakin' window (though there is plenty of competition after you spend a depressing amount of time playing the game). That high regard for completion is also why I donít play games like World of Warcraft. Because I know by the time I finish bumping uglies with the Lich King and grabbing the mystical unicorn horn dildo sword from Smurf Village, my entire family will have died of dysentery.
I also never finished Half-Life 2. I blame it on the gameís inability to appeal to my love for complexity and personal taste in narrative and visual communication. Yes. The game was too simple, too boring, and too ugly. Thatís me. I can say that because the way my coms are mixed makes it the truth. You may have simple, boring, ugly coms that swear it is one of the greatest games ever in the ever, and I can appreciate that. Thatís cool. I wonít judge your mentally disabled coms if you donít judge mine.
Naturally, however, you believe that your coms are superior to mine and most likely think Iím a fool for not taking a shot, but thatís because youíre an insecure little dickface who canít deal with the fact that your beloved cream of the crop may be someone elseís santorum. That is the point. We should accept that we play games for vastly different reasons and stop holding our breaths and kicking our feet every time some over-opinionated asshole shits in our Apple Jacks. Doing so only makes us the other
So why do you play all those crappy games? Seriously. Iím not asking just because I want to know; I want you to know, too. I want you to think long and hard about your choice of coms and realize what makes your ludicrously moronic opinion so different. Share your coms with the rest of us so that we can know your personal taste. Come on, dudes. Letís all gather round in a circle and just shoot our coms at each other so we might get to know one another better and learn to receive each other gently and form a closer, tighter connection in the end.