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Ye Olde E Money's blog

5:16 PM on 11.04.2013

Gamers Just Wanna Have Fun

There's nothing quite like the thrill of online gaming.  Whether it's Call of Duty, Castle Crashers, or Counter-Strike, playing with friends has been and always will be a staple of gaming.  With the advent of the internet, gaming was forever revolutionized by the idea that strangers from all over the world could play together.  Voice chat allows us to taunt our enemies, bitch about our defeats, and share in our triumphs.  It adds another dimension to competitive gaming that simply cannot be replaced.  With that gift of instant communication comes a responsibility to use it properly.

One can expect a certain amount of trash-talking in any multiplayer game.  Personally, I loved being able to taunt the enemy before a match in Modern Warfare 2.  It raised the stakes and added to the frenetic combat because you had something to prove.  Sometimes, it's best to have thick skin when dealing with online players.  We all know there is a line that shouldn't be crossed when trash-talk turns into verbal abuse.  There have been countless articles about verbal abuse in videogames, but what about when your own teammate is the one doing the abusing?

Granted, in the heat of the moment, we have all said things that we regret.  It's only natural that we criticize our teammates when we feel that they aren't contributing.  On the other hand, constantly berating a friend for their perceived lack of skill isn't the best way to foster teamwork.  Perhaps some of you have had a friend who constantly asserts their superior skill while putting down other players.  If they die in say Call of Duty, it's the map's fault, the gun's fault, the game's fault, or even your fault.  That's right.  I have been blamed for a friend's death while being on the other side of the map because I "didn't have his back."  Maybe he should have concentrated on situation awareness instead of thinking about whom to blame for his next death.

This kind of behavior is symptomatic of a much bigger problem in videogames.  We are taking them too seriously.  Smashed controllers and rage-quitting are a sign of immaturity.  We are letting ourselves get so angry that we are forgetting that videogames should be fun.  Am I saying that all gamers should be zen?  Absolutely not, but when a teammate is making a game less enjoyable there is something is wrong in the gaming community.  Take a second and realize that most likely you are not a pro gamer (and I mean that literally as in your livelihood doesn't depend on a match).  Realize that even though this match might mean everything to you, your friends and teammates most likely just want to have fun.  After all, videogames are entertainment and they are designed for us to enjoy.  So for the sake of everyone, let's agree that gamers just wanna have fun and leave the team-bashing for another hobby.


9:05 PM on 10.30.2013

The Game That Got Away

There's nothing quite so frustrating as an unfinished game.  For most of us, there are always games that were too difficult, too boring or too long to finish.  We try to justify one way or another why we didn't finish a particular game, but a part of us always feels cheated.  An unfinished game is a stain upon our honor and no matter how much we try to deny it, the stain cannot removed until we have completed the offending game.  I have such a game and that game is Skies of Arcadia: Legends.

Skies of Arcadia: Legends was neither boring nor was it too difficult.  Some might argue that it was too long, but that's a matter of personal preference.  I immediately fell in love with the game's setting and the vibrant characters.  I loved the roaming sky sections and the ship-to-ship combat system.  What I didn't love so much was the random encounters during the open roaming sections or the dungeons.  I felt like it was disruptive to the game and I eventually stopped playing even though I had completed nearly half the story.  I later sold the game and tried to forget about it.

Years passed and I always meant to get around to finishing it, but the price for a new copy was more than I was willing to pay.  Then, I read an article that said SEGA was planning on releasing an HD version of the game.  This would be the push that I needed to complete the game.  I am a fan of HD remakes mainly because it's great to replay an old adventure with a fresh coat of paint.  I waited for an entire year for SEGA to give any more details about the remake, but the plans were by all appearances cancelled.  I finally broke down and bought the game completely new for an ungodly price.  The question is was it worth it?

I would say that it was absolutely worth it.  Now, I am a more patient gamer.  I realize that every battle gives me the potential to earn more experience and stronger spells.  I no longer find myself running from every random encounter that I can.  Put simply, I appreciate this game more than I ever could.  Perhaps it was a mistake to put this game down in the first place, but I believe I needed to mature before I could truly understand what a magnificent game it is.  So, for all of you who think it is too late to finish the game that got away, I say hope springs eternal.


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