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Monthly Musing: I suck at games

12:40 PM on 08.03.2009

Anthony Burch

Contributor

Each month's Musings theme provides readers and community bloggers with the opportunity to have their thoughts posted on the front page.

I am horrendous at RTS games. Absolutely horrendous. Some part of my brain is simply not wired for balancing resources and unit movement against military tactics. There is a whole genre of gaming, a whole host of experiences, that I will probably never gain access to while others understand them perfectly.

That's what this month's musing topic is about.

None of us are great at every genre of videogaming, or even any of them. What does that mean for how we perceive those things we suck at? How do we feel, knowing that certain emotions are essentially alien to us due to a lack of skill? Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? How do we deal with sucking at games?

I'll admit that this is one of the most vague monthly musing topics in history, so hit the jump for a few possible angles one could take it in.

The Boot Camp scenario: our own Brad Rice is doing this with sports games, but it's basically where you take a genre you suck at or hate and force yourself to play through a few hours of it, bound and determined to figure out what it is other people enjoy about it. If you hate FPS's, play BioShock and tell us how it made you feel. If you hate adventure games, give Sam and Max a whirl. If you hate sports games, don't tell Samit.

Arguing for or against barriers of difficulty: Is the fact that some people will be just plain bad at certain types of games a reasonable one? Games are the only artistic medium where skill is a definite factor in one's enjoyment; is it okay that while I'll be able to listen to and attempt to enjoy every genre of music under the sun, I may never understand what makes Real-Time Strategy worth hooting about? Is this a flaw, or something that makes games that much more interesting?

The lamentation: If you're, say, a fan of Podtoid but also hate Half-Life and Metal Gear Solid, what emotions does that stir in you? Sadness? Irritation? Resentment?

I have to admit, I don't like _____: Have you tried to get into Metroidvanias, but found they weren't your taste? Why not? How do you feel about people who DO like that genre (without flaming, obviously)?

Stories of failure: Did you try and try for days or weeks to pass a certain level? Have you felt the intense frustration of trying to complete the Battletoads wind tunnel, and suddenly feel less empowered than you've ever felt? Regardless of whether you ended up succeeding, do you value the feeling of getting your ass kicked, or did it just piss you off?

As per usual, make sure to tag your cblog with the Monthly Musings theme, and make sure your blog is titled, "I suck at games: blah blah blah." If you've got any questions, ask 'em below. Otherwise, get to the cblogs and start a-writin'.

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