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LONG BLOG

Technical Difficulties: Why am I not getting better at games?

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So after an initial run through of the fairly average Severed DLC for Dead Space 2, I thought to myself “Yeah, I’m going to try this on the Zealot difficulty” (Zealot being one harder than normal). Wow, that was a mistake; Severed is composed of two chapters that don’t really test you too much on Normal difficulty, but I found myself repeatedly dying at the encounter with multiple enemies. With my tail tucked between my legs, I restarted Servered on easy purely to get some achievements, but the initial failure stuck with me. I’ve been playing videogames for at least two thirds of my life by now, so why am I still not actually good at them?



The thing is, I’m not even that good at the games I do play. I’ll normally a game on Normal, but I’ll rarely bump the difficulty up. Surely I could at least bump up the difficulty up in some of the games I’m at least fairly proficient in. I think in my mind, the difficulty level is tied to progress; why make things (artificially) harder for myself and limit my chances of progression and actually finishing the game? But surely playing at a harder difficulty would benefit me? I mean, I would appreciate the challenge and finishing a game on a harder difficulty would be an achievement worth savouring.

So what’s the answer? How do I (at least in my own mind) become a better gamer? As far as I can see, there’s three options?

1. Man the fuck up and finish the games you can’t complete. I mean, other people can finish them right, so why shouldn’t I? If I get to a point where I can’t seem to progress, I need to just keep trying and trying until I through it.

2. Play a more diverse range of games: it can’t hurt., can it? I mean I bought Chrono Trigger and The World Ends With You but have hardly touched them because I’m not a fan of JRPGs. I need to bite the bullet and play them and play them and play them all the way through.

3. Pick some games and get good at them: as I mentioned, I’m not actually that good at the games I do play, so I feel I need to pick a title and get really good at it. I was semi-decent at Team Fortress 2 for a while, coming on top of the charts for a few matches on the servers I played on. But as with life, no matter how good you get, there’s always plenty of people who are far better than you. So here’s my goal; get an awesome new PC rig this year, get Battlefield 3 when it comes out and commit to the multiplayer. I want to get really good at it, not at the sake of playing single player games

So guys and gals, what d’you think? Are there things I could be doing to help me become a better gamer?
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About Alasdair Duncanone of us since 9:17 AM on 10.13.2007

Alasdair Duncan is that bearded, bespectacled Scotsman that covers PC gaming that is not Fraser Brown. A long time Destructoid community member and forum moderator, he covers adventure, puzzle, FPS and all kinds of games on the PC. Watch, as he adds more games to his Steam library with only the vaguest hope of ever playing most of his games.

Alasdair has been gaming since his mother bought a Commodore 64 back in the early 1980's. He adores Deus Ex, GTA Vice City, Team Fortress 2, Borderlands, Super Mario Brothers 3 and all those weird indie titles on Steam.

You can meet Alasdair at places like PAX where he tries to convince people he isn't a) drunk or b) Irish.

Plus he crave attention via the following:

My Tumblr
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Check how I'm doing with my Backloggery


Ali D waz on the front page!
Objectivity: Are We All Just Fanboys
Why does my wife write fan-fiction?
P2 Press Start: Teenage Kicks

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