A gamer’s confession
I love being a gamer!
The only problem? I’m not a really good gamer.
(Or maybe “problem” is the wrong word since my gaming skills hardly influence other people – except when doing team stuff. And I hope I’m not so bad as to take the fun out for my teammates when playing with me.)
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t suck but I’ll probably never be a really good gamer. At least when it comes to fighting.
I enjoy games like Overwatch or Left For Dead where my only objective is to go around and kill stuff (oh do I ever enjoy them) but I’ll never be good enough to actually rank somewhere. I still can’t quite believe it when I get “Play of the Game” in Overwatch and am immensely proud of any medal that is shown but I rarely appear in the ranking line-up let alone get votes. I’ve been even known to rage-quit games when I can’t get past a point because of my horrendous fighting skills (looking at you, Dragon Age Origins, where I failed fifteen times at that first ogre in Ostagar before I quit and didn’t touch the game for nearly two years) and still discover stuff in the sixth playthrough of a game. (Did you know that using potions and stuff in DA2 is actually useful?!)
That said, it’s not that I don’t enjoy fights or would want to play only games without fighting – not at all! It’s a wonderful tool to increase the excitement of the story, to test the player’s (or character’s) abilities and to bring a sense of ‘impending doom’ to the experience of the game. If the fight is based within the story I don’t mind it at all and even more so: I enjoy it, especially when it gets critical or slightly creepy, adding to the thrill of the game per se.
However, I would never buy a (story-based) game just based on the fighting system. I’m a huge advocate of a “Story Mode” where you don’t need to fight at all to succeed in the story (or you have auto-wins) and I’m not above setting the difficulty of the game to casual, especially when playing it the first time. And I really need the game to have good explanations how their fighting system works and how to best play your character / skill tree. (Which barely any game has, to be honest, which is part of why I’m not that good. Most games just don’t pick me up at my skill level.)
Most of the time I don’t mind being what is probably a mediocre player, though, since my main reason to play video games is experiencing the story. But in many games you just don’t really get around the fighting. Sometimes, the fighting system suits me – or the overall game intrigues me so much that I want to play it again and again and try new stuff including raising the difficulty. Then, I even go on to try out fighting tactics (provided the game lets me try actual tactics without having to pause every two seconds) and then I even get ambitious. But my main tactic in fights is “CHARGE AND SLASH AND HACK AT EVERYTHING!” (and often “die horribly and repeatedly”). Unless I play a healer from the start – which isn’t quite possible in many games. It stands to reason that I don’t really enjoy when a story-based game includes needless fighting just for the sake of fighting. (Need I talk about the stupid wildlife attacking everything that comes into their vicinity in DAI or SWTOR?)
Sometimes, especially in games like Overwatch or when I play with friends in SWTOR or one of the multiplayers of shared games, I wish I’d be better so as to be an actual asset for my team and watching some gaming videos, I envy other people’s skills. But truth be told, as a nearly full-time working woman, mom, wife and friend I just don’t really have the time to “train” for video games. When I watched a video about how to improve your aim in Overwatch just a few days ago, the youtuber said that to actually improve one should practice one hour per day.[insert raised eyebrow]
But if I train aiming one hour per day, I don’t get to play the actual game. And I’d have to focus on one game only… so I don’t. I am immensely thankful for tipps that friends give me while playing with me and I’m always open for suggestions (and enjoy getting better!) but training? Just casually.
And you know what? I still enjoy gaming. A lot. Which is kind of the reason to play video games, right? So I’ll keep doing it. Fighting well or not.