Challenge in Gaming: What’s the best way to be tested?

I began playing Wolfenstein: New World Order a few weeks ago. I started the game in the usual way, by selecting ‘New Game’ and then perusing the available difficulties. I was curious to find a whopping five levels of difficulty available to me. It struck me at that moment that it’s been a very long time since I saw a game settle for an ‘Easy-Medium-Hard’ spread of difficulties. I also found it odd that New World Order was eager to throw so many options at me right out of the gate.

Personally, I could never begin a game on anything except ‘normal’. It makes much more sense to me to attempt a higher difficulty on the second play through, when I have the intricacies of the gameplay sussed. Games will often hide their highest settings, allowing them to be unlocked after the player has gone through the game once. I struggle to imagine anyone running headlong into Wolfenstein’s “ÜBER” setting on their first go and then enjoying the experience.

It’s not that I don’t think people would enjoy the most difficult setting. It’s the level of challenge present that I think would turn first-time players away. Playing a games ‘extreme’ difficulty is meant to be taxing, but if a player has mastered a game’s ‘normal’ setting, they can gauge for themselves whether they will be able to take on something greater. Whether or not a Gamer enjoys ‘challenging’ games, every game challenges us in some way and it’s up to us to decide how enjoyable that is.

Continue reading “Challenge in Gaming: What’s the best way to be tested?”

Gaming Fantasy Dinner Party – Guest Number One

There are hundreds of exceptional videogame characters. Mighty men and women capable of cutting down whole armies of monstrous creations. Warriors with astonishing abilities. Wielders of inconceivable magic. Defenders of galaxies. Heroes. But which ones would you actually invite into your own home? Could you actually trust these creatures to be civilized?

Sonic might be an iconic character, but I wouldn’t want him in my house. He’s far too hyperactive and overly competitive. Plus, the way he eats hotdogs proves he wouldn’t make the best dinner guest. Kratos might be able to take on the Gods, but I can’t see him sitting in my living room discussing his favourite music. Lara Croft might make for good company… if she doesn’t spend all her time bragging to everyone about her travels. Guybrush Threepwood would have to curb his clumsiness. Gordon Freeman would have to learn to be more sociable.

Continue reading “Gaming Fantasy Dinner Party – Guest Number One”

An Apology to The Orange Box

Might the Gaming World forgive me? May my sins be absolved? In my youth, I was foolish fool of fools. In my haste, and childish recklessness, I made a grave error: I sold my copy of The Orange Box less than two weeks after purchase. Please! Hold your chastisements for a moment, dear merciful reader. Allow me to repent, before judgement is passed.

half-life-2-16

As with most games I play, I arrived late to this soiree. I must admit that I had yet to play Half Life 2 by the release of the collection.  I bought The Orange Box in 2009 – the last year of university – on the recommendations of countless, honourable gamers. I’d been told how good the Half Life games were. (Yes, I had not played Half Life 1 at this point either; the scroll of my misdeeds will only continue to unravel.) I had also heard hearty praise of Portal and Team Fortress 2, and was anxious to share in the collective ecstasy.

Continue reading “An Apology to The Orange Box”

Gamer-Teacher: “Trigger Words” for Gamer Distraction

“Legionary: a professional soldier in the Roman Army.” Those were the words that appeared on my whiteboard above a picture of a Roman soldier wielding the iconic Gladius andScutum. Before the lesson could begin, one student pulled an inquisitive face and asked: “isn’t that what the bad guys are called in Destiny?”.

Gamer-Teacher: "Trigger Words" for Gamer Distraction

Continue reading “Gamer-Teacher: “Trigger Words” for Gamer Distraction”

​Which Game Characters would help you Move House?

A month ago, I moved into my new home. The house is a big project in itself, with lots of renovation work and plenty of TLC required. Between the DIY and the new school term, I’ve had very little time to game in the last few weeks. That hasn’t stopped me thinking about video games, which is how we’ve arrived at the vitally important question above.

The home you currently reside in might be your first, or your fifteenth. Regardless, at some point you will have to move. The act of boxing, transporting, and unboxing your entire life will take a considerable amount of time and effort. Whilst the prospect of living somewhere new and shiny is exciting, the act of getting there is not. When this immense event un-folds, you will hopefully have friends and family to assist you, or have hired help.

Minecraft-02

Continue reading “​Which Game Characters would help you Move House?”

How do Games remind us that we are Weak and Feeble?

Games are fun, but I sometimes get the impression they don’t like us all that much. It doesn’t matter how many times you have levelled up or how many weapons you have strapped across your chest; the game is in charge and won’t hesitate to prove it.

b9a7d0b367524e36d60a5ec5b10b81768708d8bdThe majority of video games entertain us by making us feel awesome. They might transform us into the ultimate warrior or the most resilient survivalist or the greatest sportsmen there has ever been. Games lift us up and allow us to feel superior. However, before that feeling of awesomeness can turn into arrogant smugness, games can always find a way to keep you level-headed.

Continue reading “How do Games remind us that we are Weak and Feeble?”