Playing It Properly

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Playing It Properly

If you're experienced with videogames, you're probably playing them wrong.

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I know how you feel, I can't be in the same room as my girlfriend if she's playing a game I've already played.

Being "impressed" at someone's willingness to follow Heavy Rain's plot while skipping Battlefield 3's is like showing confusion at someone's preference for John Scalzi over Dan Brown.

I am that guy with sonic.

TOO MUCH REAL LIFE.

I've become so OCD about my games that I've sucked all the fun out of them. They become like a second job that I have to stress about, making sure I collected/did/discovered ALL THE THINGS!

Oh and ditto on watching other people play games, extremely frustrating feeling, especially if they don't play games much.

I know what you're doing wrong.

You're wasting your time with Heavy Rain, arguably one of the most poorly written excuses for David Cage masturbation since Fahrenheit. It's hard to call it a game as much a reflex test, and if it would be a film that it so much desires to be, it would have been laughed to the ground alongside Battlefield Earth.

I do this to my wife entirely too much, it's similar to you, while i am in the process of trying to tell her how to "correctly" play the game it never really occurred to me that someone might want to just play the game. Interesting artical heh, i'm gonna have to try this hands off approach next time my wife picks up a game.

I'm sorry, but playing as an FBI agent and NOT finding the damn body IS playing the game poorly. And if she's paying attention, how did she not know that a kid had been killed?

It's that I don't get what you're saying about not playing a game "properly" but this is a bad example. I tend to get like this when I'm playing Dragon Age or Mass Effect. I'm not very good with roleplaying so I always have to go back and find the "Best" options. More so with Mass Effect just to see which dialogue option fits me the best. I also get hung-up more on style with combat, I can always find a cooler way to kill the baddies even when the game doesn't grade me on it.

Ok ok I see your point trophies and rewards are bad. I agree, but if you cant role play the god damn character properly....
Yer doing' it wrong!!! Seriously.
If your supposed to be an FBI agent it should be pretty obvious that you scan the body.
I think the problem here is that game don't use "actual consequences" real consequences are really had to blend into a narrative. And since consequences are basically life's way of telling you "good job" or "you done screwed up" games use that as a way to "score" your performance.

I loved the article, and I agree fully! It is the thing that puts me off replaying MGS games... I pick up the game, and I enjoy playing! I'm not the best though, and constantly have to avoid capture, and sometimes die... I also almost always start by trying to only tranq people, but usually get bored of that and start killing everyone, well, just because!

Then after playing, and being good and watching cutscenes without trying to pull my eyes out, and even getting some of the story, I get to the end... and get a shit score... well MGS... Fuck you! I played you and I enjoyed you, and now you call me shit for it!

It's like having a favourite music artist as a kid... The artist is everything you like... they write awesome music, they are cool, charismatic, funny and you do all you can to be like them! You win a competition to meet the guy backstage and you tell him how much he inspired you and how excited you are to be there... You then show them your collection of ticket stubs, of how many times you have travelled halfway across the country just to see them perform, and they glance nonplussed at you and give you a used smartie to chew on, and kick you out...

That's how I feel at the end of an MGS game!

I am so much that guy that I'm even like that with my brother, who's been gaming longer than me. Whenever I see him just mucking about with a game, I get cross, because he should be playing it like the game makers intended.

I guess maybe it's because, outside of games, I'm very into drama and writing anyway. Therefore, when I'm playing a game, even one that's not particularly story-focused, I like to completely get into my role. As far as I'm concerned I'm not a separate entity as the player, I am the player-character, and everything I do as the player is governed by my interpretation of the protagonist's personality. So when I see people doing stuff in games that they find fun, but that make no contextual sense in the game world, I have to fight the urge to chastise then for 'playing it wrong'.

Fixing you're intervening tendencies is easy. Go to twitch tv find a stream doing a blind play-through of some game you've played before. Now sit there and watch without typing in chat. There's no controller to take away, and by not talking in chat you will come to realize you are watching not playing. As in, you are experiencing the game passively as an observer not actively as the player.

Another thing you could do is instead of just telling your girlfriend what to do, ask leading questions. Like for example with FBI crime scene ask: maybe the victim's body has clues you might want to examine it before leaving; or this area is really muddy, how could anyone walk down here without leaving behind foot prints.

Playing visual novels right now.

Not using a guide I die a few times and it is awesome.

Well, I do use the guide after finishing to see the different deaths, since they are pretty entertaining.

Reminds me playing games while my brother watches. He always tries to 100% stuff. I don't. The conversation(s) usually go like this:

Him: "There's things there, you need to get them!
Me: "Why?"
Him: "Because they're there? And you can get them? So you should get them?"
Me: "Meh, whatever."
Him: "But... it's there, and you need them. WHY WON'T YOU GET THEM?!"
Me: "Because I don't care."
Him: "But... you're doing it wrong! I... I can't do this. I can't be in the same room as you when you do this."

And when the roles are reversed:

Him: "Oh my GOD this is stupid. COME ON! GET THE THING!!"
Me: "Calm down, what's the problem?"
Him: "I'm trying to get this stupid thing, and this STUPID character won't do what I freaking tell him!"
Me: "Just ignore it then."
Him: "I can't. I need to get it."
Me: "Why?"
Him: "BECAUSE I HAVE TO ALRIGHT!!"
Me: "I beat the game without getting it."
Him: "No, you beat the story, you didn't beat the GAME."
Me: "What's the difference?"
Him: *sigh*

Though he does have his limits. He never even bothered to get the flags/feathers in the Assassin's Creed games.

I'm that guy half of the time. Usually only with friends. If they're just playing something for the hell of it and play it wrong then I don't really care (I may cringe but wont say anything). However, if they play something wrong and extrapolate from that that the game is bad (my friend thought Portal 2 was bad because he wasn't able to solve the first puzzle where you have to cross the gap) then I become "that guy" and can't help but take control or offer tons of hints.

I reject your final assertion: you can't play games wrong.

Can't. Can't do it. Your girlfriend isn't playing them wrong, and neither am I, and neither are you.

No one who just has fun is playing wrong.

No one who absorbs themself in the player character is playing wrong.

No one who tries to experience everything is playing wrong.

No one who tries to become as strong as possible is playing wrong.

No one who goes for the "high score" is playing wrong.

Your only problem is that you're watching disrespectfully.

Irridium:
Though he does have his limits. He never even bothered to get the flags/feathers in the Assassin's Creed games.

I got all the flags, but screw those feathers. Start up Brotherhood and it's all like, "She's better now that you got all the feathers," anyway, so what's the point?

Just give vague suggestions, don't grab the controller and demand they play it right. When she decides to play it totally wrong be like "Are you sure you want to do that? This could cause problems later just so you know." And if they keep going heedless you know that is how they want to do things. If they say "Oh really? I didn't know that was an issue" then its probably best to make a brief explanation without giving things away or telling them how to do it the "right" way.
And never EVER take the controller out of their hands even if they tell you to.

DVS BSTrD:

It's that I don't get what you're saying about not playing a game "properly" but this is a bad example. I tend to get like this when I'm playing Dragon Age or Mass Effect. I'm not very good with roleplaying so I always have to go back and find the "Best" options. More so with Mass Effect just to see which dialogue option fits me the best. I also get hung-up more on style with combat, I can always find a cooler way to kill the baddies even when the game doesn't grade me on it.

You summed it up pretty much. This is the same thing I tend to so more often than not with western RPGs, or basically that give me choices that impact the game.

What's even worse is when I've played a game and understand it quite well, then see someone be like 'Me bad at playan dis gaem. So me play gaem anyway' I just want to correct them in how they play it. But it's my playstyle and not theirs, so I shouldn't interfere but I will. Even if it is rude.

I think I have the MobA community to thank for that.

This is why I say to people who says a game doesn't have replay value to shut up. A game can be played multiple ways, and you might not play it the way the developers intended you to play the game, but that doesn't mean you can't play an other way.

i cant be the only one that drove jeeps into military bases on crysis 1 as a detraction then sniped everyone to hell, die-hard style. mebby i did run out of bullets.. or maby not the koreans never lived to tell the tale either way.

as for the example in the article.. i REALLY have to agree with the majority here there's playing how you want and there's just missing obvious stuff because you aren't immersed enough to think like the character
in an rpg that's kind-of the point of the entire game

a more subtle hint could be:
your an fbi agent, go sniff for the clues.. there are always clues

it's not like your saying HURRY UP!! 3 minutes left on the timer your apm is too low, you haven't found enough clues in this chapter to get a trophy!
remember to shoot some guys but only wound them you get pointz!!
( i have no idea about heavy rain's mechanics, these are just examples )

^ that would be wrong and mean to do.

NotALiberal:
TOO MUCH REAL LIFE.

I've become so OCD about my games that I've sucked all the fun out of them. They become like a second job that I have to stress about, making sure I collected/did/discovered ALL THE THINGS!

Oh and ditto on watching other people play games, extremely frustrating feeling, especially if they don't play games much.

Very similar here. This is why I hate achievements. I don't give a f@#$ if I get some little icon in my library that says I did such-and-such. But now you've put a little slot for that icon, so now I have to get it.

Thankfully this only goes for games I like. Which is ironic, because watching others lackadaisically play games I like kills me. 'YOU'RE MISSING ONE OF THE GOLD FEATHERS!' But when I play a game I'm not terribly fond of I just rush through it, which is presumably what they're doing.

Dear Every Guy That Does This,

Please stop doing this. Seriously, please. Just stop. Not caring doesn't always mean we're 'child-like' either. It usually just means we couldn't care less about making everything even remotely competitive. Thank you.

Sincerely,

A Lot of Girlfriends and Wives Everywhere.

This became a real problem for me in Rayman Origins. I cannot move on to the next level in that game until I 100% the level I'm on.

It's gonna take a while...

As for other people, I used to backseat drive constantly for my ex because he was strait up shit. I never took the controller off him, well okay maybe for ninja gaiden but that was for his own sanity. It was worth it in ffx2 when I 100% the game while he was at work and we got the real ending. He actually nearly smashed the controller when

RobfromtheGulag:

But now you've put a little slot for that icon, so now I have to get it.

Oh god, so true. That greyed out image taunts me, it's horrible.

Pink Apocalypse:
snip

Speak for yourself, I have to do all the things. :p

Games are generally structured with goals. I get that you can ignore all goals and walk into a wall for the duration of your playtime, and believe me, I do that kind of shit for fun too, but at the same time, it's hard to watch someone ignore the way the game was clearly designed to be played by the developers, especially since it's that players first time playing.

I don't even think the body thing was that big of an issue. She wasn't CHOOSING to ignore the body, she had made an honest mistake (I would think).

[quote="Speak for yourself, I have to do all the things. :p[/quote]

But do you have to have someone berate you to do all the things?

The point, you completely missed it.

Saying "you're playing the game wrong" is like saying a kid is playing with his Jenga blocks wrong if he uses them to build a fort for his army men. It's not life or death if you play a game unlike its creators intended.

I HATE when people tell me "You're playing it wrong." One of my biggest pet peeves.

That's something game developers need to get better at with games that have choices. Making choices different rather than good/bad. So there's no wrong way to play games, just different.

It's not trhophies, achievements and such, it's been there in videogames since the 80's (or as far as I can remember).

Donkey Kong Country teached me to not screw things up, fearing to see yet another Game Over screen. Silent Hill teached me to not screwing things over, fearing to see yet another crappy ending. Super Metroid teached me to search every nook and cranny to find cool stuff, fearing to later screw up for not finding the proper stuff to keep going. Sonic teached me to always have at least 50 rings at the end of each level.

See where I'm going?, we, grizzled veterans, are so conditioned to such things that the next new game is just numbers for us, we see the strings, scoff at the pupeteer and we rarely see the show itself.

Pink Apocalypse:
Dear Every Guy That Does This,

Please stop doing this. Seriously, please. Just stop. Not caring doesn't always mean we're 'child-like' either. It usually just means we couldn't care less about making everything even remotely competitive. Thank you.

Sincerely,

A Lot of Girlfriends and Wives Everywhere.

Heh, sad to say, this isn't something that only men do. I'm really, really bad for it.

Anyhoo, great article. You sound just like me when I was watching my brother play Mass Effect for the first time this year. He had no idea what he was doing (he pretty much destroyed the entire galaxy in the end) but to hell with it, he had fun! All of his in-game death and glory was unique to him. He wasn't thinking about "good" or "bad" endings - he was just thinking about how neat it was that he could shoot someone mid-sentence if they annoyed him too much - while I'm sitting there itching to jump up and say, "But no! If you do X, Y won't happen! Think, man!" He was the one playing properly, I was the one being the asshole. Not saying this knowledge will make biting my tongue any easier, but still, the perspective is nice. Cheers dude.

Ed Smith:
After five minutes or so, my girlfriend looked up and saw me playing with my virtual kids, and kissing my virtual wife. Surprised by the gunlessness of it all, she put down her laptop and asked if she could have a go. Now here we are, hours later, and we still haven't swapped back.

In a way, I'm glad. Here's somebody who hasn't played a videogame since Tetris, and she's completely immersed in the story and the action. She's not doing badly either; of the five fights she's gotten into so far, only one has ended in defeat. And I'm impressed that she's paying attention to the plot.Last time I put her in front of Battlefield 3, she just sniggered at the dialogue and mashed the skip button. But this time, she's hasn't raised a single objection; the only sound I hear is the occasional coo of approval.

So, let me get this straight. You get your girlfriend, who, as stated above, is not that into games like Battlefield 3, and who might think that most if not all of gaming is like that, and you get her to play a game like Heavy Rain, with its interesting plot, characters, and mechanics, and she starts enjoying herself, even if she's not doing everything, so your first reaction is to take the controller away and tell her she's doing it wrong?

Wow. All that comes to mind for that thought is a petulant, spoiled child, screaming because his friend wants to play with the toys in a slightly different way. Well done. Nice little hissy fit you have there.

Good on you to realize that might be wrong, though. No, seriously. Good job realizing that someone might be in it for different reasons, that they might be having fun doing what they're doing.

Hey, next time, why don't you try suggesting something? "Hey, you're not gonna check out the body?" would work well in this instance, I imagine. Don't constantly do it, because no one likes to be told what to do all the time, but if you're sharing the experience, then share the experience. Know you might do things differently, and you can do them later, but for the here and now, you're seeing how she plays the game. Suggest things, if you think she'd be interested in the results, but don't commandeer the controller just because she missed a clue, or wanted to say something different.

Elementary - Dear Watson:
they glance nonplussed at you and give you a used smartie to chew on, and kick you out...

If it's still in smartie form, I dread to think what you mean by a 'used smartie' D:

SpiderJerusalem:
I know what you're doing wrong.

You're wasting your time with Heavy Rain, arguably one of the most poorly written excuses for David Cage masturbation since Fahrenheit. It's hard to call it a game as much a reflex test, and if it would be a film that it so much desires to be, it would have been laughed to the ground alongside Battlefield Earth.

This!

But atleast you get to do exciting things, such as drinking juice and changing diapers. Would like to see the film adaption, where the main character keeps failing trivial tasks. Atleast the game can be hilarious in small bursts, especially when played in a group.

Binnsyboy:

Elementary - Dear Watson:
they glance nonplussed at you and give you a used smartie to chew on, and kick you out...

If it's still in smartie form, I dread to think what you mean by a 'used smartie' D:

Sucked so much you cannot tell what colour it originally was...
And possibly still wet...

Actually, definitely still wet...!

SpiderJerusalem:
I know what you're doing wrong.

You're wasting your time with Heavy Rain, arguably one of the most poorly written excuses for David Cage masturbation since Fahrenheit. It's hard to call it a game as much a reflex test, and if it would be a film that it so much desires to be, it would have been laughed to the ground alongside Battlefield Earth.

From now on I'm asking you what I should buy/play, because subjective experiences can no longer exist in gaming.

OT:
I usually only help when people are trying to do something and keep failing at doing so. I don't really have a problem with people making bad decisions, as I actually really enjoy watching how my friends play differently from me.

Organic Storytelling: Defeated by years of conditioning. =D

I'm glad I didn't know about the branches in Spec Ops: The Line until after I played it. They showed me exactly how much of a heartless dumbass I was in my playthrough.

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