Confessions Of A Noob
I have a confession, well not really because it’s not a massive secret, but sometimes when I play games, I play on easy. You can all stare in horror at the screen and gasp things like, “I knew she wasn’t a proper gamer!” but that’s fine because I don’t think I need to be playing on hard/hardcore/insane/bleed-from-eyes difficulty to be considered a gamer.
In truth I generally play on normal difficulty or medium, or as the game sometimes explains it, the experience of the game for most abilities. I usually only change the difficulty to easy if I am dying too many times or if I am getting bored about hiding behind cover and getting to make a shot at a time. Here is another confession (this one is for free), I hate cover. Don’t get me wrong, it is really useful and I do use it sometimes but if I have to play a game (hey Deux-Ex I’m talking to you) and I have to constantly cover or get killed by one bullet (because that would never happen in real life) I lose interest very quickly. My favourite shooters allow me to cover (when I want to) and also run from spot to spot shooting indiscriminately because in my dreams I am the protagonist in a Die-Hard movie.
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You will also know (hopefully) that my main reasons for playing games are immersion, the story and the characters. To complete a game on hardcore doesn’t even factor into that experience, other than by making me extremely frustrated and wanting to throw my controller across the lounge. It brings me to another point, in that I do not understand why being “skilled” as a gamer seems to be such a big deal. It might be because none of my friends who play games have ever been competitive like that in that we would spend hours reminiscing over how long it took to kill a particular boss in a certain game. I don’t understand where the joy in toiling for hours lies, other than in the achievement you get for completing a game on a certain difficulty.
I know that if you play a lot of online multiplayer then you need to be very “skilled” but for someone like me who has only ever enjoyed the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, I still have a lot of fun playing it even though I am not the player who has the most badges or kills at the end of a game. Sure I probably die more than most people, but so what? Am I going to embarrass myself in front of a group of people I will never meet again (online or in real life) and who probably live in Japan or Russia and care about it? No.
I know we gamers take ourselves very seriously (I have even written about this before) and maybe your precision aim or being able to dodge countless melee attacks may assist you if you become a surgeon or an assassin, but otherwise? I don’t think it really counts.
I don’t see how your experience of possibly dying ten times to kill someone because their health kept regenerating every five seconds versus me running around and shooting and killing them on the first try changes the actual experience of the game or makes it a better experience for you.
So that is my confession and I don’t think it makes me any less of a person, or a gamer for it. Sure, if I played against most people I probably wouldn’t do too well but those are not the reasons I game, and I am certainly not that competitive about it. I’ll get very competitive over who collects the most bolts in Ratchet & Clank All 4 One and who has the most kills but not over whether you completed a game on hard and I didn’t.
I think it probably all comes down to preference and I have no issues with playing a game on casual because I don’t think it has any adverse effect on the experience of the game that I have. Sure you may think differently and think that if you don’t play on hardcore then you are not experiencing the game the way the developers intended but hey, each to his own.
So next time you are playing Mass Effect 3 multiplayer and you have a player on your team who needs constant reviving, it’s probably me. And for me, that’s okay.