Category Archives: Guest Posts

Guest Post: Four Things That Prove I’m Terrible at Video Games

Since you’ve been such good little gamers this week I’m running an extra post from one of my dearest friends, Troy Harris. Enjoy his fun editorial about why he is so bad at video games. Then shake your head in pity because you’re good at video games.

Four Things That Prove I’m Terrible at Video Games

As a single white man in my early twenties, it’s safe to say that video games have played a major role in my upbringing. Final Fantasy VII taught me more about love than any John Hughes movie. Everything I’ve learned about football strategy has come from Madden ’97. The truth for people of my generation is that video games have risen to fulfill the role that the death of the sitcom had left vacant: that of the surrogate parent. Unfortunately, video games and sitcoms have both left one important lesson untaught: knowing when to move on.

1. I’m Over Twenty Years Old

I’m not saying this to insinuate that video games are for kids; I still play video games quite often. But adulthood is definitely not conducive to gamer culture. When you grow up, you suddenly have to worry about things like keeping a roof over your head and feeding your dog. These things require a job, which not only takes up a large amount of the time you used to spend talking smack to fourteen-year-olds on Madden, but also dip heavily into the money that you used to spend on games. At sixty dollars a pop, new games aren’t entertainment, they’re an investment.

But what is the return value?

The older I get, the more I realize that other things exist. People my age are supposed to be socializing. They’re supposed to be going out and meeting people. At my age, it’s no longer normal to spend eleven hours a day playing Skyrim. And if there’s one thing that I learned from the Metal Gear franchise, it’s the importance of blending in.

2. I Don’t Have Time to Devote to Gaming

One central theme in video games–or in any popular art form, for that matter–is following your dreams. Who would want to play a game that’s about a guy who goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, rinses and repeats?

Shown: Dreams, such as being a burglar

The obvious catch-22 here is that in order to continue obsessively playing video games, I must either A)ignore the the very lesson that most video games are trying to teach me, or B) somehow invent a job that involves playing video games for a living.

...But, you know, still being a dude would be preferable.

The problem with becoming a professional gamer is that video games would become my job, and I’m trained to believe that, as an twenty-something person, I’m supposed to hate my job. I don’t want to hate video games; they’re the thing that I love most. As such, I’m forced to regulate the amount of time I spend playing video games, so that I can still manage to at least resemble a functional member of society. Which brings me to my next point:

3. I Do All The Fun Stuff First

It never fails; whenever I buy a new game, i spend the first hour doing exactly whatever it is that I want to do. Mind you, this may or may not be the entire main plot of said game. Any time a new Elder Scrolls game comes out, I immediately seek out the Dark Brotherhood and do that entire quest line. Then I join the Thieve’s Guild and do that entire quest line. Guess what I do with the Fighter’s Guild?
This is even more true of fighting games. Recently, I finally got around to buying and playing Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. I wasted no time playing through Arcade Mode with Deadpool, Wolverine, and Chun Li. It took me all of forty-five minutes to unlock all of those character endings, and I haven’t so much as touched the game since. Maybe it’s just my short attention span, but once I unlock my favorite character endings, any fighting game loses all playing value to me. And yet, I keep buying them. I’d make a terrible investment banker.

I just suddenly realized how much more fun it was to throw the money than it was to invest it.

4. I’m Horribly Impatient

Just so I’m clear about this, I hold no delusions about my shortcomings as a person. In life, and in video games specifically, I’m a slave to instant gratification. I am one of those terrible gamers who will fast-forward through dialogue options in order to get to the gameplay, only to discover that I’ve missed a piece of information that is vital to completing the mission I rushed through all of that dialogue to start in the first place. To my ego-addled brain, video games become a chore. They become something that I spent a lot of money on, so I had better hurry up and enjoy them. If only there were a way to to turn it all around and return to my youthful days of loving video games because they’re awesome and fun.
Oh, look! Mass Effect 3!
Be sure to check out more awesome stuff from Troy on his comedy blog Kamikazedy! You might just learn a few things while you laugh. (Such as what type of content is on a comedy blog, or that reading a comedy blog is more fun than working in the office.)
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