Speaking for myself, I play video games for my own personal enjoyment first and foremost. As long as there have been video games, gamers have come up with countless ways to play the video games they love. As time went on and technology became more diverse, gamers came up with new and more interesting ways to play video games:
- Speed Runs are the most common. The point is to finish the game as quickly as possible. Personally, the run doesn’t count if glitches or exploits are used.
- Iron Man: Basically, you clear the game without dying though depending on the game there are additional rules. In Pokemon for example, you’re only allowed to get Pokemon you’re gifted in-game or Event-specific Pokemon you’d normally encounter on your way to the Elite Four (Sudowoodo in HeartGold and MegaLatias in AlphaSapphire for example). No Catching or Trading allowed with the exception of the game’s trademark Legendary (Yveltal, Zekrom, Primal Groudon, etc.). With strategy RPGs it depends on the game though the popular consensus is you fail if anyone dies on any map once. In Fire Emblem for example, deaths even after resets are still recorded so…yeah.
- “Rambo” Style: Same as Iron Man only you do it on the hardest difficulty. You also use only what you find and if the game has a shopping mechanic, you’re not allowed to buy anything. You may only use what you find. Oh and of course level/item/resource grinding is banned. It’s all about pure skill so…yeah. Only attempt this if you’ve done Iron Man a few times.
Those are the most popular ways bored gamers make otherwise linear gameplay interesting for themselves but it all depends on the game. I remember the first time I got S-Rank on a song in Elite Beat Agents (Nintendo DS) on the hardest Difficulty, Lovin’ Machine. It took me at least 30 tries and watching a video of it being done almost as much when I finally got it on the song Makes No Difference. Your timing must be flawless.
…Doing it on Jumping Jack Flash? My firstborn child gets that honor XD
Some games do help players who want to play games with extreme stipulations. The Metal Gear Solid games have a rank titled Big Boss that is attainable only by the most hardcore MGS Fans. How do you get it? Simple: Clear the game on the hardest difficulty. Oh and by the way you can’t die, can’t be spotted ONCE, can’t kill any guards, can’t save more than a certain amount (I’m sure it’s less than 10) and can’t use the bandana or stealth camo. I know that in Twin Snakes and MGS2 that after you clear the game at least once, you will unlock the option of turning off the radar and turning on Instant Game Over on Discovery. The latter is handy for those going for the Big Boss Rank.
These are all examples of relatively healthy ways to keep your gaming sessions interesting long after you’ve learned to play with your eyes closed. The thing is, starting about 13 years ago this wasn’t enough for some people. Around 2002, some gamers got the idea it’s their job to tell other gamers to play their video games by THEIR rules. This is when gaming was no longer just a fun way to kill time. This is when it became a job. Mind you, this was two years before World of Warcraft launched (2004).
Hence the blog’s title “You’re not playing it right if you’re having fun.”
Why gamers insist on forcing their own style on others…whew. The industry doesn’t even like this rabid trend of cookie cutter builds that’s infested MMOs, MOBAs and online gaming in general. Folks should be free to play their games their own way. If you don’t like it, too bad.