Video games are tough on you because they love you: NPR
“Game over.” “You are dead.” “Wasted.” These phrases are rites of passage, a rebuke to video game players ill-equipped for the task ahead. Whether you control Leon Kennedy’s ragdoll body spinning from an explosive tripwire in Resident Evil 4 or lose a fight to a cheap low sweep Super Street Fighter 4dying sucks.
But that doesn’t mean you do.
It’s easy to attribute a loss – or several consecutive losses – to being “garbage” in a given video game. The genesis of thegit gud“The mantra is based on the premise that you are just a bad player.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Failure in games has always been a stepping stone to discovering the type of gamer you are.
Become older and wiser
In February, French studio Sloclap released Sifu, a beat ’em up action title that tested the mettle of gamers looking for a challenge. The difficulty was so intense that it literally ages the game’s protagonist. He throws legions of goons at you, and upon dying you get upgrades as your character gains wrinkles and gray hair.
The result was an exhausting, rewarding, and utterly infuriating experience that reignited the polarizing conversation about what it meant to be skilled in games. Were you good at Sifu because you played without dying or taking damage? Maybe you were better off sticking to Master difficulty when a patch was later released to flatten the difficulty curve?
die in Sifu doesn’t mean you’re playing the game badly – it’s a core feature of the game that leads to greater potential for your character, while building a unique narrative of aging and revenge. And it’s not the only headline this year pitting players against their own intelligence and rewarding “forward failure.”
Gather around the Ring
FromSoftware’s Ring of Elden was the latest in a portfolio of grim commercial successes, and when it was also released in February 2022, its popularity surprised even his editor.
spiritual predecessor dark souls embodies the death toll on a player – the macabre atmosphere of this series and Lovecraftian Horrors cultivated a space where community thrived. Ring of Elden is no different, as it uses the same co-op features to help players build on each other, in addition to numerous guides and walkthroughs posted online.
Despite the availability of these resources, some fans claim that if you use these tools to beat the absurdly difficult bosses in Ring of Elden, you never quite played it as intended. community members on Reddit and other message boards called “guardians” that shame players for summoning allies – a co-op feature present in FromSoftware titles since 2009 The souls of the demon.
die in Ring of Elden Or other souls games don’t mean you suck either. Instead, failure pushes you into channels of communication and cooperation that might otherwise be missed. It fosters a space for new and veteran players to exchange ideas and create some silly content.
It also taught me that wandering can be a good thing – I’ve died way too many times to count Ring of the Ancients’towering ogres, knights and bears. At first I hated his obtuse systems. Yet, thanks to the support network built around him, I learned ways to deal with the overwhelming challenges of the game.
Devoted fans are eager to support the road signs as players understandably grow frustrated with the new and deadly things lurking in the Lands Between. It is a testament to the universal struggle we share to recover from a death screen.
I can’t catch them all
Death and dying aren’t exclusive to dark and dreary. Even franchises like Pokémon have run challenges meant to confuse the most accomplished trainers.
Fans have long conceived”Nuzlockesas a means of increasing the difficulty of these otherwise tame games. A “Nuzlocke” race involves self-imposed rules that a player must adhere to when navigating their Pokémon game of choice.
The phenomenon is not unique to these titles but has thrived on the efforts of the community to share as much information as possible to beat a given “Nuzlocke”. These arbitrary rules may require you to only catch the first Pokémon you encounter on any route, or may limit the number of Poké Balls you can carry or buy.
Pokemon Emerald Kaizo is widely considered one of the most difficult “Nuzlockes” to complete due to its unforgiving rules, with a variety of enemies that outweighs the original base game design. There’s also a gentler route for those who want to wander around a bit, like I did with a custom randomizer for Leaf Green it changes every Pokemon you encounter, including starters.
In the absence of a “Nuzlocke”, aging in Sifuor even invoke in Ring of Elden are not indicators of a bad player. Conversely, these are challenges that build community and personal growth – they force you to learn how to be better at what you love to play.
If failure is a part of life, it should count double in the digital space, where the stakes are much more forgiving. Next time you hit play again, remember what Michael Jordan, one of the most powerful athletes on the planet, said in this classic Nike Advertising“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s why I succeed.”