Video games are like dynamite. Dynamite was never meant to be what it is widely known as. Alfred Nobel invented dynamite to be used as a tool in mining and construction. However, when mankind got its ravenous paws on it, this would-be tool was turned into a weapon of destruction. Though dynamite has become obsolete for military use, the fact remains that the Mr. Nobel’s intentions were disgraced. Does this sound familiar to gamers? Let me explain.
Video games were originally invented in the 1950’s as a hobby. A hobby is defined as an activity that is done for pleasure. Shocking, isn’t it? Believe it or not, video games were created with the intention of having fun! Based on the behavior of many modern gamers, one might think games were meant to train players for war, or teach them to race professionally. They take their gaming too seriously. This behavior has prompted me to create a list of ways not to play video games. Hardcore gamers, lend me your ears.
Don’t buy games you do not legitimately want to play. Gamers may be making a mistake before they even start up their consoles. Fads are a natural part of society, even for gaming. However, if you find yourself consistently purchasing games just because they are “what’s hot, ” you may end up wasting a lot of money. Get games that you know about. Heck, you may even consider doing some research before you break out the cash. This way, you know what you’re getting into. On a related note, make sure you are looking for qualities in a game that will give you the most enjoyment. Just because a game has 32-player online capabilities doesn’t mean you will enjoy the chaos that comes along with it. Know yourself, and know your games.
Don’t avoid singleplayer modes. Game developers (hopefully) put a lot of time and work into their games. This includes singleplayer mode, story mode, campaign mode, or whatever it may be called. Gamers who completely ignore these game modes (which ironically are usually highlighted at the top of the main menu screen) are as bad as dynamite-toting suicide bombers. Okay, maybe they aren’t quite that bad, but they are insulting game developers all the same. More to the point, they are missing out on a lot of fun. Granted, multiplayer can be loads of fun, but playing alone offers relatively stress-free, relaxed enjoyment. Whenever I am on a losing streak in a multiplayer game, I usually switch over to singleplayer, or pop in another game whose story I haven’t finished. This way, I avoid getting discouraged or frustrated -- which leads me to my next suggestion.
Don’t get frustrated. Are you losing? Continually? Chances are, you’re getting pretty angry. That’s alright, it’s natural. The problem is that no one wants to play with a hot head. They might enjoy laughing at one for a while, but even that grows old. If you’re angry, you’re not having fun. It seems pretty straightforward, but gamers seem to forget this. All of us have at some point reached a seemingly impossible gaming challenge. Whether it’s solving a complex puzzle, fighting off wave after wave of foes, or playing against a ridiculously skilled team online, it can be very frustrating. The question is, what do you do? Do you keep playing until you’re ready to hurl your controller into the television screen? I certainly hope not. Perhaps the suggestion here shouldn’t be not to get frustrated. Everyone gets frustrated. However, you should know how to deal with your frustration. Play some singleplayer, switch to a different game, or go for a run; do whatever you have to do. Just don’t let some video game control you and your emotions. You’re stronger than that, right? I thought so.
Don’t give in to ignorance. You’re going to meet some stupid people online. It is inevitable. They are going to call you bad names and insult you -- also inevitable. What isn’t inevitable is your reaction to these events. You could laugh at them. Better yet, laugh with them. Their taunting won’t be so fun for them if you’re enjoying it as well. You could mute them. Most games have this functionality build into them. You’ll shut them up with a simple push of a button. Whatever you do, don’t lose your cool. If you explode, it’ll only get worse, and you’ll only get angrier. See above for why you don’t want to get angry.
Don’t yell. Really? Has it come to this? You’re so angry that you’re actually yelling. That’s not fun for anyone. Chill out.
Though hardcore gaming can cause the things listed above to happen, it is not to be completely shunned. It, like military dynamite, has made certain commendable strides. Without those who take games more seriously than most of us, we would not have major league gaming (MLG) or professional gaming competitions. Hardcore gamers who have their minds and attitudes in the right place can have just as much fun as casual gamers.