When I sat down to write this post, I initially had in mind to cover some of the recent news concerning Far Cry 5, due out March 27th, concerning it’s length. The crux of the article was going to be something along the lines of “does game’s length matter anymore?” But then, as I was perusing game sites for further inspiration, something else caught my eye, a statement from Far Cry 5‘s executive producer. You’ll find it in this GameSpot article, and it’s a rather innocuous sentence, really. When it comes to the time it might take one to complete the game, the producer said:
I would say that a good player will go through it in 25 hours.
It’s not the “25 hours” that interested me here. No, it’s the phrase “a good player.” Because here’s where my brain went:
So…if it a good player of video games could finish Far Cry 5 in 25 hours, would a bad player of video games take longer to complete it? Shorter? Or never bother because they are bad at games?
I’m not after this particular person for his choice of wording, because it’s something I’ve heard plenty of time before — that there’s some sort of invisible delineation between people who are “good” are games and people who aren’t. It’s something that’s never made sense to me.
It’s an issue that made headlines late last year when a video surfaced of a game reviewer having a difficult time with the game Cuphead. The question arose then then of just how good should game reviewers be at games, which was just as curious a topic.
Slight digression here, but I posses a yoga video that contains a voice-over introduction that states, “you cannot be good or bad at yoga. Just do the best you can, and you’ll reap the benefits.” I think the same can be said of gaming. Because I’ll be honest, I’m terrible at some games sometimes. I can’t fly/glide in games to save my life. My hand-eye coordination kind of stinks sometimes, so I can have good and bad days when it comes to playing shooters. I’m really great at dying in stupid ways. I tend to get really stressed out at and overly frustrated with difficult boss battles. And if my attention span just doesn’t sync with a game, I can end up trying the same thing over and over and over again to no avail. So am I a “good” player or a “bad” player? I’d like to think that my decades of experience playing games speaks to something, but maybe that’s not good enough these days? What the heck does it mean to be a “bad” player, anyway? If I want to try to stealth my way through a shooter, is that bad? If I want to spend hours exploring over completing a story, is that bad? If I want to find new ways to spectacularly die over and over again in a retro title, is that bad?
Going back to that notion of what people might think makes for a “good” player of video games, the only concrete thing that I’ve heard within my own social circle is that “good” players tend to complete games to their fullest extents. They go for ALL the achievements, one hundred percent, getting to the point where there’s nothing left to do but move onto the next game. And then they do it all over again. But then there are vaguer idea about what makes someone good at games, like determination, spirit, technical know-how, a willingness to learn from mistakes, and possessing an innate talent for gaming. In a way, this builds off if my last post, Is Gaming Teachable?, because it makes me wonder if someone can be taught to be a “good” player of games? And if not, then are they considering “bad” players. again, if have to ask, why would “bad” players of games play at all when they could be doing something they’re good at? The only thing that’s clear to me is that “good” and “bad” are not great words to use to describe people who play games.
But maybe you guys can help me make sense of this, because I don’t want to play Far Cry 5 if I’m not good enough to complete it in the allotted time.
(Article source: Gamespot)
Apologies for the late sarcasm there, but really, is there such a thing as being “good” and “bad” at gaming?