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The Friday Debate – The Skills To Pay The Bills?

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Next time you’re looking down iron sights while strafing through a doorway, reloading and checking the HUD for enemies, take a moment to consider just how many processes your brain is dealing with, and the clinically co-ordinated jig that your fingers and thumbs are performing on the controller.
Now spare a moment for the hapless non-gamer, spinning wildly and firing into the empty sky when thrown into the latest FPS. When you think about it, the seasoned stick-jockey has developed a complex skill set over the years and reactions quicker than a greasy leopard. The question is…


Are you good? I mean, are you really good? If you were that person who still gets the lofted pass and shoot buttons confused in FIFA, or the one who plays MAG and tries to shoot enemies with the medical kit, would you enjoy gaming as much?
Speak your brains in the comments and don’t forget that you can also contribute to this poll in PlayStation Home. Just head to the Polling Booth in Home Square and register your vote.
Do it.

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49 Comments

  • It definitely pays to be good at gaming in order to enjoy it more – however I think these days developers are much more forgiving in terms of how difficult games are, many games now include several difficulty levels so as to appeal to all sorts of gamer, compared to games of yesteryear, where you were stuck with one difficulty level and that was that.
    The trick is getting those difficulty levels right, when I’m playing on Hard mode or Very Hard mode on a game, I want to feel challenged, but not so much so that I’m finding it impossible. Uncharted 1 and 2 for example both got the difficulty levels right. For me, Crushing was really difficult, but I wasn’t dying at every single checkpoint, sure I didn’t breeze through, but I had to try really hard, use cover effectively, use ammo sparingly and keep my accuracy up.
    I’ve rambled on enough now… :P

    • I’m not the world’s greatest gamer so I often find my biting point at medium or hard, at a push. I do sometimes find multiplayer a bit alienating though, especially when a game has been out for a while and everyone’s trigger fingers are quicker than a flea blink.

  • on multiplayer it definitely pays to be good at the game to have fun especially on FPS games as you just dont get a chance otherwise.
    You can have fun without being brilliant at games especially on the single player campaigns, the annoying thing i find is when game makers make the sequel easier than the original to appeal to other players as it just ends up alienating the current fans. Colin McRae DIRT did this as did Motorstorm and the sequels to both of these are nowhere near as good as they arent as intense.

    • Oh really? I actually preferred Pacific Rift, but then opinions are what makes the world interesting. Maybe a part of it is that, if you have spent a lot of time with a game, you’re immediately going to pretty good at the sequel, unless it’s radically different.

  • Everything that is truly good requires learning. You can enjoy a movie that is all about action scenes and special effects, because it’s something you can simply see, have some fun, and forget about it. But the impact that an intelligent and complex movie causes is much greater. It can give you a whole new vision of the world, or be inside your mind for decades. It generally also demands some effort in order to be enjoyed: you have to pay more attention, to think about what you see. If it’s very deep, the more you give yourself to it, the more rewarding the experience is, you’ll feel it with more intensity etc.
    The same happens with games. User friendly games are ok. They don’t require a lot of learning, so inexperienced players can just play them, have some fun, then forget about them. But if you want to develop a deep game, you can’t restrain yourself too much regarding player skill. It doesn’t mean a game need to be difficult in order to be good. If your vision for depth in that particular game doesn’t envolve any difficult inputs, even better. But If you want to please everyone and welcome any player, you won’t have the freedom to explore gameplay as deeply, making the game more accessible, but also more shallow.

    • I thought about this when coming up with the idea. At first I thought that games were the only media that require skill for the recipient to access them. I then considered more passive media, like movies and books. A certain amount of knowledge or intelligence is required to enjoy a particularly dense novel or essay, for example, but I think games stand out as the only one to require skills like dexterity and hand eye co-ordination.
      Great point Andrey-C.

  • James i whant to say that yeti sports is not free for playstation plus members on the Dutch Playstation store an that it miss the plus logo

  • I don’t really mind a game being difficult and I enjoy the work it takes to be good at a game. For example when I got the Playstation Move I was determined to be good playing MAG with it. At the moment I am still pretty terrible at it but I still have loads of fun playing (even if sometimes my team mates laugh at me :P ) but I will keep playing MAG with the Playstation Move. So I my opinion is that you don’t have to be good at a game to enjoy it and for me most of the fun is from getting better at a game.

    • MAG was a good one for me because I was always terrible at FPS games but, with that many people playing, there were some that even I could kill! That being said, I’ll see you all in the Killzone 3 beta and PREPARE!

  • yes, u play to win the game.

  • Pretty even distribution of votes so far, the sign of a good poll.
    It matters more in multiplayer to me, I get annoyed being killed constantly by people better than me, it’s probably why I play so many single-player games.
    Although I was quite snazzy at Uncharted 2 online :-)

    • Yeah I also reckon I’m best at third person games. In fact, being really bad at the first Silent Hill at 12 years old (did we have PEGI then?.. was that illegal?) probably added to the experience.

  • Yes, I especially like single player games that are challenging!!
    If the game is good, that it should be fun anyway. I remember how hard and daughting the first release of Resident Evil (PSone) was, where there was no choice of difficulty setting, no auto aim and enemies were harder! Tough game for me to play through when I was younger but damm fun or at least intriguing experience anyway!
    So a challenging, well made/designed game > “fun”, for me! ;)

    • I totally agree! I really think that if the original Resi had trophies I would have the platinum because I saw every wall and floor surface in that game! Still, I would always go back in search of the slightly different helicopter ending.

  • Just got to see Nintendo. Their games sell millions because the games are not only quality but anyone can play them and feel satisfied (talking about big IP’s like Mario, Zelda etc)

  • So long as I am having fun, it makes no difference to me if I am a bit crap at the game. The unfortunate thing is that too many idiots online ruin so many online experiences by slamming ‘noobs’ for doing something ‘noobish’, without even considering that:-
    a) That person may have only begun playing the game for the first time that day,
    and
    b) It is only a game!!
    You see this behaviour in MMO games and FPS more than anything else. One of the reasons I don’t do much FPS online is that I am sick of being criticised because I am not ‘uber-elite’, and may, occasionally, be a bit of a muppet.
    Thankfully, there are fellow gaming folk who think the same as i do, and so we can set up team games where we are all as useless as each other – so much fun when no-one can hit a barn door from 10 paces :)

    • I must admit that I fell intimidated sometimes jumping into a game with some of our most hardcore players… luckily, the PlayStation crowd is usually pretty chilled and understanding of us less reactive types. Keep playing how you play!

  • You have to be good online or else you will get annihilated. But the single player element of modern games are designed to suit all levels of gamers, but, just like movies and books, there is games that are designed to give a much more enhanced experience to hardcore gamers or fans of that game, such as MGS, PES, Half-life etc…
    Although, ive seen when my brother played Fallout 3 and just went around killing everyone, causing havoc and skipping all the conversations and it was driving me mad because i was thinking of all the things he was missing out on, but he enjoyed playing it like that and had no interest doing it the other way so….

    • I have a friend like that too… it breaks my heart but, man, the guy really does play a lot of games by not watching cut-scenes! I rarely survive on shooty games but Guerrilla have sat me down and walked me through Killzone 3 so, next year, you boys better hibernate!

  • being good at a game does make the experience more enjoyable. if your not so good and you keep dying all the time, as an example, then it will become frustrating, and the experience is some what ruined.
    and if you die very few times, or not at all! then it will be much more enjoyable, as you played through that level without having to restart much.
    i would have picked the second option, that games should be fun for people of all skill levels, since that’s what i kind of do think. However! i had a second thought; that thought was call of duty! anyone can pick up a controller and get an easy kill on call of duty, and does it work? NO! to me call of duty is something you can’t call an achievement because of how unskillful the game is, and the gameplay is terrible. and call of duty is one game which isn’t fun, because of how annoying it can get with all the noob tubes, those perks, killstreak rewards and 8 year olds screaming down your mic every game because they died, or their mum wants them to do something else, or they spilt juice all over their console!

  • And so i reached the conclusion that its games like Killzone 2 and like Battlefield, where you need to be at least good at the game to get many kills. i play games on the hardest difficulty, and that actually got me into the top 1% of Killzone 2 gamers at one point – unfortunately for me i don’t play one game constantly for ever, so it wasn’t long before i dropped from that position.
    however at another corner, excluding shooters, littlebigplanet is a perfect example of a game for people of all skills! and those skills are varied, not just the platforming skills, but people really creative, and good at the game can use the creator mode to make excellent levels. and therefore littlebigplanet caters for all types of gamers :)

    • You know, I had the exact same thought when I was writing this post. the par I deleted was:
      “Like everything else I encounter during this too brief soujourn on the planet, talent is relative and the Killzone 2 n00b may very well be the LittleBigPlanet virtuoso.”

  • hey hey
    i used to play a game till i “clocked” it or got the special level select or some screen that noone got unless they completed it. i really loved knowing my skill level was better and higher than everyone else.
    then with the onset of online play and the multitude of FPS’s i have found that quite often games dont reward skill level but reward playtime. gamers that play endlessly get rewarded and know the maps inside out have an advantage rather than greater skill.
    now i play purely for fun. i no longer have the desire to grind for a platinum or see any value in Over 9000 !! ! ! headshots !!!! i play to relax and enjoy.
    maybe its my age :)

  • The big problem here is the “Doom” effect…
    In 1992 or so a game called Doom was made & I knew that gaming was going to suffer.
    Doom is a game where you walk around a dark grey miserable environment and shoot people… even if you’re interested in doing that… it’s gotta get boring after a couple of minutes?
    Apparently not… well not for “Gamerz” & I pretty much ignored the gaming scene for the next 15 years or so…
    Little Big planet is a nice return to the creative/fun platformer & hopefully we can see some more interesting titles coming along…
    Walk around a dark grey environment and kill people??? Not for me.
    Fun games will illicit more profits.

    • I’m getting to that age to… I need another gap years to keep up with these games! If you’re in the LBP community then you can look forward to jg_kiddyharriersunderground v.2 very soon!

  • Getting platinum in WipEoutHD was really satisfying. So yes I like it if a game requires some skills :-).
    On the other hand a game needs to have the option to change between easy (walk in the park) normal (need to focus a bit), hard (requires a descent amount practice) and elite/expert (even more practice then hard and frustration from time to time is allowed ;-)).

  • well I do not agree on “Games should be designed to be fun for players of all skill levels.” because I like differences, some times I’m in the mood to play little big planet which is mostly very easy, and nearly impossible to lose in, and other times I want to play Demon’s Souls which is very hard, and where you can’t really take any chances. if games like those had an easy or hard setting, they just wouldn’t be the same. so I like the fact that there is a lot of games, and most of them are very different :)
    I see games like music, there is a lot of it and everybody enjoys some music, but very few like all genre.
    and if we tried to make all of it enjoyable for everybody we would lose a lot of it

  • ofcourse winning is nice but it’s still important to have fun even when you loose so i go with the second answer.

  • Games are meant to be fun. If you take it seriously and then think about it… your trying so hard at something that really doesn’t matter! It’s different if your a Dev as you need to concentrate on making sure its up to specs but in the end, whatever you do, no matter how bad you are, it’s only a game and games are meant to be fun ^^

  • The title reminded me of the window washing game on eyetoy!
    I find that single player is way easier than multiplayer. I useualy get worse at multiplayer the more I play!
    The game has to be challenging but not to hard or it will lose its fun factor.

  • Last one for me. I thought about it yesterday while playing Medal of Honor. I’m just not that good at online shooters (although offline I usually start off at hard difficulty) and rarely get a kill/death ratio of over 1, but I enjoy myself nontheless. Although it feels a lot better when you’re on an unstopable winning streak and rank up 1 at the end of the match :D

  • Everybody will enjoy Cod, even if they die all the time. Because shooting and killing people is very simple in that game, but mastering it is tough and consistently performing better.
    Thats the reason why it sells so much. Second option is the best and I voted for tht

  • i played uncharted 2 MP so serious it almost killed me.. and it definenttly killed all enjoyment of other shooters i werent good at. luckily after a while i got out of that mindset, and now i dont care. that way its more fun and not frustrating

  • kinda funny that whenever anybody asks about missing content or like something isen’t right they suddently stop rplying 2 peoples post’s.

  • Or maybe the lack of responses after 6pm is due to the team going home to their real lives.
    Just a thought :)

  • @meako1973
    i take into account all the other times they never rply 2 ppl asking for stuff that SCEE said was coming yet they were talking [DELETED] again.
    anyhow anybody wondering when BLACK LIGHT TANGO DOWN is coming here is atleast the U.S release date so that means next year january for EU
    http://www.onpause.org/2010/10/blacklight-tango-down-coming-to-psn.html

  • Man, I suck at Fifa 10.
    I once played an online match against a friend of mine and lost 11-0…Yeah, i’m that bad, but I was experiencing severe lag (I swear it’s not an excuse). x)
    Football games aren’t my thing anyway, I probably only spent 2 hours or 3 playing this game!
    Action and Shooting games are my thing! And some RPG’s! :D

  • When I buy a game, I want to get better at it the more I play it… now back to sports champions.

  • There should be games for all skill levels, I have witnessed this truth from my friend who is handicapped and has problems with many current control schemes. Some may think “why there’s that super easy mode in Guitar hero?” but it also happens to be the only one he can play while rock band is pretty much impossible for him.
    But as for my self, I often want to have some challenge in modern games. Killzone2 for example was one game that I started on Hard difficulty which felt really satisfying although the end game level started to feel a bit tedious after constant trying (managed to beat it tough, just took quite number of deaths).
    But the easy difficulty setting exists for a reason, not everyone has the time to be “hardcore” and not everyone can even if they want to, so they just want to clear the plot and have fun while doing it.

  • @Posted on 16 October, 2010 at 4:52 am by James Gallagher / reply to #16
    No need to feel inadequate ;-)
    It all depends on the type of game. There are other games (Matt Hazard: Eat Lead, Mortal Kombat vs. DCU, Battlefield (or any other FPS)) that I will never be able to complete on the hardest setting (without too much frustration).
    If the frustration gets too much to have fun I will quit or finish on a lower difficulty setting.
    The main purpose of a game is to have fun (I think :-)).

  • there called ‘games’ for a reason

  • LittleBigPlanet. Yay.

  • killzone baby yeah

  • Lol, I think it matters more to be good online than offline. If you are no good at multiplayer games, of course you are going to get frustrated and then eventually hate the game. rymanb mentioned something about getting difficulty settings right, and i cant agree more, i just finished Medal of Honor on the Hard difficulty and it actually felt EASIER than the normal difficulty! I wouldnt say im the BEST gamer out there, actually i know im not, but im good enough to hold my own, and even place 1st every now and then. Its much more fun that way ;)

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