Can we play games wrong?

him over there

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I know that the general consensus is no! Before you go on about it being the developer's job to create an environment that guides the player or you post that Jim Sterling Destructoid video consider the following. Games aren't like other forms of media, we actually have to do things in them. Originally games were something you win. You can still see the left over culture from those days before the "interactive experience." Look at our terminology, we don't finish games we "beat" them. Games aren't just about competition anymore but they still have that aspect about them.

I was playing Kirby with my little sister (she's really taken a shine to dedede) and she actually refused to kill most of the enemies. She couldn't stand the thought that she was going to be destroying another being. I tried to explain to her that they didn't matter and she asked "how come?". That left me dumbstruck and, the little puffballs trying to be threatening were living things but only existed as cannon fodder in the game. I didn't give destroying them a second thought because they are enemies, a staple of game design, something that must be destroyed to advance and that is insignificant. My sister told me she didn't want to destroy them. So she went through the entire game without trying to hurt anyone (an impossible feat in Kirby 64). Her emotions and connections to the in game objects prevented her from playing the game "The right way."

See there are inherent rules of games that are almost never broken that seasoned game players are aware of. Even when you are immersed in the game you are advancing towards objectives. We know we kill the enemies, or always go to the right in platformers or save the giant weapon in first person shooters for the boss fight. But new comers may not know this. They are going to play the way they want to, and apply things that they know to games.

It works the other way too. People used to metagaming style just get through and win sort of gaming are probably going to miss out on a lot of the atmosphere. Min/Maxers, Metagamers, Speedrunners, even people who just keep the mentality of winning are going to ruin a lot of the emotional or important aspects of the story or experience. I didn't give a toss about most of the lore in Kingdoms of Amalur because I was trying to finish the quests as soon as possible to get stuff. Encounters with characters lose a lot of their luster when you see them simply as boss fights.

Ultimately the whole thing comes back to immersion. While many games are immersive or whatever and it's a state you really need to strive for regarding design it's a two way street. You have to let a game suck you in, meet it half way. Of course not everybody can do this as easily as others. With some games even if you like them and even if you think they're good you have to try to really love them.

Gosh I hope that didn't sound stupid.
 

Vault101

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if you pick up Mass effect 3

skip all the cutscnenes and complain that you don't know whats going on..

your doing it wrong
 

him over there

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Vault101 said:
if you pick up Mass effect 3

skip all the cutscnenes and complain that you don't know whats going on..

your doing it wrong
Exactly, some people want different things out of games. People are going to get very different experiences based on what they put in. I think it's very lazy to just play the blame game and say that the developer must provide everything. It's also why games can't conform to the traditional definition of art. Art in the traditional sense everybody sees the same thing and experiences it differently, with games everybody has a different piece of art to begin with.
 

Vault101

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him over there said:
this bothered me in that at times it felt like I was having shit explained to me that I already knew...

...like I said if somone picks up ME3 without playing the ohter two and is too lazy to read the codex then screw'em
 

him over there

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Vault101 said:
him over there said:
this bothered me in that at times it felt like I was having shit explained to me that I already knew...

...like I said if somone picks up ME3 without playing the ohter two and is too lazy to read the codex then screw'em
Sorry, I have a really bad habit of constantly saying what I think and over explaining myself even though it's pretty much what they just said. I did play through Mass effect without barely looking at the codec though. I only absorbed what it told me through the immediate story and dialogue.
 

Vault101

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him over there said:
I ment in ME3 "hey shepard you remember that time..." that kind of thing

I never read the codex much eather..but if youve played all 3 games then you dont really need too

my point is everything you need to know is in the codex (if your confused), the charachters don't need to go all encyclopedic to explain stuff
 

geK0

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This reminds me of the time I let my nephew play oblivion for a while, and he just went straight to the city because there are no "scary things" in the city. He would spend hours just going into ins, buying random clothes and gambling at the arena,"I don't have to fight because I can just have fun watching them fight!" was the way he rationalized it. I found it funny that the way my nephew played he game was essentially him living as a normal city dweller.

I think it is possible to play a game 'wrong'; a developer can have one play style in mind and players might just play it completely differently from that. That being said, part of being a game designer is to either cater to multiple play styles (like metal gear solid3 or deus ex)or to teach your players how the game should be played

Off the top of my head, I can think of a few games that I know I've played wrong:

Zelda for the NES. I know there are quests, dungeons, items to collect and a world to explore, but I just end up wandering aimlessly until I die and turn off the game; there simply isn't anything directing you in that game.

Mass Effect. I can tolerate dialogue in most games, but Mass Effect just had WAY too much of it; I ignored most of the dialogue after a while and just explored planets at random and finished a few side quests until that got boring.

Various other games that have no stealth component; I try to hide, but enemies can just magically see through obstacles.
 

him over there

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geK0 said:
This reminds me of the time I let my nephew play oblivion for a while, and he just went straight to the city because there are no "scary things" in the city. He would spend hours just going into ins, buying random clothes and gambling at the arena,"I don't have to fight because I can just have fun watching them fight!" was the way he rationalized it. I found it funny that the way my nephew played he game was essentially him living as a normal city dweller.
That is... one of the most adorable little stories of kids playing games I've ever heard. No scary things...
 

geK0

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him over there said:
geK0 said:
This reminds me of the time I let my nephew play oblivion for a while, and he just went straight to the city because there are no "scary things" in the city. He would spend hours just going into ins, buying random clothes and gambling at the arena,"I don't have to fight because I can just have fun watching them fight!" was the way he rationalized it. I found it funny that the way my nephew played he game was essentially him living as a normal city dweller.
That is... one of the most adorable little stories of kids playing games I've ever heard. No scary things...
Am I a terrible uncle for letting my nephew play Oblivion? : \

I mean, it's not really that scary a game...
 

PinkiePyro

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I say you are only playing a game wrong if you are not being entertained (or its a shitty game)
 

DementedSheep

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Yes, yes you can.
Of course It doesn?t really matter if you?re not playing something how it was intended if you?re having fun but you often get people who blame the game and developers for their own stupidity hindering their entertainment.
 

him over there

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geK0 said:
him over there said:
geK0 said:
This reminds me of the time I let my nephew play oblivion for a while, and he just went straight to the city because there are no "scary things" in the city. He would spend hours just going into ins, buying random clothes and gambling at the arena,"I don't have to fight because I can just have fun watching them fight!" was the way he rationalized it. I found it funny that the way my nephew played he game was essentially him living as a normal city dweller.
That is... one of the most adorable little stories of kids playing games I've ever heard. No scary things...
Am I a terrible uncle for letting my nephew play Oblivion? : \

I mean, it's not really that scary a game...
of course not! Even if parts of the game could get a little dark or violent you were there to make sure he was okay with everything and it isn't going to suddenly cripple his innocence. Kids know what they're getting into. He probably would just pause the game and let you handle the fighting and scary stuff anyway. I've seen that a lot of kids who play more mature games just like to run around and jump and stuff, it was probably a fun novelty and nothing more.
 

Rawne1980

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Yes, yes you can play a game wrong....

If you're propped upside down, drooling down your face, playing a game while listening to Spice Girls you are most certainly doing it wrong.
 

krazykidd

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Yes , it's called cheating . No i didn't read the full post , i got bored half way . You can play a game wrong . By not experiencing it the way the developper wanted it to be experienced . Can you play it wrong and still have fun ? yes .
 

dessertmonkeyjk

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If there's a difference to coming up with a stupid solution that stupidly works and doing what everyone else does... then you're doing something.

If there's a difference to running around in circles opposed to running in a straight line... you're doing something but at the same time nothing.

If there's a difference to not make progress in any way to making progress at all... you're doing something wrong.


Then again, it's one of those "depends on the game" kind of scenarios.
 

Vegosiux

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krazykidd said:
Yes , it's called cheating .
Hey, back in the days we were all over getting cheat codes. Of course, in order to get the cheat code for a meat grinder you first had to beat the game with a joke character, so that made the need for the meat grinder kind of redundant, but still.

Cheating in games used to be fun and actually intended.
 

Zhukov

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You can if it's multiplayer. For example, trying to go rambo in Left 4 Dead. Comparable with someone kicking an own goal in a soccer match.
 

CleverCover

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I'm pretty sure I was playing Oblivion wrong the first few times. It was incredibly hard, even on the lower difficulties, when I played it. I'm pretty sure at higher levels, it wasn't supposed to be so difficult fighting ghosts and witches and trolls for me.

Not at the same time, God no, I'd run screaming if (when) that ever happened.

So, yeah, you can play a game wrong.
 

DanielBrown

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As long as you're having fun it shouldn't matter. It's your game and your experience, what you want to make of it is up to you.
Though in MMOs or multiplayer games you better try to learn your role if you play in groups, so not to piss off other players. It's pretty tiresome when you're doing instances with people and you notice that some aren't pulling their weight.