Can we play games wrong?

thejackyl

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Yes, I believe you can play games incorrectly. "Rambo" in Left 4 Dead, "Tower Diving"(and feeding) in League of Legends, picking swimming in Deus Ex, playing stealth games without the stealth part, hacking in any game...

I'm guilty of playing Hitman: Codename 47 incorrectly on a few levels. I remember perfecting(finishing the level without buying anything and only killing the targets) every level up until the Budapest Bath House mission and than just killing EVERYONE! I've actually got a game over from that a few times. (Getting a game over involves losing all your saved money + mission reward in a single mission). Honestly, I think I had more fun in that level despite the fact that I was going against the expected playstyle.

But as it was said before: It's not hurting anyone, unless it's in a multiplayer situation.
 

dimensional

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Yes you can you will know if you are playing a game wrong because you wont actually be able to beat it or/and (and this is less relevant for computer games where it should be enforced through proper playtesting, hacking excluded) you dont adhere to the rules of the game.

You can still mess around in a game but if the way you are playing dosent allow you to finish it you are playing it wrong you may still be having fun but its more akin to having fun with a toy than a game in this case. If I play monopoly and I decide well I dont really like the idea of having to earn cash ill just take as much as I want when I need it I am playing the game wrong same if I decided the board was a hat might have fun with it but im not really playing the game im just using it as a toy.
 

Guffe

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Yes you can play a game wrong.
If you hang uppside down from your ceiling while eating a lollipop and gaming, then you're defineatly doing it wrong!
 

Vault101

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Sep 26, 2010
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Rawne1980 said:
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.
......

Ive gotta try that somtime
 

Mariakko

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Yeah, You can play a game wrong. The first time I played The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind (It was my first time playing an RPG and had no idea what the stats or weapon types etc were or what they did) I tried to kill everything I saw. I died many times and always started again because I could never find a save point, I didn't know about quicksave and saving via the ESC menu.

I'm not sure if speed runs of games are playing really right or really wrong.
 

BreakfastMan

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Jul 22, 2010
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I am not so sure... If your little sister is not killing any enemies and still having a good time, how is that "wrong"? Is it wrong because she does not follow the conventions of the game? Is it wrong because she is not doing what the game designers wanted her to do? I really don't think one can play a game wrong. Sure, you can play it badly, stupidly even, but wrong? No, I don't think so.
 

StriderShinryu

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I think there's two ways to approach the question. There's sort of an experience way and a a mechanical way.

On the mechanical side you have issues like the recent Kid Icarus one where Nintendo is chastizing players for essentially holding the entire controller/handheld wrong. This is stupid and really is Nintendo's own fault for putting out a poorly designed experience. The fault here clearly lies with the game (and hardware) developer and not with the player.

On the experience side, that's really a more gray area issue. Players will play games as they see fit. The interactive side of the medium is, well, what makes the medium what it is and often not "playing the game right" can be a uniquely rewarding experience. But there definitely is the question of getting a much less experience when you arrive at a game with false expectations. Complaining about an RPG sucking when you skip over the story elements and play it as an action game or complaining about a fighting game sucking because you don't put in the effort to learn how to actually play, for a couple of examples, can definitely be cases where the player really is playing them wrong.
 

Worr Monger

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Yes... First time I played Mass Effect... I did Noveria & Feros long before I picked up Liara.... PLAYED. IT. WRONG.
 

Seishisha

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Aug 22, 2011
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I don't think its possible to play a game wrongly but you can certainly play sub-optimaly, choosing an inappropriate character for your role in a MOBA would be an example, or useing somthing like a heavy class in tribes to chase flags, both examples are sub-optimal but it doesnt prevent play. I guess it also comes down to context, with the MOBA example as above, if you make the 'wrong' choice of character but your team is either good enough to compensate or generaly dont care about your descion then i fail to see how it can be wrong, ofcourse if your team is activly suffering because of the choice you made then its arguable that its the wrong way to play.

Single player games are another matter entirly and again you can play them in a sub-optimal manner, not useing cover mechanics in gears of war would be a good example but if you kill the enemies anyway how can it be wrong?

I can see this topic being disscussed for ever and never reaching a satisfactory conclusion.
 

teqrevisited

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I think it's one of those things that's different for everyone. Personally I tend to play singpleplayer to win. If I don't win I've been playing it wrong. I think it stemmed from the platformers of the late 80s and early 90s where if you "played it wrong" you fell down a pit or landed arse-first on a set of cruelly positioned spikes.

Multiplayer is an entirely different animal. If you play it wrong in a co-operative environment you're wasting other peoples' time. Playing it wrong here kind of makes you an inconsiderate, ignorant sod.
 

zefiris

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By not experiencing it the way the developper wanted it to be experienced .
By this definition, most gamers are playing games wrong.

Makes me think your definition is wrong instead.
 

RustyAlchemist

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thejackyl said:
Yes, I believe you can play games incorrectly. "Rambo" in Left 4 Dead, "Tower Diving"(and feeding) in League of Legends, picking swimming in Deus Ex, playing stealth games without the stealth part, hacking in any game...

I'm guilty of playing Hitman: Codename 47 incorrectly on a few levels. I remember perfecting(finishing the level without buying anything and only killing the targets) every level up until the Budapest Bath House mission and than just killing EVERYONE! I've actually got a game over from that a few times. (Getting a game over involves losing all your saved money + mission reward in a single mission). Honestly, I think I had more fun in that level despite the fact that I was going against the expected playstyle.

But as it was said before: It's not hurting anyone, unless it's in a multiplayer situation.
Ha ha, I fondly remember doing the same thing years ago but that was probably the time when I was just getting into full 3d stealth games and killing everyone, stealing their clothes and dumping them into the main pool seemed seemed much more entertaining.

It is Ironic that in Eidos' other title, Commandos-behind Enemy lines and its sequels, I took the game seriously as a stealth RTS. Playing hours of stealthy nerve wracking missions, fearing the ever present sounding of alarms and seemingly half of the Germans army rushing out of the little sentry boxes if I so much as let off a nervous fart in the bushes. I finished without cheats but have been nervous of Nazis and border crossings ever since.

So in steps my sister, after much persuading to try out a new type of game genre , Lets call her (Miss. I only play Quake 2). In short, she completely ignores the whole stealthy commando play-style,shoots every single Nazi, including the random livestock and tries to blow up as many civilian buildings a possible. But she still manages to finish most of the game, until the point where you have to capture the general and escape in his car, the aforesaid who flees the moment he catches wind of you [the you at present played by a trigger happy little girl]. My sister enjoyed herself in the long run and I guess that counts.

If your play-style gets you to the end of the game it doesn't really matter.
 

Catrixa

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I think, for this topic, single player is always going to be what you make of it. If you play Pokemon, for example, to get the best team for beauty contests and never beat the main story, you get what you put in. If you cheat through a game with noclip and god mode on, and that's how you like it, power to you. I'd get bored with that, but then again, I'll watch someone else play games I'd rather not bother with just to see the story, which I feel is the same idea (I just don't have to pay attention during the combat).

teqrevisited said:
Multiplayer is an entirely different animal. If you play it wrong in a co-operative environment you're wasting other peoples' time. Playing it wrong here kind of makes you an inconsiderate, ignorant sod.
(I don't mean to call you out, teqrevisited, I just think this is a good jumping off point for something that's bothered me for awhile.)

This is where things start to get hairy in terms of discussion. I won't lie, if you deliberately feed in a MOBA, or offer yourself as a Hunter-Salad Sandwich in Left 4 Dead, just to get your teammates to rage quit, you are playing the damn game wrong. This is along the same lines as: if you deliberately harass someone you don't know (online or offline) just to get a reaction out of them (because you're bored, and for no other reason), you are living life wrong.

But trolling aside, this idea really makes me wonder: is it ok to play a game you're not good at? Say you have no idea how to tank in [insert Class Trifecta-based MMO here]. The game has been out since Forever (which, in computer years, is like, 8 years or so), but you weren't here on launch day, didn't read the 800 guides on tanking, and start a group for a dungeon. All's going well until you hit the first mob and die. Your group rages, says you stink, should uninstall, and you're wasting their $15 a month. Maybe you should have read more guides, or gone with just friends, or something. Maybe your group was just being a pile of jerks. But there are plenty of people who don't want to teach and just do. And there are plenty of people who try and fail to learn how to play. Should the people who want to play, but aren't learning, give up because it wastes everyone else's time? Should people spend their leisure time teaching, even if they just want to grind dungeons for hours, in the off chance someone will actually learn how to be a better tank, despite the fact they will never meet again?

To add more anecdote to this already massive post: I play League of Legends. I am not very good, thus I don't trouble people who want to play Ranked games. One evening, all I really wanted to do was play League, but my brain was so dead from work I couldn't do anything useful. I tried, a lot, but kept losing dominion matches. So, on a whim, I picked Fiddlesticks, a character I had never played before, for another dominion match (I'd seen him do fairly well in dominion before, especially when the other team is made up of AD/AP carries). I'd always wanted to try him, and I figured "what could go wrong, that hasn't gone wrong already?" Well, we lost. Bad. I got third on my team, but was told I was the worst Fiddlesticks ever and instructed to uninstall. I technically wasted their time. I could have been playing one of my better characters, but I wasn't doing well at all that evening and wanted to do something silly out of frustration. I could have simply stopped for the night and not played, seeing as I knew it was just a bad night. But this was all I wanted to do, and I was having fun despite doing poorly. Was actually playing at that point playing the game wrong? I know I could have simply played a bot game, but bots only teach me bad habits at this point (to be fair, I didn't know they implemented dominion bots at this point, but to be REALLY fair, I bet they would have been just as easy to taunt into a trap).

I guess, out of all of this, is it wrong to play multiplayer games if you're bad at them? Because the sad truth is: you will never truly know if that Left 4 Dead player who decides to run off for the pills from 5 rooms ago is just bad or deliberately trolling. To be technical, it doesn't even matter which is true: either way you waste someone else's time. Yeah, supposedly you can learn to be better, but are you playing wrong if you're not doing good now?
 

Ragsnstitches

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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...
I don't know about you, but Trolls scared the shit out of me... the noise they make and the fact they regenerate health. Also, can't outrun them, unless you have a black horse. Hate fucking trolls.

I imagine between goblins and skeletons, a kid who hasn't been exposed to anything menacing would find it discomforting. Still, cute story.

OP: Can you play games wrong? Yeah, of course. This is particularly true in linear games. For example, playing Half-Life like it's a stealth game is just wrong... while there are moments where you can get the drop on enemies, it's linear design and the way AI is programmed makes it impossible to progress without frequent combat (the goal of the game).

Similarly, playing an RPG like an action game, not taking into consideration the various elements in the game that demand attention (like HP/AP/MP, Armour values, Weapon Values, enemy stats etc.).

Even games like Skyrim which promotes a diversity of play styles can be played wrong. In this case I would say exploiting certain mechanics, intentional glitching and other such things is playing the game wrong. Considering most people use this problems to cite issues within the game, actively using them dulls the experience and works against you in the long run... ergo you are playing it wrong.

Multilayer is the same. The amount of people who play CoD like it's some sort of military simulator is appalling. CoD, for the most part, is closer to Doom then it is to Arma or Operation: Flashpoint. Playing it like the latter might mean you get an even K/D score, but it also means you will frequently visit the bottom of the scoring lists.

There are a few games that seemingly think of everything (though not entirely). In these games I find the devs put something in to either correct a player who is doing something wrong, or even indulges unconventional play. Games like GTA promote unconventional play and is possibly the most famous series for it.
 

Iwata

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A friend of mine hates every single game except EVE Online. He got convinced by another friend of ours to try the Mass Effect games. He skipped all the dialog and tried to rush through every combat section. Then he finally said he had no patience for "story games" or "shooting games". He also doesn't like driving games. Or fighting games. Or adventure games. Or sports games. Or games other than EVE Online.

But hey, he says he loves video games!

So yeah.
 

BENZOOKA

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Oct 26, 2009
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Sure. If you cheat. Or you're running against a wall for 14 hours in a first-person shooter, or something along those lines.
 

BehattedWanderer

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Jun 24, 2009
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Well, yeah, but what your sister described isn't doing it wrong. It's like that one article about playing Fallout 3 without killing a single creature besides that one mandatory radroach in the beginning. That's something the game allows, and to a certain-minded individual, is how the game should be played. If, however, your entire point is trying to get Kirby to flash the camera, you're probably playing it wrong.
 

teqrevisited

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Catrixa said:
(I don't mean to call you out, teqrevisited, I just think this is a good jumping off point for something that's bothered me for awhile.)
Absolutely agree with pretty much all of your points. They're questions I've thought about myself but I never came up with definitive answers.

I think one problem is that even with matchmaking systems and ranks in games there are usually ways that people can exploit the system. Team stacking in Tribes:Ascend, for example, runs rampant. The moment you join any queued match, get into the team joining screen and see one team or the other's count stick for a few seconds there's a high chance that the game will be incredibly one-sided.

Competence is an even harder issue, one which I think depends on a couple of factors. If the individual is willing to listen and learn I would have a ton of patience for him. Unfortunately this isn't always the case and some individuals or guilds are less forgiving. I'll give a personal example: A few years ago I would have been right in the middle of my time playing WoW. I started off in a fairly easy-going guild that wouldn't shout at you if you leapt into a death pit or accidentally caused the entire raid to explode, but you'd be encouraged to learn from your mistakes. I wasn't ready for the top end stuff so I felt right at home here. We weren't setting any records but everyone enjoyed themselves and, despite the odd mistake that cost us some time, wanted to be there and was welcomed by everyone else. After a long while in that guild I took the decision to chase higher goals, I bid them farewell, and joined a guild with a slightly different approach. We still enjoyed raiding with each other but what was previously for me an obligation out of politeness - turning up prepared with the tactics scorched into my brain - became an absolute requirement. No big deal for me, but the people who ignored it consistently were in for a hard time and some were even sent packing. I don't play at all any more, but putting the proper effort in at the right times meant I could enjoy it and keep everyone else happy at the same time. I can only really speak for myself on this one, but the point I got from those two very similar but different environments is that it could all just come down to how much the team/party/community is willing to put up with. Then I realize that all we ask for is a good attitude in team based games on the internet. We're doomed.