Twitter Tells Me: Games and Their Levels

Marinaisgo: None of my drafts are interesting, and I have no idea what to write about instead. Twitter, what should tomorrow’s blog be about?

@Marinaisgo the careful balancing act of proper learning curves, why some games rock and some games fail at grabbing the casual gamer

mechtroid: @Marinaisgo Why people value difficulty in the games they play and jobs they do.

Ok. That’s freaky. You guys should hang out. Actually, besides this question I don’t think there are any two of my twitter followers that could be more different from each other.

Anyway, this is like that part in the Matrix where somebody tells Neo that the first world the machines made was perfect, but it didn’t work because people kept killing themselves, or rejecting the alternate reality or something. In fact, I was just having a conversation about difficulty levels this morning with my sweet boyfriend while we walked out awesome dog. I told him that, per capita, the rate of mental illness in the first world far outstrips the third world, but now that I’m writing this, I can’t find any articles to support my claim. At least they seem to be happier in the third world, which is really what I’m getting at anyway. Ease without skill, money without work, possessions without substance will always lead a person headlong into ennui. That’s one of the reasons I get so much joy out of this blog. Meaningful work is a major mood stabilizer for me.

You should probably try not to consider what kind of universe I live in where cracking jokes about Snoop Dogg’s Partnership with Hot Pockets is meaningful work. Let’s just say it’s magical and leave it at that.

For the most part, recreation is very much the same as the rest of our lives. We want to be engaged, we want to be challenged in small ways that allow us to repeatedly feel the sense of accomplishment we get from a job done right. Games present this, or at least try to. They are accomplishment machines. Put in a little time, master the (hopefully) relatively simple learning curve and all of a sudden you’re saving the galaxy, getting the ladies (or dudes), and being fucking awesome. All from the comfort of your personal naked time. I think, more than the story, graphics or gameplay, the learning curve is what has put me off most of the games I’ve ever been put off of. Too slow, and I get bored, too fast and I get frustrated. And, unlike life, where you just have to bend over and take that learning curve up your ass and out your throat, games can be rage quit. And frequently are, if you’re like me. Actually, since I made a conscious decision to stay the fuck away from Grand Theft Auto games, I have yet to rage-quit a game. Oh wait, that’s not true. I rage-quit the rotating spike pillars of death in God of War. Ben actually had to complete that level for me as I paced back and forth and yelled at the TV behind him.

That whole level was mega brutal:

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, how much that Hades level in God of War fucking SUCKED. I still love that game, though. You my boy, Kratos!

Do you ever read something back and think “Someday, I’m going to sound really smart.” Probably when this language is obsolete. People will think I’m Shakespeare. I mean, look at what they think about Shakespeare. Half his jokes are fart jokes, and nobody even knows it.

Why yes I did just write that addendum so I could use an adorable GIF I found on tumblr, how sweet of you to notice.