A couple of days ago, I posted a blog of me explaining how I get mad at video games sometimes while playing them and my attempt to understand why I get angry. I got a lot of responses across all the sites I posted that blog on, including Destructoid, IGN, Gamespot, Giant Bomb, and my personal blog on WordPress. I included links to each of those posts if you want to read what others said. First off, thank you so much for all of the comments about how you all handle Gamer Rage and thoughts on why it happens. Especially with all of the negativity going on within the gamer community right now, it’s nice to see that a topic can receive essentially no harmful, bad, or negative responses.
Now onto the actual follow-up. After writing the post and the first batch of comments, I played some more Skate, the game in question that inspired the post in the first place. I tried to remain calm but soon I started to get frustrated again. It came to ahead when a challenge involving me olling up to a container, landing in a manual, jumping a gap to another container, and landing in another manual came up. This wasn’t a hard challenge in my opinion but try as I might, I couldn’t pull it off. So following the advice of a lot of you, I paused the game and relaxed a bit. I thought about what it was I was doing wrong but came to the conclusion that I wasn’t doing anything wrong and it was a flaw in the mechanics. I won’t go into detail here as I want to focus on the gamer rage part of this but I will do a write up on Skate after this.
I un-paused the game and tried to complete the challenge a few more times to confirm my suspicions and they were fully confirmed. So I stopped playing Skate and moved on to another game in my backlog that I had been playing off and on: Mafia II on the 360. Part of my reasoning behind quitting Skate was a comment made by Marduke 1913 on Gamespot. I said that I don’t get enjoyment out of finally accomplishing tasks sometimes in games like Skate. Marduke 1913 explained this is because when I do finally do it, it’s usually because I only did something slightly different. So theoretically, I could have done it my first try. This makes it feel more like luck than skill. I didn’t beat the challenge, the game just decided it was happy this time. Here is his comment in full:
What I’ve found out is I need to understand what kind of games annoy me and get me angry. Playing Mafia II, I have died a few times but the game isn’t that hard, to be fair, and I haven’t gotten mad once because I’ve been able to try something different with a different result. Skate requires you to do something one way only (for its challenges anyway) and you just need to try again doing the same thing if you fail. I’ve also learned that taking a break and thinking about what I need to do helps a lot. I find I’m still to headstrong to flat out turn off the game and come back to it later but pausing and calming down by thinking of a tactic helps a lot.
Also, a side note. Some of you think that when I get mad, I’m throwing my controller at the TV screen. I’m not doing that. I take very good care of my systems and controllers and regularly clean them to keep them operating well. When I say I throw my controller, I mean I throw it up in the air, it flips a few times, and then lands right next to me on the couch. That being said, I have broken a PS2, PS3 and several N64 controllers. The PS2 controller, I don’t remember how that broke, but the PS3 controller’s L2 and R2 came off after I threw a controller hard on the couch and it bounced off and hit the floor. Luckily, I just snapped them back on. In my defense, it was a SixAxis controller, not a DualShock, and I think I was playing Lair. As for the N64 controllers, all of them broke when I wasn’t even mad and just put them down a little hard on the shelf or something. Those controllers are just cheap pieces of crap.
So that’s the follow-up. Thank you all so much for your responses and my full thoughts on Skate will be going up in the next day or so. If you would like to read more of my stuff, follow my blog on wordpress or follow me on Twitter @Colorwind.