Pippa Tshabalala on Great Moments at Their GreatestBy Staff Writer 3 December 2014 | Categories: feature articles
Yes, I stole my title from Ster Kinekor’s in-theatre campaign. For the record I really don’t like this campaign slogan, it doesn’t make any sense to me grammatically and the repetition is, I think, just bad copy. But that’s another argument entirely.
It’s appropriate here however because what I do actually want to talk about is Great Gaming Moments. Capitalised. In particular, I want to talk personal triumphs. Like most gamers, I have a number of moments in my gaming history that I distinctly remember, not just because I loved the game or the characters really resonated with me, but often because I managed to get a really hard and elusive trophy/achievement, or beat a particular boss, finish a difficult level and so on. As a reviewer it’s very difficult to get continuously excited about games that inevitably follow a specific formula without actively critiquing them as you’re playing and becoming disillusioned.
I’m not going to go into huge detail regarding my personal gaming triumphs, partly because everyone has their own that resonate with them. For example, some things that I’ve struggled with while playing a game, my husband has finished on the first attempt, and vice versa (we used to play Silent Hill 2 together many years ago because my problem solving skills matched his combat skills).
The nature of gaming and the skills that it develops, coupled with the fact that everyone has different personal strengths, means that what might be a triumph for me because I struggled to achieve it, won’t be considered such for someone else. Games that I finished in a couple of days and that I didn’t find challenging at all, have had others stuck for weeks. What I do love however is the feeling that remembering such an achievement brings about. A sense of triumph. A glow. A warm, fuzzy feeling if you will.
I love that The Witcher series is one of the few games I automatically start playing on hard (rather than playing through on normal before replaying on a higher difficulty) and I still manage to complete multiple playthroughs, even though it’s extremely challenging. A friend of mine, an expert knifer in Call of Duty, prides himself on the fact that he has every knifing achievement available in all the CoD games. My husband delights that he almost always get 100% on the games he plays because he play obsessively until he has unlocked all the achievements.
The feeling of exhilaration you get, knowing that you have poured hours of blood, sweat and tears (both literal and figurative one’s mind you) into this, the game that is your current obsession, and actually achieved something remarkable, makes for an intensely gratifying experience.
Much more so than Batman: Arkham City for example, which awards you a trophy for becoming Batman at the beginning of the game. “I am the Batman”. Yeah, no sh*t. That’s the point.
Article first published in TechSmart 134 (November 2014).
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