Sunday, February 17, 2013

Enjoyment Without Excellence

Yes, it is possible to enjoy something without being good at it as much as it is to being good at something without enjoying it. For me, my pleasure is found in video games.

For the most part, I'm terrible at gaming. I have no inborn gift unlike many people I know. They just seem to pick up a controller and know how to win. They learn the controls and look like they can do what's due without fault.

My fingers don't work that way.

First off, my pinky-fingers don't work right. I never seriously injured them as a child (though the right one was bitten by a dog when I was 16--it was my fault, not their's), they just don't work well. I've tried exercises and such, but nothing makes any difference.

Secondly, my hand-eye coordination is terrible. I've got the basic directions down, and fine motor control under normal conditions, but put me under time-based or health-based pressure, and I lose that. Most time-based puzzles or competitions are impossible for me. If the trials are necessary to forward the storyline, I have to either give up or find someone to do them for me. It's not that I can't figure out the way through the puzzle, but I can't act on the solution.

In truth, I'm great at puzzles, as long as there's no timer counting down. Slow and steady, that's me.

So for adventure games, what do I do? I grind. For those who don't know, grinding is repeating the same mundane actions over and over in order to gain experience. I grind until I'm strong enough to defeat the enemies without needing skill. In games like Elder Scrolls, dot.Hack, Ragnarok, even Pokemon, fighting adventure games, at minimum, I usually need to be ten levels above the recommended level; sometimes, I have to be double.

Puzzle games with no time limit are more my speed. Something that uses your brain without needing good reflexes. Minecraft. The Cave. Civilization.