The “ultimate gaming goal,” finishing a game, is a worthy one. After sinking 50 hours into something it’s nice to feel like you’ve earned the right to see that last hidden crevice. To complete it. To get the highest score. To unlock its hidden stuff so you can tell people you did it, even though they won’t completely believe you because you’re totally unlikable. Myself… I’ve never had the discipline, nor the restraint to avoid the sort of low hanging fruit that impedes true progress. I could count the number of games I’ve beaten on the end of a half dozen forked marsupials’ dicks. When I conquered my first opponent after learning chess, it was a “triumphant” moment for sure. But not nearly as satisfying as making idiotic, suicidal moves — not as some kind of strategy to win, but for the fun of it. I was the kid that’d rather write “FUCK” out of the buildings in Sim City than achieve a metropolis. I still am; though I’m a lot taller and have to pay my own bills and shit/
Fast-forward to the other night. Gamesman Brian and I are playing the fantastic Sega rail shooter Ghost Squad on Wii for the first time. I kept looking up and thinking “wtf, how does he still have all of his full auto ammunition?” It turned out to be because I can’t go more than 20 seconds in any given level without spraying bullets all over the goddamn place, mostly emptying the clip into stacks of dishes, boxes of fruit and walls. Wouldn’t that be fun, after all? No enemies on screen, or putting the 50th delicious round into a guy that took only 1 to kill? No problem. People are often saying “Dude, it only takes one hit to kill that zombie!” during rounds of House of the Dead 2, but so what? I read the manual (I’m serious) and it didn’t mention anything about it. In fact, if Ghost Squad didn’t lock my ability to fire during the cut scenes, I’d shoot all of those people, too. I’d probably shoot myself in the face if I could. And as for the hostages… great Scott, they’re just sitting right there, cowering. “Oh Johnny, please put a bunch of bullets in my ass.” How could I resist such charm? More importantly, how the hell can you?
Everyone has played like a jackass at some point or another, but I suggest everyone do so more often. Unrecognized feats of style and strength are there for the taking — officially recognized achievements are for chumps. You don’t need in-game recognition to stomp some guy 500 times in Grand Theft Auto V. And Mario? He was destined to just take off running full speed in that first game, no backtracksies. I know it, you know it. Sure, that approach will land you tits up in a hole, hammered in the face or kneecapped by a Goomba, but again: who gives a shit? Get drunk. Wear an eyepatch. Play with your feet (Super Mario Kart 50cc Mushroom and Flower Cup feet champion right here). Try to do super ninja shit in Double Dragon even though you know it’ll result in your death. The accidental and amazing things in life rarely come from playing by the rules as much as they do from self-deprecating, insane behavior. Video games find most of their value in the experience of playing them. Play to get the experience you crave, of course… whatever that may be. Just don’t be an unimaginative twat.
By Gamesman Anus
orig pub. December 12, 2015