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After much discussion lately about the difficulty of video games in recent generations (Xbox, PS2, 360, PS3) compared to early generations (Atari, NES, SNES, Genesis), most people would say that the earlier generation of video games were far more difficult than today’s game. Yet there are still those out there that make a decent case for the other way around. All of this got me thinking: If someone says they are “Good” at video games, what does that actually mean? Would that mean something different than if someone made the same statement 20 years ago? Hard to tell I guess.

In thinking back on the almost 20 blockbuster game titles I played and completed last year, what would entitle me to say I was “good” at them? Millions of people completed the same games that I did. Some finished with better stats and trophies/achievements, some did not. But I did beat the game…I did ‘unlock’ secrets. Of course so did many other people.

Yet in the ‘old’ days of gaming, there were many NES games that I simply couldn’t get very far into because they were too difficult for me. And I knew many people who did beat them with no problem.

Take “The Legend of Zelda” for NES. I never could get very far into that game, because I wasn’t good at inventory management, using this on that to open this to get that. But a lot of people were. Yet I can beat the ‘Dam’ level on TMNT for NES without touching a single electric field. For some reason I’m really good at that game. So does that make me ‘good’ at TMNT, but ‘bad’ at Legend of Zelda?

If you think about video games coming out on the current generation of consoles, do you ever get that sick feeling in your stomach when you think about playing it, thinking perhaps it would be too hard for you? I know I don’t. I have NO fear whatsoever that any game I go buy for a console right now I would be able to beat it eventually. Even if I had to reduce the difficulty to ‘easy’, newer games always seemingly guide your hand through it.

Not that I am complaining. Taking away nostalgia, almost every good game blows the old school games I grew up with out of the water in almost every category, as you would expect with the upgrading of technology. But does that make them ‘good’ games? I can beat more PS3 games than NES games, so does that make me better at Video Games now than I was back then?

I doubt there is a right or wrong answer to this, just more of a discussion starter really. Take Rob for example. He is SO good at Call of Duty, I entered him in a midnight release contest at Wal-Mart one year, and he beat everyone like they stole something. Jon can beat people with literally one hand on a Street Fighter II arcade. ONE HAND. Richard and his card games….Don’t even get me started. Great.

So are these guys ‘good’ at video games, or just those specific games?

So are YOU ‘good’ at video games? It’s an open-ended question.

What do you think?

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6 responses »

  1. cary says:

    Interesting question. Being good at my job implies that I understand [we’re talking just the basics] (a) how my company works, (b) my role within the company, and (c) how to successfully fill my role. Transferring those ideas to video games, I understand (a) how [most] games work, (b) my role as a player, and (c) how to successfully fill that role. So yes, I’m “good” at video games!

    I do think that being “good” at games encompasses more than just being an expert in Super Street Fighter or Battlefield. It combines a wide range of knowledge and abilities. If I had only ever played Super Mario Bros. 3, and I was good at it, I’d say i was good at SMB3, not good at “video games” as a whole.

    • Reid Brown says:

      Good definition of being good at video games: “a) how [most] games work, (b) my role as a player, and (c) how to successfully fill that role.”

      I also wonder if being ‘good’ as defined, should be cross platform. As in, if you are ‘good’ at games on PS3, you should have to also be at games on Wii U, 360 and PC.

      • Beta says:

        Start a site and try to get game makers to send you the games boerfe they are released. It would be nice to see some untainted reviews on games, because a lot of us gamers do get tired of reading biased reviews on games. I can’t stand reading how great a game is and then after purchasing it I realize that the reviews were bogus for that particular game which may be mediocre at best.

  2. I think it is not about being good with computer games, because a lot of games do guide you through them without there being much difficulty. Old games were much more simple in design and control and used different obstacles which needed a combination of basic skills, instead of new powers to get over new obstacles which removes the challenge.

    • Reid Brown says:

      well I for one can tell you I am HORRIBLE at computer games. I have no patience to get down the keyboard/mouse combo.

      That is another interesting area. Can you say if you are “good” at computer games? How would you know?

      • I have played PC games which you had to use the keyboard and mouse, but unlike a game controller which is made specifically for gaming, it takes time to use a PC for games.

        But to be considered good with games in my opinion is being able to actually get the mechanics of how a game works to a competent level. Just finishing a game in my opinion just show dedication, not if the player is ‘good’

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