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access_time March 15, 2014 at 1:41 PM in Features by Maggie Wiland

Press Start & Win


I said in my article “The Power Of ‘No'” that I hadn’t played Flappy Bird, but I did download it right before it was taken off the app store simply because of my fetish for having stuff that’s no longer available, be it a game, movie or book. So a few days ago, I finally opened it on my iPod and fooled around for about 15 minutes, and within 4 tries got to 70 pipes or whatever you want to say. It just made me wonder…what was the complaint about in regards to the difficulty because it was NOT hard. Or maybe it’s that from a generation when you actually had to have skill at something to progress. It was all repetition (even if the pipes changed) and twitch movements. You just have to learn when to hit the screen and how many times. NOT. THAT. HARD.

But todays gamers live in a world where if they’re stuck in a room in their shooter for 5 minutes, they’re on Google or Youtube looking up how to get out. I beat all of Portal 2 without looking up a single thing. Is it generational? It seems like the people I grew up with are better at games than the people I am friends with who are slightly younger and the original Xbox was their first real console. Is that what it is? A purely generational thing? From years of playing platformers and arcade type games that made me not find Flappy Bird the LEAST bit difficult? I don’t wanna believe that, but it has to be the only explanation. I can see being frustrated with the learning curve if you’re not used to things like that, certainly, but once you know how to work it or at least have the basic idea down of how it works it shouldn’t be that hard for you at all.

Video Game Guides I remember when strategy guides first started becoming a big thing. Hell, I owned a few for Pokemon back in the day (that are still in my closet somewhere) but that was a much more in depth game. Things like that and RPGS and maybe RTS’s I can see possibly looking up some hints and tips, but people do it for shooters. How much more straightforward can you be in a game than “run forward and shoot stuff to progress”? Do we have to just go to the next level of like “hit this button and win the level! good job! you’re so awesome and skilled!”? Because that looks like where it’s headed. And I don’t blame the gamers of today. Hell, I completely understand wanting to use any resources at their disposal, especially with the stacks of backlogged games we all end up with, you just need to get through shit quicker, but…I don’t know. There’s a part of me that’s really sad for the gamers today because it seems like there’s almost no thinking involved in their gaming process anymore.

And I know it isn’t all inclusive either. I know not every gamer does it, even the younger ones. It’s dumb to make assumptions of entire group of people based on the actions of a few in the group.

But something has to be said for the fact that the gaming world skews to an easier audience these days, even if-as statistics have proven lately-the majority of the gamer community is in fact older people (be it a bit out of date article but whatever this is my post, I can put old shit here, screw you). In my defense though, I play a LOT of small games like Flappy Bird on my iPod so maybe I’m more in tune to games like that, but then I also don’t have problems progressing in big triple a retail titles, so I don’t really know what to say here. Though I will say, I remember this article too stating some of my same concerns and whatnot. In the end it obviously boils down to a person on person basis, like everything, but it does have me somewhat saddened. And I want to say for the record, I’m not saying “oh I’m such a better gamer than them!” because while I might not use guides or anything, it takes me FOREVER to finish games just because I’m slow and kinda bad at combat and whatnot.

If you still have Flappy Bird, I want you to load it up today and REALLY try to get a high pipe count. Please. Impress me.

Picture 11

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  • Ramon Aranda March 19, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    LOL, funny article Maggie. I do feel like today’s gamers have gotten a little soft as it pertains to getting stuck. Sure I also used strategy guides from time to time when I was younger but I more or less got through games the hard way – I put in the work and figured sh*t out. Nowadays, younger gamers get stuck and go online for videos or simply give up.

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