Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Joy of Playing Games in New Ways

I hoped, when I clicked on Cheat Sheet's '5 Video Games Played in Ways Their Creators Never Intended,' that it focused more on doing things within the game that went against the original design. That list was more about playing the games in a silly way - such as Punch-Out while blindfolded. Still fun! Don't get me wrong. Trying to watch someone play three Mega Man X games at the same time is interesting, unique, and exhausting.

But one thing that I enjoy about video games is when people go against the grain and choose to play the game differently to reach the end goals. Like being stealthy and not firing a single shot from a weapon in The Last of Us. By the way, not feasible if you include cut scenes and having to progress through plot points requiring you to kill a Clicker. Still a viable game play option, just not 100% possible.

And I've touched on this subject before about if there is a right or wrong way to play video games. It's always good to look back at your past words and see how much you've grown from then.

I really haven't in this regard. I still believe there isn't any one right way to play a game. Nor do you have to be "good" at a game in order to play, talk, or review it. We all interpret how we play differently. And I feel that is what makes video games such an amazing entertainment medium. You don't HAVE to follow the story or design set up by the video game creators. If you want to spend 40 hours in Metal Gear Solid V riding on your horse, you can do that! Play Super Mario Bros. with your nose? Have at it! Video games are not like movies, books, or television where you are confined to a pre-determined plot with no options to deviate from the plan. You get a choice on where you watch the movie, what you can eat, and how loud the volume is. But you can't go in and edit the movie to play differently - not without incurring the wrath of the copyright police. With video games, there are endless possibilities.

So today's post is about the fun of playing video games your way. What do you do that makes your game play stand out from someone else? What is your favorite thing about playing games? What are the unique ways that you have played through a game that went against the initial design?

One of my favorite things to do is to play Grand Theft Auto by not playing GTA as it was intended. For example: the "hooker cheat" was discovered by people who were thinking outside of the box. Yes the hooker was always designed to give you health after you pay for sex. But! the designers didn't expect people to kill the hooker after to get their money back.

What I like to do in GTA is everything but play the main missions. GTA Online in particular has really opened up the opportunities to create compelling, crazy maps that have nothing to do with playing the main game. Like bumper cars, KING, kamikaze, shopping excursions, the fastest to fill up their "crazy" meter, you name it. The game doesn't tell you to do these things, but they are all possible.

Games like GTA and Final Fantasy XIV allow me to appreciate how open developers are to allowing gamers to do whatever they please. If you want to role play and fish, you can. No one is stopping you.

But these are open world games. What about stuff like Mario or Smash Bros. where you have specific goals you have to meet to win? You can still play Mario without squashing a single Goomba. Or play SSB without throwing a punch. I'm not saying it'd be easy, but it's definitely not the intent the game designers had in mind.

So sound off with the fun and crazy ways that you play games!


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