Home Gaming FFD: When it comes to games, is skill necessary for enjoyment?

FFD: When it comes to games, is skill necessary for enjoyment?

2 min read


There’s been much grumbling and humming since Polygon released a video in which it was quite clear that the person playing was struggling with the controls. My assumption is that it’s a PC player struggling with a controller, or a console player struggling with a Mouse and Keyboard; favoured inputs from different camps that take quite a bit of practice to become accustomed to.

It’s brought in to question player skill – and created a whole new bunch of questions over not just whether reviewers should be good at the games they play, but also whether or not regular consumers should as well. It’s even got RPS’s John Walker to editorialise about it – and how the “Git Gud” culture around games is a bit rubbish.

As far as reviews go, Walker says “In this mess people have lost sight of what a review is for. It’s not a world-leading gaming expert explaining how they’re best at it – it’s a regular gamer who is hopefully an expert writer, eloquently describing their experience of the game. The farther a person drifts from this criteria, the less useful the criticism becomes to the largest number of readers. And in turn, the presentation of such high expectations, such high demands to be considered acceptable, puts off those reading, regular players of games, makes them feel unwelcome. It has a huge impact.”

The takeaway message is this:

“Shaming people for being less “good” at a game is gross. Requiring those writing commentary/recording footage of the experience of playing a game to be better than you at it is infantile and irrational. Games are not a competition, unless they’re a competitive game. So go have fun, and enjoy everyone else having fun.”

And I have to agree. I’m not especially good at…well any games. I can hold my own in most 2D fighters, and I’m pretty handy at a platformer. I can play Gears of War’s multiplayer well enough, and have been merely sufficient at twin stick 3rd person shooters. I am, frankly, a bit rubbish at FPs games, but I don’t think that really affects my enjoyment of them, or my ability to critique them.

But what of you? Do you think it’s necessary to be good at games to enjoy them, and is it necessary to be good at them to review them?

Last Updated: May 20, 2016

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