Five of the Worst Things to Happen to Video Gaming

Video games are great. Whether it is used as a means to bond with friends or as a quick method to relieve stress, there are few entertainment mediums that have the ability to captivate us the way video games have.

Unfortunately, there are certain characteristics of video gaming that have completely ruined its experience, or have even turned it into a hostile environment. Stress relief? Good social experiences? Not anymore. Here are the worst things to happen to video gaming.

5. Achievements/Trophies

Nothing is more rewarding after doing hours upon hours of mindless tasks than receiving valueless nerd points. However, the problem with achievements and trophies aren't necessarily about the temptation to waste your time. Instead, this overarching reward system manipulates the way players play video games.

The system has ruined most of online gaming. Remember when Halo 3 first came out? Players would simply wait in
line in order to help each another unlock the “Mongoose Mowdown”
achievement. In other online games, players are typically wandering around doing whatever it takes to earn the next achievement or trophy instead of playing as a team to win. Whatever happened to playing for fun?

Unfortunately, achievements and trophies aren't going anywhere. According to the Electronic Entertainment Design and Research, games that incorporate online achievements into their games generate nearly 50-percent more revenue than games that didn't. Looks like you'd better get used to playing those crappy online games for a bit longer.

4. Headshots!

No, by “head shots” I'm not talking about the portraits that amateur models and actors use on their résumés. I'm talking about headshots, bullet shots to the head within video games.

Headshots are practically the best solution to any given situation presented to players in video games. This takes away from any potential creativity and critical thinking when problems arise in video games. For example, although players are given a huge arsenal of guns and gadgets in Splinter Cell: Conviction, the best way to get through that game is simply to shoot everyone in the head. It's quick, it's easy enough, and it's surprisingly clean.

What's the best method to get through insane mode in Gears of War 2? Shoot everyone in the head. Sneaking past guards in Goldeneye 007 for the N64? Shoot 'em in the back of the head with a silenced PP7. Wife is pissing you off in Fable 2? Shoot off her head. What happened to all of the creativity?

Pleased be advised however, that it is not recommended to consider the “headshots are the best solution” idea in real life situations.

3. Unnecessary Motion Control

Sure, motion control is great. It's one of the most innovative things to
have happened to video gaming in quite some time. However, it's still
in its infancy, and many game companies are still trying to properly
integrate the feature into modern gaming. Unfortunately, the addition of
motion control to existing game franchises simply means more work.

Back in the '80s, all it would take to swing a sword in The Legend of Zelda was the simple press of the “B” button. It was simple and intuitive. Fast forward to 2006 with the release of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for the Wii. Instead of simply pressing a button to execute a sword swing, you're actually required to swing your entire arm and controller for each and every sword swipe in the game. Considering how often Link needs to use that sword, you're in for quite a workout by the end of the game.

2. Piracy

Sure, the thought of stealing video games and having them for free may sound like a sweet deal, but to do so actually hurts the game industry. The money that you would have used to purchase the game would have gone to pay the men and and women who worked so hard to develop it, and ultimately would have funded the development of future video games.

According to the information-technology research firm IDC, roughly one
in every three PC games is pirated. It's no wonder why the PC video game
market is dying! Heck, software piracy resulted in a loss of $34 billion in 2005, and it's increasing each year. So don't blame game developers for simply charging for downloadable game content or protecting their games with some crazy DRM. Blame those damn pirates.

1. Annoying Teenagers on Online Gaming

All of the bullshit that made high school such a hostile environment are made apparent when playing video games online these days. Just about everyone has something horrible to say, whether it's an insult to one's mother or sexual orientation. We live in a generation in which people think violence and being an asshole is cool.

Sure, it's fine to have competitive spirit when playing game online. However, this shouldn't be an excuse for douchebaggery. Online services such as XBOX LIVE and the like have raised a generation of people that thinks nothing of treating another human being with any kind of respect. This results in a hostile online game environment, and it's ruining the enjoyment for everyone else with at least a small level of maturity. Wouldn't it be nice to have an age filter when playing online games? That way, the high school brats can play with each other.

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