When I was 10 years old I had a rule: only do stuff you’re good at. If there’s a chance you’re going to suck at something: avoid. Avoid at all costs. Looking cool at all possible times is the main priority. Make everything look effortless. Even if you have to spend hundreds of man hours perfecting a skill, pretending you just tried that thing for the first time is an absolute must.
Protect that ego. Protect it at all times.
Naturally this rule extended to video games. If I sucked at a video game, I stopped playing it. That was it. No compromise. No leeway. Ever.
As an adult I loosened up. A bit. If a game was fun? Sure, I’d play it, even if I sucked beyond all recognition. But everyone has their limits. Everyone. These are the five games I’m completely terrible at no matter how hard I try.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
The reason: Halo fanboy issues
The explanation: When you spend so much time playing one first person shooter, it’s almost inevitable: you play every other shooter in the precise same way as you play your favourite. I see it on Halo all the time. The COD player sneaks up behind you with some sort of assault rifle and always seems surprised when you turn around, outstrafe them then outshoot them with a Battle Rifle.
This is me playing every Call of Duty every time ever…
— Tum tee tum, I can just run out into the open, I’ll just outshoot people. SHIT I’M DEAD.
— Not to worry, I’ll just cover my angles this time, check before I run out. OH MY GOD WHY AM I DEAD IN A SINGLE SPLIT SECOND?
— Oh, okay someone shot me from behind. I’ll just camp here. WHY AM I DEAD AGAIN?
— I see, I should change my weapon to the one that guy is using. OH GOD WHY DID I DIE AGAIN, I DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS STUPID GAME.
The reason: Stupidity
The Explanation: Ziggurat is one of my favourite iOS games, but still I truly suck at it. Unlike the rest of the games on the list I have no real definitive excuse to use. I’ve put the time in, I have a good understanding of the game rules and how they intertwine — but still I am mediocre.
Ziggurat does have an aspect of twitch shooting to it, but mainly success comes from making the right decision, from good timing. Which leads me to one single conclusion: I am too dumb to be good at Ziggurat. Or too impatient. Probably I’m too dumb. Ziggurat requires that you juggle multiple different design concepts in your brain constantly and consistently. It requires that you make quick, snap decisions based on these rules. I don’t got the brain power for dat.
Counter Strike: Source
The Reason: Left-Handedness
The Explanation: This is how bad I am at Counter Strike: Source — my mother in-law is better than me. Not just a little bit better. Way better. My mother in-law is a woman in her 50s that began playing video games roughly three or four years ago. She completely destroys me. Always.
But the reason for my ineptitude is genetics: as a lefty I’m always found it difficult to play first person shooters on PC, particularly when some sort of motor dexterity is involved. Here’s the situation: as a left handed person, I’ve always used my left hand for the mouse to the point where it’s nigh on impossible to switch.
This would be fine, I should be able to just switch the mouse across, make a few button changes and bob’s your Uncle. But a decade of playing FPS with twin stick shooters has hardwired the idea of ‘right hand= aim, left hand= movement’ into my inflexible brain. It’s extremely, extremely difficult for me to unlearn this.
This doesn’t mean I can’t play first person shooters on the PC — I can, just horribly. And when it comes to playing some sort of multiplayer, I always hover towards the bottom of the leaderboard.
The Reason: Narcissism/delusions of grandeur
The Explanation: As anyone who has ever bore witness to me ‘breaking it down’ at a wedding, I was born to dance. I have never lost a dance off and my ‘robot’ is the stuff of legend.
Why then, do I suck so hard at Dance Central?
I choose to believe it’s because the game is just not designed for naturally gifted dancers like myself; free spirits who want to break free of traditional idea about dance. I’m a slave to the boogie, but I’m not a slave to rigid dance steps that have to be performed precisely. I’m an artist. I make shit up as I go and it’s goddamned genius. Why can’t you see this Dance Central? Aren’t you powered by Kinect? Don’t you have a camera that monitors my every move? You should be giving me extra points from breaking free from your rigid boogie prison, not punishing me.
Jesus, get with the program.
Sonic Blast Man
The Reason: Bro, I’m awesome
The Explanation: I’m going to talk about Sonic Blast Man here, but really we could be discussing any arcade game where you punch something in front of a group of other boys and girls in an attempt to show how big, strong and macho you are.
You all know the kind of game I’m talking about: the punching game! You punch a thing and it tells you how strong your punch is.
I’m here to tell you that these games are all broken. All of them. Obviously broken. If they worked I’d get a perfect score every time bro.
Bro, I totally did Thai Boxing bro. I’ve got a mean straight left bro. So mean. I don’t throw haymakers, my shit is too tight for that bro. If you can’t respect my power and technique Mr Blastman, then I seriously don’t know what to say! I ain’t gonna throw no stupid overhand right just so I can get a higher score. I’ve got self respect. Some fool could take me out if I don’t keep my hands up. That shit is just fundamentals bro.