As a gamer that is mainly into RPGs and JRPGs, there are certain genres that I never particularly vibed with throughout my lifetime. The two biggest offenders however, for me, were first person shooters and sports games; the former mainly because they tend to make me motion sick and the latter because if there is one thing I do not enjoy, it is watching sports. For most of my childhood and teenage years I actively hated any sport video games out there. I had the tendency to let’s say…poo…all over the genre, somehow believing that by not liking these obvious “cash grabs” I was some sort of “superior” gamer. It was a view that I am not proud of and one that I have grown out of and learned from.
However, sometime about a year or two ago, while I had some downtime between college courses I picked up one of the PS3 NCAA games. I do not remember exactly which one or if there is only one that came out during the PS3 era or the exact details or anything, but I know I began a career mode for the kicks and giggles. Now this was one of my brother’s older games that had been passed to me when I took the PS3 with me to my dorm. I wasn’t expecting greatness and I believe due to that I inadvertently found a game that I played relentlessly for a solid month. This became a game I enjoyed immensely.
If I remember correctly, you start off as a high school student during sometime of championship and you try to play your best to get recruited to some of the better college football teams. I decided to play my character as a QB who was a ball hog because if the only character I got to control on the field was my character then I sure as shoot was not going to hand that ball off. This meant that my QB ran for his life more often than not and was the most unconventional son of a gun who ever played the game.
Needless to say even though my high school team won the championship game I ended up joining with Baylor University (who I believe had a weak football team) because it was the only team that would play me as a first string QB to start. The team ended up winning all of their games that season (because if I would lose I would just reload the save before the game and replay it) and my character ended up with like three or four trophies (always one for the most running yards that season because my QB ran the ball all day).
The point I am trying to get to is that I played my character for about 16 to 17 games a season for 4 seasons. I watched my character “grow” throughout it all and I oddly got attached to my QB. Every trophy I won and every championship my team had smashed at, made me feel strangely proud and gave me a sense of happiness and achievement. Now this game wasn’t great and did not have a well-done progression system and there was really absolutely no story but for some reason I loved every second of it and I learned a lesson; a game does not have to be great to be fun. As long as you enjoy what you’re playing, then you’re not playing the wrong game. There is no such thing as the wrong game and there is no such thing as a bad genre.
You can’t compare apples and oranges and get mad when the apples don’t look and play like the oranges. You have to accept each for what they are and love each for what they do but you can also enjoy one genre more than another but acknowledge that one is not inherently lesser than the other. I think once you realize that the happier of a gamer you can become.
Now is there a genre you guys/gals have had to learn to love? Even just a game that you previously hated but have come to appreciate now that you have taken a step back? Let me know in the comments if you feel so inclined!