Help or Hindrance?

Are online guides hurting gaming?

Lets jump back in time a few years, fifteen years give or take a few. How many times did you get stuck in a game so bad that you had to look for help or ask for it from an older sibling?

I know this happened to me more times than I would like to admit. You have  a boss that despite your best efforts is not affected by your attacks. Let’s say you’re in a dungeon and no matter how hard you try, the way out has eluded you. So you decided it’s time to ask mom or dad to take you to the store to pick up a guide book. I know I had my fair share of  these  in a stack on the bookshelf in my room. Mostly for RPG’s and action games, not sure why you would require one for a Need for Speed game.

These books held all of the information you needed to complete the game. All the level layouts, where the enemies are, where all the items are, even the hidden ones. How to focus your efforts on upgrading your characters, and how to acquire those upgrades. Everything you will ever need to know, in a sort of expensive and large book.

Back to the Present.

Welcome back. Let’s say you’re stuck again, except now all you need to do is lookup your point in the game on the internet, or YouTube and watch someone else play it before copying exactly as they do. No more flipping through pages to find the level, stage, or mission you’re on. No more hoping you do as the book has explained without missing anything. Now it’s easier, and thus the game is easier. So no challenges, no mysteries, no difficulties… that doesn’t leave much left does it?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great having all this information at our fingertips. Are gamers not gaming to their full extent anymore? Have a majority of us given up trying? Are we just looking for the answers before asking any questions? I am just as guilty myself, having just recently looked up some info for Final Fantasy XV before starting a quest. It’s hard not to when you have the power of a wiki in your palm. What harm does it do to look up the way to beat that boss?

Are we the problem or is the web the problem?

I don’t think that the creators of all our wonderful games design things to just be googled or wiki-ed. (look I created a new word!) I am sure they hope that some sort of effort will be put into their games. After all they put in quite a bit of effort into making them for us. Are we as gamers cheating them or ourselves in the end when we just look to the web to find everything for us?

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Stay safe out there friends, and game on!