We’ve all reached a time in our lives where games have ceased to be our friends, and become the enemy instead. Whether it was because of an annoying glitch you encountered that stopped you from continuing, or because your game froze and you hadn’t saved it for the last hour, all games at some point have aggravated us. And though it doesn’t take long for us to forgive, we never ever forget.
Mods, Custom Content and Hacks: We’ve all played a game that could have been improved with a mod, or some custom made content. Whether it was pretty clothes for your Sims, amazing strength for your elf in Dragon Age or even a boss mod to make World of Warcraft battles easier, you know you’ve been there. And though these things are amazing, they can really screw your game up if you install them wrong, or if they’re faulty. It’s extremely annoying when you start your game all geared up to use your new content, only to find that the game refuses to run at all.
Rating on the frustration scale: 6/10
Patches: Patches are a game developer’s way of giving back to the community that so loves their work. Most of the time patches are good. They offer us fixes to annoying glitches, and sometimes add new activities, areas or items to the game. However, sometimes patches can be a source of pure evil, breaking the game and forcing you cry, kick, scream, complain, and then eventually just deal with the fact that you’re going to have to reinstall it all over again.
Example; not long after The Sims 3 second expansion was announced (World Adventures,) EA released a patch for the game. This patch messed with certain custom items causing every single house and lot to turn into a blue patch of nothingness, rendering the neighbourhood unplayable. The only fix was to either reinstall the game and not install the patch, or search through oodles of custom items trying to figure out which one was causing the problem. Oh, and even if you managed to find the items causing the trouble, there was no bringing back the neighbourhood you’d spent hours of your life playing.
Rating on the frustration scale: 9/10
Annoying Siblings: Before consoles could auto-save to a hard drive, we had to use memory cards to keep our save game data safe. We also had to rely on our siblings to love us enough to not destroy our saves, or do anything to corrupt them. However, anybody with a brother or sister can tell you that no sibling will ever love you enough to do that. The years of the memory cards were also the years of many family disputes and lost or corrupted save games. Rip the head off your sister’s Barbie doll and she’ll pull the memory card out while you’re playing and destroy your save games. Kick your brother’s ball over the fence and he’ll find his way into your room at night and delete every file off that card. Back in the days of memory cards, our save games were dependent entirely on our brothers and sisters being nice little children and not destroying our lives. Thank god games save to the hard drive now.
Rating on the frustration scale: 9/10
Rage Quitters: Though we may love games and think they are the awesome, supreme rulers of the 21st Century, there comes a time where they annoy us. And not just a niggling little facial twitch type of annoyance either, I’m talking full blown throw your keyboard across the room and scream, annoyed. If you then choose to quit the game after picking up your keyboard, you are what we call a rage quitter. And we hate you. Rage quitters force everybody else in the game to quickly try and replace you, or play on without you and be at a disadvantage. Screwing your team-mates over is never cool, especially if it’s just because you suck. If you find yourself rage-quitting too often, chances are you’re just not very good. In which case, find a new game to play. Or just stop playing games all together. Your call.
Rating on the frustration scale: 7/10
Games are good, games are great and games can do no harm (except maybe to your grades and social life, but lets forget about that). Just remember that next time your game freezes and you have the overwhelming urge to throw your X-Box across the room. Don’t blame the game, blame the fat guy that made it (or the stupid sibling that wrecked it).