Everyone Sucks At Videogames

...and here's why.

April 7, 2010 - You've got thousands of achievement points, hundreds of videogame end-credits soldered in to your brain and the weathered thumb calluses to prove it. But guess what? You're not exempt from all the little idiotic missteps that every gamer falls prey to in a moment of ignorance. Maybe you've accidentally stared at the wrong corner of a heated split-screen multiplayer session or left the house wearing nothing but your Xbox headset? Yeah, we thought so. Deny it all you want, but if some of these sound a little familiar to you, there's a chance that you probably suck at videogames.

When a Game Says "Ready?" You're Not.

It's Saturday afternoon and in all your misguided wisdom, your attempts to host a casual gaming get-together are drowned in distraction and inattention. Nice work! Your friends made the trek to your couch to battle through a few rounds of co-op, but alas, you're about as active as David Arquette's IMDB page. Blame the torrential hell storm of alcohol consumption you danced with the night earlier, or the Count Chocula coma you've enveloped yourself in to wash it all away, sure. Bottom line: you're the douchebag who is too focused on his cellphone, Neil Diamond black light poster and screaming maternal unit to press the damn start button and get the game going. You're the world's worst 1P and you suck at videogames. Pass the controller to somebody competent and go mow your parents' lawn already.

You Can Only Pull Off a Hadouken By Accident.

As much as that random pattering of button mashing may resemble symphonic victory to your stupid, cluttered earlobes, you're finessing that Street Fighter arcade cabinet like a bag of cats falling down an M.C. Escher painting. It's a simple joystick and a set of buttons, not a beer cooler in the parking lot of a Metallica concert. Take it down a notch. We've spent years memorizing and perfecting the simplicity of pulling off a Hadouken with finesse and not recklessly discovering it after months at sea like Columbus did America before he blew it up. Down, down-forward, forward + punch. It's no da Vinci Code you serendipitous dolt. Pass your quarters to somebody more responsible.

You Talk About How Much a Game Sucks Despite Having Earned None of Its Achievements.

Halo 3 sucks more than my grandmother? How original! A message board Aesop you are not, but at least that guy probably fought a tiger before penning fables about its stripes. (Quick, EA, make a game about that!) It was easy to rant about how terrible Sonic the Hedgehog was in between trading pogs and telling everyone your uncle worked at Nintendo when the calendar still said 1991, but times have changed. Now we can easily track your game progress via Xbox Live, PSN or by fumbling through that sad list of blank pages known as your Wii Message Board to figure out what you've played. Or more importantly, what you haven't, you filthy liar.

You Get Lost and Confused Despite Blatantly Obvious Directions Everywhere.

Pro-tip for when you eventually put down that racing stick and sit in the seat of an actual car: vehicles careening towards you at blinding speeds while giant neon signs scream WRONG WAY are always helpful indicators that something has gone horribly awry. Pay attention. In real life, you'll probably get your friends killed, but in the world of videogames they'll end up being the next worst thing: bored. Nobody wants to watch you drive around in circles like a moron or run past the same glowing cave exit for 45 minutes, especially when literally EVERYTHING in the game is telling you where to go. And yes, we're fully aware that the architect behind the Umbrella Mansion is a huge, unrepentant jerk. But still, that key you have with a picture of a lion on it? Probably works best on that door shaped like a giant lion.
ou Still Call Every Videogame System a Nintendo or a PlayStation.

This one goes out to all those lovely, delusional mothers out there. Did you know that every time you accidentally call a non-Nintendo videogame system "a Nintendo" the head of the Atari Jaguar image branding team commits suicide again? These companies don't dump millions of dollars into baffling and misleading advertising campaigns just so you can casually walk into a living room and call a Coke a Pepsi. Even hardcore gamers mistakenly spent the 80's assuming everyone playing a videogame was playing a Nintendo, and ditto for PlayStation in the 90's. We all should know better than that.

You Spend 3 Minutes Watching the Wrong Screen or Character.

Remember when the Detroit Red Wings' Paul Coffey blew a playoff game by accidentally scoring on his own goal during a 1996 Western Conference Finals match against the Colorado Avalanche? Probably not, since only seven people in the world watch hockey, but the point still stands. Blanking and forgetting what team you're on only helps the enemy. There have probably been hundreds of times in your life when you spaced out and forgot which color wife beater your Contra character was wearing, only to negligently watch your co-op buddy get his ass kicked by an alien, a dog, and an alien dog at the same time. Meanwhile, you're running around in circles at the top of a ladder like a drunken chimpanzee at a hockey game. And before you ask, yes, that happens like every day in hockey. Try watching it for once.

You Constantly Die For Not Being as Quick or Skilled as Player One...

...and worse, you refuse to accept responsibility for it. It's not the first player's fault that you keep getting left behind and dragged into the dust by a scrolling screen you're too terrible to keep up with, it's yours. It's the same reason Mark-Paul Gosselaar has been gainfully employed since Saved By The Bell dried up while the rest of the cast went on to host wacky animal clip shows and straight-to-YouTube porn. He's got skills. And great hair.

You Forget Button Placement During Simple Quick-Time Events.

You know what hasn't changed since 1994? Oprah Winfrey's jubilantly spiritual command over America's collective estrogen. You know what else hasn't changed since 1994? The PlayStation's controller button layout. It's amazing that 16 years later you're still forgetting where that X button is. It's sitting there right there between the square button and the circle button, kind of like how your dumb ass is sitting there right between a computer monitor and a world of social interaction that you're too scared to join.

You Trade In a Bunch of Awesome Games for One You Can Finish in 3 Hours.

Yeah, yeah, we know the economy is rough, hindsight is 20/20 and a "bird in the hand" would actually be pretty terrifying to most people, but for the love of all things pixilated, please stop trading in great games for bad ones. You need to hold on to those gems for centuries and ensure that your children begin their illustrious gaming careers with something like Ocarina of Time and not Petz: Horsez Ranch. Think about their future for once!

You Save With No Health Items Right Before a Boss Fight.

Hey, see that giant, evil looking door covered in skulls right in front of you? Yeah, the one with a save point right in front of it? For once, try going out on a limb and just maybe assuming there's a big, evil boss in there. While "neglect" and "cockiness" might seem like valuable items to carry through that door, the situation at hand might actually require "health potions" a bit more. Instead you're the naked fool getting slapped around by a giant robot, repeatedly, until you're not only forced to quit the stage but replay the game in its entirety. Great job, moron. You fail at boss fights, and guess what? You probably suck at videogames.


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