Reddit Anime Post: What Casual Games Are Like For Someone Who Doesn’t Play Games : Games

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The first video of the series was super fascinating to me. I recalled trying to teach a friend about video games by first showing her Portal on Xbox. To me, someone who had been playing for a long time, it felt like a great launchpad to get familiarized with the ideas. Slow beginning with lots of prompts to figure things out.

I was blown away, far more than I should have been, when I realized the friend didn’t understand the concept of moving both joysticks no navigate movement and camera at the same time. The first video went over this happening, but it happened to me before I watched it, so I wanted to share anyway.

Like, OF COURSE there was a point in my life where I was so new to gaming that I had to learn what it meant to move both joysticks around to be able to move around easily. But it has just been so long that I forgot it was a thing I learned at all.

I can’t say much without repeating that video, but it was super fascinating to think about how many things I had learned, but forgot I had to learn.

I was blown away, far more than I should have been, when I realized the friend didn’t understand the concept of moving both joysticks no navigate movement and camera at the same time.

There’s a classic review of Alien Resurrection from 2000, one of the earlier games to use that control scheme. In the review, they pretty strongly bashed the controls:

The game’s control setup is its most terrifying element. The left analog stick moves you forward, back, and strafes right and left, while the right analog stick turns you and can be used to look up and down. Too often, you’ll turn to face a foe and find that your weapon is aimed at the floor or ceiling while the alien gleefully hacks away at your midsection. Add to the mix a few other head scratchers – such as how the triangle button controls item and health use – and you’ll be wondering how Sony let this get by without requesting a few different control configuration options.

Even for people experienced with games at the time, it takes a lot of time to get used to.

I’ve had so many similar experiences. I’ve tried to show tons of people in my life gaming, and I’m continually surprised at how many things I failed to consider.

I’ve tried Portal. Horrible mistake. Navigating a 3D world is impossible. Even if we power through, puzzles are roadblocks that prevent progress.

I’ve tried 2D platformers. Dying is scary. Things get too challenging. I’ve even tried Kirby’s Epic Yarn – a game where you literally can’t die or lose. Getting stuck at a jump or falling in a pit invokes the same feeling.

Animal Crossing has been my best success so far. Nothing scary. No way to fail. Simple, peaceful. Decorating is fun and self expressive. No stress.

I’ve tried with multiple people btw, they generally have the same hangups.

It’s not the first time I’ve seen somebody think Portal would be a good beginner gateway. I don’t really get it though. Is the logic that there aren’t enemies shooting at you?

Way back a girlfriend for some reason I can’t remember tried moving around in an empty FPS level (on PC) and by far the hardest part for her was dealing with the idea of it being a 3D world on a 2D screen. Relating spatially was really difficult for her, and that fed into control issues.

Portal is up around the peak of that challenge.

I’ve always figured that looking at a somewhat modern controller must be nightmare fuel for these people. Think of the stupid amount of unfamiliar inputs on that thing. On PC they can at least use inputs they already understand – a mouse and a keyboard.

My mom got into Minecraft because of my nephews. It happened, but it definitely took a while, and being caught out at night was such a stress factor that she’d write me, asking me to log into the family server and help her get back to town. After a while I just made the server peaceful. She has now played at least hundreds of hours of Minecraft. Perhaps thousands – It became her audiobook game. I played through Abzu with a controller while visiting my parents, and she played the first half. When the game became a bit stressful, I took over. I had her try Portal and even after all that Minecraft, she still just shut down totally. Portal is hard for beginners.

I think a big part of the problem is that if you’re introducing an adult to video games in 2020, then they probably just don’t give a fuck about video games.

There’s obviously a learning curve but if you gave a kid who loved the idea of video games something like Portal, they would just keep at it until they got the hang of it. Most of them wouldn’t moan about how difficult it was like a 60-year-old man might.

It’s the same with almost anything. I had someone trying to show me how to play Backgammon not long ago and they got pretty frustrated because I wasn’t getting the basic mechanics. But the thing was, I had 0 interest in actually playing Backgammon which correlated to how much effort I put in to learning the rules and actions of the game.

Oh man, I remember when “two joysticks” wasn’t even a thing. When the first dualshock controller was introduced, a lot of games didn’t know what to do with the right joystick! The left joystick did the same thing as the D-pad. Camera controls were done by the shoulder buttons (you either rotate left/right or strafe left/right depending on your setting). This made sense before, you don’t take your thumb off of the buttons! I can’t remember even when that transition happened. It might’ve been those car battle games, Twisted Metal or Vigilante 8. I’m not entirely sure of that.

Anyway, this is a long tangent about nothing. But I guess I’m just trying to find that point where we learned the things we know.

I guess I had not really considered this before because I grew up with the changing controllers. I was a little young to play much of the NES, so I started with the dpad on the SNES, was introduced to one analog stick on the N64 (though I had used stick controls on some old Atari games), and then learned this Dual analog sticks with the Gamecube, Playstation Dualshock controllers, and Halo on the XBox.

It has been a slow, natural progression for me, so I haven’t really had to teach an adult how to start with the controllers we have now. Kids seem to pick it up pretty quickly.

The first games that I played were on NES. Really got into shooters with the N64, Turok being the first one I played. When 007 came out, I was the only one of my friends who used the alternate solitaire controls because of Turok making C button movement the default.

I’ll always remember playing Red Faction on PS2 for the first time and using both sticks. It was so different and difficult, especially with the left stick being movement for me. I’m very surprised I stuck with the default controls and got used to them, I’m sure I would be playing everything southpaw today if I changed the controls back then.

Movement/camera issues aside, Portal is good as an introduction to videogames… until you need to do the continuous falling in and out of a portal chain while reportaling mid-air. The biggest problem is that unlike Portal 2, Portal 1 has no “auto-funnel” mechanic to help you align with the portal you are falling into, so unless you start the maneuver from a completely vertical fall, you will need to do some micro-adjustements mid-air. Which is veryeasy for a gamer, but impossible for an absolute begginer.

Source: Got my non-gamer girlfriend to play through all of Portal, but I had to end up doing the part that I’m talking about, I forget the chamber number.

EDIT: Also, this was on PC, with keyboard and mouse.

I was blown away, far more than I should have been, when I realized the friend didn’t understand the concept of moving both joysticks no navigate movement and camera at the same time.

For the record, this is why I hate console games as a PC gamer.

I have never found a controller as intuitive as a mouse. A lot of this is probably the fact that I played PC games years before the concept of a joystick to begin with. Old-style joysticks for PC games weren’t a thing anymore and the only console I played was an NES that only had a d-pad and 4 buttons.

While I’m way better at two-stick controls than a complete newbie would be the reality is I hate controllers enough that I played the PC port of Dark Souls entirely without one. I got DSfix and Mousefix and setup my own damn keybinds using AutoHotKey where those two apps failed. This sounds like a nightmare but when Dark Souls 2 had better KB+M it was pretty much the setup I had already gotten used to anyway.

The fact of the matter is mouse aiming is so much more reactive than a controller. A mouse doesn’t feel like an extension of my hand like a controller does, it just feels like my hand. But again, this is because I’m used to it. My father, on the other hand, can’t fucking stand any of it and gets confused by it.

As someone who started with Super Mario Bros., I have no doubt the first other living thing in that game killing you unless you killed it was very formative for how I learned to approach games.

I have no idea why anyone would use Portal as the first ever game. I’ve been gaming all of my life and found Portal SUPER difficult. Never could finish it.

I’ve had a similar thing. Me and a friend played 2v2, Halo with each of us and our inexperienced girlfriends teamed up. It ended up as us two killing each other while our girlfriends tried to work out how not to look at the floor.

It was the same for Call of duty for me. My sister saw me playing Black Ops and wanted to play as well, almost never played video games in her life. I thought, sure enough, COD is super casual, she’ll be fine. Nah, didn’t make it through the first wave of zombies cause she couldn’t deal with all the buttons.

Kinda blew my mind at the time but it makes perfect sense.

I was blown away, far more than I should have been, when I realized the friend didn’t understand the concept of moving both joysticks no navigate movement and camera at the same time.

Honestly, even as a PC player, this is hard for me to grasp. What is even weirder is that I have no problem with basically the same control scheme in a third person game like Darksiders where the camera pivots around the central screen object

I once showed my non-gaming friend Skyrim on PC. The biggest nemesis were no doubt stairs- it was impossible for her to move and rotate the mouse at the same time so she won’t fall down.

I like to think thats why Nintendo had so much success with Wii and DS – I showed DS to a lot of people who never played games and they’re instantly familiar with stylus. They just could grab the thing and spend an hour with Profesor Layton effortlessly.

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