30 Days: Least Favorite Gameplay Mechanic

This is one of a series called “30 Days of Video Games“, an exercise on daily writing.
Follow the link for the full list.

Can I choose a whole genre here?

I had originally planned this to be about mandatory mini-games, especially that of Final Fantasy X, from which my hatred stems.  To name my pain is to say “Blitzball” which I felt the introduction to as a side game was poorly timed within the narrative.  But, that’s not my final answer.  No, today we’re going to be discussing First-Person Shooters.

Like any socially awkward and sexually repressed teenager, I embraced Wolfenstein and Doom with a passion for carnage and the primal thrill of shooting demons and Nazis until they were dead, dead, dead.  But the genre never really got its hooks into me, and by the time Half-Life came around, I was rating FPS games a solid “Meh”.  However, around the time when Ernest & Allen was discovering that we could, in fact, get paid to play video games, Unreal came out.  I too joined the fragfest until one day, I started to have a new feeling towards the game.


I don’t know what it was.  The buzzing of flies over freshly splattered corpses?  The way blood & entrails streamed in every direction after seeing someone (or yourself) take a direct hit from a grenade?  Or perhaps the way someone’s head… okay, I can’t complete this paragraph.  Let’s try again.

I know exactly what caused it.  Call it a weak stomach, or that I’m just a sissy, or not a “real man” (I literally cannot roll my eyes hard enough at that phrase) or maybe just acute motion sickness, something about that game just caused me to beg out after a few minutes of play.  About that time, I would load up EverQuest or Starcraft and be content to play a less volatile gameplay experience.  This was further exasperated when I went over a friend’s house years later to play the otherwise excellent Jedi Knight II, which apparently affected quite a number of people.  I still get queasy thinking about it – I lasted about five minutes and had to go lay down and close my eyes.

It is a shame – there are a lot of great first-person shooter games out there, but just the thought of them makes my head feel light and my stomach to churn.

I need to go lie down for a bit.

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