Video Games Walkthroughs – Get Help or Spoil the Fun

   Video games are supposed to be fun, challenging, and immersive. They are designed to make us feel like we are part of a different world, where we can explore, discover, and overcome obstacles. But what happens when we watch someone else play the game for us, showing us every step, every secret, and every solution? Does that not ruin the whole point of playing video games?

   This is the dilemma that many gamers face today, as YouTube is flooded with walkthroughs, guides, and tutorials for almost every video game imaginable. Whether it is a casual puzzle game, a hardcore action game, or a narrative-driven adventure game, chances are there is a video that shows you how to beat it, get all the achievements, and find all the collectibles. Some of these videos are even longer than the games themselves, spanning hours or even days of footage. But why do gamers watch these videos? What is the appeal of spoiling the game for yourself? There are several possible reasons, such as:

  • Lack of time: Some gamers may not have enough time to play the game themselves, so they watch the walkthrough to experience the game vicariously.
  • Lack of skill: Some gamers may find the game too difficult or frustrating, so they watch the walkthrough to learn how to overcome the challenges.
  • Lack of patience: Some gamers may not want to spend time exploring or experimenting, so they watch the walkthrough to get to the end as quickly as possible.
  • Lack of curiosity: Some gamers may not care about the story or the gameplay, so they watch the walkthrough to see the highlights or the endings.
  • Lack of satisfaction: Some gamers may have already played the game, but they watch the walkthrough to see if they missed anything or to compare their choices with others.

   While these reasons may be valid for some gamers, they also have a negative impact on the gaming experience. By watching the walkthrough, gamers are depriving themselves of the joy of discovery, the thrill of challenge, and the satisfaction of accomplishment. They are also reducing the game to a passive and predictable spectacle, rather than an active and dynamic interaction. They are essentially turning the game into a movie, but a movie that is not meant to be watched, but played. This is not to say that walkthroughs are inherently bad or that gamers should never watch them. Walkthroughs can be useful and helpful in certain situations, such as:

  • When you are stuck: If you encounter a puzzle that you cannot solve or a boss you cannot defeat, watching a walkthrough can give you a hint or a solution.
  • When you are curious: If you want to see how other gamers played the game or what choices they made, watching a walkthrough can give you a different perspective or a new insight, and the games with multiple endings surely don’t make it easy for extremely busy people.
  • When you are interested: If you want to learn more about the game or the genre, watching a walkthrough can give you a deeper understanding or a broader context.

   However, these situations should be the exception, not the rule. Walkthroughs should be used sparingly and selectively, not constantly and indiscriminately. Walkthroughs should be a supplement, not a substitute, for playing the game yourself. The bottom line is that video games are not so appealing to gamers anymore because of their documented walkthroughs on YouTube, because they take away the essence of what makes video games fun, challenging, and immersive. They rob gamers of the opportunity to play the game, to experience the game, and to enjoy the game. They make gamers spectators, not participants, in their own entertainment. So, the next time you are tempted to watch a walkthrough, ask yourself: Do I really need to watch this? Do I really want to watch this? Or would I rather play the game myself?

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