The Fate of Doom

“So if we come up on each other [in a Doom 2016 multiplayer match] and all the game is relying on from a design perspective is aiming and shooting, well there are going to be people who aim and shoot better than you and there’s pretty much nothing you can do about that. That made death a frustrating experience because it meant you were just better than me.”

– Hugo Martin, from id Software (interview with

Nothing you can do? What about… Practicing?

Certainly part of the pleasure of playing a game is… Getting better at it?

There are few things that make me burn in hatred. But I hate – with all my might and all my soul – this culture of facilitation, of insulation from failure, obsessive protectionism, and safety nets.

How do these people view a tennis match? A game of chess? A Jiu-Jitsu fight ?!

Not everything has to be competition. There is a place in the video game world for more sedate, more narrative experiences. But even these experiences must challenge us; if not our manual dexterity, then our intellectual acumen. If not our strategic ability, then our philosophical ability. If not our fingers, then challenge our beliefs and values!

Videogames are art, you say?! True art challenges you!

Videogames are e-sports, you say?! Sports are about the challenge, the man in the arena!

But that is not the point here. It’s about smoothing out the edges of a game that dared – dared! – to pit one player against another in a test of skill. A test that would reward the player who spent the most time mastering the principles of the game, and that could perhaps inspire the loser by giving them a glimpse of the heights they could achieve, so long as they invested their time and effort.

But no, we can’t risk hurting the fragile egos of the men and women of 2019. The horror, that your life could be irreversibly damaged, your soul traumatized, by your coming across someone who plays better than you in a competitive gameplay mode!

Everything’s wrong here.

Travel Tradition

Whenever I go to a country for the first time, I try to buy a children’s book about a local legend.

While it’s at times a hard find, with a little effort, most countries will reveal a legend unknown to the rest of the world, illustrated for the benefit of the little ones.

In most cases, it’s a story that has been forgotten by the tour guides. And, the book being written for children, it is possible, with some dedication and a pocket dictionary, to read it in the source language.

What’s yours?

5 Years, 10 Games

Finishing the game I’ve been playing this week, Hollow Knight, led me to conclude that it is one of the best games I’ve played in a long time. This, in turn, made me wonder which games impressed me the most in the past five years. I eventually came to this list:

  1. Nier: Automata
  2. Final Fantasy XV
  3. Persona 5
  4. Hollow Knight
  5. Super Mario Odyssey
  6. Destiny II
  7. The Witcher III
  8. Hearthstone
  9. Metal Gear Solid V
  10. Phoenix Wright: The Spirit of Justice

Of course, I haven’t played all the games that have been released since October 2014. That would be an impossible task for any human being. But I think I played a very representative slice.

In the coming days, I will write a little more about each one…