“Cor, what I like and what I hate about perseverance

Ooh, what I’d give and what I’d take for perseverance”

Perseverance. Aside from the cool song by Terrorvision it’s not really my thing. Struggling on with something against all the odds? I couldn’t really see myself making the effort. Ask my friends if they can name one thing that I’ve made the effort to keep pushing on with despite all the odds and they’ll probably reference the time I tried to squeeze an extra two weeks out of my wardrobe without going to the university launderette.

I think the main reason I’m not an Achievement whore on 360 (or Trophy Trollop on PS3) is the simple fact that some of those Achievements really do live up to their names. They are frankly epic achievements (note no capitalisation), that you could stand up and be well and truly proud of. That’s not me though. I play for fun. When the fun stops, so do I. I make like a tree and leave. Or make like a banana and split.

A cursory glimpse through my gaming collection reveals scores of games that I’ve gotten right to the end of, found a bit hard and just given up on. Not enjoying it? Not playing it. That’s how I am.

A lot of people, of course, are not like me. Even a glimpse at the Ready Up gamerscore chart shows one or two of our writers who have more than just a passing interest in accumulating points. *cough*Jake!*cough*.

I have the first 33% of this bloody song embedded in my brain forever now.
I have the first 33% of this bloody song embedded in my brain forever now

The reason I am mentioning this today is the fact that all the time I have been writing this, and indeed for quite some time before, I have been listening to the first 33% of Raining Blood by Slayer, on loop. Which is very annoying. Add to that the fact that it is constantly accompanied by swearing and the frantic clacking of a Guitar Hero controller being battered into submission and you’ll see where I’m going with this.

My partner is trying to beat the song. It’s the last song on the Hard level. She can’t do it. From watching for an hour, I don’t genuinely think she ever will. Personally, I would have quit about 55 minutes ago.

As a partnership, I’m the gamer and she is the casual one; hence she plays games like Guitar Hero, Viva Piñata and Sim City. Yet oddly she is the one who gets totally and utterly hooked on these games. She’ll play for five hours non-stop on Sim City or Viva Piñata. I expect if I didn’t stop her tonight she’d keep trying to beat this shit-sounding song until the small hours. Or at least until her wrists splinter with a billion fractures.

The trouble is, she’s not enjoying herself. She’s admitted to me many times that after about 5 hours on a game, she’s just playing it to try and make progress, and no longer enjoying it. Her ambition to not be beaten by a game forces her to play on and on way past the point of enjoyment, and I think that’s a shame.

So maybe I’m lacking in ambition, or a bit of a wimp for bailing out when the going gets tough – but I can tell you one thing for sure; when I play games, I enjoy it!

Footnote: She has asked me to point out that she has now managed to make it all the way to 37% – progress indeed.







9 responses to “Perseverance”

  1. Ben avatar

    I know how she feels, as a comparison when I raid in Warcraft we often spend 4hours a night – 4days a week fighting the same boss over and over again, learning the fight and practicing over and over again, eventually all the fun vanishes and it’s just down to ‘progress’.

    Guitar Hero is one game that I can’t just grasp though, anything over medium difficulty and I’m wanting to smash the guitar in a Rolling stones esque rage.

  2. Jane avatar

    This is the first blog I have read on this site, which considering my dear Foxus is a writer is probably terrible. However, after seeing your FB post I had to read on.

    Epic. Truly epic. As a non-gamer I find it difficult to see the appeal of any games, and the thought of the truly public effort of Guitar Hero is frankly terrifying. But perserverance should be rewarded. Bring on that 41% Mrs Code!

  3. Jake avatar

    I’d argue and be put out at my mention but were you to check my gamercard you’d see some right old shite played over the last few days!

  4. MarkuzR avatar

    No, I totally get where you are… I play games purely for enjoyment’s sake. If you look through my achievements you’ll see that more than 50% of the games on my list have NO achievements whatsoever because either the game just bored me, or I had better things to do.

    When I stop enjoying a game, I stop playing it… even if there are loads of achievements yet to… um… achieve. Even if quests are unfinished or goals remain unbeaten, I’ll quit if I’m not enjoying it.

    I got as far as my A Class license on Burnout Paradise and haven’t bothered trying to progress it, because I have more fun going through challenges online than I do with the road rules etc. Booooring.

    It’s nice to hear that someone else is in it JUST for enjoyment and nothing more. My hat comes off to you.

  5. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    Before this generation of consoles, I would have played a game, beaten it and moved onto the next. Never would I have thought to go through it all again on a harder difficulty. Now with gamerscore and achievements, I have become accustomed to playing a game through a few times.

    It’s just the way I game. I don’t know how many games I would have had to go for 100% of all collectibles in games of old. This is just the next generation of that to me, not just an upgrade in technology for bigger games and shinier graphics.

    For some, getting to the end of a game is enough, for others, online play is most important and for people like me, gamerscore and achievements just adds to the fun.

    Each to their own as they say. Whatever it takes for us to get our own level of enjoyment is all that matters.

  6. Gene avatar

    I never try to get 100% achievements or unlock all the hidden stuff in RPGs; I’d rather start playing another game instead. Case in point, impossibly strong extra bosses which are made to be practically invincible and tantalize you with a reward that’s not really worth the effort…like this guy (

  7. Lorna avatar

    It adds to the fun, makes you explore more rather than blast through, although at times, I do hang in their for the sheer bloody mindedness of not getting beaten. After you have poured a certain number of hours into a game trying for a cheev it seems almost criminal to give up without nailing it.

  8. Tony avatar

    Bus stop syndrome, Lorna?

    When you’ve waited so long you could have walked the distance, but you refuse to leave BECAUSE you’ve waited so long?

  9. Lorna avatar

    lol, that’s just it Tony…and when you do give in and leave to walk home, the bus sails past when you are just too far away to run back for it…

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