Dealing with Disappointment

You thought I was going to put the "I am disappoint" picture, didn't you?

Sunday night was a tough evening for me. It was the first time the Bears and the Packers had gone head to head for the NFC title in 70 years. The Bears have a coach who said his first priority was simple – to beat the Packers. But in the first couple of minutes, it was clear that things were not going well. Emotionally, the game was a roller coaster for this Bears fan, and the ending was no less heart-breaking: on a fairly successful drive in the final minutes of the game, the third-string QB threw an interception and lost the game.

To say that I was disappointed would be putting it mildly.

No matter what hobby we may be enjoying at the time, things won’t always go as planned or desired. Whether I’m making a model airplane and a decal doesn’t transfer smoothly, watching football and my team loses against their rival, or playing an MMO and things don’t get implemented as quickly as I would like. When this happens, what recourse do we have to us? For myself, when something in a hobby goes south, I try to see what I can do to salvage the situation. Can I pull the decal off the model and re-soak it to reapply? But far too often in hobbies, we’re not controling the activity, merely particpating or even just observing.

In video games, this is very much the situation. Our play experience is only as strong as the game you play in. If there are bugs, latency issues, synchronization issues, or just plain functionality problems, how do you handle it. If it’s a game you love, often you’ll just shrug your shoulders, accept the draw back, and move on. Maybe you’ll get proactive and submit a ticket to the developer, hoping your concerns get addressed. Other times, the problem may make itself known during a vital part of gameplay, and cause an unnecessary level of frustration. When that happens, I often just stop playing the game altogether.

A perfect example is probably one of my all time favorite games: Advent Rising. This was a GREAT game. The action was fun, the boards were a blast to go through, the challenge level was pretty spot on, the story was AMAZING, and the “leveling” aspect created a really interesting method of advancement at the time. But the game was just riddled with bugs for the X-box. I played through the game once, but when I tried to go back to it a month later for a second go-through, I repeatedly ran into a game-freezing glitch in one of the final levels. Nothing I did could fix it. Nothing I did could circumvent it. The game just stopped. And so did I, never having gone back to it again. It’s still sitting next to my X-box, under my 19″ CRT TV that I bought back in 2002.

How do you handle your disapointment with video games and MMOs? Do you quit subscribing? Shrug it off, and accept that MMOs are just that way? Submit a bug report and hope for a correction? Something else?

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About Shadow
Making serious business out of internet spaceships.

One Response to Dealing with Disappointment

  1. zizlak says:

    Well.. I’m still playing WAR..isn’t that an answer? 😉

    I tend to grumble in voice chat if I stumble upon bugs/latency issues and my guild mates know that it’s ok.. if I go silent than they know that I’m really pissed off 😉

    But if it happens to be too much, i.e. I personally get affected by that disappointment/frustration and can’t get over it in 5 minutes, than I log out (my bass guitar is looking at me reproachful as I don’t practice as much as I should 😉 )…and if this happens too often I quit the game all together. I’m not that outcryer who quits know and then and returns a week later.. For me the frustration must get so deep that I will never come back if I quit a game and therefore I’m willing to endure some frustration as long there are some “sequences” of fun I can get in the game (by the game itself or with the people I play it with)..

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