Guest Writer: Taken For Granted

Whilst I like today’s piece from tonycawley, I have to admit that I’m not quite good enough at games to have the same sense of taking it for granted. However I know most of you are actually good at games, so maybe you’ll feel a little more affinity for his point.

I woke up for work this morning at 0615. “Christ I’m knackered, can’t be arsed with work today” was my first thought, not really considering how lucky I am to have just had a week off from the job I have which pays my bills.

I saw some down-and-out tramps in a poor part of East London on my way to work, which got me thinking about all this. This article isn’t really just about material possessions though. I could say I’m lucky to be in the comfortable position I’m in, with my mortgage on my house, my reasonably well paid job, all the paid time off I get, the car I have with my girlfriend, the beautiful son we have, all the material possessions we treasure so much (PS3 included). But then again you could say it’s not really luck at all, I’ve worked hard to be in this position. Truth be told, it’s a mixture of hard work and luck, there are plenty of people who have worked harder than me but have just lost their job, lost their family or received some equally bad news.

[drop]The point of this article is not about any of that though, it’s about all of the other things we take for granted. I’ve already mentioned my 17 month old son, he constantly amazes me with the way he’s developing, and I regularly think how astounding it is to see his first steps, hear his first words, watch his first smile (or was that wind?); things we take for granted – walking, running, speaking and all the emotions that make us laugh, smile or feel sad.

However, this is a gaming website, so let’s bring this back to gaming. My Mrs never plays games but saw me playing Virtua Tennis 4 the other day. She asked if she could have a go, and I was only too happy to oblige; I’ve always wanted her to get into gaming with me. Unfortunately, she was rubbish. In fact she was horrifically bad, and didn’t get much better after an hour’s play. When she asked me what she was doing wrong, I couldn’t really tell her, it seemed I didn’t know the answer to her question.

After 20 years of gaming, it’s all totally become second nature to me. I no longer think about it at all, it just happens. That perfect slide around the hairpin on Dirt 3, that 27 kill streak on Call of Duty, that beautiful passing goal you scored on FIFA, how did you do it? Go on, try writing down the exact order of button presses and stick movements. I bet you can’t!

That’s the point of this article really, how much we take our gaming ability for granted. It’s like a direct connection between yourself and whatever is going on inside the telly, almost a telepathic link. So, the next time you’re getting owned on the battlefield, take a step back and think how amazing it is that you can actually do all the stuff you’re doing, without even really thinking about it. Because trust me, if I gave my young boy the controller, there’s no doubt he’d make you look amazing!



  1. Completely agree, i tried getting my parents to play GT5 and the only track they could do was the giant oval and even then they said the controls were too sensitive which was weird considering i set the sensitivity as low as possible.

    • Yes, I had a similar experience. It makes you realise that your probably not as bad at the game as you thought!

    • haha, i had my grandpa playing road rash 2 on christmas day when i got my PS1.

      Yes, he was rubbish :)

  2. haha great read, watching my dad play fifa is one of life’s most amusing moments, i say x is pass and o is shoot, half way in he says which one is x! HAHA! of course i win by a substantial amount of goals. The coordination/synchronisations between our reactions and actions for gaming is quite fantastic :) this is want you mean btw :L

    • i should also metion my grandparents trying to play the bowling on wii sports, they were bad, very bad indeed, they couldnt even hold the controller and didnt get that you had to immitate bowling. Ydy Shocker

  3. I wouldn’t say it bothers me greatly, though I do wish my brother was better at driving games so I had some competition when we do splitscreen.

  4. I tried teaching my Dad to not slice the ball on Tiger Woods. In the end I just started slicing it myself to give him a fighting chance.

    I know how to play badly.

  5. My wife can beat me at any dance game or wii shaking malarky

  6. Really good point. I sometimes think the same thing.

    Whenever mates come round to play games, normally the first thing they ask upon loading a game up is what are the controls. the thing is no matter how many hours I have sunk into a game I never seem to be able to remember unless I have the pad in my hand. It’s like you become one with the controller.

    Very strange when you take a step back and think about it.

  7. Nice mini article. I think it’s that we’ve taken up to playing games as a hobby, helping us develop the skills and knowledge to be good at it, like any hobby, such as sports. Although I consider myself to be good at gaming, I am regularly surprised when my 8 year old brother regularly gets high scores in games or even beats me in them.

  8. well, I can actually explain to my girlfriend how i game. Everytime she doesn’t know how to do something i can tell her exactly what buttons are and explain the momentum. “If you wanna jump higher you press X… NOW!”.
    It still takes alot of time though :P

    • You also have to apply pressure.. very important in some games. (X is basically unresponsive on Wipeout HD dualshock quality depends)

  9. Never really thought about it tbh lol good post!

  10. Great article. My girlfriend is exactly the same. While playing games is like riding a bicycle for, she easily gets overwhelmed by control schemes if she has to use both sticks of the controller at the same time. Women, huh? ;)
    However, I must say not everything that makes my life so comfortable as it is right now is due to hard work. Mostly it really is just luck in my case. I got through school with the bare minimum of effort and passed with pretty good marks in the end. I got a great job through luck because someone I know worked at the company and gave me a call when they were looking for someone and I happened to fit right into the team with my positive attitude and effortless skill.
    So while I do work hard to get the things I want, in the end it all feels like there was quite some luck involved. I really love being me. :D

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