This Week in Power Play

In an effort to give people a bit of a better idea of what I’m playing from week to week, I’ve decided to start a new feature called “This Week in Power Play” where every week, I’ll do a quick glimpse into what I’ve been playing lately and how I’ve been playing it, with a focus on how I optimize my play using online forums and message boards.

Before the internet, this was strategy guides. I used to pour through them, trying to learn every little nuance of games like Final Fantasy and Legend of Zelda, so that I knew when and where to get the best items. These days, online communities completely devour strategy guides as they can be update constantly together with games that receive regular updates. With the massive growth in online games, the only way for players to keep up with the “metagame” is to join in on the conversation. An easy way to do this is to follow your favorite game on reddit.

I’m not a competitive gamer, so I’m not usually doing this in an effort to be “better” than other players. I don’t care about speed-runs (unless I can get an achievement…), leaderboards, or rankings. I’m never going to be a “pro” at any of these games. However, I do consider myself a hardcore gamer and I try and model my gaming techniques after the pros at any given game. This is not to say that being the best is the only way to play games. John Walker of Rock Paper Shotgun penned a great piece about how enjoying games isn’t all about being the best – you can be bad at a game and still have a lot of fun with it! You can read it here:

Recently, I’ve noticed that I’ve departed a bit from my mission of “Better Games, Better Gamers,” which was to bring light to the games community and how great it is. With TWPP, I’m hoping to bring more focus to that by showcasing the great resources that are built by the community that forms around just about every game you can imagine. You can see how I tapped into the Pokemon community to completely dominate White and Omega Ruby, and imagine applying that to other games. While many (even most) critics and reviewers tend to play games “vanilla” or “as intended” by going through the story, a big part of gaming for me has always been learning from the experts and finding out more efficient and perfect means of doing things.

“This Week in Power Play” is my way of showcasing the great work of these gamer communities that exemplify the collaborative potential of gaming as both a hobby and a career.

Update: A few weeks in, and it’s already de-evolved into mostly providing short beginner’s guides. Still providing a good resource, but not quite what I had in mind originally. I’ll definitely continue to explore this idea, but not going to worry about the label for now.