In the gaming community, new players can feel overwhelmed in the new era of YouTube and Twitch. Seemingly left and right, you can see players maximizing their gaming skill potential, with kill montages, and various footage of insane stunts and tricks that have been pulled across the gaming universe. However, while gaming is fun for a variety of people, one overlooked group in the gaming atmosphere are new players without the years of skill that can be accumulated by playing such games as Dark Souls 3, Crusader Kings 2, and Ninja Gaiden. Commonly known as “n00bs,” these players may be playing their first game of a genre, or even their first game entirely. But due to a lack of confidence and other various factors, several of these players may never grow up to be skilled or even good at a game, due to the the initial emotional hurdles. Being told to “Git Gud” these n00bs never get beyond their first experience within games and are forced to take up other hobbies despite them not wanting to.
Well luckily for all you n00bs out there, Polygon has come to your defense. Last week, Polygon introduced a new video program, the “Footage for Inexperienced Legions ” program, which we’ve nicknamed “F4IL.” The simple purpose of this program is to provide video footage to make n00bs feel better about getting some of the latest and greatest games, while providing them the necessary self esteem so that they don’t go running for the country side. A sample video was posted on their YouTube page as normal content as a part of an initial experiment, and the game chosen for the launch of the program was the iconic Doom franchise.
I got a chance to speak with a Polygon representative about the program, and sat down with him to talk about this new innovative program that he hopes to spread to other journalistic outlets, and to YouTubers as well.
Me: So, the F4IL program, how did the idea start up?
Polygon representative: We here at Polygon recognize that some players out there may feel threatened by the l33t hax0rs that games such as Doom seem to draw in, and we want to do our best to help ease them into the gaming process. In the middle of a discussion regarding the new sexism shown in The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine expansion, we noticed that most of our readers didn’t actually play a lot of games. This was surprising to us, as we are a gaming based outlet. So after doing some surveys and discussions with our reader base, we found out that they were interested in gaming, but thought they’d be laughed at by their friends and family if they attempted to play games, even if they didn’t have an online multiplayer component.
The idea then struck us: the problem here wasn’t the games themselves, but was the idea that they would get laughed at. And so, we thought, what if we put out footage that’s so bad, that is played by someone so horrible at games, that in turn, we made those players who were afraid of being laughed at a bit more confident in their own ability to play? And that’s where the F4IL program formed.
Me: Fascinating. But let’s talk about the footage a little bit, because it’s obviously something that must have taken a while to create and splice together. How could you stand playing purposefully that bad for that period of time?
Polygon Representative: No, you see, that’s the brilliant part of this program. That footage is 100% un-doctored and is someone of the shown skill level.
Me: Wait, what? You can’t be serious.
Polygon Representative: 100% pure footage was shown. We at Vox Media took the last 3 weeks and have scoured the globe for players who wanted to get into the games journalism field, but had no skill in games whatsoever. They had to have high self esteem, and an inflated ego in particular with video game skills. It was a long and hard process, as we found people who were ok at games, some that were bad, but we were looking for those who were the worst of the worst. We even had a game show like final round where we eliminated some of the people that had some small skill that they could actually beat a game.
Me: So you’re telling me that there’s truly someone out there who actually shot at a medkit, and that wasn’t staged?
Polygon Representative: Because he had seen the blue glow on enemies before, he naturally thought that anything with that blue glow was a threat to him. Even if it wasn’t moving or posed no danger to him, his inner instincts told him that it was a threat. While we advised Bethesda that it would be good to label enemies very clearly with nametags and such, they unfortunately didn’t think the feature was worth putting in the initial release.
Me: But he looks like he just picked up a controller for the first time!
Polygon Representative: Rest assured, we did not just pick up someone off the street with no knowledge of games, and threw them in front of a console to play Doom for the first time. We here and Polygon take our ethics very seriously, and would never want to deceive our readers. That’s why we went through the rigorous screening process we did.
Me: Color me impressed, I would never have thought that was possible.
Polygon Representative: Nor would I, but thank the HR department, who can seemingly find anyone void of video game skill. We want to do our best to make a safe space for all skill levels: everyone has to start somewhere, and it’s a shame that the current environment holds some of the unskilled players back. We don’t need bullying in today’s world, as it’s 2016. We’re not barbarians anymore, we’re a civilized gaming society that should recognize that some people have a privilege of skill. And we should do our best to offer something in accordance to that skill.
Me: Ok, so these are real people playing the game. That makes some sense, but wouldn’t they go through the same problems as those targeted by the program would as well?
Polygon Representative: No, you see, that’s where all the clickbait articles and inflammatory statements that we’ve made over the past several years has really payed off. With the money we’ve accumulated, we’re able to pay these new employees a reasonable amount, and you’d be surprised how much money solves the problems of embarrassment. They’re happy to show off how bad they are if they can feed their families with the earned money.
Me: I’m curious though, how will the program deal with the experience factor? Over time, I would assume that the players in question would start to get better at the games.
Polygon Representative: We’re already two steps ahead of you. To cleanse the experience that the subject has gotten over the footage he got, we’ve got a collection of games that he will have to partake in order to counteract the possible skill accumulation. These games take no skill at all and are designed to either keep the subject thinking about other experiences, and not actually use the skills that he has accumulated. These range from Walking Simulators to Visual Novels. That way, he’s too busy in thought about some of the deep complexities of Everyone Has Gone to Rapture for example, and he’ll lose all the skill in his short play time that he’s gotten.
Me: Wow, you really thought this out. Well it’s good to see that Polygon is leading the charge for the under represented in gaming. Any Final Thoughts you want to share with our audience?
Polygon Representative: We believe that our F4IL system will not only help n00bs out there, but can also help other gamers as well. We all have moments of doubt, moments where we think we’re not as good as we think we are. F4IL has the unique ability to have an entire group of people come together to laugh at a set of footage, bringing everyone closer in the process. N00bs and veterans alike will come together and say “Yes, I’m no where near as bad as THAT guy.” And that’s the goal. To make everyone part of one big community.
Me: Well said, thank you Polygon.
Will you be participating in the F4IL Program of Polygon? What do you think this means for the future of gaming? Leave your comments in the comment section below.