Have We All Been Playing Games Wrong: Why Titanfall and Destiny Aren’t On My Buying List

Looking through the list of upcoming games, trying to decide which one I would buy, I instinctively narrowed my list of potentials down to Titanfall and Destiny. Then I sat back, scratched my head and thought, I’ve been playing games wrong

You see, games—despite what certain critics might say—actually offer a lot of good benefits to players. It all comes down to neuroplasticity.

Little bit of science: neuroplasticity is essentially brain flexibility. Your brain gets good at the things you do, e.g.

  • Play a First Person Shooter like Titanfall or Destiny for a while and you’ll notice that your reactions are getting faster, because FPS games demand fast reflexes.

  • Play a RPG for a few hours and you’ll notice that you suddenly feel more inclined explore, because RPGs are all about exploration.

  • Play a puzzler and suddenly your creative problem solving skills are improved.

There’s nothing amazing about this. You get good at the things you practice. But if you only practice one thing, you’re only going to get good at one thing.

Gamers (myself included) have a habit of sticking to the same genres. Those who love FPSs play FPSs. Those who love RPGs play RPGs, and so on.

Here’s the problem with that. If you constantly play the exact same type of game, you’re forcing your brain to get good at just one thing, hence why FPS fans generally have really good reflexes, because they’ve trained their reflexes, but they’ve not trained anything else.

FPS Fan? Already Set On Titanfall or Destiny? Hmmmm . . .


So anyway, there I was scratching my head about what to buy, looking forward to Titanfall and Destiny when suddenly I thought: FUDGE THAT. I’m going to do what’s good for my brain: play different types of games, encourage neuroplasticity and learn some different skills. It’s not like I need to be any better at playing FPSs anyway after 10 years of playing them. Maybe I’ll pick up. . . oh, I dunno, Lightning Returns, Bravely Default or something else instead. Whatever it is, it will be different, it will be a new experience, which means it’ll be good forneuroplasticity, and I’ll get to experience a type of game I rarely experience. Seems like a WIN / WIN to me!

What do you think? Maybe we’ve been playing games wrong. Maybe we should try different genres, stretch our gaming experience. Personally, though I might miss out on Titanfall and Destiny, I think it will make a refreshing, entertaining and potentially healthy change.

Paul Harrison

Paul M Harrison is an entertainment journalist, novelist, and blogger, and a specialist in the theory of storytelling. Paul Harrison can be contacted via his personal website or on Twitter or Facebook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *