Perspective — How Video Games Taught Me to Accept Failure

By Michael “Auronblade60” Williams | @Auronblade60 | 2:55 PM EST, Fri. July 19, 2019
Video games can be hard. 
Certain games like Dark Souls have almost built a legacy around being difficult and overcoming those challenges; However, in the case of most games, they are not built around failure. To fail in most video games is to die and simply respawn. It is a punishment which takes away more of the player’s time or loss of an item or experience. However, in a subsection of games, failure is a part of the process and not the end of the road.

Enter The Gungeon (Photo Credit: dodgeroll.com)

Enter the Gungeon is one of such games. The main function of the game is to clear room after room of enemies, as well trying to obtain better guns and weapons as you traverse into the Gungeon itself and defeat a variety of bosses. I purchased the game during a sale on Steam about a year ago and only now am I close to beating it. When I first started, even clearing the first floor of the Gungeon felt challenging. It seemed impossible to clear all five floors of enemies and bosses. But in time, it got easier. The reason was not just my own improvements and knowledge of the game increasing, but more so the game rewarding me for my numerous attempts. In Enter the Gungeon, after killing bosses you receive a currency that allows you to buy better weapons in the hub world. These new weapons then have a chance of spawning in chests or after beating the bosses of the game.

Bare in mind that there are certain items scattered and hidden in the Gungeon that is required to fight the character specific end bosses. This means that to truly beat “Enter the Gungeon,” the player HAS to beat the game at a minimum of four times. As I stated before, after almost of year playing, I still have not done this with all four main characters. I know for a fact that there are even more characters to unlock, which means I am still quite far away from being completely finished.

Each play-through of the game feels different with multiple characters and seemingly, never ending variety of guns to unlock. Some runs ended with a solemn acceptance of my own mistakes, but other times ended in a surge of frustration that left me bitter and hurriedly closing the game. Some days I could play for hours and some days I never even wanted to touch it…to never again get the rush of victory only to get it snatched away. Just as our everyday lives may feel like a struggle, as our same everyday challenges feel easy one day and impossible the next, Enter the Gungeon felt the same way. When life keeps throwing failure after failure at you it could make any person just want to give up, but life is full of failures. Although we have to accept them we do not have to let them be the end of our journey.

Video games can be about almost anything. Some games can be easy, others are meant to tell a story, and some can be about overcoming the challenge. Players are allowed to draw and make their own enjoyment from the games they play, and in this case, my own thoughts and acceptance from my constant failings made me appreciate Enter the Gungeon in a different manner from others. I look forward to (with no small bit of anxiety) my next dive into the game.
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Michael “Auronblade60” Williams is a Streamer and Journalist that follows everything gaming and eSports related. You can find him at twitch.tv/Auronblade60 or on Twitter at Auronblade60.