Video Game Tutors

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

Everyone knows that practice is the best way to get good at something, be it playing the piano, writing, drawing, or even playing video games. Recently, I realized that there are some folks who are taking an extra step when it comes to developing the skills needed to play well at certain games.

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So, this is a thing.

Apparently there are parents out there who are paying for Fortnite tutors for their children to help said children get better at the game. Some of these tutors are getting paid up to $35 bucks an hour, which is awesome for them.

But I never thought I would see the day where I would find an article detailing that some parents pay tutors to teach their kids video games. Back in my day, tutors were paid to help with math or give singing lessons. Video games back then were merely a hobby and we should figure out what we want to do with our lives because it wasn’t going to involve playing video games all day.

Apparently, my life’s career could have involved playing video games all day. With the rapid growth of technology in my lifetime, it has become more apparent how viable the video game industry is on the world, and if I had just stuck to playing Super Smash Bros. Melee during my free time, I could now be a competitive player on the eSports scene.

In fact, eSports is one of the main reasons as to why parents are willing to shell out the cash for tutors, with parents hoping that perhaps their child will one day go pro on the Fortnite scene. College scholarships are another reason, while other parents are just hoping that they can get a piece of Fortnite’s $100 million prize pool. Yet another parent just wanted to help ease the pressure of being good at the game for her child.

Don’t get me wrong, video games have been proven to help improve reflexes, hand-eye coordination, one’s ability to focus and multitask, and has become one of the more social activities — despite past allegations of playing alone in a basement — of today’s day and age. If you’re awesome at the games and can make money helping others learn and enjoy video games as well, why not?

What do you think of video game tutors? Would you be a willing tutor, or would you have been interested in getting a tutor when you were younger?

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Of Video Game Tutorials

Double Jump Kris MiiJanuary is flying by, isn’t it?

The new year brings about new games from the holidays, and something many games have at the beginning of them are the tutorials. For experienced gamers, they can be annoying, but for the new players, tutorials aren’t bad to have around, right?

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I enjoy scrolling through Tumblr whenever I get a few minutes during the day or just winding down at night. I tend to follow blogs that mainly deal with writing, art, animals, and, of course, video games.

There was a thread on there a couple of days ago that piqued my interest, and I’m facepalming that I didn’t save it. The thread was regarding how games nowadays are created with people who are already “gamers” in mind rather than new players. The original poster, and subsequent replies, mentioned how newer games they’ve played seemed to cater to the audience with the intent that the player had enough intuition to know what they were doing in the game.

In other words, instead of a tutorial telling the player the controls, the game dropped the player in the world expecting the player to instinctively know where to go. Or, at the very least, figure out what they were supposed to do.

Honestly, as someone who’s grown up playing games for the better part of her life, I don’t mind games that do that. I’m coming into the game with a gamer’s mentality. If I’m playing a new game and find land across a chasm, my instinct is to run toward the chasm and see if my character auto-jumps. For new gamers, though, it may not be that simple. They may run around to find a bridge or mash buttons to find a combination that let’s their character jump.

Exploring and experimenting is well and good for video games — in fact, they’re some of the primary reasons why we game in the first place — but for those just trying to break into the scene, it can be a little intimidating. Considering how much emphasis is put on multiplayer games, especially global MMOs, the idea of not figuring out how to play quickly enough can dissuade new gamers from joining in on the fun.

Almost a year ago, I did a post about how I would prefer to have tutorials be optional, especially for certain franchises like Pokemon. Seeing that thread on Tumblr about how tutorials seem to be disappearing from games in the original poster’s opinion, reminded me of my post long ago, and it took me a minute to figure out if I agreed with the Tumblr user or not. I grew up with Nintendo, a company that is known for being family-friendly and wanting everyone to be able to play their games, which means that they’re pro-tutorial. I’m curious as to what kind of games the original poster plays, what company they general flock to, to prompt the thread.

What do you guys think? How often do you go through tutorials when starting up a new game? Do you feel that certain game developers and companies utilize tutorials more than others?

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Press “A” to Jump

Double Jump Kris MiiIt’s President’s Day here in the US and where I’m from, we got the day off! I hope everyone else is having a lovely Monday and that you’re enjoying it!

Having time off of the day job on a winter’s day is a good excuse to curl up with a new video game… After you get past the tutorial, of course.

Many video games have tutorials for the players to push through before they can dive into the main story line, if not some very simple first levels so the player can get used to the controls. Tutorials are important in that they help introduce the game world to the players, and I definitely appreciate them whenever I turn on a new game.

people-who-skip-the-video-game-tutorials-when-playing-a-game-for-the-first-timeHowever, there are definitely games where I wish I could skip the tutorials. For instance, I’ve been playing the Pokemon franchise since Red, Blue, and Yellow two decades ago. Pretty sure I’ve figured out how to catch a Pokemon by now.

Of course, there are franchises where a tutorial is a nice refresher, such as the simple instructions at the beginning of the Legend of Zelda games when the franchise continues on the newer consoles. The controls may be different from the Wii to the Switch, so a short interlude on how to swing a sword isn’t bad once in a while.

Whenever games offer a tutorial, I tend to play it, especially if it gifts the player with experience or bonus items. Yet, I do wish  more were able to be skipped, especially on favorite games that I find myself playing over and over. Super Mario RPG and its spiritual successors in the Paper Mario line do this with the timed hits and action command tutorials, allowing the players the choice of whether or not they wanted to go through the tutorial.

What about you? Do you enjoy tutorials or just wish to be dropped into the game to figure out the mechanics for yourself? Any franchises that you think work better with or without tutorials?

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