We’ve arrived at topic #20 in the 100 theme challenge, making us one-fifth of the way done. Our newest topic is fortitude, a word that means courage and strength, particularly when faced with life’s many trials. I feel like taking such a topic too literally could lead down a rather unpleasant path, as life’s troubles, whether or not I managed to overcome them, is not something I feel like discussing. Rather, I’m going to tackle this topic rather loosely and analyze…the fortitude of gamers.
Yes, gaming can indeed require fortitude. It’s ridiculous, really, that something meant as a hobby can evoke feelings of anxiety in people such as myself as we face fictional burdens of all shapes and sizes. Oftentimes, gaming is not so much fun as it is a test of skill, which we may or may not escape emotionally unscathed. Of course, I exaggerate…a little, but you have no idea the misery inflicted upon me by my beloved video games thanks to the many ridiculous trials I have been forced to overcome over the years.
Okami is the first game that comes to mind with the dreaded Konohana Shuffle, which is nearly impossible to complete if you don’t draw the stupid circle around the stupid cherry blossoms just right. Majora’s Mask, to name another example of gaming despair, gives us the Town Shooting Gallery, where one must hone their bow skills to the limit or find one of the two most difficult Heart Pieces forever out of reach. Oh, and if you want the Fierce Deity Mask (and the other most difficult Heart Piece), good luck on the Goron mini-dungeon because that one’s a doozy.
What I find so funny is the sheer determination we as gamers possess. Many gamers, myself included, will dedicate hours of our time to a single task, so dead set are we against the thought of our game besting us. I will ruin my day knowing a particularly difficult gaming challenge awaits me, and when the occasion arises where I truly am unable to master the task at hand, I have to remind myself…Duck, it’s just a game; it really doesn’t matter if you get through this.
It really doesn’t matter if I don’t beat Okami again or get every Heart Piece in Zelda. There are a thousand more important things in the world. And that’s why the extreme level of determination displayed by many gamers is actually quite a funny thing. I feel like you would be hard pressed finding a more resolute group of people than gamers despite all the rage our hobby causes us. And if that doesn’t show fortitude, I don’t know what does.