All gamers know what a walkthrough is and many use one from time to time. Whether you’re stuck in a dungeon and can’t find your way out or you don’t know where to find the last item you need to finish an quest/achievement, they can be extremely helpful. But where do we draw the line? People make walkthroughs on youtube for commentary and entertainment and that’s great and all, but gaming companies also publish full books hundreds of pages long with every detail of the game laid out. When do walkthroughs stop being a tool to help and start being a force which dominates your gaming experience? Are you a real gamer if you use these walkthrough guides or are you a poser just trying to get to the end so you can brag about it?
I personally don't have a problem with walkthroughs for video games most of the time. When you watch a walkthrough that shows how to beat a tough boss, you still have to do that. For example if you watch a walkthrough on how to defeat Ornstein and Smough from Dark Souls, it will show you some helpful things on how to fight them, but you still have to do it yourself, which is never easy. I also am ok with it in story based games. Some people really only want to play a game for its narrative, and the gameplay itself acts as a blocker for them. I can't tell you how many obscure Point and Click games I've looked up the answers to particular puzzles on because I didn't care about how the puzzle was constructed, I just wanted to see the story.
The only time that I think walkthroughs are not good is when the game is specifically about the Puzzles. If the main focus of the game is puzzles and you look up the answers then it robs you of the satisfaction of solving the puzzle, ruining the game for you. If you just watched someone play Portal 1 and saw where they shot portals to get through the puzzle, its not really an accomplishment to do that yourself, and you get no satisfaction out of it. – Cojo7 years ago
I would never get through Witcher 3 without a walkthrough, this may well warrant losing my "real gamer" status. – Jeff7 years ago
You should probably focus on the subculture of walkthrough uploaders. They dominate the industry and fandom. – Joseph Manduke IV7 years ago
Interesting topic! I think you left out another utility of video game walkthroughs. Some people, myself included, watch video game walkthroughs of games they can't or will not play. Since there are so many consoles, so many games, and so little time, you might not be able to play every game you'd like to. But by watching a walkthrough you can still experience the game. – Cagney7 years ago
The article would need to pat down exactly what it's referring to in terms of walkthroughs. When I hear that, I think online guides on IGN and other sites alongside the giant printed books. If that's the case, then a lot can be said as to giving the player the power to create their own in-game experience. Where the developer wanted the player to be confused and stuck (or just under-prepared), the guide allows the player to swiftly move through the narrative at their own leisure. Of course a bunch can be debated for either case. But it might be interesting to see where Let's Plays fall into this category also. A side issue could also be printed guides. Although that might just flood the topic with the physical vs. digital debate. – Travis Cohen7 years ago
I don't think it really matters what medium walkthroughs are available in (print, video, etc.) because what matters is that they are there for anyone who needs them. Gamers shouldn't judge other gamers for using them if they are genuinely in need of help on a particularly difficult boss fight or if they want to find a rare item. I guess it all depends on what kind of experience you want, is what I'm trying to say. – Tanner Ollo7 years ago