I saw an interesting post floating around my Tumblr dashboard about introducing skippable combat in video games. There were understandably a lot of opposing viewpoints. Most people just think it’s lazy or defeats the purpose of playing a game. I mean, if you’re not going to play the game you should just watch a lets play, no?
I would love skippable combat, and acting like combat is the only important part of the game is fallacious. (Quests? Puzzles? Decision-making? Hm?) I haven’t touched Bioshock in over a year because last time I picked it up I got ambushed in the game and suffered a panic attack. I tried to play through it but I ended up losing most of my dexterity and wasted bullets until I turned off my Playstation and curled up into a ball and cried because my disease won’t let me play games. I think a lot of people like me would appreciate an option to enjoy a game without triggering a debilitating episode.
Typically when I play games I want a cool story and interesting character design, impressive graphics and to have fun. If a percent of gamers would have fun skipping combat, where is the harm in providing a way? All that does is create a more hospitable and customizable gaming experience. Nobody’s forcing you to skip combat, or to even play on easy mode. If you want to beat Fallout 4 playing upside-down on hard mode then more power to you but a “skip combat” button will not impede your dream of overachieving in video games.
I used to be a huge gamer, playing for hours every day (even combat ones, but low-level gore like Street Fighter). Eventually games and consoles got hella expensive and I stopped playing. When I was ready to return to the gaming world, most of the games catered towards my age group were violent and scary and made me uncomfortable. It’s not that I don’t want to play them; games these days have the most intricate story lines and well-written characters. Of course I want to play them! I have all the Bioshocks, all the Borderlands, The Last of Us, and Fallout 3, none of which I have completed because I can’t muster the courage to get through the combative game play. I’ve gotten kids games with fantasy violence for some low-stress options but let me tell you, a LBP sack person is not a replacement for Tiny Tina.
A skip combat option would be a dream to get me through some of the more triggering episodes in a game (lulz punny). And it’s not just great for mentally ill people; any gamer with a physical disability who may not be able to push all the buttons for successful combat could skip and continue on with the game. It would make gaming much more accessible without hindering or affecting regular game play at all.