Five satisfying moments you encounter in gaming

One of the main reasons we play games is to experience specific moments over and over again. Some might present themselves in a different guise here and there, but it’s undeniable that we keep coming back for more.

Here’s a short list of some the the better known moments that keep us cemented in this hobby.

Winning by an inch

So you’ve been battling it out with a full grid of cars, starting in the back 8 of a 16 car grid. Every corner and overtaking opportunity is meticulously calculated to shave valuable seconds off of your lap time. You power through the last three corners sitting on the tail of the current race leader hoping he makes a mistake like braking too late, taking a wide line around a corner, or simply just panicking with you sitting in his boot.

They either make a mistake or purely have less ponies under the bonnet than you and you’re in for the final straight. You edge ever so slowly while the finish line creeps up in front of you, but you have one eye trailing the opponent to your side. Your jaw tightens, you clinch your controller or steering wheel and punch that throttle so hard because in the back of your mind, it produces an extra 5 kilowatts of power.

You pass the finish line and anxiously wait for the score board to appear with the times, and voilà. There it is written and recorded. Your efforts and anxiety weren’t in vain. You perform a virtual air punch as you count your XP and in-game credits gained. You were the best driver on the day.

The last man standing

Whether it be in the battle royale or team deathmatch arena, being the last person on the battlefield with the odds stacked against them will always be a mixture of compounded anxiety with your teammates counting on you to win, and the adrenaline rush surging through you as your senses are heightened during these tense moments.

You either move around frantically or stay put in one spot in cover, waiting to catch a glimpse of the enemy. You look up at the amount left alive and realise you’re up against three enemies. You listen for footsteps or anything that might give their position away. You check your inventory for explosives or anything to be used as a distraction and in the corner of your eye you spot the enemy. You peak from cover waiting for him to move loser, but then you hear footsteps on the opposite side. You’re being surrounded.

Best bet is to take out the one that’s closest, so you jump out from cover and mow down the first victim, do a full 180 to see if the other enemy has made any advances and you then throw a frag or smoke grenade to buy more time. By this time, the third player joins the fight and hits you with a couple of shots and you return fire. Now you’re just under half HP and the one enemy you tried to distract has started their advance while you were taking out the third. He jumps from around the corner and it’s a frenzied bullet ballet. Finger on the trigger and you bob and weave as your armour depletes, you see hit markers and hope more bullets hit them than hit you. The action pauses and you wait for your name to appear. “You’ve Won!” the screen reads. Your teammates rejoice and commend you on your skill and tactical prowess. GG, my friend. GG.

You’re not the boss of me

We like boss fights. We really do. I’ll tell you why.

It’s a point in the game that brings about the feeling of progress. You know you’ve made strides and almost beaten a level when you’re faced with a behemoth of a creature wielding things that look like their main purpose was to cause you misery. You wait for the dialogue to finish as you utter to yourself “what in the blue heavens am I in for now?” You dodge and parry, throw a couple of shots and rain some bullets on it to see what’s most effective. Then it unleashes an attack and you immediately recognise that there’s no opportunity to just attack. Learning its every move and identifying the pattern and staying alive is what works best. These battle can go on for quite some time. Heck, some boss battles go on for hours, even days.

So, now you’ve committed every move and advance to memory, and suddenly the boss battle goes into the next phase. Rinse and repeat, and another phase. This goes on and on and you start getting frustrated at the fact that this task seems insurmountable. Controllers get broken because of this. At this point, you know exactly how far you are from the end. Tensions mount and you use your last potion and ability and hope it makes a dent, a last-ditch effort to bring this tyrant down, but it also has slow health regen so you know it’s not enough.

You throw caution to the wind and unleash everything you have in your arsenal all while making a face that would have anyone else in the room thinking you’re about to pop a vein. Loud noises, explosions, growling moans of defeat, a cut scene. These are the things you’re waiting for, and when it eventually does make an appearance you release a long deep breath of relief. You did it! You’ve overcome another obstacle. The game might not be over, but you know you’ve accomplished something. Unless it’s one of those game with a twist where that whole thing you just went through was only the first phase of many.

Oh well. Here we go again…

The legendary hunt

Raids. The culmination of long hours of farming XP, relics, armors, weapons, magic and positions just so stand a chance to go on a merciless battle to obtain those rare, illusive items. The gold and purple accented treasure that only comes around now and again, and in some cases, once and never again. You join or create a clan dedicated to these grueling tasks and varied plans constructed in order to succeed.

The alert goes live and you gather your warriors and embark on a quest for items made from unobtainium. Each participant has their role to play, dealing massive amounts of DPS, providing a well of health for the team, buffing all member’s abilities to keep you all in the fight.

Time goes by and you and your friends come out triumphant. You quickly scroll through all the items you have obtained looking for signature colours in among all the common clutter. There it is, that little purple or gold items sitting there in your inventory and the thoughts of how rich you are and the idea of showing off to your friends and clan members plays out in your mind while a smile of satisfaction creeps across your face. Pure bliss.

Last minute push

There are many sports fans out there, but not that many fans that play the games that their favourite sport is based on. Those that do play them though, know all to well what it feels like to go head-to-head with someone equally skilled as you are.

This is when you sit there telling psyching yourself up and promising to bring your A game. All the bells and whistles and no sub 85 rated players make it to the field, not even the bench. You run through various formations and tactics just in case the opponent decides to switch things up at a moments notice.

The game starts and you push the ball around to see how the opponent reacts and watch the players’ movements on the field. You then start forcing your style of play and the opponent responds with their defensive tactics, throwing the proverbial spanner in the works. You get a sliver of a chance and take it and so does the opponent.

The final dying minutes approach and you wait in anticipation as the added time is indicated. Four minutes, but in virtual game world time that equates to roughly one minute. One minute to win it. You set your tactics to ultra attacking, you leave one defender behind the halfway line and even get your goalkeeper involved. Lobbing balls into the box and flooding it with your players, but your opponent is doing the same. After a failed attempt on your end of the field, the ball runs free and you choose one of your fastest forwards to give chase. A box-to-box run with defenders chasing you down and your stamina already on low, slowly ticking down to nothing. You make it to the 6-yard box and it’s you and the opposing keeper. Palms sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy (no mom’s spaghetti though) you put the last bit of the player’s tank into a finessed shot to the top left corner. As it moves through the air, you hold your breath as the ball hits the post and ricochets to the other post. The keeper scampers for it as it drops to the floor, but he’s a millisecond too late. It bounces over the line and the crowd erupts.

It paid off. You leap from your couch with fists shaking at the screen as if you just won the world cup in real life. You’re the best of the best on the day and it’ll go down as one of those hard fought victories. A virtual handshake with the opponent and you sit and smile as you make your way to the main menu feeling as if you just played a full 90-minute game with extra time.

It’s these moments that get us back into games over and over again. The feeling of achievement, the rewards from seemingly endless battles, the grind for legendary items, the thrill of being the last man standing, and the elation of scoring the winning goal in the dying minutes of the match. Name a few moments that brings you back to a game, it doesn’t have to me a multiplayer experience either.

I Game, I Design, I wish I could Game Design.

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