Facebook Files: Are There Games You Can’t Play?



This week on Facebook Files, we’re discussing games you can’t play due to health issues, mental blocks or other things that somehow bother you. Keep in mind these are games you can’t play, not games you don’t like. For example, in Japan, first-person shooters fight an uphill battle as a lot of gamers suffer from motion-sickness. Also, stupid kids on Xbox Live doesn’t count as a reason. Thanks to Tim for coming up with such an interesting topic!


Tim wrote:

This discussion popped up on the front page, and I thought it was a good idea to get a full topic thread made for it, here goes;


Is there a game you or maybe someone you know, can’t play or find it difficult to play not because it sucks, or you don’t have the console for it but because it just bothers you in some way?


The biggest example of what I’m getting at is motion sickness one can get from games. Mirror’s Edge for me (and probably many others) was only played in small, tiny doses at first but when I came to realize that it was the game giving me that nauseating feeling it just became un-playable, I could not advance more then two chapters.


Another one for me was when I started Miles Edgeworth Investigations, it was brought up for the Amazon Curve on Siliconera, and one comment had mentioned the continuous white flashes that hurts some people’s sensitive eyes. I didn’t notice it before while playing, but going back after reading it, I couldn’t help but notice it, it didn’t hurt my eyes, but it did stand out a lot more and got annoying.


Laura wrote:

The only game that comes to mind for me is Resident Evil 4. I’ve been told to try it, again and again, and I can’t. Just can’t bring myself to play it for more than 30 min at a time. Somehow, I managed to get myself too connected to Leon that I’m over-nervous about him dying. I mean, when I actually die, it’s just an “Oh, I’ll have to restart again.” But, actually playing through it… Completely illogical and it irritates me that this happens and I WANT to finish it. But it’ll probably be 2020 before I even get close, lol.


Steven wrote:

Fallout 3 and Elder Scrolls…yeah These games are superb, but I have a phobia of sandbox games so I haven’t played much of either. There I said it. I’m probably one of the few in the 21st Century who has problems with sandbox games. In real life, I’m not much of a decision maker and it’s not any different in games. I mean it is seriously hard on me to complete or even make any real progress while playing these games.

I think part of this has to do with GTA 3. While everyone else was experiencing the GTA 3 sandbox revolution, I was all like “meh” and I continued with my Final Fantasies and Legend of Zeldas where some sandbox elements were present, but were limited. I love Chinatown Wars for the DS but have a hard time picking it up and deciding whether to go on a rampage, deal drugs, or continue the next mission (ONLY GTA game I like).


Ishaan wrote:

@Steven: I can relate to the fear of sandbox games. I don’t exactly have a “phobia” of them, but in general, I’m not a fan of “make your own fun” type games. Throw me in a giant 3D city, and I won’t know what to do first. Too much freedom is a no-no in my book. That said, I love all the 2D GTAs. GTA2 is my favourite. : )


Milki wrote:

And the last kind of genre I can’t play, even tho I love it oh so much, is horror games. I love mystery, suspense, crime, horror stories.. the more realistic and brainfucking they are, the better… I just can’t handle playing them myself. I get too absorbed and in the end they scare the hell out of me, resulting in me having nightmares for weeks and becoming really paranoid. Especially games like Silent Hill 1 and 2, where it’s less about beating up evil monster but more about running away from them and more about this suspense feeling, something might be there and the music gets all creepy and you just know, there’ll be a creepy nurse waiting for you just around the next corner and then there’s nothing.


OH MY GOD, that radio thinger was the most evil thing I ever, ever saw/heard in any videogame. It creeped the hell out of me and made me throw the controller at my best friend’s head in panic (I swear, it was not my intention, tho.. he deserved it since he made me play the game without even telling me what to expect and all! D: )


Anton wrote:

Magna Carta has been the only have I haven’t been able to play due to poor localization. Which is a shame, since I really enjoyed the combat system. Why did there have to be a writer’s strike when that game was being localized?


In the original thread, we discuss the addictive nature of Pokémon, the terrible localization of Lux-Pain, and how it led to complications with our playtest. You can find the full discussion here.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.