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Everyone loves a good challenge, but some folks are willing to go above and beyond their normal level of patience to beat games with extreme levels of difficulty. Celeste, Sekiro, Cuphead among others are games designed to push players to their limits. And when those limits are hit, a choice is presented. Persevere? Or Quit? For those that persevere, something special happens cognitively, and that’s what we’re here to discuss on this episode of Psych of Play.

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Stunning Thumbnail Art From @haruno_168 on Twitter:

Games Shown:

Dead Cells (2017) – Motion Twin
Celeste (2018) – Matt Makes Games
Fire Emblem: Three Houses (2019) – Intelligent Systems
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (2019) – FromSoftware
Dark Souls (2011) – FromSoftware
Dark Souls 3 (2016) – FromSoftware
Mario Maker 2 (2019) – Nintendo
Dragonball FighterZ – Arc System Works
Undertale (2015) – Toby Fox
Punch Out (1984) – Nintendo
Cuphead (2017) – Studio MDHR
Contra (1987) – Konami
Stardew Valley (2016) – Sickhead Games
Ninja Gaiden Black (2005) – Team Ninja
Dead Space 2 (2011) – Visceral Games
Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy (2017) – Bennett Foddy
New Super Mario Bros. U (2012) – Nintendo
Bayonetta (20119) – Platinum Games, SEGA
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011) – Nintendo
Super Smash Bros: Melee (2001) – HAL Laboratory
Super Smash Bros: Ultimate – 2018 (2018) – Nintendo
Super Meat Boy (2010) – Team Meat
Detroit Become Human (2018) – David Cage
Super Mario Odyssey (2017) – Nintendo
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017) – Nintendo
Pode (2018) – Henchman & Goon

Clips/Movies/Research Shown:

My Hero Academia
Spongebob Squarepants
The Hangover – 2009
Kaguya Sama: Love is War – 2019
Avengers: Age of Ultron – 2015
Hot Rod – 2007

W. – 2008
Everybody Wants Some – 2016
Hidden Figures – 2017
Whiplash – 2014
Good Will Hunting – 1997

**Self Handicapping and the Perception of Difficulty (Self Esteem)

**Past Success fuel Future persistence

**Resolving Cognitive dissoance, the need to justify the hell we’ve went thru (fraternity of ppl who have beat that section)

Music Sources:
Cartoon Network Powerhouse
Farewell – Celeste OST by Lena Raine
In Stasis – Celeste OST by Lena Raine
Flow Like Water – CloZee
Living Room – David Maxim Micic
Before My Body is Dry Instrumental
Daughter of a Great Summoner – Final Fantasy X OST
The Riverlands – Octopath Traveler OST
Megalovania LoFi Hip Hop Remix – Ralfington
The Choice – Undertale OST

**All images, graphics, and fonts created or found with postermywall.com, Pexels.com, Videvo.net, and Lightworks v14 editing software. All gameplay footage captured with Elgato 60FPS recording device**

#PsychofPlay

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28 thoughts on “Why You Keep Playing Brutally Tough Games | Psych of Play

  1. "What makes you keep playing?" – oh, that's super simple. The sunk cost fallacy. Can't let up now or allllll this time and effort I'd already put in would have been wasted, right? Can't have that!

  2. Ah, the trusty old "beyond the scope of this video" handwave. Aka "I started including this in the script but then realized it was boring af". Cheers!

  3. As someone who has gotten the golden berry in farewell with many mental breakdowns along the way, I can see there are healthy and unhealthy sources for determination. Try not to be stubborn, try to be driven, you have nothing to prove.

  4. the totem mimikyu from sun moon was really hard for me but then i found out that some other people thought it was hard and that helped. Also blood stained sanctuary from cave story has not been called easy by anyone but the best, so yeah

  5. Is it ok to think "There are people speedrunning this game, finishing it a million times, spending months and maybe years to get the world record. I'm just trying to finish it once." when you play a tough game?

  6. I’m an avid Dark Souls player but I also have severe ADHD and I have like 0 determination for school and forget to do anything and can’t be motivated in improving. That’s a great idea of persisting on something that is called easy because it seems like school work and remembering to turn things in or doing said things always seemed so easy for everyone else, I guess that’s why I gave up so easily

  7. I get determination when i fall of the tower of hell 1 stage before the end and i think, ive done this right? I should be able to do this again, right?

  8. When I play a hard game, every failed attempt gets me further than before which pushes me to keep playing like "OMG he was so close to dying I can beat him this time!" and then get my ass handed to me cause overconfidence .-.

  9. I went through this with many games, that's why I came to this conclusion: If it's just too hard to beat, just try focusing on something else, to avoid all that pain of not being good enough at something that's just over your powers. Oor, to put an end to it. It's not a shame to not be able to finnish a game for example; and it's never too late to give up. Yes, it's embarassing and if you have this thing for a long time, you might need help from other people, but that's ok, search for them, or spend time with your friends, to distract yourself, etc. It's actually better to find something that's more close to your level, but lets you improve your skills. 🙂

    P. S. I know it's a lot easier said than done, but it's worth it. Hah, this is actually a big challenge: fighting to give up the impossible thing you were fighting to complete. :))

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