Poll Question 052 – What’s the meaning of life for SP FPS gamers?

12th October 2007

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Happy Birthday

The Poll Question is one year old today! Your birthday is a normal time to ask questions about life, the universe and everything. SO today’s questions tries to do that!

This week’s poll question is:
What’s the meaning of life for SP FPS gamers?

For those also searching for the answer please be advised that 42 is not the answer, although it would make a great name for a game!

We all have various ways of playing an SP FPS game. I’ve listed just some.

To beat the game as quickly as possible.

There are some among us that live to Speed Run, I myself am ambivalent to getting through a game as quickly as possible. No doubt these devotees claim they replay the game at normal speed but I fear that their minds is already tainted with the spedd fixation!

To kill every single enemy, in every single level.

I have to admit that occasionally I feel the need, nay, compulsion to destroy all enemies that stand in my path. In fact I actively go looking for any foes that may be slightly timid! Gotta be in the right frame of mind for this though.

To legitimately reach areas that others players haven’t.

I had a great time reaching the shore of Lost Coast without cheating. I have little doubt that most players of Lost Coast have done the same but it gave me some satisfaction that I reached an area that wasn’t designed for a player to reach. Are you the sort of player looking to go where no man has gone before?

To find ALL the secret areas and other Easter Eggs.

Is there anything more frustrating than knowing an area exists but not being able to find the path there? How many have resorted to walkthroughs or dare I say it “console commands”! It has to be said there is a certain satisfaction in finding these sorts of things, although I can’t believe that all can be found be normal playing.

To understand every nuance and twist in the story.

Know who did what, when, with whom, why and where can be very important for a game. Or it can be the end in itself. Does it really matter how old Gordon Freeman was when pushed the material into the test chamber? Perhaps yes.

To become as immersed as possible in the game.

When I play I am almost total immersed. I’m sure somebody should use me as a test subject for this sort of thing because I become completely unaware of my surroundings.


Is there something I’ve missed? Now’s your chance to ensure the world (Well, a few thousand readers, anyway!) knows about it. Be clear and concise and no foul language!

The Poll


  1. Cygnus100

    So what your tring to tell me Phillip is that FORTY TWO is NOT the meaning of life? Hhhmmm…
    Well, then I had to vote for the total immersion thing, although to kill every damned thing in the game is definatly a close second.
    I still remember one night when “Doom” had first come out and I was scouting out a new level in the dark with my headphones on expecting some imps to suddenly growl and jump out at me at anytime, and my daughter age about 3 or 4 years old then had come up on me in my den and touched my elbow to ask what I was doing. Well, I screamed like rabbit caught in a snare and probably jumped out of my seat to boot.That is the kind of immersion I like, and any game that can draw you in like that gets highest ratings from me.

  2. zeroth404

    the poll on the right is still showing the old poll.

    anyhow, the meaning of life is obviously video games. I tend to laugh when people say “there’s more to life than video games”.

    life has evolved to the point where it is self conscious, and the way to enjoy self consciousness is with thought and experience. this is best done through art, and the best kind of art is interactive. Video Games.

  3. the poll on the right is still showing the old poll.

    It’s okay for me. IS anybody elase having problems?

    That is the kind of immersion I like, and any game that can draw you in like that gets highest ratings from me.

    Agreed. That’s one fo the reasons I didn’t Like Bioshock. It was too strange.

    “there’s more to life than video games”.

    Oh No there isn’t!

  4. I vote for immersing the player but for game of first generation where you have a cound for secrets and number of enemy kills I like to finish it ot too sneak arround… I would like to see new game with this feature or the best could be a option that makes this able(in classic duke nukem you see the secret and the kills at then end but since duke was ported to opengl with jonof’s port you can have it, by simple option y/n, appearing in the below right corner, I like this feature)

  5. piledriver

    Total Immersion! Isn’t that a game title? Or a band?
    When I first played Half-Life 1 and came to the walk along the narrow cliff paths, I was totally vertigoed. Ever found yourself peering round corners? (I mean really leaning sideways in your chair trying to see in 3D on a 2D screen). Sure you have! And looking up ladders! Me too!
    That’s total immersion folks, an” it’s got my vote

    1. Total Immersion may be the name of a game but the term in this case refers to a game that distracts the player in such a way there is no outside world, it blocks out everything else in your mind, and on occasion some one may have to come up and slap you on the back of the head just to get your attention..lol… You are “totally immersed” in what you are doing

  6. Kerberos

    Well, nice thing to see the pool already making 1 year! It shows that it has the quality needed.. Anyway, For me the most important part of a game, I voted on immersion, but I actually prefer to understand every nuance, story, plot. The game can even have an innovative, amazing gameplay, but if it does not have a unique and ultimate plot, I will not going to be finishing it.

  7. Afro-Dude

    Kill kill kill kill.

    1. your forgot “eat dead burnt babies and feel viens hanging from your teeth, kill kill kill” Arlo Guthrie (Alice’s Restaurant)..lol

  8. I would have to say it is the story thing for me. I really like to know why everything happens. In fact, sometimes I look a Wikipedia article of a video game (or book or movie) before I have played it (or read it or seen it), just to see the story. This is probably the sole reason I like video games with enthralling stories.

  9. Manual_Monaro

    To become immersed in the game as much as possible – That’s got my vote!

    Cygnus100 and piledriver’s comments about ” total immersion” are excellent examples.

    System Shock 2, FEAR, Half-Life, Half-Life 2 and Deus Ex (Especially Deus Ex!) are games that have completely drawn me into their world, refusing to let go until the very end!

    Half-Life 2’s Point Insertion, A Red Letter Day, Black Mesa East and Dark Energy chapters take the cake, as does Deus Ex from LaGuardia airport 747 hanger and onwards…


    When you finally enter the hanger, and step down to the tarmac… Your brother tunes in to tell you of his true allegiance with the NSF. The game just ” clicks.” it’s just ” from go to whoa” from then on.

    ***END SPOILERS***

    Even fan-made mods seem to provide total immersion! I got sucked right in by Half-Life’s Todesangst 2: Der Echte Feind and Half-Life 2’s Mistake of Pythagoras. To some extent, Half-Life 2’s Ravenholm mod is also a contender.

  10. Manual_Monaro

    I forgot to say…

    For me, immersion links towards the story, only I like to keep the stories compacted and go with what’s told in the games, using my imagination to fill the gaps until probable sequels and expansions fill it themselves.

    The only game series that has prompted my REAL interest in the storyline would be the Half-Life series. I was all over it, spewing and reading theories, gorging over Wikipedia articles (I know — Grain of salt!) and fan-websites…

    You get the deal.

  11. shungokusatsu

    As a die-hard fan of classic Doom, I have always been one to go over levels many times to ensure that nothing is left moving, except my own character, so I voted “To kill every single enemy, in every single level.” Without the killing, FPS simply becomes FP!

  12. Ade

    I think it should have been a top 5 (or 3) kind of choice, because picking just one isn’t enough for me, they’re too close from an importance pov and also related.
    My no 1 is immersion, no 2 the story and the killing, no 3 the rest, but very often this order changes, depending on.. dunno 😛 and if I could, I would pick all 3 mentioned above for no 1.
    Cygnus100’s post is hilarious and tells a major reason why I play video games. Nothing else gets me more concentrated and drives me farther away from reality than FPS, to that point where a sudden touch from the outside world makes me jump off my chair. The story is very important, as it has been mentioned in many other posts, it makes things more realistic and gives me a purpose to continue and to finish the game. The killing, well, it’s just a basic need and of course,

    Without the killing, FPS simply becomes FP!

  13. hydra9

    An excellent poll question to mark this occasion, Phillip!

    I voted for “finding all the secret areas and easter eggs” as I like to explore every corner as thoroughly as possible when I play a FPS. I like to open every crate and try to jump around to see if I can find some tiny ledge that will allow me to get to a secret area.

    I very nearly voted for ‘reaching areas that other players haven’t” but this is really an extension of my need to get every place I can.
    I find it very satisfying to find some hidden crawlspace or high-up platform that gives me an interesting view of the area, even when it doesn’t serve any real purpose. ‘thief” (though it’s not a FPS, really) comes to mind as it gave you the AMAZING rope arrows to play with, allowing you to experiment with climbing up all over the place. Also, you could stack boxes and climb up onto roofs, etc. That game is famous for inspiring a new style of gameplay where people tried to get to areas they were not legitimately meant to reach (and succeeded, using very tricky methods)!

    Of course, “immersion” is one of the most important things, so it’s sad that I’m not more immersed, more often. It’s best to play games when I have nothing else to worry about. If there’s some pressing deadline and I’m trying to get my mind off it by playing a game, then it often won’t work as I have that nagging feeling that I should be doing something else, instead.

    Also, I think it might just be the game I’m playing right now. Phillip… I might have to agree with you… “BioShock” is not quite doing it for me.

  14. Ade

    I think the 7 persons who voted for “Other” should share what they had in mind 🙂

  15. Jimbo

    Circle Strafing.

  16. Ade

    I would like to add: Simulation. Of violence, combat (my favourite), information retrieval and so on. I could never do those in real life. No one couldn’t, without special training, but the games give us, mere citizens (or workers, like Freeman) this chance: To see what it’s like and to virtually save the world.

    Circle Strafing.

    🙂 Nice one
    Wish I’d learnt it better and played more CS
    Anyone else?

  17. I think the 7 persons who voted for “Other” should share what they had in mind 🙂

    Here they are:
    # To become the Pokemaster!
    # To enjoy our favorite genre in the best way we can.
    # just for the fun. 😀
    # halfe-life bleu shift
    # To balance life and pleasure

  18. Ade

    are you a spokesperson? or did you vote 7 times which I’m not sure it’s possible 😛

    the second # is blank

    Normally, I wouldn’t ask what “Other” means for other people, but this is a big and meaningful question and the answers would give me more perspectives of the games. It’s that wonderful feeling when you’ve looked at something for a 1000 times and the 1001st time you see something different at it. So hopefully I’ll find an extra reason to play them, or enjoy them more, u know?

  19. are you a spokesperson? or did you vote 7 times which I’m not sure it’s possible 😛

    No, but currently only I have access to the other selection. Of course those people should make a comment about their addition but they rarely do.

  20. Now that the poll is no longer the current poll I have added it to the bottom of the main post.

    I suppsoe that the result is as expecetd with 60% voting for the immersion option.

    I though more would vote for killing all enemies.

  21. Ade

    well, it did come second 😛

  22. The initial objective is to overcome all obstacles and complete the main objective. Aside from that I like reaching places I’m obviously not supposed to get to.

    With speed running you it’s almost like saying “I just want to get this horrible game over with as quickly as possible”

    With Easter eggs, all it shows is that you are either tedious, or it simply shows your ability to think outside of the box, but still inside a different box.

    Killing everything often gets tedious, though just as often I do end up playing that way the first time simply to ensure I can observe the game at my leisure without any enemies interrupting me.

    If the game is good enough, I end up completely immersed, but that’s not really as much the objective as it is the result.

    Understanding the story is also a big part, if only because the story is such a big reason for playing. It’s all part of figuring out what is going on.

  23. Story line does improve gaming. Else all it is are giblets..lol…Some times giblets will do.. But most of the time there should be an objective other than giblets and gravy, they alone get old fast.. just my 2 cents worth….

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