Most of us have played a game that gives us options for how to do something. Do you take the easier path that might have negative, or immoral, consequences? Or do you do the harder way that lets your character feel squeaky clean afterward. Or maybe the game isn’t really giving you a moral choice as much as you just want to try it a different way by not taking advantage of every mechanic you can.
The question, then, is when do you put limiters on yourself in a game?
There are entire subscultures in gaming around making the game more challenging by not leveling up. The Dark Souls community, for example, often engages in Soul Level 1 playthroughs. Since leveling up in that game is entirely elective, they can get to the end of the game without increasing a single character stat. By doing this, they make the game more interesting and challenging for themselves, and also expose how skill-dependent the game is. Grinding may help you, but it’s not necessary to win.
Personally, I went through all of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain without killing a single enemy soldier. There were some situations where I straight up had to blow up some tanks, but, uh, I just told myself they were probably unmanned. Friends questioned why I bothered when there was no achievement for doing so, but to me, not killing anyone made the game more fun. I had to really think out every situation because I couldn’t just gun my way out if things went wrong. I also finished Dishonored without killing anyone…well, except for that one soldier that fell off a roof long after I knocked him out and left.
When have you made things a bit harder for yourself because you want to have more fun? When have you wanted to but the game just wasn’t built for it?