What was your Aha moment?

Your reading from Mia Consalvo (2007) talks about Aarseth’s concepts of aporia-epiphany in gaming. Cheating in a game breaks the “a-ha moment”. What are your thoughts on it?

There are gaps in any game, that we have to come and fill in. When we find a solution, we have an “a-ha! moment” or an epiphany. I remember having an epiphany while playing Counterstrike when my friend told me that if my teammate and I did not care about planting the bomb as terrorists, the other counter-terrorist team could not find us as easily and we could surprise them just by playing the game differently than other times.  That was a good gaming session with family and friends!


Consalvo, M. (2007). “Gaining advantage: How videogame players define and negotiate cheating”. In Cheating: Gaining Advantage in Videogames, MIT Press: Cambridge, MA. (pp. 83-106).


3 thoughts on “What was your Aha moment?

    1. Being the class fanboy for Overwatch, I feel that this calls for me to try to answer. Overwatch, like most Blizzard games, was first released without a system for reporting any type of abuse in the game. Different types of games tend to provoke different emotions by the players. Toxicity in games has always had a correlation with the amount of teamwork required to win. Compare, for instance, a game such as World of Warcraft where players are free to do and roam as they wish in the online realm, with a game like League of Legends, which subjects players to a specific ruleset requiring players to be working at every second for the benefit of the “team”. This contrast highlights the differences in the communities of the games, and how those communities communicate internally. World of Warcraft has been seen as an online “bar” by many. Our textbook has an example where they sat inside a gamespace of World of Warcraft to analyze the interactions between players. Because the game does not demand a constant focus on objectives and mechanics to succeed, World of Warcraft is able to create an atmosphere where players are not as angry with others, or stressed by the situations they find themselves. Looking at League of Legends we find the opposite, so it is obvious that a team-based MOBA game would have more vitriol than an MMO that emphasizes freedom of movement and experience.
      This shouldn’t oversight trolls – people who seek to disrupt and offend others online as a sport. And these types of players are why a reporting system must be introduced. Players who “flame” or are abusive to other players cannot be provided exemption from standardized rules around conduct and behavior. It is understandable that people get mad when their team is not cooperative, but that should not come at the expense of players who still seek cooperation in the face of defeat. Overwatch introduced the reporting system to curb this toxic behavior and offer players a sense that this behavior will have repercussions. It is necessary, given the genre as a team oriented objective-based game. One last point, Overwatch has revised the definitions for each report to state “_____ IS NOT _______” in each reportable offense, to address the abundance of incorrect reports they receive – https://gfycat.com/CavernousSpicyGallinule .


  1. My biggest “aha-moment” for a video game was definitely just last year when I finally figured out how to get past a level in Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. I had been stuck on one level in the game where you needed to melt a block of ice in order to get a special weapon needed to get farther in the game. I played the game quite a lot when I was little and found many of the puzzles in it challenging, making me feel very clever when I figured one out. However, when I came across this one obstacle I could never seem to figure it out. Until one day last year I decided to give the game a try again, lifting the 7 year pause i had on the game and it took me less than an hour to figure out all i had to do was go down a path i didn’t see when I was a kid.

    I agree that cheating breaks the “aha-moment” because if I had just given up and found a cheat code to get me past that obstacle, sure i would have been able to continue the game but i would no longer feel the same pride as before when I figured out the puzzles on my own. In the case of what you did in CS:GO I don’t think that that is cheating but instead it is another strategy. A cheat constitutes exploiting the game’s programming, not exploiting the game’s rules.


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