For people who play video games a lot, it can be common to run into games we don’t like. But how often do we keep playing those games once we realize we aren’t having fun? I offer a defense of playing bad games as a way of helping us to build up critical skills.
Sometimes we talk about games in terms of the intent behind them. Perhaps a part of the game isn’t fun, but the designers made it that way. But is that a good explanation? In this essay I argue that the intent behind a system should not be relied upon for deciding whether a video game’s systems are good or bad.