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No accounting for taste.

Calunio’s entry for Game Gale 2010 is a….er… torture porn game made in RM2k3, in which you…. brutally torture random people.

Okay, FULL DISCLOSURE, I pretty much despise the whole “brutality for the hell of it” fad that became popular in movies a few years back, and I’m going to take a minute to pontificate why. This phenomenon probably started with the film Saw in which a twisted genius trapped individuals in creatively designed and very horrifying death traps in order to teach these people to overcome certain personality flaws. These traps were designed around the person’s individual flaw and an observant viewer can even see how the trap can be overcome if the person is willing to accept and correct their weakness. Those who failed were generally subject to horrifying mutilation. Something about this premise intrigued audiences so Hollywood quickly made a series of copycat films that made no effort to capture the original spirit of this film or what made it good decent somewhat watchable. They were simply filled with sadists inflicting brutal torture on hapless teenagers for no reason at all. These films are often equated to pornography for a reason; they appeal to the lowest, basest part of the audience in a lazy and indulgent manner. That’s my opinion on the matter anyway. After playing this, it is my opinion that, perhaps despite the author's best intentions and efforts, this game has more in common with the latter than the former. Since I pretty much despise this genre I am going to be frank and admit right here up front that while I don't think that was the whole point of this game, there is pretty much no way this bias didn’t carry over into the review of this game.

But hey, that’s not to say this is going to be horrible, right? I’m sure this is going to be a perfectly marvelous game! Just look at those lightning effects! So, let’s put an end to my author tract and get on with this.

Our protagonist, Verge, is a high school librarian who moonlights in Dungeoneering, a world-wide online community of sadists who build dungeons in their basement and lure victims, called “sobbers,” into their clutches in order to cruelly and sadistically torture them. They video tape these torture sessions and then load them onto their website for other dungeoneers to watch, comment on, and review. However, Verge’s dungeoneering skills are considered sub-par and his work is generally lambasted by the community, leading him to be quite bitter and depressed. You are free to interpret this incredibly bleak outlook as commentary on the RM community; the developer certainly does, and the irony of equating “RM Games” with “torture” isn’t lost on me for a second. But Verge is determined to improve his dungeoneering skills in order to impress his friend Daily, whom he is infatuated with. To this end he enters a torture contest (seriously) in hopes of creating the ultimate torture video and winning Daily’s heart. The aftermath of this contest will change Verge’s life forever.

This sounds familiar…



Level Design 2/5
Whoa whoa, why such a mediocre score? Just look at those lighting effects! I certainly am not going to argue that visually the game is quite impressive, but that just isn’t enough to make up for the plethora of bad design choices in this title.

From the very beginning of this short game, the atmosphere is clearly well done and the creator obviously put a lot of thought and effort into the maps. Some have a sort of pseudo 3D effect that looks pretty decent, and there are few enough maps in the game to generally maintain a proper level of detail throughout all of them. The game is full of rips, many from Streets of Rage and even Sim City, which were frowned upon by contest rules but does nothing to diminish their impact. Visually, the game is quite striking. Unfortunately it’s also just about the only good thing I have to say about it.

There are two main mechanics in the game, a sort of dialogue-tree minigame ala a dating Sim, and the torture sessions. I will cover the dating Sim part in the characters section. In the torture sessions, your “sobber” will walk along a linear path in your dungeon and your job is to lay down various types of torture tiles in this game. The game pretty much reaches into the bag of horror clichés and pulls out every single classic; chainsaws, drills, razor blades, anything that can make you bleed is here. But tormenting your victim physically is not enough, you also must damage them psychologically. To that end, you can strip them naked, (complete with a unique naked sprite for every victim in the game, really) pretend to drown them, place false doors to lure them into thinking they’re going to escape, or rape them. Yes, that’s right, you can rape people in this game! This is even accompanied by a minigame I will explain later. Causing sufficient damage to both body and mind will result in what is known as a “beautiful escape,” the ultimate goal of every session. Killing your victim is considered mediocre. Ultimately these sessions don't feel much like torture, so don't let it scare you too much, but there isn't a whole lot to do here that is very interesting, as I will explain later.

When the game begins you are sent off to your torture supply shop to pick up supplies for your next video. Here you play a dialogue tree mini-game with the owner, the responses you give him in this instance determine the traps you can use in your first torture session. (The rape option is a bonus item you can find later. Seriously.) After this sequence, I raced off to claim my first victim, only for them to walk through every single trap and escape the dungeon. Game over.

Whoa, what? How did that happen? I used every trap! I immediately redid this session, doing the dialogue tree with my supplier differently and getting a different batch of supplies. This time, when one of my traps went off, a gauge appeared in the upper corner telling me to mash 1 and 2! This caught me completely off guard and by the time I figured out what I needed to do, the victim had escaped the trap and quickly fled the dungeon, giving me another game over. Turns out with certain traps you can cause extra damage by hitting 1 and 2, but nothing ever forewarned me of this. I later found out this was mentioned in the read me, but there was no in-game explanation. In fact, nothing about the traps, the dialogue trees, the torture videos, or how they are rated is ever explained in the game. A tutorial for fist timers would have been very helpful, and even once I was familiar with the mechanics of the "1 2" minigame I was still not sure if I was doing it right and don’t know what effect it actually had, or what the gauge is actually telling me.

Frustrated, I went back to supplier for a different set of traps. I knew that this guy liked to be flattered, but no matter what combination of traps he gave me I just couldn’t succeed. I tried ten times and could not succeed on even my first victim. If I were not a judge and required to see this game through I definitely would have given up on it here. There are certain combinations of starting equipment that are flatly impossible to win with. Your only recourse is to start over. This is a very serious problem and I suspect it would drive many players to quit. Then again maybe I was just really unlucky. Ten times in a row. But I persevered and after many tries found a combination that worked. Having a high chance of rolling an unwinnable combination of traps right out of the gate really soured the game for me. Fortunately, this very serious flaw was corrected in the latest release so I no longer hold this against it.

Once past this point, all real challenge disappeared as from this point on I was given way more traps for each video than a victim could ever survive. Unless of course you don’t know that a trap can only be used once and head into a session with only three traps remaining. Another game over for you!

The only real challenge at this point is to try to execute a beautiful escape, in which only a sliver of the health and will bars remain, but this is really hard to do without being psychic. Too many traps will kill your target or drive them to despair, too few and you’ll get a game over. I suppose if you practiced you could accomplish it, but that assumes you can stand playing for that long. There is little in the way of technical skill you can use to influence this outcome, only through a great deal of repetition would you be likely to succeed in this goal. Ultimately, however, your performance in these sessions is inconsequential as long as the person doesn't get away clean.

Aside from the vague rules of the torture sessions, the game is hindered by very slow walking speed, which is a big problem here because all you do is walk between locations. There are no encounters or any obstacles to dodge, its just crawling along the maps. The maps are small enough that this isn’t a huge problem but it is especially noticeable at the fire station where you have to circle the whole map to talk to the single person to be found there.

The game also has a cool map screen, and by cool I mean it looks cool but doesn’t make any sense at all. The paths you can take to follow along the map are completely random and arbitrary and there’s no way of knowing if you can go in any given direction or not, or even what buildings can be entered at all. You basically have to press the arrow key in every direction on every tile along the way to see where you can and can’t go. Obfuscating the basic navigation mechanics of the game is just ridiculous. At least give a line or some kind of mark on the screen so I know where I can go. Or better yet, a simple choice box probably would have worked much better. Looking cool should never come before basic functionality. Fortunately, this problem has also been corrected in the latest release, so it is not nearly the blight on the game it once was.

Can you tell which directions I can go in? Because I can’t.



Characters and Story 1/5
Way back at the beginning of this review I rambled on about my misgivings about the “torture porn” genre of films. If you didn’t like that, too bad, because here I’m going to go off on a tangent about slasher films.

The reason slasher films are generally not well-received (with some notable exceptions) is a basic disconnect with the characters. In most of these films we are introduced to a group of protagonists who are, frankly, horrible, disgusting and incredibly stupid people who generally do something really, really terrible to the film’s “killer.” While the killer is set up by the film as a ruthless monster and the protagonists are meant to appeal to our sympathies, this falls apart quickly when it is revealed the “heroes” are too dumb to live and that the killer usually has a really good motive to come after them all for revenge. Is it any wonder we end up rooting for the killers in most of these movies? It’s because we don’t like these people and enjoy watching them die.

Why do I bring this up? Because this would have worked here. Assuming Verge takes the role of the killer, with his sobbers in the victim role, if Verge had been set up sympathetically or genuinely downtrodden and the various victims as generally being bad people, torturing them might actually be less repulsive (and this actually does sort of happen at the game’s climax, but by then it was far too late to salvage this game.) But this is not the case. We are given little real understanding of Verge. We are told that he tortures people in order to feel close to them, but since I’m not a goddamn lunatic I find this position impossible to identify with. A basic failure to understand human emotions is not a cause for empathy. The various victims, on the other hand, are mostly pretty nice people. One of them is a pretty young kindergarten teacher with a disabled husband. The game expects me to brutally torture and murder this woman. I would much rather murder the protagonist.

So, before you can torture any of your victims you have to seduce and lure them to your basement. You accomplish this by striking up conversations with random pedestrians. You are given a short little blurb about each character, telling you about their personality, and you must use this knowledge to get on their good side. You’ll have two gauges, a bar that measures the character’s affinity towards you, and a second gauge that does hell if I know because nothing in this game is explained. They’ll ask you various questions and you must answer based on what you know about them. I’ll admit Verge comes across as a fairly smooth operator here, but there are many times where you’ll be presented with questions where no answer is obviously right or wrong ,but you can still be penalized. Get too many wrong and the victim will leave. This obliges you to…leave the screen and come back. It’s just a hoop to jump through, and with the slow walking speed, it’s just an annoyance. With a little more work this aspect could have been made better, but ultimately it comes across as unrealistic that anyone would ever follow this psychopath home after a two minute conversation.

“I have candy.”



This is probably the biggest problem I have with this game. The game invites us to sympathize with a character that is pretty hard to like. Verge is sad, pathetic, and lonely, and his only creative outlet in life is murdering people. The game attempts to humanize, trivialize and excuse his abhorrent behavior as somehow acceptable. The problem for me at least was that I liked most of the random pedestrians more than Verge, and hence this put me in a difficult spot as a player. Maybe that was the point of the game, I'm not sure. But the ultimate object of this game is that you end up torturing likable people for online cred and to impress a girl, and that just turned me off from the whole idea. Whether there was meant to be some greater meaning behind all this is largely irrelevant, because nothing of the sort is ever truly explored in the narrative or in the characters. If the ultimate point of the game is to make me not want to play, it's possible you have succeeded at some sort of message, but you certainly don't have much of a game.

The narrative claims to be a love story, but I don’t buy that either. At least not any kind of love I can identify with so it’s hard to objectively label it as such. Add in some really weird subplot involving Verge’s long lost brother that pretty much makes no sense and isn’t given any proper explanation, and the main narrative falls apart entirely. The dialogue is okay, not great, but the only character who is at all interesting is Daily, who comes across as genuinely twisted, but in the end this just isn’t enough to overcome the other flaws in this story’s construction.

Music and Sound 3/5:
The music choice for this game was a little unusual, what with many scenes playing fairly morose lyrical songs to set the somber mood. It was a little unusual, but I didn’t hate it. The sound effects used for the various traps are appropriate and sound in general was well placed. I really have no complaints in this area.

Overall 1.5/5
Now, before everyone jumps down my throat for daring to attack someone who is trying to be new and inventive in the RM world, for striking down someone trying to break new ground, I will say this. I believe this is a genuine attempt on the part of the creator to approach this subject matter seriously and with gravity. I don’t think he necessarily failed in this respect as much as I feel like this isn’t really a subject that can be approached tastefully. I dislike torture movies but people can watch them passively, in this game you are actively inflicting the torture and this creates a strong dissonance with the player. Stalking people isn’t fun for normal people. Stripping people naked and raping them isn’t fun for normal people. Brutally murdering people in your basement isn’t fun for normal people. I don’t think it is really possible to really enjoy this game, or if it is even meant to be enjoyed, much less ever be able to admit to someone that you enjoyed it. There are some genres that can be adapted to game form, but this is not one of them.

Posts

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edchuy
You the practice of self-promotion
1624
I don't agree with almost any aspect of your review, but I still respect your opinion, especially since you made some good arguments to support it. The one thing I know for sure that we had in common was noting that the Dungeoneers' website bore a certain similarity to something we all know. I suspect this game will be one of those which people either love or hate. Whether it erupts into a flame war (I am hoping it doesn't), we'll find out soon enough.

EDIT: Here we go!

i also have problems with playing on sadism and brutality as entertainment and even with using it straight under the guise of a highminded artistic statement but i do think it's unfair to write off the whole game as just gratuitous pandering! i'm gonna write my own review once i finish it though so i'm not gonna elaborate here
Solitayre
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
17912
I don't actually think that was the point, I think Calunio tried to do this as elegantly as possible, If you actually read the substance of the review I have a lot more problems with it than that.
I'll say this outright, I never played this, I hadn't planned to. I'm a family man, I grew up with fairly strict morals. Even in a game I don't go forcibly torturing people, I limit my kids exposure to violent games until their older, and I know how desensitized people have become.

I figured this game was about basic torture, and that was bad enough, but I kept my comments to myself.

But:
1. "One of them is a pretty young kindergarten teacher with a disabled husband."
2. You can strip them naked and RAPE them.

I'm sorry, but anyone who can play this game and not feel deeply disturbed and shut it off when those kinds of situations has problems.

How long until it's okay to kill a stranger walking past your house, drape his innards on a tree, and everyone in the neighborhood comes and applauds and comments how creative you are?

Maybe it's because I'm a dad, or maybe I was just brought up with severely different morals, but stuff like this is just wrong on every level I can imagine.

@Calunio: Sorry, your ideas are definitely unique, and I figured walking the border was just your style, I thought a slasher/torture kind of game was a bit far, but figured you'd do it with style like usual. This... this is just a bit too far out there.
DE
Self-proclaimed master of idling
1313
Then you must be having problems distinguishing between reality and fiction. I watch horror movies all the time and am one of the most peaceful people I know. This argument is old and tired.

Anyhow - I knew what the rating would be after reading the first paragraph. I see that you're one of the people that review genres they hate only so that they can safely rate it as low as possible. OK. I will now go write a review of a racing game and complain that there's too many cars in there. And I hate cars. */*****

tl:dr
This review is not worth shit.
comment=31536
Then you must be having problems distinguishing between reality and fiction. I watch horror movies all the time and am one of the most peaceful people I know. This argument is old and tired.

Anyhow - I knew what the rating would be after reading the first paragraph. I see that you're one of the people that review genres they hate only so that they can safely rate it as low as possible. OK. I will now go write a review of a racing game and complain that there's too many cars in there. And I hate cars. */*****

tl:dr
This review is not worth shit.

There is a large difference between watching a gory or horror movie, and actually taking those actions yourself, even in a simulated environment. Do you really believe that people aren't affected by this? That things like this don't shape a person like all the other events in their life? "One sec, turning off my learning switch here... okay! Now no matter what I watch or choose to do it won't affect my growth or personality. I am just that awesome."

Are you saying it's okay to perform torture and rape so long as it's simulated?

Bad enough we've become fairly desensitized to killing thanks to it being the main method of enterainment in games, but usually those are attempted with justification (weak as they are) - such as war, them being evil monsters, them not really dying just being knocked unconscious, etc.

But what (even flimsy) justification is there to torture or rape people?
DE
Self-proclaimed master of idling
1313
Are you going to argue that ultra-violent and/or gory games turn gamers into psychotic killers? That watching a tiny sprite explode into red pixels will scar someone's psyche? Come on, you, as a game designer, should know better!

I could be having doubts if it was an A-title with realistic graphics, realistic characters, and a realistic story, but this is just a 2K3 game with symbolic (rudimentary) graphics.

And your last argument could be countered with: "Are you saying it's okay to kill people and make their heads explode to gain virtual points (what you do in 99% of all FPS's)?" We all know the answer to that.

EDIT: you edited your post as I was writing mine.
Bottom line is this: if you feel uneasy killing virtual people, then don't play games where you kill virtual people. Millions of people play them and they're normal people. And it's not like they're telling you how to bring up your kid, now do they? So why are you telling them which games should they be playing?
comment=31538
Are you going to argue that ultra-violent and/or gory games turn gamers into psychotic killers? That watching a tiny sprite explode into red pixels will scar someone's psyche? Come on, you, as a game designer, should know better!

I could be having doubts if it was an A-title with realistic graphics, realistic characters, and a realistic story, but this is just a 2K3 game with symbolic (rudimentary) graphics.

And your last argument could be countered with: "Are you saying it's okay to kill people and make their heads explode to gain virtual points (what you do in 99% of all FPS's)?" We all know the answer to that.

No, it's not, flimsy justifications are given for the actions, and many games don't necessarily state that they've been killed. When you "kill" a slime in an RPG, is it dead? Gory games are usually based on your "killing" being abstract or justified (self defense, etc) and leave those avenues somewhat unexplored.

However, we still lack ANY kind of even weak reason to allow what is obviously an unacceptable act.

"Sorry your honor, I thought she had a gun, so I had to repeatedly rape and slice her carefully so as not to kill her! In my basement. With traps and implements I purposefully bought for this purpose."

or

"These evil beasts are killing villagers, therefore I found their general and repeatedly raped her and slowly tortured the male general to teach them the error of their ways."

Is killing okay? No, not really. Should we use that as an excuse to go into acts that have NO POINT AT ALL beyond a gross self-satisfaction and aim to purposefully inflict pain on others? (To the goal of not even killing them, just breaking their mind and taking away their self.)

EDIT: So, since so many games allow killing, and that's bad, it's okay to allow torture and rape? You know, for the people that are okay with that stuff?
Solitayre
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
17912
Just want to say I am not personally making any judgments about people who play or enjoy this. It just wasn't my idea of fun and I personally am not comfortable with a lot of the subject matter.

I don't think enjoying this game makes you sick, but I do think it isn't necessarily something you should tell people you liked.

Also people should remember that this is just my opinion and all opinions are biased!
Stalking people isn't fun for normal people. Stripping people naked and raping them isn't fun for normal people. Brutally murdering people in your basement isn't fun for normal people. I don't think it is really possible to really enjoy this game, or if it is even meant to be enjoyed, much less ever be able to admit to someone that you enjoyed it. There are some genres that can be adapted to game form, but this is not one of them.

I'm afraid, even being abnormal, I still don't like this. I'm pretty desensitized to these type of things, and actually pretty heartless on the inside, but I don't feel this should of been made as a game for this site at all, or this contest. It would of been better placed in a small clique outside the site. What I can't agree on at all is the victims being regular nice people, or that you can in fact strip them naked and rape them. There's a pretty strong line between what's acceptable between torture and rape in the gaming industry.

comment=31536
Then you must be having problems distinguishing between reality and fiction. I watch horror movies all the time and am one of the most peaceful people I know. This argument is old and tired.

comment=31537
There is a large difference between watching a gory or horror movie, and actually taking those actions yourself, even in a simulated environment.

Something like this does make me wonder about the creator's own sanity, or the people who choose to play and enjoy it. Even if it is "fictional" there is a big difference between beating up the "bad guys" or even torturing some bastards, to torturing (and raping) random people off the street. It hurts that this is even considered a "bonus" item. I can't say I agree with this at all, and the very idea of it makes my stomach turn.

I've watched a fair share of horror movies in the past. My mother eats them up. But when you're watching, it's like you're watching as just an onlooker, that you don't actually "feel" like you're the main character yourself. In fact, a lot of the times you'll feel like you're the victim, or a friend of one, making it an intense and scary situation. There's no sense of gratification from him killing the people. It's meant to be frightening, not rewarding. Unlike this. It's meant to be rewarding, and that's just sickening.
DE
Self-proclaimed master of idling
1313
It seems any discussion is pointless; it's not like the game's author or me are going persuade anyone who disapproves of this type of game that it is okay, or the other way around.

As for BE as part of Game Gale - I've played all of the entries and this one is the most polished, or simply the best one. To create all of this in just two weeks is a great accomplishment, so my hat's off to you, sir.
comment=31542
It seems any discussion is pointless; it's not like the game's author or me are going persuade anyone who disapproves of this type of game that it is okay, or the other way around.

As for BE as part of Game Gale - I've played all of the entries and this one is the most polished, or simply the best one. To create all of this in just two weeks is a great accomplishment, so my hat's off to you, sir.

Discussion does seem pointless I guess.

You either are okay with torturing/raping virtual innocent people for fun, or you aren't.
DE
Self-proclaimed master of idling
1313
Indeed, so let's leave it at that.
Disregarding how tasteless this game is (as a person who is tasteless himself), this game is just not a good game. Like, playability-wise. It just isn't fun, even if you don't mind mowing down helpless schmucks from off the street.

There was a game series that actually did this pretty well - look up Deception. Those games were pretty good.
Sated
puking up frothing vitriolic sarcastic spittle
5405
Since I pretty much despise this genre I am going to be frank and admit right here up front that while I don't think that was the whole point of this game, there is pretty much no way this bias didn't carry over into the review of this game.

This review is not worth shit.
First of all I wanna thank Solitayre for the review, and the fact that he didn't like the game only makes his merits bigger for having played it to the end and writing such elaborate comments.
I know that there are a lot of taste issues in this game, so I can't really disagree with you on much. I'll reply on specific topics about the review and the following comments.

I want to start by saying that I hate movies like Saw. All Saw movies. I kinda liked the first Hostel, but the second one is terrible. I only watched those after I started making the game, as research. I don't think I should even have to say this, but I don't commend torture at all, I don't have a personal taste for violence, I don't enjoy blood, I don't even like horror movies in general, and I'm a very nice person. Because of that, I have to strongly oppose the point that this game is “brutality for the hell of it”.
What I wanted this game to be is a psychological experience, that's all. It's not meant to be enjoyed by people who are desensitized to violence. I am not. To be honest, I'm quite disturbed by this game myself, because if you felt weird about playing it for 1 or 2 hours, imagine myself making it for over 100h. Everything you consider tasteless about the game was obviously deliberate.
I guess my goal with this game, and that's what probably makes some people love it and other hate it, was to create empathy between the player and Verge. I see Verge as a very believable character. He's not portraited as the bad guy at all, even though he does bad things. And this empathy is meant to be the most disturbing thing about the game. I'm not trying to create psychopaths or anything, because I know for a fact this won't happen. I just thought the game could make people feel things they don't usually feel, and it would be an interesting psychological experience. That's pretty much it.

Moving forward,
There's an obvious analogy with The Dungeoneers and RMN, or other online forums about anything. And an interesting aspect of it is that you are never required to perform a beautiful escape, or anything that will give you a good review. Players are just induced to do it, because they want good reviews. That was my analogy. No intentional analogy between RM games and torture, however. I don't see that.

I am also a little shocked with people finding this game so hard. I can kill a victim with one razor and one drill, so I expected other players to do fine with the initial 4 or 5 traps.

Also, like I said in the other review, I'm aware that there are some design choices that could annoy the player, like the slow walking speed, etc. But they were deliberate, and I wouldn't change them today. I just didn't want this game to be played in a rush.

That doesn't apply to all design choices, though. I agree that the city map navigation is confusing, that was a mistake. And maybe some others.
Solitayre
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
17912
I know you do not condone torture or brutality. =) As I said in my review it was a pretty gutsy move to try to actually make a game of this nature, I just really don't think it translates well into a game.
kentona
▲▲▼▼◄►◄►(B) (A)
19648
Bias carries over into every review ever, so I'm not sure what point is being made when Solitayre admits to it and therefore his review is meaningless?

Game playing is a pretty subjective experience and I would expect a review to reflect that.

</offtopic>
WIP
I'm not comfortable with any idea that can't be expressed in the form of men's jewelry
11363
Sol needs the font patch!
edchuy
You the practice of self-promotion
1624
A few things I would like to mention:

I don't think anywhere here condones rape and torture.They are things that I'm sure all would agree we would prefer wouldn't actually exist. It does take some courage to aboard such themes, which I believe calunio has tried to do. This type of game could have never been approved for a legal, commercial release. Thankfully (regardless of whether you agree or not with the premise and content involved), indie communities like RMN have a space for it.

The game does include a rarely seen disclaimer that's intended for "Mature Audiences Only" (which should be included more often, IMO). Presumably whoever considered downloading it at the minimum saw that the game involved torture, which should hinted those who have a very strong ideological stance about exposing themselves or their families to that to avoid it altogether. I have no idea whether Solitayre would have even considered playing it had he not been a Game Gale judge.

Finally, there is the issue of whether games should be fun. Fun is a very strong word that I have tried to avoid using in my time at RMN. Why? Because this is definitely the most subjective thing related to playing games. Also, it is flawed to value games only on the basis of fun. Why? Because not all gameplayers choose to play a game necessarily looking for it. Ever heard of wasting time or looking for a challenge?
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