There are few things more hilariously hopeless than watching someone play a modern video game for the first time: their targeting cursors wobble aimlessly across the screen, unleashing a stream of bullets that manage to hit everything but their target. And amid their cries of frustration and accusations of cheating, they seem to inevitably come to one conclusion: “this game sucks”.
Unfortunately, this phenomenon is bad for the industry, as a bad experience can turn off a fledgling gamer from gaming entirely. And while developers do everything they can to make their games as accessible as possible to novices (or newbies, as they’re often called), nothing can make up for the years of experience many of today’s gamers have under their belts. At least, until now.
Meet GamerTrainer, a new startup that offers in-game tutoring sessions online across a variety of today’s most popular games. For $30 an hour (or less if purchased in bulk), you can have a private lesson with one of the site’s official GamerTrainers, all of whom have years of experience in the games they’re teaching.
At launch supported games include:
• Battlefield: Bad Company™
• Call of Duty 4®: Modern Combat™
• Guitar Hero® III and Rock Band™
• Halo® 2 and 3
• Madden NFL 09
• Rainbow Six® Vegas 1 and 2
• Super Smash Bros.® Brawl
• World of Warcraft
GamerTrainer has a great idea, and could easily be a hit if it can get enough exposure – in fact, it is a business model that the industry may want to consider embracing. In the days before the internet, gaming systems offered dedicated phone “hint lines”, which gamers could call whenever they ran into trouble (for only a few dollars a minute). Since then, games have become far more complex – written tips no longer suffice, and the barrier to entry has been raised. It’s in the industry’s best interest to help prospective gamers as much as possible, and private tutorials could easily be very lucrative way to increase a game’s user base.