I had no idea what kind of game it was but soon realized it was a point-and-click puzzle adventure game, with puzzles that, for the most part, were going right over my head. After feeling particularly stuck, I begrudgingly opened up a walkthrough. I told myself that it was just going to be that one time, that I just needed to get over the hump, and once I solved the puzzle I was stuck on, I'd put the walkthrough away, and continue on my own merit. But like the wise Pringles guy once said, once you pop, you just can't stop.
I started waiting less and less time before I would go back to my walkthrough, oftentimes completely baffled as to how I would have figured out the answers on my own. Was I dumb, or was the game hard? And if I was succeeding in the game only because I was using a walkthrough, was I really succeeding at all? I was essentially cheating, looking up exactly what I had to do to progress to the next stage. Anytime I stumbled upon a correct answer without the help of a walkthrough, it felt like pure luck, rather than skill that got me there.
So should I feel bad that I cheated? Is a victory won through a walkthrough truly a victory? Or is it hollow, a fake, a sham of my competence?
Quite frankly, I don't give a fuck that I cheated. The game is buggy, there's no flawless way of interacting with interactable objects and I honestly don't need to feel pressure from a video game when I get home. The game has been beaten and I don't feel any less satisfaction if I had beaten it of my own volition. I probably would have given up on it long ago without help. So cheat. Not everything has to be so hard. Let others who have come before guide you so that you can sail through with ease. You're worth it.