Clearly, with games as large and involved as they are now, us older folks must pick and choose what to play and when- very carefully or else end up with an incredible museum of untouched Relics. Unfortunately, the idealist in most of us is merely a high pitched 'urkelish' voice that we stamp out so we can continue purchasing games well never-ever finish. Have any of you ever played a game for 10 minutes just because you bought it and, maybe, feel guilty for not ever experiencing someone else's hard work that you paid for?
These choices can become strangely overwhelming. Buying the thing is the easy part. Getting excited about playing them is also the easy part. Scheduling in the time is the quasi challenging adulty part i don't think ill ever fully master. But choosing something from the expanding library, well, it can be a bit of a motherfucker. Just the other night i had a half bottle of Whisky and some designated game time. I was ready to zone out and play something for a few hours. That didn't happen. In fact not much happened at all. I got the 'fear' you see. The enormous amount of choice before me caused a mental 'GAME OVER' for me before i even picked something out to play. Distantly i swear i heard a slide whistle being slowly drawn out foir me and my sad attempt. I went through the backlog out loud. By myself. Which i seem to do often now.
In this case, on this particular evening i chose non-wisely.
"Metal Gear!?- Yeah, i'm only 10 main missions in. I should catch up a bit..Quiets boobs are awesome. WTF was Kojima thinking?...maybe..."
"Witcher 3?!- SURE! wait....where was i? I'm only 25 hrs in, i should really put in some time here. Nurture it a bit. Give it some attention But then ill run out of money or my sword will break or ill get distracted and start doing shit in the forest.......aw fuck it."
"Dont Starve Together?!- TOTALLY! Such an adorably charming little game, and my Bro just put a new computer together maybe i should call him? "In an hour you can play!? Sure ill just play something else while i wait....maybe."
"Heroes of the Storm!?- Haven't really go into this yet, I've heard great things, like its a lazy mans DOTA. Built by the actual company that inspired it. Cool, i have not the time nor the patience to DOTA. But wait maybe i should finish....."
"Wolfenstein- Its been a while hasn't it Wolfy? Now where was i here, almost at the end. Right. The hard part and the reason i let you sit on the shelf for too long. Kind of like..."
"Hotline Miami 2- Hrm. Well- i don't know if i'm up for a super unforgiving, intense game. But a friend suggested 'Pillars of Eternity.' Oh shit, 50 bucks! Man, well maybe...But thats another time sink. Oh my bro just got back to me. He can't play."
Aaaaaand now i'm lost and somehow very confused.
So over about 2 hours i didn't play anything for a variety of different reasons. Something I've notice recently, and its not only to do with games, is the incredible, unfathomable amount of choices we have now for any given item. If your shopping for mustard and your indecisive i pity you. There's like 50 different kinds of mustard out there! Usually i notice my wife trying to make an entree choice at a restaurant. We no longer visit the cheesecake factory for this very reason. She'll spend most of our time there reading through the bible of food and choose nothing. Or choose something thats just 'ok' and spend her meal feeling disappointed that she's missing out on everything else. It's a sickness, you see. A fear of missing out or 'FOMO' which is a real thing that tends to creep on me with online games. I guess I was so worried about missing out on one particular experience that i chose exactly nothing to play. Under acute circumstances this is was a profound wake up call. PICK A GAME AND SHUT THE FUCK UP TRISTAN.
At any given time I have about 12 games i really want to play. I'll complete maybe 6 games a year. So mostly i'm biding my time until the next great game with arbitrary titles i have very little interest in. Out of pure habit i suppose. Maybe my friends are playing something online so ill jump in just for the social aspect and get a few laughs out of it (which is vital). But time is a fickle bitch and the best revenge, seemingly, is to get vigilant and only choose the games we really are interested in.
I think when i'm truly at my happiest with a game is when I've waited for a great one player experience to come out and just sit on the couch (still the best place to play games) and really tuck into it and see it through till the end; when the disk doesn't leave the console until its finished. All that's important is that i get an enjoyable experience as a return for hours invested regardless of what could have been or what i could be playing instead.
I no longer find myself hunting for what i want to play. The more games we play the more defined our tastes become. That could be said for anything we spend quality time with. I know i love being scared, the methods may be cheap sometimes but i feel like i get my monies worth if my systolic blood pressure maintains a steady 150. I love a great story and atmosphere above all else. I'll dabble in online competitive gaming but i find i soon become frustrated and consumed with self doubt quite quickly. And the time involved to become better is just a chore for me now. I gravitate towards a certain type of game, so i read and research release dates for titles and publishers i respect and make very rudimentary plans about what order what game should be played in. If i have a choice of 5 games to play right now ill go straight for what i know and like vs something completely new. Which now that i think about it creates a very boring image of myself.
First world problems right!? So choose wisely my friends, time is an diminishing investment. Don't settle for the mundane, be productive and challenge yourself until that next game you want comes out. Then call in sick, ignore your wife and have a drink, heck, have 2.