The pressure of playing

I’ve just watched the credits roll on God of War. A fantastic game. Adventures like it don’t come around often.

Now that it’s over, I do have a sense of relief. At this precise moment, I don’t feel beholden to a game, nor the urge to play one. It’s a rare experience for me. There is a definite ‘thing‘ with gamers that we must always be playing, otherwise we will fall behind. We’ll miss out. We won’t be part of the conversation.

I like to keep up to speed on major TV shows and films, but in relative terms, the time investment here pales in comparison to games. Good games are now coming out at a rate that now outpaces Hollywood movies, and there is no gold standard length for a video game either –  safe to say between 10-20 hours is the norm to get through the story/campaign of your average AAA title. It’s very difficult to stay on top of what’s new and fresh.

Big games have come and gone this year that I purposely avoided, like Monster Hunter World and Kingdom Come Deliverance – they were simply too big. Some smaller ones slipped by me like Fe and Pit People – not enough hype. These misses only compound my lasting feeling of inadequacy for having not played some of 2017’s biggest games. I STILL haven’t touched Wolfenstein II

With big new games releasing 2, 3, 4 times a month, it might be time for me to truly hang up my ‘relevance hat‘, and start becoming picky – perhaps even snobbish? There is definitely a staleness surrounding modern games – like we’ve seen it all before. I could therefore pick and choose only the finest games. Ones that review positively across the board, and appeal to my specific sensibilities. I will avoid anything that looks less than remarkable, and pick up a golden-oldie once in a while. I never did get around to playing Earthbound

If I manage to withstand the initial hype that comes with the release of any new content – be it art, music, film or game – I can begin to see the wood for the trees. Some games have weeks of fanfare, before a general consensus is formed. For example, both releases of Destiny (1 & 2) were relatively positive until a week or two had passed. Same for the recent Sea of Thieves – it’s community soured, and dissipated even quicker. If I employ just a touch of patience, I may save myself the possible heartbreak of being disappointed by something I was genuinely excited to play.

Can I stick to this, though? Can I let the the inevitable Destiny 3 pass me by when it launches, and wait for the reviews? Probably not, but a baby-step here and there might make me a more discerning gamer – less addicted to the hype.

Best wishes y’all.

Sean

3 thoughts on “The pressure of playing

  1. Around a year or so ago, I had to admit to myself that I wasn’t able to be a ‘relevant’ gamer any longer. Adult life simply means I don’t have the time to stay up-to-date on everything coming out – or even spend time playing a game if I’m not enjoying it. It’s taught me to consider older or different titles and I have to say that so far, I’m actually enjoying what I’m playing a whole lot more.

    Good luck! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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