There was a time where I would exclusively play one game for months at a time. These were the days of my N64, playing through Golden Eye in every which way to unlock new cheats, or to speed run with my friends, or see how many soldier’s hats we could knock off without killing them. All of my gaming time (of which I had a lot more, then) was focused on a single game, and I loved every second of it. Those days are gone…….
It’s 2017, I’m in a cycle of playing multiple online games to get and maintain a rank, in competitive modes that are presented as “seasons”, every few months.
The norm doesn’t seem to be sitting down and playing through a single player campaign (I’m trying, at the moment!), but more dipping in and out of different games to rank or achieve daily/weekly challenges or requirements.
I find myself suddenly “needing” to rank, every time the next season starts. It’s weird, why do I suddenly care about a rank in a game, when I’m not really ever going to compete at the highest levels, or achieve anything?
As more and more publishers and developers are cropping up, so too are the games that are available to us. A never ending stream of indie-classics, triple-A “must plays” and persistent online worlds that require time investments to make sure you’re ready for the next raid, or to get that gear you “need” so desperately.
It’s like I can no longer have my attention held in one direction for any length of time, anymore.
In my mind, I’ve simply been caught up in the tide of modern gaming, eschewing the traditional mindset of “play a game to finish it”, and now it’s “play a game to compete, enjoy and share with friends”.
I don’t feel like games such as Rocket League and Overwatch are as demanding of my time, as say The Witcher, or Fallout would be. This is a false economy though, because I’m constantly dipping into these games for a few rounds, to play with friends, to push my rank etc, and this happens over a period of months.
I’m investing just as much time, perhaps more, than I would have done if just playing a solo campaign in an RPG or action title.
Short match times, accessible game types and an opportunity to face different opponents every time, whilst working with friends and generally having a good time. It’s appealing, it’s easy to dip in and out, and frankly I really like it.
Also, paying full price for a multiplayer-only game like Overwatch, really makes me want to make sure I get my money’s worth. I need to experience as much of it as I can, to feel like I’m getting decent value. Luckily, when a game is as good as Overwatch, it’s a non-issue, but it’s only a matter of time until there’s a dud released, and it’s a waste of money.
What’s the problem then?
There’s no problem per se, it’s just that when there is such a wealth of games out there, massive adventures, gripping stories and fantastic worlds to become a part of, I feel like I’m perhaps chained to this cycle of quick and accessible play, and missing out on some gems.
Take Fallout 4 as a prime example, I’ve started playing it, I’m loving it, and I hope to finish it. However, playing it isn’t a social experience like say, Destiny or Rocket League, I can’t do anything with my friends, and talking to them whilst I play it removes the immersion. I want to talk to my friends though, and I want to play the game, so I sacrifice dialogue, and sometimes stop paying attention to the details that makes these games so wonderful in the first place.
I want to be engrossed in a world, trawling through subreddits and online resources for more details, finding hidden items and locations, working to earn things ready for the next big boss encounter. I want to see all there is to be seen. But I want to play with friends, I want to maintain my rank here and there, and I want to get that cool unlock and level up in Destiny to take on the Nightfall……..
I’ve built up this back-catalogue of games that require my attention and focus, and I’m having to pull myself away and dedicate myself to them, one at a time. I want to play them, and enjoy them, and finish them, but when we’re all online, I also want to play with my friends. Or I have limited time, so I want to just play a few matches of Rocket League.
I’m really enjoying being “out of the cycle” of these other games, but there’s still a yearning to dive back in, and more importantly, to play with other people. New content releases are a sure way to drag be back in, I mean, I love these games, so it’s no problem. I just want to love other games, too.
The fact is, we’re spoiled with so much choice and content these days, and our time is committed to a much broader selection than we’ve ever had before. It’s a great problem to have, but I need to be more structured in my time, to make sure I’m getting the best of both worlds.
Destiny 2 will ruin my progress in everything else, so before September, I have a lot to get done! Fallout, Breath of the Wild, Overwatch and Rocket League are going to be my key points of focus over the next month. Let’s see what happens, eh?
First world problems, eh?
What’s the impact?
As someone trying to provide thoughts and information on games, I’ve had to take the decision to not try and keep up with the latest releases. The news cycle is relentless and there is always something new on the horizon that requires in-depth analysis of trailers and adverts. I can’t do that. My spare time is taken up already, and this site can’t fall victim to copy-paste articles on things I don’t care about.
I might be playing and writing about games that aren’t relevant anymore, but that’s fine with me.
Now, just one more round in Overwatch……..Doomfist should be here soon, so I’d better give him a spin, and a review……there goes my Fallout time……..Oh Zelda, hi…..erm, yeah I’ll be back with you shortly……