I always get asked interesting questions from people. Especially from non-gamers; they seem to have an interest into the psyche of a video gamer. Yesterday I got asked a question, that on the surface was a silly one…the more I thought about it though the more the answer became more distant.
A colleague asked me if I actually have fun when video games.
I instantly replied that i did and elaborated that fun was the reason I played in the first place. He replied that he watches his son playing video games and is surprised how angry he gets and often he’ll rage-quit (my words not his).
I explained that his son is not representative of all gamers’ and that many of us play for fun – then i got thinking, especially with my posts from last week, the way I play has changed over the years and as a result I am not always playing for fun.
Let me explain that…
Back in the days when I was reliant on my parents to purchase games for me I was lucky if I got more than two a year. This meant that I played the games to death, often I’d complete the game so much I’d have to make up my own rules for the game (for example in ‘Sonic 2’ I did a play through in which I wasn’t allowed any coins). I would also borrow games that my friends owned, again we’d play them to death with custom rules and other regulations…gaming was a blast; especially when you became a moderately high level player at them.
Nowadays I am finding myself having to race through games because I buy them at an alarming rate. Gone are the days where I’d learn every little corner of every level, create notebooks full of maps and create my own rules – in its place is completing games quickly so I have a minimal backlog. I’m not saying every game is played like this…GTA:V for example was a brilliant game that stayed in my 360 for 3 full months; I literally didn’t play anything else until I hit the 100% completion rate. I still go back to it the odd time and cause havoc and chaos laughing all the while for hours on end…this is what gaming should be.
What’s driven his home for me is the fact that I’ve restarted Metal Gear Revengence again and I’ve been having an absolute blast – it’s story and gameplay are balls out crazy – i’m two hours in and i’ve done nothing but smile for my game time…this game is fun! It drags me along for my enjoyment and it asks nothing in return.
Destiny; in it’s own way is a game that I play for fun, although my average game time on that is 4.5 hours, I can’t think of a single session that I have enjoyed 100%, especially now I’m level 22…I saw on a forum over the last week that levels 20-30 feel like purgatory for gamers and I cannot agree more. I’m a slave to Destiny’s algorithm that controls rare/exotic drops, i’m no longer in control of my characters’ destiny (sorry about that pun) and as a result i’m not enjoying it as much…some of my game time is not fun…why am I playing? It’s addictive; I NEED a full set of exotic armour and weapons. I’m not the only one whose fallen victim of Destiny’s addictive nature either – a quick look at the cosmodrome shows a number of high level players farming the ‘Loot Cave’ in the hope of acquiring exotics and rares…Poor guys that cannot be fun!
Another game I spent far too much time on despite having zero fun with is ‘Dark Souls’; I grinded my way to ‘Ornstein and Smough’ before I called it a day. That game was worse than my job, it was commitment and I spent too much time on it for my own good. I gave up at that point because it was a giant FU to gamers from the developers. Cheap bosses are not fun, ‘Dark Souls’; to me, was not fun. It was a game that I played out of duty to everyone who told me I should play it. I’ve done that far too often, gaming is my hobby I should be in control of it.
In the six months that I have been blogging (hasn’t time flown by the way?) I would honestly say that this side of gaming has been more fun than the time in front of my PC or consoles…that is wrong…I am hell bent in bringing back the fun!
When I bought my PS4 I promised myself that I wouldn’t buy any games until the ones in my possession were completed…I have a backlog of games including ‘Watch_dogs’ and ‘Second Son’. To be honest with these two games, I don’t know if i’m having fun with them and my desire to go back to them is low…Watch_Dogs has tapped into my OCD of collecting everything and that is a source of fun for me – so that will be completed but second son…I’m finding it a chore, i’m glad I got a quest review on that game, I don’t think i’ll ever see the end of Delsin’s tale – and i’m not bothered about that.
Now I’ve made a better resolution, i’m only going to play games in a way that is fun to me! To me this is what gaming should be and I’ve lost my way over the past few years (although it’s much longer than that). I’m trying to bring back custom rules and gaming outside the box – i’ll still buy games like mad, but thats just more to have fun with!
This is my call to all you; my fine readers…if you are feeling jaded with gaming, think to yourself :
“Am I having fun”?
If the answer is no; then make ammends, play a game you wouldn’t normally, and have fun with it…it it is a chore, screw it! Trade it in! Give it to a friend! Use it as a coaster! Whatever! Life is too short to not have fun with our hobby, go forth and bring back the fun!
Can you honestly say that you have fun with the games you play?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!