First off, welcome back to the blog! Thank you for taking the time to read this. Let’s jump right in.
I have been thinking a lot about all of the games I own but haven’t played much of; this includes Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, ReCore, and Dark Souls III. These games are all great in their own way, and, in some regards, I consider them some of the best games on the Xbox One today… so why don’t I play them?
This may seem like an obvious answer, but time is the main reason. These games require an ample amount of time investment compared to other games. Back in high school and even university, I had much more time to sit down and dedicate hours at a time to these big, sprawling games. Back in the day, I was able to play through Fallout 3 and max out 3 different characters all different karma levels. Mass Effect is another series that comes to mind when I think about the time I used to have to dedicate to these massive AAA franchises.
Now, 22 about to turn 23, full-time job and living away from home, I find myself playing games like Rainbow Six Seige, Overwatch, and Halo multiplayer almost exclusively. By the time I get home, make dinner, and do all of the other regular adult stuff, I have maybe an hour or two to game a night – that is if I have any time at all. Any longer and I risk some pretty bad consequences – performance at work, lack of sleep, the list goes on.
And that also contributed to the loss of content here – my life changed dramatically over the course of a year. I went from a reduced course load in my last year of University (working two part-time jobs as well, mind you) to a full-time internship to, now, a full-time job.
I still find myself extremely attracted to the kinds of games I used to play – games like Final Fantasy XV, Mass Effect: Andromeda, and the new Nintendo Switch and Zelda: Breath of the Wild. All of these games will likely take 30+ hours to complete and probably hundreds more to fully go through. Realistically, these kinds of games would take me months to complete now. That’s why games like Overwatch are so easy to pick up. Matches last 10-15 minutes at most, meaning I can get in multiple matches and feel like I have done a lot of work in a short amount of time. Games like Mass Effect I might get through a side quest a night. Games like Metal Gear I feel like I never make any progress at all.
Then there are the in-betweener games: WWE2K17, Doom, and basically any other game with a balance between single player and multiplayer. I can finish a mission in a night, which feels like a good amount of progress, or I can jump online and play a few matches just like the games mentioned above. Halo Wars 2 will be that game for me in a month.
Does that mean I will never play these kinds of epic AAA games again? I think that’s a little dramatic. But what it does mean is that I am now much more conscious about my purchases. I have to know that if I spend money on a game, I have to dedicate myself to it until I beat it.
That brings us back to the title… how does gaming change with age? Whereas before, gaming was a lifestyle and a means of absorbing media and epic storytelling in a unique way, gaming now is a release of tension and everyday life and a journey into a different world, even if its only for an hour or two. It’s a reminder that life is very real and that it’s ok to let go sometimes and just enjoy yourself. For me especially, it’s an incredibly easy way to stay connected to friends who are no longer a short bike ride away or someone I will see at school the next day. It is so much more than a way to entertain myself – it’s a way to stay connected to my past and to remind myself of what is really important in life (it’s your happiness and relationships if you didn’t know). Gaming changes with how you change, and I’m perfectly alright with that. As my life goes on, new things will certainly come up, but gaming will always be there, in some capacity, to help me stay true to myself.
I want to take a moment to thank you if you got this far – I know that this post was a bit of a rumbling mess but it was also my first post in a very long time. I have a lot on my mind, and I can’t wait to share it. Look out and stay tuned for more content from myself, Jim, and more of our group of friends in the weeks and months to come. And how about that freaking awesome logo?!
… which brings me to another point. I will be moving at the beginning of April and as such, life will get pretty crazy between now and then. I’ll do my best to put out content, but I want it to feel right (no more of those stupid ‘Top 10’ lists. Who cares?!). Take care.
Tony (XBL: Mk Anthony)
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