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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Too Many Games, Too Many Distractions

Adding titles into my ever growing Game Library is as much fun as playing the games themselves. I realize that I am not only addicted to the prospect of playing video games, but also to the whole process of cataloging them - which is mostly a digital process these days. Gone were the days when I have to move physical boxes around to ensure that things stay alphabetical - I do still get the occasional physical copies every now and then - and what is left is entering the game information into my list located on this site as well as oh a personal Google Drive sheet as soon as I have acquired the title(s). I update my lists often. Sometimes, it feels like I update them a couple of times a day. Most definitely several times a week. I know it has been constant and it has been like that for a long time. I have been wrapped up in my personal pleasures. Not that it's a bad thing. I am still a believer that you should do what you want when you can as soon as possible, as long as it doesn't hurt others, because by the time you know it, your life is over. But I know that I need to slow down because the process of acquiring video games serves a separate purpose from my existence as an avid gamer. The latter is about playing those games and spending time with them. I remember this article I wrote in 2011 - yeah, that was 4 years ago - in which I quote "I have to spend around 210 months - that's 17 and a half years - to go through all of them all the way to their optimal potentials". And back then, I only had 2,188 games. Now, I am 94 away from reaching 4,000. I know that the number of games that have their gameplay potential maximized is probably lower than 100 between then and now and yet the number of games I have access to have almost doubled. I guess what I am trying to say here is that I need to slow down a little and I am going to put a lot more effort into controlling my intake of new Game Library inductions and hopefully, the result will show in the monthly reports starting this month, September 2015.

I don't believe in limits but time is an unfortunate form of human limitation.

How am I going to ensure that this happens you ask? Well, I think the root of the problem lies within the method in which I enjoy my video games. I pretty much play what I am in the mood for without putting into consideration that most games these days are designed in a way that an entire play-through, or the complete experience, cannot be achieved in one sitting. So, whenever I play those kind of games, with the most recent examples being Mad Max and Lovers in a Dangerous Space Time for the PC, I don't get the immediate sense of reward initially playing them and when I am done with a session or two, I find it hard to get back to them when I can then rely on something like Audiosurf 2 or Heroes of the Storm to provide me that sense of satisfaction and completion I yearn for. The thing is, I know that playing long, extended games like Mad Max can provide a satisfying sit down session if I continue playing it and go further into the game. I have recently proven this for myself by continually playing Alien: Isolation on the PC. When I initially played the game, I allowed the fear of bumping into the Alien as a way for me to stop playing it - yes, I actually stopped playing before the real game began. Now that I have encountered the Alien and experienced the thrill of the cat and mouse game that ensued, I finally understand the true sense of what the game is all about and oh how glorious the gameplay can be. With Alien: Isolation, I have learned that making progress in games that can't be completed in one sitting can be a lot of fun. Most importantly however, I learn that horror games can't kill me. Sure, they're scary, but if I can survive the feeling of being continually hunted by the nasty Alien, I can survive any other form of scares in video games. That revelation will definitely help me with sticking with the horror games I play until completion.

Horror games are 20 times scarier than horror movies but
I seem to have forgotten somewhere along the way that I am a fan of the genre.

I know that I must have tried to take things slower in the past, that I needed to stop and smell the roses and not to get too caught up with the latest and greatest games available for the taking. I also know that I have failed to stay focused in taking it a game at a time but I am sensing a change in the way I approach things these past couple of weeks. Gaming can be a distraction from life in general, but I cannot allow the games themselves to become a distraction from one another within the confines of my favorite hobby. Wish me luck!

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