Rushing vs. Taking Time
I am someone who likes to play a lot of games. At first glance, this seems like an obvious statement – doesn’t every gamer, after all? What I mean more specifically, though, is that I endeavour to keep up with the yearly release schedule. This basically means that I play as many titles as my bank balance will allow.
Like most gamers, I like to be able to discuss as many of the biggest releases in as much detail as I can, informed by personal experience. I also love the variety of genres and different experiences that I get to soak up in doing so.
What results, though, is a somewhat futile effort to play everything. One of the occasionally adverse effects of this is that I usually end up finishing games pretty quickly.
Oftentimes, this can be a sign that I’ve enjoyed my time with a game. However, it has also meant that I’ve rushed through a lot of games in the past, at a rate that I wouldn’t have otherwise.
This is further worsened by the fact that once I’ve left a game for an extended period, I rarely go back. This has unfortunately led to me missing out on some truly amazing experiences that I know I would’ve loved.
One such example is Gravity Rush, which I bought when it was re-released on PlayStation 4. An action-adventure which gave a new meaning to the word ‘verticality’ (as you often didn’t even know which way ‘up’ was), I really enjoyed my time with it, however brief.
As is often the case, though, my short attention span inevitably drew me to one of the newer, shinier releases. And so I have never returned to it, and it has sat neglected in my PS4 library since.
Every time I’m forced to delete a game from the hard drive to download a new one – I still haven’t bothered to buy an external hard drive; don’t judge me – I’ve encountered it. It’s like being stared at with a look of abandonment by Gravity Rush‘s feline Dusty, riddling me with heavy guilt every time.
I haven’t even managed to bring myself to replay the stellar Persona 5, a game which I place in very high esteem. While it is undeniably brilliant, all I see when I consider the prospect of a second go-around is an 80-hour commitment.
It’s probably worth pointing out, if it isn’t already obvious, that I am most definitely not a completionist. I usually consider a game ‘finished’ when I reach the end of the story. If I have outstanding quests or collectables to hoover up, sometimes I will try and force myself to finish them.
In most cases, however (especially when it’s an open-world game) this leads to a fairly empty feeling. I’ve surmounted the biggest challenge that the game has posed to me, and the world is saved. What’s the point in helping this NPC when I have newer, more exciting things to move onto?
Something that is also likely to incite a negative reaction from many is that I regularly sell games. It’s not that I don’t love to keep them. Believe me, I do. But gaming is an expensive hobby and being a poor university student, frequent visits to the secondhand market are a necessary evil to satiate my desire to play all the newest titles.
I admire people who are able to play a single game all year round and never tire of it. They’ve certainly got their money’s worth. Games like GTAV, for instance, have massive player bases who have been around since the game’s launch. But that specific example, like many multiplayer games, has had consistent updates since release with new content to sink into.
Multiplayer games in general are, in fact, much more conducive to being returned to again and again. The whole much-derided principle of ‘games as a service’ is centred around this. It’s what’s kept me returning to the only game I think I’ve ever regularly gone back to, Splatoon 2.
I rarely play multiplayer games, though. And so it is that I live the neverending cycle of finishing games at breakneck speed, missing out on much while also gaining a lot else.
What are your gaming habits? Let us know down below.