You know those books of collectible items you get on your favourite game and all those damn Spyro gems? Well, I am self-diagnosed obsessive when it comes to collecting everything a game has to offer. I’m even terrible at grabbing stuff when it’s not a collectible – it’s just there with the option to pick it up. But has anyone ever really got any pleasure out of this? Read on, to find out why I stopped chasing collectible items in games.
Must Collect ‘Em All
We’re gamers, we’re all about winning. We like to beat stuff, that’s why we do what we do. I used to go for that 100%, all the trinkets, and all the Playstation trophies. Sure, I got a kick out of collecting all the things, but I was miserable. I was spending so much time nitpicking the daylights out of one game, banging my head against a wall for hours to perfect one level, that I started to hate gaming. I was convinced if I just get good, I could do it.
Take Spyro, for example, or Crash. Those were the games that made me a gamer. And they both have substantial elements of collecting and perfecting. With Spyro, the whole trilogy revolves around retrieving all of something stolen or lost, and you get a guidebook detailing the gems you’ve picked up, and how many are left. Spyro is a gamer’s paradise. But at the same time, it was hell. Crash is even more infuriating because your overall percentage in the game sucks if you don’t have the gems for getting all the boxes in all the levels. You feel like you’re getting short-changed.
Jacking It In
If you ask any gamer, we have more games on our wishlist than you could shake a stick at. And mine were all just sitting there while I endlessly flew my little purple dragon around the same level for the nineteenth time. I was going to bed kicking myself because I’d wasted all my gaming time on Spyro when what I really wanted to do was play Elder Scrolls or Spiderman, or, for the love of Pete, finish something off that never-ending list.
In the end, I quit. I decided to change who I was as a gamer. I was no longer going to be a completionist, I was going to play through storylines and levels, access all the content, get all the lore, and when I was done, I was done.
Easier said than done. It’s less of a dramatic line-in-the-sand decision and more of a lifestyle choice I have to keep pulling myself up. I got into Goat Simulator, and you bet your last buck I was doing challenges. It’s worse if there are hardly any trophies or whatever to get, because then I’m thinking: “Well, there’s not many, I’ll just get these. It’ll be fine.” But then when I’m playing, I realize I’ve sucked all the fun out of the game, and now I hate it and myself.
Post-Collectible Items Phase
Looking ahead, I am keen to keep myself on track. No more collectibles, no more 100%, and I’m even watching myself with content and lore because I could see that going the same way. Anything that makes me obsessive over a game is actually ruining gaming for me. I want a better experience. I am done with completing all the things.
Which games have got you obsessed? What’s the longest you’ve spent on a game, and did you really get anything out of it? Have you experienced Spyro rage? Got a favorite collectible? Let us know in the comments.
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