I haven’t played video games in three weeks. What’s surprising is how long it took for me to realize that fact. I’ve played video games my entire life, and there are periods when I’m not playing games. When I decided to pick up a controller, I had a thought. “How many games is one person supposed to play in a year?”
When I first started blogging, I tried my best to play every new release that came out. I would steamroll my way through games just so I could write a review around the same time as sites like IGN. I hated it. I never got the time to fully appreciate the games I played. Sure, I was able to write the review, but I think forcing myself to finish with a deadline tainted my view of a game. Things I might have overlooked during casual play became glaring red lights that would flash in front of my tv. But I had to finish playing, the sad part would be that I would do it all over again as soon as the credits rolled. But why? For some sort of gamer street cred and the ability to say, “Hey, I played that too.”? I think it’s why I’ve gravitated towards streaming(playing and watching). There’s no clock to punch in terms of completing a game. You can play what you want at the pace you want.
There are days when the gaming industry mirrors the music industry so closely, it’s scary. We have become used to digesting content at a pace that is damn near unhealthy. There was a time when an artist would put out a body of work, and we, as the audience would sit and listen to that work for months. Even years! Now, we listen to an album for a week, and then it’s on to the next. Artists will put out an endless amount of content, so much that you wonder if you ever listen to it all. And in the end, you go back to albums you love the most. I started playing Fallout 4 again, not because I love the game that much, but it requires me to slow down. And when I do slow down, I realize that it’s okay. I don’t have to finish every game that drops in a year. I can take my time, enjoying what I want, when I can. And when I’m ready to speak on it, I can do so in a holistic way. And that more importantly, the street cred of keeping up with everything doesn’t mean the same as it once did.