The Status Of My 2016 Gaming Resolutions

reggie shrug

In the last week of 2015, I wrote about my gaming resolutions for 2016. I had distilled my digital ambitions down to three basic goals:

Play
Experience
Explore

Simple in theory, but did I manage to put those aspects of gaming into play in practical ways?

Not as much as I would have liked.

To be honest, I hadn’t even thought much about my resolutions until recently when someone asked me to revisit them (hi, Richard!), and I’m glad he did. I think a refresher can only help me reprioritize.

Let’s see how I’ve fared in the past eight months.

#1: Play

I had a lofty overall goal this year: to play and complete 50 games. That got derailed for an odd reason (though, to be fair, I suppose I could still pull that one out before the year’s end), but I’ve actually done relatively well anyway. As of the date of this writing, I’ve completed 26 games (which includes a couple of games with no real end like Pokemon Go). You could say I have played a decent amount.

However.

My goal was to play for the sake of play. I haven’t been living up to that.

I am often thinking about trying to catch up and get current (like my monthly game challenge for September), and that can turn playing games into an odd sort of chore. It also presents me with a gross choice if I end up playing a game I find I’m not enjoying: how long should I give said game? If it’s a full blown AAA title, I’m more likely to give it several hours before I set it aside. If it’s a shorter indie title, I am likely to give it an hour or so before I make my decision. But even this plan has major flaws; I feel invested in the titles I start, and have most certainly “suffered” through games I didn’t like, simply because I felt compelled to play them start to finish (I’m looking at you Killzone: Shadow Fall). That’s a weakness I have. I have tried to become better at recognizing when a game just isn’t for me, but I still find myself feeling like I will be missing out if I put it aside.

I’m in this exact situation right now with both Deus Ex: Mankind Divided as well as No Man’s Sky.

I need to get better at recognizing when a title isn’t resonating with me and moving along to the next game. I just find the line between that and giving up too soon to be a tenuous one.

But back to play.

I need to refocus on this for sure. Play is such a purely wonderful thing. I need to stop caring about finishing each game I play so I can tick it off a list and feel current.

.

#2: Experience

This goes hand in hand with play. I still psych myself out all too often and don’t even start in on the many games that interest me.

That’s ludicrous.

Experiences matter most to me in life; I want to experience as much as I can. For anyone who knows me in reality, that’s probably a difficult thing to picture, especially given the self-imposed seclusion I’ve been in for, well, years now. Video games offer us a safe place to experience any number of scenarios. Why not take advantage of that?

I haven’t been nearly to the degree I’d like.

I feel like I should try just jumping in to new games as often as possible to get over my issue with starting nothing at all.

It all makes sense in theory.

So while I’ve had many video game experiences this year, it’s not been nearly what it could have been. And I have only myself to blame for that.

Though, through Pokemon Go, I’ve had several encounters with people in the real world that made me smile, and those are experiences I never anticipated.

.

#3: Explore

This I am good with.

I often use the website HowLongToBeat for reference when planning what games I’m going to take on and when. They break down the average times a game can take to complete depending on your playstyle (e.g.: main story, completionist), and I’ve come to realize I am at the high end for how long I take to complete any given game. I may not fall under the heading of “completionist,” but I do like to take my time and explore a game I’m playing.

This is particularly true for open world games that I’m having an excellent time in.

When I finally completed The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt earlier this year, my total hours invested (minus the DLC, which I have yet to play) were over 160.

That’s so many hours. I just loved the game.

I have no regrets, as it was easily one of the best RPGs (and games) I’ve ever played. But, according to HowLongToBeat, the expected hours for a completionist run were 164.5.

Now I was thorough and I did everything I could, but I don’t think I was a completionist in the true sense of the word. I have realized through various games that I will always fall under the higher time estimate.

And that’s okay.

I love exploring these worlds. I marvel at the fact that they were created by people and that these amazing games didn’t just pop into existence. It’s remarkable, and I love that I can partake.

So I am definitely good on exploring. I am an explorator.

Or, if you want proper grammar, an explorer.

But I like explorator.

Like comfortador.

Anyway, whatever you call it, I’ve got it covered. Exploring digital worlds is a joy.

.

So, one out of three isn’t terrible, but it also isn’t great. Having this reminder of my gaming resolutions is a great way for me to refocus and give myself a mental tidy in hopes that I put the first two goals a little more into practice.

Did you make gaming goals for the year? If so, how are you faring?

19 replies »

  1. You have finished more games then I have this year so you should be proud. I didn’t really make any goals.

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  2. Rebekah, thanks for the shoutout. I really didn’t think you would have gone through with updating this blog considering how crazy your backlog is. Good luck with that by the way! As for me, I have not played nearly as many games as you, Rebekah or Colton. I have played some games, Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons, Tomb Raider, Uncharted 4, Titanfall 2 beta etc. Those first 3-4 games I mentioned were the highlight of the first half of 2016 although they didn’t all release in the 2016 calendar year. Currently, I am working on PvZ:GW. I plan to get TT’ Batman in the near future. Also, I want to get PvZ too. I guess the last two games would go under play & experience for me. Then, I also have my October releases. Lastly, what do you do when a beta is not working? I got the invite code for BF1; not is accessible. Thoughts?

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    • Of course! I’m glad you prompted me to think about it!

      Oh man, Brothers is such an amazing game. I’m not sure I’ve ever cried so hard at a game before.

      I hope when you get to play the Battlefield 1 beta that you enjoy it. I would hope they take the issues with the beta and remedy them before the final release.

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      • Hey Rebekah! Still can’t get into BF1. I am in the beta. Can’t access the MP modes. Ugh! I might just cancel my preorder. Currently, just started TT’ Batman. Check Twitter for updates often!

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      • I’m going to try it again this weekend. I’ll let you know how it goes. Been playing Telltale’ Batman; loving it! BF1 I’m on the fence; I may cancel my order; atm, I don’t know! I talked with another player;t they stated the game still needs some polishing. How have you been; what have you been playing?

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      • Were you able to get into the beta finally? I did late last week and I just wasn’t feeling it.

        I updated what I’m playing in my piece today, but I recently finished Inside and am going to try to finish up Trials of the Blood Dragon and start in on Valley and Far Cry: Primal.

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      • Hey Rebekah! I have been able to get into the MP beta. I am enjoying what I play. Just wish there were more MP modes for the beta. The gameplay is fluid; the combat is smooth. Just enjoying it immensely. I hate that the beta wasn’t your “cup of tea”. To each his own! There will be other games out there for you. How are you progressing with Far Cry & the other games you’re playing?

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      • I’m glad you were finally able to get in to the beta and that you were enjoying it!

        I actually gave a status update in my piece yesterday. :) Things are progressing, for which I am grateful.

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  3. Ah, definitely prioritize having fun. Jettison a game that you’re not into rather than torture yourself. I certainly haven’t completed too many games this year. I dabble in a game then switch to Destiny or Fallout 4 and get lost in that game until I return to dabbling in other games. Also, Life Is Strange took much longer than I anticipated. One goal I absolutely want to complete this year is to finally finish The Witcher 2 so that I can finally play The Witcher 3. I’m close but close in an RPG is still hours away. Right now, I’m having fun in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided but it’s definitely not a game for everyone. It has an old school design of a steep learning curve coupled with long winded dialogue.

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    • I try to, I really do, but I do worry about giving up on games too quickly.

      Oh my gosh, I hope you do get to The Witcher 3. It was one of the most amazing games I’ve ever played. I think you will love it.

      I’d had such high hopes for Deus Ex, especially since I’d loved the most recent Thief. I’m still going to give it a little bit longer. I just feel super lost at what exactly is going on.

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  4. It’s tricky to apply metrics like that to a hobby like video games. You could easily beat a number of games in a given time-frame if they’re all short story-based affairs, but with so many excellent options that are massive open worlds, or not really designed to be “beatable”.

    Knowing when enough is enough is definitely understandable. It’s easy to say, “stop playing if you’re not having fun” but it’s more complicated than that. Maybe you like the game but you need to be in a certain mood to truly enjoy it. Maybe it’s just complicated and the early parts aren’t fun because you haven’t fully wrapped your brain around all the mechanics and systems, but once you do it’s a wonderful experience. And some of us just have a hard time not finishing something once it’s started.

    I’m absolutely an explorer, that’s what makes me such a terrible (joking, sort of) co-op companion. My pace is just slower because I’m looking at and for everything. That’s just how I live in my virtual worlds.

    On my goals, I wanted to get completely caught up on the Mass Effect and Assassin’s Creed series so that I wouldn’t feel so buried when the next entries were released. I did manage to finish the Mass Effect Trilogy (loved it!) and AC: Revelation and have begun AC: III. I’ve got quite a ways to go. But I’ve also managed to play through Gone Home, Broken Age, Stick It To The Man, Contrast, and Thomas Was Alone which were all pleasant surprises in their own ways. Of course No Man’s Sky happened and my wife and I dove into Elder Scrolls Online so my time sink is unclogged and flowing FREELY!

    I do feel like I’ve been playing a lot more than in the last few years, which is great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • HA! I enjoyed the statement on your time sink. :)

      I’m glad to hear you are playing more. That’s always a good feeling. It’s also nice that you’ve been getting caught up on things you’ve meaning to.

      As someone who has played co-op with you, I disagree. I found you to be a great co-op partner. Borderlands!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Borderlands! I still need to finish the DLC for Borderlands 2.

        I’m not bad, I can play. But I tend to have a slower pace than those I’ve played with because of my extensive environment exploration, which is fine. Okay, that’s my alliterative moment for the month.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Alliteration is great!

        Some of the DLC for BL2 is only okay, but the Tiny Tina DLC is AWESOME.

        I’m realizing more and more that I take forever to play games. I’m currently working on a game that’s supposed to take four hours and I’ve been playing it for over seven.

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