Like many gamers who are also husbands, fathers, librarians, cyclists, guitar players, I have trouble finding time for games, much less finishing them. Sometimes it’s hard to face the fact that you’re not a kid anymore, and life is not just about playing whenever you want to. However, Paul Govan offers comfort by encouraging us to play less and enjoy more :
- Looking back on the last few years, I realise the brutal truth of the transition from young gamer to family man is that I no longer finish many games. Some are simply too long to warrant the time with so much else to do, whilst others just don’t manage to grab my imagination. This might sound like I am leaving my old hobby behind. But don’t take this slide into gaming lowlands as a lack of care or devotion to these masterpieces of digital agency. Quite the reverse, I’m still as inspired and committed to games as ever. It’s just the reality of life that means I now play in the gaps around the main event of friends and family.
With this new console generation picking up steam, more and more cool games are being released. It’s really quite easy to get caught up in the fever of the next big release. However, I’m still playing my “ancient” Playstation 2, and I have quite a few games to play before I can justify a PS3. The PS2 has a ton of games, many of which I can get for under 20 bucks. My PSP is also getting a lot of play time as well, as more greatest hits and used titles are available for the gamer on a budget. If you shop around and are patient, it’s likely you won’t often have to spend more than 20 bucks on a new game on either system. This, of course, requires you to play the games that all the cool kids have already played. However, when you’re no longer a kid, it’s impossible to keep up with the cool kids. So that’s why I’m playing games from 2005. However, because I’m picking my way through last-gen’s games, it allows me to be more selective about what I really want to play. As Paul sums this up nicely:
So as the torrent of new games continues, I can more easily pick my way through to those that connect with me. I realise I am learning to play the games I like, rather than those I am told are groundbreaking. The bottom line here is that I am enjoying playing now more than ever. I’m probably more evangelical about these experiences than ever before, and because they genuinely move me rather than for their technical prowess. The games I play now capture my imagination and create meaningful experiences, I hope that yours do too.