Ever think about doing something, like taking a photography class or writing your first novel, only to somehow find yourself putting it off for another day or reasoning with yourself why now isn’t a good time? We all have experienced that with at least one thing in our lives. We imagine how exciting it would be if we were in the class we potentially want to take or typing out the first few words of your dream novel on your computer. Then we suddenly dismiss the idea just as quickly as we conjured the image in our head out of fear, doubt, or just laziness. It’s times like these where we really need to stop talking ourselves out of doing something and just do it.
Back in my younger years and way before I became a gamer, I went over my cousin’s house often to hang out. Sometimes part of the hangouts were spent watching him play whatever game he was in the middle of before I arrived. I often watched him play games like Street Fighter or other fighting games. I’d sit in awe as he’d skillfully take out the CPU with a killer combo or final finishing move without blinking an eye. After a round was over, he’d turn to me and ask, “Want to play?” There were times I’d decline, mainly because I was self-conscious about being terrible at playing against him. It took a lot of urging on my cousin’s part to finally get me to play a game with him. My early exposure to fighting games made me quickly aware of what type of fighting gamer I was––the button masher.
We all grow up at some point. It’s an inevitable part of life. We inherit new responsibilities and we have to bravely navigate life’s ups, downs, and the everything in between. We typically don’t get any warning about what life has in store for us, but we make the best out of every situation we get dealt with.
Life as an adult doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always about our problems and responsibilities. I feel it’s important to take a break once in a while from that. It’s incredibly freeing to bask in the joys of the simple things in life such as taking a walk, enjoying a cup of coffee at a cafe, or having a long conversation with a friend. Sometimes, we just want to recapture the feeling of what it’s like to be a kid again.
When we play video games and we’re coasting along just fine without any troubling hiccups, we sometimes find ourselves getting a little too comfortable. Maybe even a little overly confident. We think we’re going to get to the finish line or just be able to progress further into this awesome story we can’t stop experiencing as we play. And then the unthinkable happens. We encounter a boss fight that’s too damn HARD!
Patience is a situational thing for me. Sometimes, I have it in abundance and other times I barely have any before I’m ready to throw my hands up in the air and yell to the ceiling, “FORGET IT!” Playing certain video games is a test in patience for me and I find myself expanding it more and more when I’m playing a game with so-so to terrible gameplay, but makes up for it in the writing itself.
People become gamers for a variety of reasons. Some get into it because of the gameplay. Others for story and characters. Or it’s a bit of both. Based on what your personal preferences are, you’ll gravitate to one game over the other. A discussion I had with a friend recently reinforced what type of gamer I am––I’m the gamer who plays to escape into a great storytelling experience and with characters who linger on your mind after you’ve put the controller down and turned your console off.
Being a gamer for the last few years has opened me up to experiencing fun gameplays, great storytelling, and the sheer glee of shooting and blowing shit up, as my wonderful friends would lovingly put it. I love being able to have a console or handheld waiting for me at home when there’s a game I really want to continue playing, or for those days when things haven’t gone right for me and I just need a few hours to be alone and forget my own reality for a little while.
Games that are broken up into missions are great for when you want to dive in and out of a game on your own time. Games like Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row 2 has some of the most fun missions I’ve played and adds some variety to the games without them ever being boring at all. Maybe the only missions I can probably do without are driving missions or any mission involving the use of operating any sort of vehicle.