Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Games don't hurt the kidneys. Much.

It seems silly to complain about there not being enough leisure time in a day when my problems are my own making. Sharing time between an RPG and a shooter is not that difficult, but keeping track of what is going on between to 40+ hours games is nowhere near as easy. I am faced with Two Worlds 2, a game much better than any of the reviews will lead you to believe, and Dragon Age 2, a game that seems to have disappointed many but is still worth playing. I just don't think that I can handle these games at the same time, not to mention XBLA sneaking out excellent titles every other week. The demo for Outland was fantastic, and I intend to play the whole game, I just don't know when. Add to this conundrum waiting for the magic patch to fix Mortal Kombat's online and trying to be not shitty at Street Fighter and I am about to become paralyzed by difficult choices.

Which begs the questions: Why do I play all these games, anyway?

I have always resisted the the temptation to label anyone, including myself, but what they do. For example, I work in IT, but I do not think of myself as an 'IT guy.' I know enough to do my job and where to find out the (great many) things that I do not know. Similarly, I have a family but am not just a family man, I fail to see the point in voting but I am not a raging anarchist, I like to fly kites but I am not a huge fag. When it comes to games, though, it is a bit more difficult to dodge the colloquial definition. My default setting is to be playing something, only interrupted by sleep and work and eating, all of which would be neglected if they were not required to play more games. It is a good thing that I am not independently wealthy; without work to take up the vast majority of my time I would be an even pastier hermit than I already am.

But that still doesn't answer the question: Why do I play all these games, anyway? 

Habit, perhaps. Escapism, definitely. Laziness, most assuredly. These are all part of it, but mostly I just love to play. I like diving into someone else's world, seeing what their ideas were, laughing at the terrible ones and rolling around in the good ones. With the admitted over abundance of time (really, who needs three hours a day to game) my standards have slipped, but finding that diamond in the rough is still a thrill. It's what I do, at least it's what I want to do.

I have asked myself what I would do if I suddenly had no access to video games. In short bursts, as happens occasionally when I am away from home, I end up watching nothing but the Discovery Channel and going to bed early. Long term, though, I have no idea. It has become such a part of my precious routine that I get pretty testy faster than I should. So I play because I want to, but also (in a small way) because I have to. There is a underlying neurosis here, one that I do not care to have splayed open by over paid kooks with uncomfortable couches. GameFly is cheaper than therapy, and I don't think shrinks will let me drink while exposing my darkest secrets.

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