Retreading video games you started years ago, but never finished, brings forth a number of feelings. It’s like someone you met briefly but never really got to know better, or recalling memories that now seem vague and hazy with the passage of time. Since the pandemic has forced many of us to stay at home longer than we would have under normal circumstances, it has opened up opportunities to shift your attention on other activities that used to be deemed as “I’ll get to it eventually.” The much older video games in my backlog have been getting a lot more love and attention in recent months.
Making the most out of a crap year means retreating into the things that give you a measure of joy and escape. Being stuck at home a lot of the time has encouraged me to revisit video game backlogs and select games I’ll want to pick up again after not touching some of them in months or years. When I’m able to fully focus my attention on one game I accomplish a lot. Recently I finished playing The Witcher 2: The Assassins of Kings, and I’m thoroughly impressed with the work CD Projekt Red had put into this 2011 game.
When you’re playing any video game and you’re looking to tick off a number of quests from your to-do list, you highlight the quest you’re in the process of finishing and then consult the in-game map to know exactly where you need to go to get to your destination. Most maps are straight-forward and allows you to place a marker at or near the area you want to be. But when a map is poorly designed or just too damn difficult to understand, then it makes your task much harder to complete.
One of the great burdens of being an adult is weighing your options to make the best possible decision. Is this really a need or a want? With the world being what it is these days, those choices are crucial to ensure you have enough in your savings to pay bills, meet basic necessities, and still have enough for those just in case emergencies. Buying the latest video game release would be far below anyone’s list of priorities right now, if you have the extra money to spare. If you’re a gamer cutting back on purchasing games on a whim for any number of reasons, the ever daunting backlog becomes increasingly useful to have when saving money is what’s more important at the moment.
Summer vacations are looking a little different this year. It’s around this time that most people would be jetting off to an exciting country, or hitting the road to spend a weekend at a beach side town. But with the novel coronavirus, everyone the world over has been forced to put the breaks on those plans. While vacationing anywhere this summer is not ideal or even possible, I’ve been turning towards gaming for a sliver of that escape vibe, and Animal Crossing: New Horizon’s summer update has made spending time on your island that much fun.
If you happen to be a gamer and a fan of anime, there are probably some video games where you thought, “Man, this would be fantastic as an anime. It already plays like an interactive anime game anyway!” One of those video games for me is Square Enix’s 2007 Nintendo DS game The World Ends With You. Apparently, the anime gods have smiled upon us because it’s actually happening.
Video games offer another entertainment medium and outlet for escapism and stepping into the shoes of someone else’s life. I’ve played a fair amount of video games where I was a human Grey Warden, an N7 soldier, a crown prince trying to take back his throne, or a teenager attempting to get a handle on her time traveling abilities. In every role I assumed during my time with a game, it allowed me to really get inside the head of these characters and truly understand what their experiences were. But one experience I could probably do without are the sex scenes found in some mature video games.
Let’s face it—being an adult sometimes sucks. Not only do you have more obligations and serious concerns to think about, but your time becomes far more precious. You’re lucky if you can spare 20 minutes for yourself. One of the downsides of developing an interest in video games later in life is not being able to spend as much time as you want on it. You either have to take care of more pressing issues going on in your own life, or you want to be able to play another game you have been meaning to play from your backlog. I’m coming to terms with probably not being able to get to every game I currently own, but at the same time, I’m thinking maybe the workaround to getting close to playing everything is cutting out most side quests from my gaming time.
Spending most of your time at home, until it is deemed safe to resume life somewhat normally again, means you’re no longer figuring out what to wear each day. Your outfit of choice when you’re working from home is either your PJs or sweatpants. When your every day clothes has been reduced to whatever is comfy at home, unless you have to show your face from the waist up for a video conference, there hasn’t been a lot of need to “dress to impress” these days. Although the pandemic has temporarily taken the stress out of deciding what to wear before leaving the house each morning, I do find myself longing for a time where I was able to wear my prettiest dress to a party or donning a favorite sweater and jeans when I went to the office. The fashion deprivation I’m currently going through has led me to live my best stylish life through Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
There’s always a bit of hope when one thing ends and another begins. That has always been my world view anyway. I try to see life from the lens of optimism, even in the face of crushing struggle and heartache. When 2020 arrived a global pandemic that brought a sinking economy, massive job losses, and the worse public health crisis anyone has ever known wasn’t exactly what people had in mind. I had hoped that the start of a new decade would bring about a world of possibilities. Instead, most of us of are staying home and wondering when this will all end.
What I miss the most since the pandemic started is being able to meet up with my friends and family without any fear of contracting a deadly virus or giving it to someone else. Many of us are longing to hug each other or picking a restaurant to dine in at. Though these things are temporarily off limits, one thing I am forever grateful for having is an Internet connection.