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.
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.
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.
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.
The itch to travel and escape to a different city or country typically hits me between the spring and summer months. I’m always dreaming of new places I haven’t visited or explored yet. Sometimes I may even get nostalgic for the ones I have been to and decide to plan a trip there again. But current events being what they are right now, travel anywhere in the world is out of the question at the moment and maybe for the rest of the year. How the remainder of 2020 will look like in the next 5 or 9 months depends on how soon it will be considered safe to resume normal life again. While I can’t hop a plane to my next exotic destination any time soon, I’ve taken solace in video games for a bit of escapism. The game I have returned to lately is The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
In the land of sequels, reboots, and remakes it’s beginning to be difficult to see anything having a definitive and decisive ending. We stretch out experiences for as long as we can. At times it can enhance a story to build upon what’s already there. Or it can be at the detriment of an already solid experience. Video games are the perfect entertainment medium to keep coming back to for new missions and boss fights to face at any time. Games like Destiny, Overwatch, and Fortnite are wildly successful because they’re games that don’t have an “ending” in any traditional sense of the word. Instead, they’re video games that are great for short bursts of gaming with the occasional new maps, characters, or events to participate in every few months or so. But as huge and popular these games are, does this mean we’re beginning to move away from video games that are mostly singular and conclusive experiences?
I enjoy playing video games, really, I do. It has been hard to get motivated to play when you either don’t have enough time or you feel like doing other things. We all know backlogs are the bane of every gamer’s existence. We simply don’t know how to lessen the backlog of games waiting for their turn in the spotlight to be played, or waiting to be finished in general.
I would consider myself an intermediate gamer after getting fully acquainted with games and the gaming world with a little help from my gamer friends. I can’t say I am a total newbie at gaming. I played with my friends’ and family’s consoles when I went over their houses as a kid. Even then, I never had the nagging desire to be a gamer until much later in life with the introduction of motion games and the increasingly well made RPGs you find out there these days.
As I slowly got into gaming, I started exhibiting what I call the symptoms of a gamer. My gamer friends have warned me that I will, and sure enough I have. Here’s the three I have experienced. Maybe there are others I haven’t experienced or I’m missing, but these three stick out in my mind the most.