Ever since I’ve been gaming I’ve been known to devote myself to games that I love. I go to bed wishing I could play longer, have vivid dreams as though I’m still playing and spend days in a row playing for as long as possible. This cycle appears endless as, in being asked to put together a list of my favourite games, it continued to appear and reappear the further my list grew, so much so that it has almost become the common denominator. Upon considering this pattern along with recent experiences, I’ve come to consider myself a ‘Gaming Monogamist’.
Over the past month or more I’ve been playing more games than I can remember. This is in part due to both sales which have caught my eye and my commitments with Indie Sandwich. However, I don’t think I’ve sunk as many hours into, nor enjoyed myself during this time to the same degree with which I have with any of the games on my list of favourites. When I consider that most of these games are described as ‘great’ often both critically and among my peers there is only one factor which can explain my less than enjoyable experiences of late; I’ve been playing too many at once.
Perhaps I’ve been getting caught up in the lure of my newly found ‘free time’; attempting to get the most out of it by devouring any and every one I could get my hands on. One thing I am certain of, is that I am not enjoying myself with some games because they were simply not meant be played in short sporadic bursts. For example, Heroes of Might and Magic VI doesn’t appear to lend itself to this type of play as the story is involved, there are more units or creatures than one can name off hand while all of this is intertwined into over 100 hours of gameplay. I found Might and Magic enjoyable that is for sure but nowhere near in the same degree as others simply because I haven’t played it to the point where I truly know how the game works and how the story might unfold. I liken this feeling to someone attempting to become a marathon runner but only deciding to run as far as five kilometres; they are never going to understand the true experience.
Interestingly enough thinking of other games in my recent feast, my monogamy began to show through again. Rayman Origins, for instance, I continually found myself going back to time and time again. This is likely due to its more casual nature or even familiar platforming setting which eased me in on each play and allowed for more instant enjoyment. Nevertheless I was excited about the game and couldn’t wait for my next chance to play it until, eventually, it became the only game I was playing; if I were asked ‘what game did you play this week?’ it was my enthusiastic answer. I define ‘gaming monogamy’ as the all encompassing feeling of love for a game; it becomes all you think about, all you talk about and all you play while the feeling remains. Rayman Origins was one of the few games able to, oh so figuratively, sweep me off my feet.
As I write this article I am restlessly waiting to be reacquainted with my current love in ‘Diablo III’. I am uncertain whether others experience this phenomenon, if it could be called that, but it is clear to me that gaming monogamy is well and truly a part of my identity as a gamer and I never want to change.
Heroes of Might and Magic VI image retrieved 18/05/2012 from http://bit.ly/KdIEWP
Rayman Origins Image retrieved 18/05/2012 from: http://bit.ly/JAg1Ye