When I was younger, I used to see a bunch of commercials on t.v. advertising action figures and remote controlled cars. Nowadays, such toys seem to be a thing of the past as even the youngest of children are found playing video games. I consider myself a gamer… I think. Well, to be honest, upon observing my gaming habits I’m not so sure. I mean, I honestly can’t remember the last time I truly finished a game.
During my middle school days, I would be completely immersed in the few games I had. I remember playing th daylights out of Spyro 2 and Super Mario 64 by completely collecting all the orbs and power stars found in each world. Repetitive as it may have been, I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment upon completing the game and felt as if I had thoroughly enjoyed the game. Of course, I missed out on a lot of great games at the time too, but as I grew older, I found myself with less time to devote to games.
I was raised with games and had a lot of gamer friends, so it’s no surprise that I love video games. While I know that there are way more people who take games seriously and dedicate themselves to buying the latest and greatest consoles, I still consider myself a casual to moderate gamer. In my eyes, gamers are characterized by what they look for in the game, rather than by how many hours they have clocked in the latest RPG. I mean… the PSP GO! is set for launch during fall of this year and here I am just having purchased a PSP Slim. (Pretty much the only up-to-date console I have).
Since the rise of emulated gaming, I have saved a number of games to my hard disk; some I have played in the past, some I have never played in my life. Sometimes, I’m even excited about a new game and store it away in the dusty game archives in my C:/ drive.
…but what becomes of them?
To be honest, at this point, nothing. The memories of enjoying myself playing Sonic the Hedgehog and other games have sort of rendered me into a digital pack-rat for games. It’s really odd because while I am compelled to save some of the funnest looking games, I thoroughly research each before granting them access to my hard drive… a habit I retain from using a Windows NT with a hard drive capacity of 4GB for years. It used to be that lack of free time prevented me from playing these games, but these days it has been something completely different. There are two main emotions that cause me to lose interest in a game I’m playing fast, even if I have been looking forward to it for months. On one hand, the gamer in me says, “You’ve been playing games since middle school… you’ll whip through this game in no time!” On the other hand, a part of me says, “Remember how much fun you had with these? Try not to beat it too fast and try to savor it!”
Conceitedness? Definitely. However, was I consciously thinking of myself as the best gamer in the world? Most certainly not! In fact, there are quite a bit of games I am simply horrible at. I suppose this awkward thought process comes about because of two equal fears of not being able to play anymore and not being able to experience the newest games. It’s rather complex and irrational, don’t you think? I agree.
I had a similar problem a while back that I don’t believe I have fully gotten over either. As some might have read, I used to lead a guild in Ragnarok Online where I created some of the fondest memories that I have ever experienced. With the fall of the guild, I attempted to play Ragnarok Online again on different servers with different classes, but was unable to experience the drive that once powered me. A previous guild member of mine once remarked to her sister that playing again is “just holding on to the shards of days gone,” not that she was keen on leaving the guild anyways. What she said though was true; I mean, everywhere I walked in the MMO reminded me of a particular gathering here or a failed dungeon run there, and there really wasn’t much point on experiencing again what I had already experienced, alone.
Lately, I’ve been aching to play Ragnarok Online again. The funny part? I’ve never even transcended a character before in the game.
So basically, I have had an epiphany of sorts reminding me that there is nothing holding me back except for expectations from the past. Expectations that they may be, there will always be someone better than me at something and sometimes I just need to go and do it. These games aren’t gonna play themselves. (Chrono Trigger, I’m looking at you!) In this age, there will always be games and the fun isn’t going to stop. While sometimes one just needs to end something properly and move on, sometimes one just needs to leap in without over analyzing and hesitation.
To boldly game…