List of New Year’s resolutions not yet complete, gamers?
What you’re about to hear should help you feel less guilty about being glued to a game controller.
In a recent op-ed for Polygon, contributor Ben Kuchera stated that playing fewer games would be a part of his New Year’s resolutions.
But it’s not the fact that he wants to cut back on the number that many of you addicts out there will find disturbing. It’s the reason behind it.
According to Kuchera, he was much happier when he had fewer options.
He shares a story about growing up as a kid and receiving two games — one at Christmas, which would have to tide him over until the one he would receive for his birthday.
“It was the best time of my gaming life,” he writes. “Every game was finished, and finishing the game didn’t happen when the credits rolled. It happened when every level could be beaten nearly by memory, and as many secrets as possible were found.”
Kuchera called the experience “mastery by way of necessity” in the sense that his enthusiasm outpaced his supply.
Furthermore, it taught him about what he really wanted and what he could do without. For example, if he made a bad decision on a game or he was too indecisive, he could find himself playing a game like Taboo for several long months.
Kuchera insists that it’s not about less time playing games but about finishing what he starts.
That is admirable reasoning for this entry to his list of New Year’s resolutions. After all, developers work very hard on all the intricacies of their products. It’s the least one can do to check off every achievement.
However, there is something to be said for playing more games instead of fewer, and this is a piece of logic that can easily be transferred over to books, movies, or any other form of entertainment.
By embracing the options that are out there, two pretty amazing things can happen from a consumer’s point of view.
Firstly, you could discover some truly talented indie developers or authors or filmmakers that you might not have otherwise taken a chance on.
Consider this: everyone has to start somewhere.
Without indies, movie lovers might have never discovered Robert Rodriguez or Quentin Tarantino or Wes Anderson or Paul Thomas Anderson.
Without indies, book lovers may have never found their way to John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces or the work of Amanda Hocking.
Without indies, comics would have never experienced the joy that is Jeff Smith’s Bone series.
Without indies, gaming may have never gotten to cozy up with Shovel Knight or Five Nights at Freddy’s.
With fewer choices, as Kuchera seems to be embracing in his op-ed, you could be missing out on a lot. And when you do like something, it will feel truly special, almost like a discovery.
Secondly, having an abundance of choice when it comes to gaming or anything else will teach you a lot about yourself.
With so many options and so little time, you have to start defining the things that matter to you in your entertainment.
If a game or movie or book fails to hold your interest or coaxes out your hatred, then you can rest easy in the freedom of abandoning ship and moving on to something more meaningful.
Making more video games a part of your New Year’s resolutions will allow you to hone in on what it is that you truly value in this form of entertainment, and it will cause you to think more critically about the types of content you consume.
The lesson in all this: options are here to stay. Don’t run from them.
What are your New Year’s resolutions, gamers? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via ShutterStock]