The Pressures of Gaming

Recently, I have been trying to find the time to join my friends on The Division, a game which is infinitely more enjoyable when playing as a team. I hit level 30 a couple of weeks ago, but am yet to take advantage of it. I just haven’t had the time to get online. Or have I?

Truth be told, I have had plenty of time. But I have found myself making excuses for not playing. I’ve been giving myself more work to do, or more TV programs to watch, mostly just as an alternative to playing. You see, I’m just not that hooked on the game. It’s a fairly decent shooter, and I’m more than competent at it. The game world is beautiful and the actual mechanics are pretty solid. The problem is the grind. I find more and more often with games like this, that if you don’t keep up – you are simply left by the wayside. I had the same problem with Destiny. I was a key part of a fire-team before the expansion: The Taken King launched last September. It coincided with a trip to Canada and I was unable to play for nearly a month. When I returned, my whole crew had done nearly everything and I was left grinding most of it out on my own. Ultimately I didn’t enjoyed this and stopped playing. I think the same thing will happen with The Division very soon.

I used to think that these great social multi-player games were for me. They certainly used to be. But when I look back at the games I have enjoyed the most over the past few months, my taste seems to have changed. Uncharted 4, Firewatch, and Fallout 4 were some of my favourite experiences. I’m now believing that this was simply because I could play them at my own pace and wasn’t feeling pressured to play almost every day and on occasions when I didn’t feel like it. I wasn’t trying to keep up with anyone. I just casually went about my business and that was just fine.

The pressure I feel to play online does not come from my friends. They would totally understand if I said I didn’t want to play on a given night. The pressure comes from myself – to be part of something. To try and change my taste to suit the masses. It’s time to stop trying to become the game player I think I should be and instead enjoy being the gamer that I am!

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