I wish I could complete more video games. I admit it is an odd thing to wish for and there are many other things that I should, and could wish for instead of being able to complete more video games. As an example I could wish for world peace, or lots of money. Instead I wish that I could complete video games at a faster pace than usual because I’ve recently noticed that despite playing video games very frequently, I take forever to complete games. It feels to me sometimes that pensioners (no offence meant) can complete games far more quickly than I can.
Time waits for no man and the video game industry definitely waits for no man. With constant new releases that catch my eye, nowadays seemingly every week, I can sometimes feel bogged down in video games. Not that it’s a chore to play games, quite the opposite; however the video game “completionist” in me demands that I at the very least complete the main story and all the side quests for any video game I play. The downside to adhering to my “completionist” desires is that games that naturally take longer to complete such as Role Playing Games and Hack ‘n’ Slash games, can take over 200 hours of gaming before I feel that I have completed the game in a satisfactory manner. It felt to me last year that I spent most of the year playing Persona 5, which isn’t a bad thing at all, but I would have rather finished it quicker than I did, so I could have had more time in the year to play other games. In fact I only managed to complete 4 games last year which might be a lifetime low.
Since 2015 I have taken to recording various statistics related to my video games on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet in question consists mostly of games I want to buy, so I can add it to my collection but also a log of what games I play and when I start and finish them. In 2015 I started to get curious as to how many games I complete in a year, so I thought now “why not make a basic spreadsheet detailing the start and end of the video games I play?” As one can clearly see I have many friends. While the number of games I complete is technically inflated by extremely short games such as visual novels, or games from the NES and Mega Drive era that don’t take a long time to complete, I do usually manage to finish at least 15 games, in some form or another. However in 2017, I only managed to complete 4 games. Technically 3 if you don’t count the single remake of the original Crash Bandicoot game from the N-Sane trilogy which I managed to complete. For some reason to my brain this is an unacceptable result, and I need to improve.
My spreadsheet is simple, effective and gets me all the ladies…
However I think I know what stops me from completing lots of video games in a timely manner is I get distracted very easily. There are two types of distractions which get to me, so I will explain the lesser distraction first. I’ve recently noticed myself occasionally wasting a number of hours watching YouTube videos. I don’t know why but I just find myself spending too much time watching videos, when I have better things to be doing. I always want to stop, but find myself saying to myself “just one more video”. The only way I’ve found that I can deal with this problem is to just not watch YouTube any videos at all for a day. It should please my readers to know that I am self aware enough, to know that this problem of mine and the solution I’ve conceived is a clear example of a “#FirstWorldProblem”. However I’m British and that gives me the right to moan and complain about anything and everything and I will use that nationality trait to its fullest potential. I can at least justify video games to myself because I’m actually doing something; even if what I’m doing takes place is in a fictional virtual world and doesn’t seem to contribute much to society, well that’s not totally true as I have learned quite a bit about history in various parts of the world, see my previous blogs; https://room633k.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/how-video-games-taught-me-western-history/ , https://room633k.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/how-video-games-taught-me-oriental-history/ and https://room633k.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/how-video-games-made-me-fall-in-love-with-history/ . When I’m watching YouTube it feels like I’m just sitting in my chair wasting time. Even a no good millennial like me knows that I’m wasting my life just watching YouTube..
My second distraction is the one that really gets to me; getting distracted by other video games. There’s nothing like playing a game, enjoying it immensely and then suddenly something new and shiny comes into view which causes me to abandon what I was doing, so I can play this new game. It’s as if all the interest I had in the game I was playing simply vanishes, which makes it almost impossible to finish or even come back to the game at a later date. But what truly makes it terrible is that new games come out at such a high frequency that interest me, I am stuck in an infinite loop. I find myself constantly abandoning the games I’m playing for newer “sexier” titles despite all my mental restraint, forever doomed to never complete the games I abandon. A tad melodramatic, but my point still stands. As an example a few months ago I had been attempting to complete the PS4 release of South Park: The Stick of Truth, so I could then play South Park: The Fractured but Whole. I had everything all planned out in my mind and on my spreadsheet (remember that?). However whilst I was playing The Stick of Truth, Dynasty Warriors 9 was released, and me being the rabid Dynasty Warriors fan boy that I am, I instantaneous purchased a day one release. My interest was now placed solely on Dynasty Warriors 9, completely replacing the South Park games in my mind. Then I seemingly out of the blue, I had the random itch to play Way of the Samurai 3 on the PS3, and my interest in Dynasty Warriors 9 was now gone. Despite having a to-do list that consisted of finishing South Park: The Stick of Truth which I had already mostly completed, and then play put another 180 hours of Dynasty Warriors 9 to fully unlock and complete everything, I then found me falling into the hype machine for Attack on Titan 2. I’m not even that big of a fan of the Attack on Titan series, but the game featured a “create a character” feature, and having a feature like that practically guarantees I’ll buy your game. Though to my credit, I did fully complete Attack on Titan 2, even if I did play it nonstop for a fortnight, and didn’t pay attention to much else going on in my life…
However I think what really prevents me from completing video games is a lack of time. I’ve been spoilt from the many years I had of being able to come home from school and play video games for hours. It’s no secret of mine that there were some days where I all did was play games practically non-stop until my allocated bedtime. How I managed to complete any homework assignments with my lack of time allocation to anything outside of video games, is mind-boggling. Then after finishing college I had even more time to play video games, despite doing some house maintenance and renovation for a family member, but the house has been sold so I don’t need to do that anymore. I don’t have as much time as I used to. I’ve been job searching recently and going out a lot more in recent years, which can take a lot of time out of a day where I could be playing video games.
Maybe I’m starting to realize that I have to grow up which means less time playing video games, and more responsibilities in the real world. Responsibilities such as bills, taxes and relationships I know these responsibilities will help me develop into a more complete and all round person, and that’s great all, but I’m sure that these new responsibilities will mean I will have much less time to play games than I used to, which will mean I’ll be even less likely to complete video games in a timely fashion. I think Peter Pan had the right idea about not growing up…
Do you think I’m being a pedantic cry-baby that needs to grow up, or do you too struggle to complete video games? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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