I've spent a lot of time gaming in my 20 or so years on this planet. It has taken me a while and I still have a long way to go but I'm coming to terms with some simple issues that effect how I play games. Here are some new and old ones that I have been thinking about recently.
Must Beat Game in this Session
There is always a point in a game where I know I'm near the end. I don't know how long is left but I know it's close. Often this is late at night or there something else I need to do in an hour or so. Then it kicks in and I must beat it within this allotted time. I begin to stress as I look at the clock, as my time starts to run out. The end result is the same, I either beat the game without enjoying the ending that I spent hours working towards or I run out of time and walk away frustrated. Even if I do beat it, it is often really late and I know it wasn't worth the tiredness I will feel the next day. The biggest issue with this is that games sometimes give you false endings and in fact there is 3 - 4 hours more to go. Either that or they end the game with a boss battle that is 30x harder than anything else in the game just to fuck with you.
Answer: If it looks late and/or you don't have much time to finish this game in, save when you can and quit. I guarentee that super hard boss battle will be a cinch when you have no time limit. Unless the boss actually has an in game time limit. Then you're fucked.
Don't Do Things You Don't Want To Pt 2
I feel the need to reinforce this issue. In every medium we experience this. I was reading a book (The Shining) and got about 1/3 through it and realized how agonizing it was. I was not enjoying it one bit. I immediately started reading the Horus Heresy series and have been hooked ever since. The same goes with movies, not all movies are written for you, especially comedies! Last weekend over the Easter break I tried watching Gangs of New York (bit late to the party I know) and I just didn't like it at all. I did not find the main character or in fact any character interesting (which is another topic I will probably post about in the future). I also tried watching Rango, the western inspired animation, and none of the comedy hit me. I got all the jokes but just didn't find it funny at all (I call this the 'Bones/How I Met Your Mother' effect). So both movies I stopped watching. Something I never used to do. I would normally just sit through the whole thing and then say 'Meh' at the end. No more! I then stuck on 2 movies I know I love to bits, Scarface and Tintin and loved every goddamn second. I already talked about this in a previous blog about games and my backlog, but I thought I'd give a few examples relating to other forms of media(because I can).
Answer: If your not enjoying it, shelve it.
Don't Spread Yourself Too Thin
OK, in the last one of these blogs, I talked about backlogs and why I shouldn't just play a game because I think I should. I also said you should just play what you feel like at the time. There is an inherit issue with this that I have discovered. If it is a game you've played before and seen through, there is no issue, play it every now and again and not touch it for months, who cares. But for unfinished games this leaves horribly fragmented play sessions all over the place. This makes it hard to go back to any of them.
Answer: It's simple! Make a TODO list that has about 3 games on it that you intend to complete in the next month or so and don't crack open any other new games until they are finished. However, the exception to the rule is that if you are not enjoying a game on that list, don't brute force it. Shelve it and add another onto that list. This process becomes an amalgamation of all my former answers and processes.
That's about all that was on my mind for the time being. Let me know if there is anything you do while your gaming that you wish you didn't but you do anyway. Over and out!