As most people playing games are adults and young adults, most of us have been playing for long enough to not only develop habits, but have them change over time as well. For me, it seems to have been two big shifts that I keep noticing over the last few years specifically.
I used to be the kind of person who would constantly look through my games to see what I wasn't playing, so I could go trade them in ASAP and get some of that money back. It was really easy in 2009 to look at a copy of Fallout 3 and think "I could pay for half of the upcoming Uncharted 2 if I trade this in!". When the 360 was about to launch, I traded in two PS2s and all of my games to basically get a free 360. But years later, I was super sad that I no longer had those things to go back to and relive some memories. By the time I did, it was really tough to find a lot of that stuff in good condition. I got so crazy with trade-ins and used games that I have bought and traded in no less than five copies of certain games. I'd want to play it, buy it used, play it, trade it in, and repeat.
I was sick of having to hunt for non-ratty used games, and I was sick of throwing that money away. So in 2013 I made myself a promise. As of the PS4 launch, I have bought every single game I own new, and I have traded in zero titles. GCU at Best Buy made it really easy to drop Gamestop as my source of games entirely - I haven't been inside of a Gamestop in almost four years. I went from being Gamestop's absolute favorite kind of customer to not even a potential future customer. Knowing what we do about Gamestop and their business practices, it feels pretty good to say that.
Feeling Like I "Should" Play A Game
It's really hard to be an enthusiast about games and not feel like you're constantly missing out. Another big change I've made relatively recently is that I no longer want to play a game if the reason I am playing it is because I feel like I should. For instance, I'm finally admitting to myself that I just hate the way Rockstar games play. I've played GTA 3, Vice City, San Andreas, IV, V, Red Dead Redemption, and Max Payne 3. And I dislike all of them. But I keep buying and playing these games because they get so much hype, press, and praise that I feel like I have to be missing something. The problem was me, these were good games and I was wrong about them. No doubt these are insanely high-quality products...I just don't like them. I think they are super boring and while the worlds are beautiful and super detailed, none of the things they have you do in those worlds was any fun to me. I would much rather play Hyrule Warriors than Red Dead Redemption - and that's okay. Just play what you want to play.
The other part of this was getting over that feeling of being obligated to finish games that I start. Hey, I came around on The Witcher 3, I like Geralt and the stories and world - there's just too much of it. I got tired of playing the game about 25% through, but by that point I had had my fun with it. I put in a good 25 hours and I was okay walking away. I did the same thing with Horizon this year, I put in my time, saw what I wanted to see, and moved on to games I wanted to play. That turned out to be Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2, two games I have finished twice before. It's tough getting over that feeling of "I have seen this content, I should consume the content I haven't seen", but what's the point if you're not enjoying it as much?
So those are my two big changes over the last few years. Anyone else in a similar boat? If not, how have your tastes/habits changed?