Gaming Like A Sir: Suffocating Under An Avalanche Of Gaming’s Bosom, And It Feels Great
An All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Of Gaming Splendour
You, random citizen, put that new game down. You have three games pre-ordered, your Steam library is brimming and the Indie scene is exploding. I know that game you’re holding looks good, it’s shiny and smells like new game and the pictures on the box are totally sweet. I know this, but don’t be fooled by the slick marketing or the protestations of the puppy-dog-esque pseudo-humble developers. Don’t be fooled, I berieve in you!
Wai…You did it! You put the game down. I can’t believe it. Look around, gaze upon the world anew. Breathe deeply the clear and icy air. Smile and feel invigorated, you made a great decision today. You escaped the clutches of evil and remain whole.
This is cause for celebration. Call your friends and family, today will be special. Before you leave, I have one more thing for you. A gift, to commemorate your immense discipline. Here, it’s a copy of my game, for 20% off.
I have made no secret of my boredom in recent months as well as my expectations for this lovely holiday season. I have desperately been awaiting the return of the truly triple A and it has been a rough wait. Like when your dentist leaves the room and you’re lying there with several contraptions in your face and weird smells wafting around.
The nurse / assistant lady smiles, not bothering to talk to you knowing you would only be able to make uncomfortable, incomprehensible gurgles anyway. When she thinks you can’t see her, her smile fades and her eyes deaden. She’s in her own world.
You lie there helpless, waiting for something to come along and break the oppressive monotony. Then, shortly before you snap and murder everyone, patterns on the ceiling become interesting. The way things feel and look become a little bit more attention worthy. You start to imagine things and think big thoughts. You daydream.
Then, at the ultimate moment of raw awesome. When the most interesting thought occurs and when you have realised several very important things about the universe, life, and women, the dentist returns.
In a poof, everything you did to occupy yourself seems pale and unhealthy, like Steve Buscemi. No one knows what stupid crap you were doing or thinking. Somehow though it feels like they know and are judging you.
You’re undeniably happier now that things are back to the way they should be, but a small part of you knows that if the dentist had stayed away for just a few moments longer, you would have experienced something quite epic. In that small, dark part of your mind that just wants to be loved, you realise that Steve Buscemi is actually a magnificent actor if you give him the chance.
If you’re paying attention to this extended metaphor, you’ll realise I’m talking about all the great but not perfect or mind-blowing games that come out each year. We ignore them when they release, overshadowed by games we want more.
Then the quiet months come around, and as we sit in our proverbial dentist’s chair, we start to see the value of the experiences we so flippantly disregarded. Case in point, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. I disregarded the game as so much bum-fluff on the manly beard of truly great gaming. I played it a bit but never got very far and was immensely bored.
Then, when I had nothing else to play, I went back and tried again. I don’t often admit this, but I was wrong. It’s actually a very good game. I got so caught up in the hype that I only focused on what Revelations brought that was new. I forgot completely that beneath the admittedly slim new offerings lies the spine of a huge and glorious franchise. I haven’t had any Assassin’s Creed fun since playing a little of Brotherhood way back in 2010.
Revisiting the game now, suddenly it was all fresh again. Not only fresh but with the benefit of years of polish to the core aspects of the game with some hefty extensions. At least they are hefty compared to the vanilla AC2 which is the last game in the franchise I properly played.
I was having a good time, it was like being with an ex-girlfriend. We understand we each have flaws and were more forgiving as a result. I know her weaknesses and she knows mine. Mutually assured destruction. Instead of getting MAD, we simply enjoy what we can without judgement.
Then Dishonored came out.
Now when I look at Revelations, all I see is the harpy witch I left. I look but the magic is gone and all that remains are the scars. She hasn’t changed, I have.
It’s a sad story, if I was stronger and more accepting I could still have a lot of happiness. But I want ever more, and so I disregard the less than perfect. It is an attitude which breeds excellence perhaps, but one filled with cruelty nonetheless.
In honour of this, I decided not to start Dishonored even though I’ve written many articles on it. Instead I went back to Borderlands 2. I’ve decided that I should appreciate what I have, before I demand something more.
In a week or so, when I’m well and truly tired of Borderlands, I will take up a sordid affair with Dishonored.
I want to be a deliberate gamer, to choose actively when and what I play. A game is more magnificent because it was my choice to play it.
So, Dishonored, you lithe and lovely midnight flower, remove the stain of thy shadow from my threshold vile temptress. Be gone! I will call when I have need of you.