It’s safe to say, many of us have been playing video games for a very long time at this point. At some point but in the last few years I’ve come to realized that maybe that relationship had changed and I didn’t even noticed it. There’s almost a clear line in my past where video games went from being my babysitter to being my mistress. Playing games in my early child hood held such excitement. I started with games like Mario and Sonic, where the thrill was in the action and adventure.
As I got older, I started playing games for the story, characters and unique mechanics. I started playing more RPG style games because of their in-depth storytelling and character development. Yet at some point, I think I lost my way. I slowly transitioned into playing more FPS, MOBA, and MMOs or as I started to call them, Endless Games. As you might be able to assume, these are games that have a starting point but don’t quite have an actual ending. You start out as level 1 being unskilled and in bare armor, but the game doesn’t end. You just grind for more epic loot and items once you reach max level, or you develop yourself to have a 10-1 K-D ratio. A new expansion debuts and you’re back at it with a little more story development and some crazy gear. But is that really an ending?
VIDEO GAMES WENT FROM MY BABYSITTER TO MY MISTRESS
It was in the moment I was aimlessly going after a new record for K-D and spending hours each week grinding for a slim chance at some legendary loot that I realized I wasn’t getting much fulfillment out of the games I was playing. The constant grind felt more like a chore than anything else. I spent more time bitching at my raid members and team mates and arguing about why I wasn’t being protected as the sole healer, than actually enjoying the game. About halfway through a match I would think to myself, “Why did I even start the match?”.
IT WAS NO LONGER FUN.
In the last few months, I’ve steered away from those kind of quick match games. I played less League of Legends and haven’t logged into several of my favorite MMOs in over 2 months. I didn’t even purchase Destiny 2 yet, despite how hyped I was for it.
IT’S TIME TO GET BACK TO MY ROOTS.
I realized that maybe it was time to get back to my roots if I ever planned on enjoying gaming again. I picked up Persona 3, Odinsphere, Tales of Zestiria and even dug out some old PS One era RPGs. Taking a trip down nostalgia lane helped reawaken the enjoyment I got out of gaming, as I was actually able to see an end goal. That end goal and sense of accomplishment was more pleasing to me than the struggle I had for years of running towards a finish line that keeps being pushed back, just out of reach.
Since cutting out MOBAs, FPS and MMOs, I’ve found myself once again being able to be fully immersed in a game and becoming attached to characters and their development within the game. I’ve been able to get wrapped up in the world that developers have spent countless hours creating for us.
Now, this post isn’t here to bash on MOBAs, FPS, MMOs or any other type of “Endless Games”. I’ve had plenty of fun losing hours and sleep to League of Legends and Raids on Destiny. I think that they do leave a lot to be desired, and maybe these games just aren’t for me anymore. Maybe I’m at the point where a few matches here and there to kill time is great, but overall I’m just tired of having the carrot dangled in front of me but only getting the stick.
Going back to the stories I fell in love with all those years ago taught me how to love gaming again. It sparked the passion inside that was an ember for years. And it really helped to open my eyes and see what new games are out there that are story rich and character driven, such as Undertale and many others. It even allowed me to love reboots of the classics and tribute games, such as the Mario Odyssey and Cuphead. If I had to sum this up in one sentence, I’d probably say…