I have been watching the Nerd Stash release articles, updates, and opinions about E3 almost twice an hour for the last few days. The coverage our great authors have put forth on the annual mega conference is nothing short of spectacular. Sadly, I have been unable to participate in any of the viewing, but I have been enjoying all of the big news coming out of the conference. If you can’t get excited about The Last Guardian after 67 years in development, I don’t know what excites you. But seeing all of these amazing titles earn time on the big stage at E3 led me to do some internal investigation about myself growing up, who I am now, and why all of these games are tough to swallow as an adult.
Growing up, I had no responsibilities. I was a kid, duh. My biggest issue in life during elementary and middle school was trying to find the courage to talk to that girl that I had a crush on. And when that failed, I always leaned on my good friend, the video game. After putting that final equation on paper or spelling that last sentence on my homework, I was always ready to play. Whether it was NES, SNES, Genesis, PC, PS, PS2, N64, I loved it all. I was one of the only people I remember in my school that owned a Sega Saturn. And I went to war with people who told me that the PS1 trumped the Sega Saturn. How dare they? The sheer amount of time I had allowed me to burn through games at a rapid pace, helping me to have conversations with new friends about the latest video game. Every time the next generation of system came out, I made sure to tell my mom that we needed to get it; I had to be able to be on top of the modern video game era. Some of my modern-day OCD tendencies traced back to that time.
Fast forward to 2015. Here’s my schedule: Wake up, go to the office, work out, eat dinner, and enjoy a couple of hours before repeating the cycle. Where is the freedom that I once had as a kid? I can tell you, that freedom evaporated overnight. But the video game industry has not changed one iota. You can tell me about the updated graphics, the various options, online gaming, etc… However, the market is incredibly oversaturated with games. That is a good thing for SOME of us. My mentality has not changed since I was younger. I want to buy every game, play them all, stay current. Sadly, that cannot be a legitimate reality anymore. My OCD to go out and beat EVERY GAME on the market cripples how I play games. I have bought a lot of games recently, and just cannot play them. So why do I keep buying them? All I have to do is refer back to my youth. That’s why.
I am writing this article to give some advice to kids and adults like myself who struggle with this issue. And I offer two key points:
1) For the youth out there: enjoy it. I will say again. Enjoy it. When you get my age, you’ll be visibly shocked at how adulthood sweeps up and does not set you down. And if you have kids, forget about it. Pick up the latest console, play as much as you want. Live damnit, LIVE!
2) For my fellow old people, I will break down this point into two parts:
a) Block out the noise. Live those new games through others on Youtube or on the couch. Don’t let the sheer amount of options force you to pick everything up and let it build dust.
b) Pick one game, and stick with it until completion. If that means waiting three months for something you are looking forward to, WAIT. The build-up will make it all worthwhile.
As much as it pains me to say as an adult, video games are more of a supplement than the main attraction. Games help me remove stresses from the day. It’s a different use than back in 1995, when I had nothing better to do other than game (Darn those girls! They are mean when they are young!)
Remember why we play these games in the first place: to have fun.
Just an old man who enjoys the simple things in life: Seinfeld, Michigan sports, working out, and playing video games. You can find me on the basketball court or trying to find a way to slow down time.