Life, The Universe And Gaming: Cyclic Redundancies
“It’s a new year!” Well, whoop-dee-freaking-do.
This being the first real exclusive content produced for the year, allow me to welcome you all back to the greatest website on the internet. Yes, even better than YouPorn and GrannyNaai. We hope you’ve enjoyed what time of rest you were afforded, in between obligatory family visits and ridiculous amounts of unnecessary spending. And any shopping mall in the world, in late December. Violent shudder here.
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Now, we technically haven’t fully resumed regular programming yet (podcasts will resume this week, with columns making a return next week), but I’ve been itching to get back to writing. It’s so strange how I finally get a chance to play games without any other obligations and I end up doing everything else, including but not limited to, cleaning out the wardrobes in my room, putting up curtains and even helping with the fitting of stoves. Productive as fuck, all because I’m free to play games. Maybe it’s some sort of subconscious guilt at being so free to do as I please.
Anyway, I was recently asked, it being the new year and all, what resolutions I had for 2014. Funny thing. I have none.
Okay that’s not entirely true because I mentioned that I’d like ‘more’ of a few things, specifically games, money and sexual exploits. Those were the words I used, that I’m just reusing here. I figured that I’m just at that ‘young adulthood’ point of my life where I favour material things and wealth over experiences and personal journies. Plus, I mean, who wouldn’t want more games, money and sex? But that’s not really a resolution, is it.
You could definitely call me a sentimental person and get away with it, but my big issue with resolutions is that they’re so damn cyclic. You’ll say some stuff this year and then by the end of the year, maybe you’ve accomplished it but most likely you’ve forgotten all about it and then next year, you say the same stuff again. Resolutions. Lose weight, find a better job, fix the geyser, find true love, blah blah blah yada yada bullshit. Disclaimer: I don’t disrespect a resolution made with genuine intent to resolve. But they’re few and far between, bordering on rarer than a once-off game by Ubisoft, so I don’t have to respect jack shit, most days.
Oddly enough, when it comes to gaming we’re almost exactly the same. It’s a new year, there’s a new list of games to look forward to. The mistakes of the past are forgotten, the lessons learned now a hazy mist in our minds, and we begin to make the same bad decisions all over again.
“Look! A new trailer for that game coming out in a month. I’m going to cream my pants from the anticipation!” Loop this quoted statement once every few months. And there’s your gaming year in a nutshell.
Looking ahead to 2014, there aren’t really that many big games to really cream our pants in anticipation for. Sorry if that’s a sexist statement, let me reword: ejaculate out of the ends of our penises or if we don’t have penises, experience vaginal or clitoral (there’s a difference, yes) orgasms at the thought of. There, better? Now where was I. Right! Not that many games this year. We have inFamous: Second Son; we have Dragon Age: Inquisition; we have The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. I don’t even know what else. The Order: 1886, I guess? That looked nice, if it’s out this year. South Park: The Stick of Truth, of course. Oh, how could I forget Watch_zzZZzZZz…
And yet, isn’t it just the same old cycle of look forward to game, get hyped by it, play it, look forward to next game, get hyped by it, play it, repeat.
Frankly, I’m sick and tired of it.
I’m tired of always looking so forward to a game but rarely stopping to focus on what we currently have, or even looking backwards at where we’ve come from. I’m tired of looking forward to just a game but not anything more than a game. Where’s the imagination? Where’s the hope for something better than what is currently around? I for one am really looking forward to the next great innovation brought about by the advent of next-generation gaming. I for one am looking forward to the launch of the Xbox One in South Africa, something that seems less and less likely to happen before I die of old age, and that’s if I can even afford it with my pension fund. I for one am looking forward to more than just the next iteration of some title.
Why isn’t this the case with everyone?
We ought to have grown a bit by now, as an industry. Surely as gamers. Why are we still doing the ‘resolutions’ thing if we’re so obviously better than that. You played the last inFamous, right? You probably played the last Witcher, right? If they’re the same games over again, will you be happy? Probably. I know I would. But what if they were the same games and yet so much more, the way The Witcher 2 improved over The Witcher, or Assassin’s Creed improved over Prince of Persia. What if they transcended any sort of experience possible on the PS3 or Xbox 360. What if we got some really unique ways to play games?
Why be so myopic about what you’re looking forward to, especially if the moment you’ve played and consumed a game, you’re just going to end up looking forward to something else instead. It’s naive. It’s immature. And we’re better than that. As gamers and as consumers of entertainment, we’re better than that. It’s time we started proving it.
Hell, make it a new years resolution, why don’t you.