If you had all the time in the world to play video games – what would you play? Would you spend the majority of your time in just one game at a time, slowly accomplishing whatever goals you had set out for yourself before moving on, or would you bounce around from game to game, following whatever whims you had for the day?
Do you think your gaming habits would be any different than they are now?
These are the sorts of things I think about when I can’t actually play a game. I have been what I call a ‘nomadic gamer’ for quite some time. I don’t really settle, I bounce around between a few games. Most of them are my ‘tried tested and true’ games. Games I’ve played for years now, and who feel like a comfortable sweater I’m putting on. Those games are familiar, EQ2. EQ. WoW. EVE Online. Wurm Unlimited (or Online). Sims of any form. Banished. RimWorld (a newer addition, but still an addition). Then there are a handful of games that I’d like to get a chance to play that take a back seat to my old favourites. Overwatch falls into that category, as does pretty much 80% of my steam library that I’ve never touched (thank you HumbleBundle).
Gaming is a way for me to relax, and while I enjoy learning and exploring new worlds I find greater comfort in wandering through worlds I’m already familiar with (or at least titles and developers I’m familiar with). Civilization, Tropico, etc. These games are ones I’ve played in various forms over the years, and they’ve helped me through some pretty dark times.
Trying to find a balance of what I WANT to play vs. What I have time to play is a delicate act. The more limited my time is, the more I want to just curl up with that familiar sweater instead of trying to stretch a new one to be as comfortable. Sure, it can be done, and I know exactly which sweaters will end up just as comfortable as my old ones, but it takes time to get there – and time is precious. A cliche, but true. That’s why I end up lusting over a whole slew of games but actually playing very few different ones over the years. Yes, I do try new games – but a lot of my ‘free’ time is spent in familiar worlds that are a simple comfort to hang out in.
Enough musing for one day, it’s time to play some games!