When midnight struck on January 1st, I swore to myself that this was going to be a year without resolutions. While I’m not exactly a stickler when it comes to this yearly habit, I’ve almost always made, if not lists of solid resolutions, then lists of things I’d like to accomplish within the span of a new year. But this year, I decided it was high time I just wing it. No lists. No resolutions. No goals. I decided that this year I was going to be like water. To go with the flow. To adapt when necessary and to remain otherwise at peace.
And I was perfectly pleased with my decision. Only then, during a New Year’s Day gathering, I was asked the question of all questions: “So, do you have any resolutions?” Cornered with egg nog in one hand and a plate of what I figured were my final food indulgences of the year, I quickly stammered “to play more games!” and then went on about my business of getting to those indulgences. Except the plate sat full while I pondered my strange answer.
Maybe I shouldn’t say “strange” exactly, because as a resolution, “play more games” is a perfectly fine one. It’s simply that I thought I had made up my mind about resolutions. But apparently, I hadn’t. Because I could have blurted out any number of standard answers. “To get in shape!” “To be nicer!” “To get organized!” But I didn’t. I specifically said to and play and more and games all together in a sentence.
So there I sat letting my poor egg nog getting all warm as I wondered what that meant. Because “to play more games” could take a couple different shapes. It could mean that I should endeavor to play a wider variety of games, to get out from under my heavy RPG/platformer/puzzler blanket to take on some FPS and RTS fare, perhaps. It could also mean that I want to aim to play games more often, more regularly, maybe. It could also mean that I wish to add more games to my library, to expand my collection, perchance. It could also mean that I desire simply to play more of the games that I already own, cutting back the backlog, possibly. And it could also mean all of those things combined. Really, it’s quite a complicated resolution.
The thing of it is that I don’t actually know what the resolution “to play more games” would look like for me in reality. Sure, I wouldn’t mind expanding my gaming horizons and playing more often than I’m currently able. Of course I’d like to both cut down on my backlog and add to my library. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that with this line of thinking, I was turning gaming into…well, a chore. Something I needed to do because I felt that it needed to be done. And that’s not what gaming is, or, it’s not what I want it to be in my life. In recent years, at times, it’s become dangerously close to that, and that’s of my own doing. For most of my life, I had integrated gaming into the nooks and crannies of my free time pretty well . It was a hobby, a respite, a place to belong. Gaming is still all those things now, but I’d be a fool to dismiss that it’s also on the verge of becoming a duty, i.e. I write about games, therefore I MUST play them! And that’s not how it should be. I play games because I love them, not because they are part of a routine.
Okay fine, as I thought to myself, staring at my now warmed-over drink and plate of goodies, if I was going to take on a resolution involving gaming, I decided that it was simply going to be “to play games,” not play more games, because that implied that I wasn’t already doing it enough. Maybe I’m not, but that’s a result of having a life that’s (ful)filled with other ventures, other hobbies and activities, other chores and duties. So this year, with gaming, I will be like water. I will go with the flow. I will adapt when necessary and remain otherwise at peace.
If you took on any gaming resolutions this year, share them in the comments!