A Gaming Resolution?

Image by Flickr user sanjitbakshi (CC)
Image by Flickr user sanjitbakshi (CC)

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!

15 Comments Add yours

  1. My only game-related resolution (if you could call it that) is to start a Let’s Play channel, because that’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while. But I fall into the same headspace of worrying if playing video games will become a chore, since I’d be replaying games I’ve played for the Let’s Play, while playing other games in order to, you know, *play the new games I want to play,* and I’d *have* to do that in order to… Then I take a deep breath and remind myself that this isn’t a job and I’m not doing this to impress other people. Rinse and repeat. It’s an interesting cycle.

    I’m with you, though: I resolve to play games I think I’ll have fun playing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      When it comes to hobbies (i.e. doing things for which you don’t get paid), it can be difficult to find a balance between enjoyment and obsession. And sometime you have to conduct that search by throwing yourself headlong into a project and just seeing how it goes. I wish you all the best as you get your channel off the ground (and I’ll be sure to follow!); I’m sure it’ll be fun, at least. I think that gamers and people who enjoy watching games being played understand that most of the players have to maintain a life outside of their channels. Well, I would hope so, anyway. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the encouragement! I’m looking forward to the experiment! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Playing more games is always a solid resolution, I’d say!

    I’ve been buried under a backlog of games for years now, and this year my resolution is to focus more on that than buying new games. At least not right away. I’m sure I’ll do what I did in 2016 and hunt down the best holiday deals to save a ton of money. But I really just want to make a dent in this atrocious beast, both in terms of my physical and digital purchases.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. cary says:

      Man, the holiday sales and such are just the worst! And the best! I made myself ignore most of the most recent Steam sale, for example, only picking up a couple games during it. (And I shouldn’t have done even that.) I wish you the best as you work through your own backlog.

      And, with a backlog, at least you aren’t with any shortage of things to play. 🙂 PLAY MOAR GAMEZ!

      Like

      1. Exactly! I have no shortage of things to play, I think it’s just the appeal of playing something “new” that’s missing. And that’s kinda silly.

        So far I’ve yet to buy anything this year. A whole six days clean! Honestly though that just has to do with this week’s PSN sale being lackluster in NA. I won’t kid myself.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. hundstrasse says:

    In recent years I’ve grown comfortable with abandoning games that I’m not enjoying… Honestly that was a difficult step to take, part of me felt that I had ‘failed’ as a gamer if I gave up on a title part way through, but now I’m quite merrily rid of any ‘chore’ status that my game time may have carried… Good luck with the resolution! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      Y’know, that’s a good approach to take…and one that I think I’ll adopt There’s no harm in accepting that not ALL games are going to work for any one gamer. And it’s inevitable that we’re also going to pick a few duds in our time, or that we’re not going to enjoy each and every critically-acclaimed game that there ever was. If a game doesn’t work for you, then just let it go and move on. I like it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mr. Panda says:

    I don’t really have any resolutions either, but I do try to make it a point to beat more games than get during the year. By the end of the year, I measure the difference between those two categories and am so pleased when it’s positive in the double digits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      These days it’s far *too* easy to accumulate games, so I’m with you on the notion of playing more games than buying in a year. Good luck with you own progress this year. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. cary says:

    Reblogged this on Recollections of Play and commented:

    New Year’s resolutions? No thanks. I’m usually all like “blah blah blah” when it comes to making resolutions for a coming year. And I thought that this year would be no different…until I kinda, sorta, accidentally made one. It’s a small one, and one that really only involves video games (because, OF COURSE!). Or, maybe it isn’t a resolution at all? Head over to United We Game for the post, and I’ll let you be the judge!

    Like

  6. Playing more games is an admirable pursuit 🙂

    I accidentally made a resolution this year too. I have a huge goal to get through all the Final Fantasy titles I’ve missed out on by the end of 2017 (I call it my Year of Final Fantasy, haha). It’s a hopeless but fun objective, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      Good luck! That is a big goal, but it’s cool to have something to strive for. Also, at least it gives you a path to navigate as the year progresses, which can be helpful during a year that’s happily cluttered with new games, as it seems 2017 will be. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jamie Kehoe says:

    Good read! My resolution was to write about the games that I play.

    Here I am.

    Have a great year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      Thanks, and the same to you! Good luck with writing…and gaming. 🙂

      Like

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