Relax, don’t do it.
You know, the gamer mindset is truly a wondrous thing. Of course, there are a few archetypes.
- The Winner: Gotta get the points, rack up kills, top the scoreboard, etc etc. These guys keep a few select games forever.
- The Player: Enjoys the game for what it is, taking in the story, the scenery, and probably the kind to trade their game back in and buy another, repeat ad infinitum.
- The deviant: These guys love to bend and push the rules of the game. They find more joy in peeling the engine’s skin off and picking at its innards. They move on when they do. Hackers can fall into this category.
All gamers possess elements of all of these. It’s not uncommon to fluctuate from game to game, as well.
The reason I bring this up is because between the three of these, I can’t relax when I play a game. There is always a part of me that will get wrapped up in it. Emotion, curiosity, or just plain competitiveness can and WILL ruin games for me. Not ruin them to unplayability, but ruin the point that it is a GAME. A game meant for fun.
The biggest example of games that are cathartic for me are sandbox games. I can enjoy myself for hours on end in one. Eventually, I get wrapped into the story, and then it becomes an exercise. I can’t begin to describe how many countless hours I’ve lost to the GTA series, but those hours were fun. I’ve probably lost less than ten to the story, and I never completed any of them.
Another example of a game I used to relax with was Half-Life 2. I would just give myself buddha mode, turn the sound down, and put some music on. it would turn into a ballet of bullets for me, and I’d love every moment. Stability issues aside, Smod increased this. Sadly, I can’t seem to bring myself to enjoy the series. Everything source-related has kind of burned me out. I don’t even have the Left4Deads installed anymore, I haven’t touched Team Fortress 2 in probably about a month.
Games have a mysterious habit of drawing me in or pushing me out. I can never just relax in my little comfort zone. If it draws me too far in, I can’t relax because I become mentally invested in the game. Too far out, and I just don’t want to play it.
Oblivion is a game that I can still enjoy. Well, I THINK I can. Jericho and the blog might have damaged that. Or, for all I know, they might have preserved it. I’ll have to wait until I muster the will to play to find out.
Even games meant to relax me, like Chime, have a hard time doing so.
It just seems that gaming is starting to curse me a little bit.
So tell me, what games relax you, and how do they do it?