Rounding out the essays summarizing my experiences with media throughout 2020, this would be the year where I figured out my relationship with videogames. Videogames don’t exactly help me write fiction, so for years, I considered them a sort of nice distraction but nothing overly valuable. Through my continued health problems, I’ve found some solace in playing videogames, watching them, and when/if I should fully recover my health, I want to livestream videogame plays more often.
Does the hoarding mindset allow clutter to reside within the space it’s allowed to have, unchecked? Yesterday, before going out, I saw a note on the door to my apartment-mansion stating that management would be touring apartments. I’ve already cleared out all the unchecked clutter so I felt confident to let them be. I can invite people over now, whereas in my old place, I could not. I’ve learned to keep my open space saved.
Becoming more decisive in life takes many shapes. Making difficult decisions in life can be practiced by making difficult decisions in our recreational time. I’ve procrastinated on completing videogames since I was young because I wanted to savor them. Even now, I find it difficult to “find the time” to proceed through plot-heavy sections in FF7. I’m more likely to level up my characters for hours. Today, I decided not to savor the plot anymore.
My headaches returned with such vengeance that I had to leave work after lunch because I was in such pain. It’s like if each sentence here was punctuated by five minutes of shuttering in pain. All my physical therapy stretches were failing me. I was feeling everything I’ve written about, from the head pangs, to intense pain behind my right eye, all at once. After getting home, I zoned out as my body repaired itself…
Now that I’ve played through the freely available Jill of the Jungle trilogy – a game I remember seeing, longingly, in childhood without being able to play because of, perhaps, timing – was it worth revisiting the past? Some meandries through the first game have been sufficient to itch the nostalgia scratch, although from a completionist’s perspective, leaving the others unplayed would have left me yearning for more. It was worth visiting, but revisiting? Probably not.
Certain media inspires me to give my full attention; most do not. Not that any of that split-screen media is bad. I just forget sometimes when the podcast doesn’t have a riveting visual element and the game doesn’t have unique audio that it’s OK to mix the two. This is probably fairly common, but it’s important to access what media has this split-screen potential and which media should require your full attention… or no attention.
If I have a spare 15 minutes before I do something else, like go to work or wait for someone, that’s usually enough time for me to spend a minute or fifteen doing something recreational, like playing a videogame or reading a book. I used to use that time without productivity. Sure, playing a game isn’t inherently productive, but if it can help me calm down, isn’t it worthwhile? That’s where I’m planning my media minute-spenders.
How much effort do you put into a videogame before you give up? Since I’m a filthy casual that doesn’t find much self-betterment in overcoming difficult challenges in videogames, my tolerance is rather low. Still, if I respect the game well enough, like Axiom Verge, I’ll at least try. After close to two hours, though, through which I wrote about my experiences, I finally found my breaking point. Will I bend to future, similar challenges?
There was a boss in Axiom Verge that I spent a near half-hour trying to defeat but only once did I stop to think about consulting a text/video walkthrough and that was before realizing that I respected the game enough to play on its terms. The game, too, respected me. There weren’t artificial challenges or impossible odds. I just didn’t know the strategy or patterns. So too in life, we shouldn’t give up so quickly.
Early into Axiom Verge, a platformer like Metroid that benefits from technology to have fancier gameplay mechanics and cooler bosses, you get some weapons you can swap between like Mega Man. For one specific enemy, I focused on using one weapon since it seemed to be the most effective, until I switched it out for a long corridor shot, and found it equally effective. In life, some select tools can be adapted for many jobs.