Every few months I tend to get an itch to play all the games. I get it in my head that I need to play and progress through everything and do it at a breakneck speed. So, I start creating a schedule and making goals, planning this, shuffling that but inevitably my strategy begins to crumble and I settle with my mainstay, RuneScape, while aimlessly dabbling in this game or that game. I think part of my problem is I’ve been approaching gaming with the wrong mindset (for me). Progress has been my driving force and at the forefront of my mind when I boot up an MMO or single-player title.
When I sit down to play the first thing I consider is how much time I have and how much progress I can make in that time. Instead of allowing these queries to be useful guides they have become deterrents. More often than not I talk myself out of playing a game I am in the mood for because the amount of time I have doesn’t feel adequate to make “meaningful progress,” and in the instance I do decide to play that game my enjoyment is compromised as I start to feel that gnawing need for progress.
That’s not to say that at times enjoyment and progress do not go hand in hand, but that my measure of enjoyment (especially in hindsight) has become dependent on the amount of “meaningful progress” I make.
And there’s that phrase again “meaningful progress.” A phrase that probably deserves a post of its own. A phrase with a self-imposed definition that feels like a pest nipping at my heels, and yet wouldn’t you know it— one that is malleable.
So, this post is a reminder to take things slow and modify how I perceive “meaningful progress.” A reminder to embrace exploration and express appreciation for beautifully crafted worlds. No plans to reach level cap or endgame, no plans to play a game for or complete a game in X amount of time.
I simply want to enjoy each game at a leisurely pace.