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Prince Wendell says:

ďMonogameyĒ: An Experiment in Experience

// Submitted @ 10:06 AM on 08.28.2010


It can be hard to find time for everything. Right now Iím working a steady job, with slightly more hours going hand-in-hand with a recent promotion. The net result is more money to spend on leisure items (like games, among other things) and less availability of leisure time (like gaming, among other things). I believe this is a fairly common mid-20s gaming conundrum.

Couple this with an enormous backlog and an old habit of losing steam partway through games, even if Iím enjoying them Ė although Iím familiar with the entirety of a lot of my old RPGs, Iíve only played a few of them to completion myself. Rather, my knowledge comes from a childhood disregard for spoilers (Iím much more cautious now) and a youthful love for reading strategy guides cover to cover.

So many of my unfinished games are sprawling epics, but I rarely seem to have trouble polishing off action or adventure games from beginning to end. Unfortunately I have a troublesome habit of running out of steam Ė even if Iím enjoying a game, I often simply fade on it after playing for too many hours, and if the experience isnít visceral enough to keep me engaged.

All this has led me to a recent venture, as I was considering the way I experience other forms of art (or not-art, however you stand on that whipping horse Ė I seriously donít care). When Iím reading, I donít multi-task between several different books Ė the farthest I dabble in that is to read a graphic novel and a regular one concurrently. When Iím watching a movie, I donít pause it halfway and start another one (unless the original movie is incredibly bad, and I have quite a tolerance for celluloid badness). When Iím binging seasons of TV on DVD, I prefer to finish a season before moving to another, to keep narratives intact.

So if my personal predilection is to enjoy everything else as a series of individual, singular experiences, why not try that with games too?



The guinea pig in this case is actually Dragon Age: Origins. Perhaps a bit random, and a bit behind the times, but apparently thatís a running theme for me.*

Iím getting close to finishing it up, finally, after starting it about a month ago or so (like I say, my leisure time has gotten limited). I wonít go into plot details or my opinion of the game, since that would be another blog, but as far as the experiment has been going Ė thus far, Iím glad Iíve forced myself into it. My play sessions are often several days apart simply for logistical reasons, and at least once or twice Iíve felt that familiar old sputter of the motivation-motor. Again, itís not because Iím not enjoying the game Ė sometimes fatigue just sets in whether you like it or not. In the past I might have just thrown in the towel and moved on to something else Ė and then, if I decided to return to DA:O later on, I would most likely start an entirely new game due to forgetting plotlines and a minor case of gamer OCD. That old process might repeat ad nauseum, and who knows if I ever would finish it? At least at this point, Iím confident Iíll finish the game Ė not exactly sure when it will happen or how long it will take, but Iím ready to keep at it.

Not to say everything has been positive Ė the downside of this is that I have a stable of other games that have been spurned in order for me to maintain my stick-to-it-iveness. Dragon Quest IX has probably been the hardest to resist Ė I considered adding an addendum allowing concurrent playing of a console and a portable game, but decided against giving myself a window out (plus, from what I hear, if thereís any game that acts as a timesink and steals you from your other responsibilities, itís DQIX). I have a recently purchased Wii quietly waiting with Monster Hunter Tri and two-thirds of Metroid Prime Trilogy, as well as a parade of yet-to-be-purchased games waiting in the wings, and I seriously want to buy a PS3 now that I actually have the financial stability to do so.

But all that can wait, I guess. I should probably get back to what I was doing. :)



*I donít how shameless this plug will be considered, but apologies.

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