December 21, 2015

Operation: Get Back Into Gaming (Report 4: What is a Real Gamer?)

In an article posted not too long ago on a similar gaming site, it was mentioned that around 90% of gamers never complete most of the games in their library. The reasons for this varies, from too little time for gaming because of preoccupation with work, family matters, or simply not enjoying the game in question.

That begs the question; if one never finishes the majority of your game library, does that still make you a true gamer? Or does it make you more of a casual gamer? 

When I started this article series a while back, I did it with the full intention of getting myself back into gaming. As the article series went along, I realised that it was more about the "why" I gamed, instead of the "how" to game, as I got back in the game (pardon the horrible pun) quite some time ago.

This change in direction occurred due to my lack of proper planning and organisation beforehand, and so we ended up with a bit of a bumpy ride to this last article. Nevertheless, the conclusion I want for us, is to take a look at why we game, and my experience with completing a full-length game I'd been leaving on the backburner for quite some time in order to discover the answer. 

I took on the challenge of completing the game last month, shortly after starting my first real job. It was an extraordinary practice in time management, as I played the game before and after work, all whilst trying to plan my other, more important activities around my work hours.

For long, I'd been trying to organise my otherwise highly unorganised life, and hoped that getting employed would solve that problem. Spoilers: It didn't. Stress ran high at my workplace for the first two months, but it improved shortly before writing the post due to one simple thing: Routine.

Without going into much detail about my current workplace, for obvious reasons, the events of the day would leave me tired, angry, irritated, and most of all, depressed. Everything seemed extremely pointless, due to the chaos I experienced on any given day.

One day, as I sat pondering my existence for the umpteenth time, I had an epiphany: The chaos would continue to depress me unless I made some kind of effort to fight it. It occurred to me that I'd organised an entire day once before, and it ended up being a really pleasant experience once all was said and done.

I took a note on my phone and scheduled the activities I would do outside of work, like when I would watch my favourite TV shows, and when I would work on my blog, when I would study, etc, etc. Unsurprisingly, it worked.

While the work days are still grating in certain departments, I would always feel a great relief once I stepped out, knowing that there was some kind of structure and routine (which I created), which I could return to.

Bringing it back to video games: Before this planning occurred, I played a little strategy game known as StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. As I'm nowhere near the best RTS player in the world, I struggled quite a bit.

Through the difficulties of the game, I learned a very valuable lesson: How to organise yourself when hit with chaos. Several times in any given mission or skirmish, you'd be attacked by a devastating wave of enemies, leaving half of your troops dead in the mud and your base a cindering pile of bricks.

Now, all RTS gamers have gone through the aforementioned attack, and all RTS gamers know that it comes from one source: Being unprepared. You're always going to be attacked by the enemy, period. What stops you from crashing and burning, is being prepared for every scenario.

So even when I was hit with a swarm of Zerg(s?), I was able to stop the wave dead in its tracks, and repair my base, bringing my army back to full strength. The same principle applied to my workplace, and my life as a whole; I wouldn't be prepared for every single event, but I could easily adapt to them.

You see, even with all my scheduling, there were still some things I couldn't ever control. My friends were one of them. I would plan out an entire evening of sitting at home, working on my own blog or studying, and they'd show up at my house, inviting me to join them at their house for a party.

I had two options: Either tell them to buzz off and leave me alone, or make a change in plan and adapt to a new situation. I chose the latter. The party ended up being a little depressing due to the lack of things to do (I'm still working on this aspect of my life), but it was nice at the end of the day, making the change in schedule worth it.

So, after this long, winding post talking about things not really related to video games, why do we game? Well, I've always gamed due to seeking escape from my rather boring life, but that all changed this year, when I discovered what it truly means to be a gamer:

We game, because we want to win. Gaming is all about winning. Think about it: The first games all gave you a challenge, an obstacle, and dared you to overcome them. How did you overcome them? By making a plan, and adapting when needed.

Enemies killing you over and over in the same area? Adapt. Make a new plan. Maybe try a grenade or two. Or try luring them out and slicing their jugulars out around the corner. Or just use that invisibility cloak you forgot you acquired two hours ago. The choice is yours.

We game, because we want to overcome. We game, because we want to meet a challenge head-on, claiming full victory over it, or die trying. Or die trying. Or die trying. Or die trying. Or die try-okay you get the point.

It's something you can take with you wherever you go. If you meet a challenge in real-life, whether it be your boss giving you a tough time, or a family member lying in the hospital with some kind of ailment or life-threatening illness, or even your car refusing to start in the morning, you could view it as a defeat, or you can view it the same way you would view a difficult situation in a video game: Another challenge standing in the way of victory.

If it's the latter, well then you already know what to do: Make a game plan, test it thoroughly, and once cleared, take the plan into action, and charge forward into victory.

Congratulations, you win.

Thank you very much for reading this article, don't forget to leave a comment with your own thoughts and opinions. I love hearing from you guys, and don't forget to check out my Facebook page for KVR Gaming and Twitter account.

This is KVR signing out, wishing you all a blessed week ahead. God bless, and happy gaming!