What do you think? Why or why not?
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Play Time the Video Game¹ and add more hours to your day. One hour playing gives you three more hours to live your life. You can do whatever you want with all that time. But what if you don’t like video games?
You might consider video games unappealing, but you’ll love what you gain from playing this game. While playing, you might, unlike a bad job, have some fun. You wouldn’t do the same dull, monotonous and thankless tasks all day. Unlike a boring job, you wouldn’t stare at the clock all day and long for free time. Instead, you would repeatedly tap A,B, and sometimes pause.
But, at some point, you need to stop playing and spend all that stored up time. You can only reap all the game’s benefits when you stop playing and do something else. You’ll be back for more.
¹ Not to be confused with Thyme the Video Game: The Ultimate Cookery Course.
Here are five reasons why you might want to play games by yourself.
No Anonymous Teenagers
1. You prefer to go out with friends and play your games alone. When you play by yourself, you can side step those angry Xbox Live gamers. I mean, who wants to hear a nine-year old scream like a banshee into a microphone? Well, not me. I don’t know about you.
The Party (of One) Never Ends
2. You can keep playing a single player game even if PSN or Xbox Live crash. There’s no need to sit around and twiddle thumbs. You can also play if you’re friends aren’t online, of if their internet is down. And there are plenty of excellent single player games to keep you busy.
No Friendly Uproar
3. You might be able to quit a single player game without causing an upset. However, if you leave an online multiplayer match early, you’ll let down your team. I guess your team would give you another shot, but first they’d stab you in the back. You don’t always get to choose your team mates.
A Story Just for Me
4. I can get lost in the forests of a story when I play by myself. My friends, sitting on the couch, might die of boredom if they had to watch me move like a snail through a game’s nooks and crannies. My friends might want to jump into the action and skim the story.
The Allure of Shiny Things
5. Sometimes you just want to sit back, relax and unwind with a good game after a hard day. Then you can finish pointless tasks in the game that might bore friends. You can, for instance, get all the trophies or achievements by yourself. Now, I don’t mean those trophies where you have to kill one million bad guys or reach a certain rank online. Who has time for those things?
Of course, there are innumerable great reasons to play with others. There will be memorable moments to share with friends, you might love to compete against others and, most of all, you love to beat them.
But you’ve got to admit that playing games alone is sometimes fun. I know you do it. We all do it, and none of us are crazy cat people.
When the going gets tough, they say, the tough get going. What does a gamer do when a digital world gets tough?
Well, many gamers take themselves and games too seriously. They might even throw and smash their controllers or mouse against a wall. They lose control and forget it is only a game.
I am much more mature on these matters. I usually have reasonable reactions to tough video games. Here are five of my reactions to these games:
1. Smash a controller
Wait a minute! I have never done this before. I find it’s easier to beat the tough parts with a controller in hand. This strategy, I assure, works.
I’ll charge head first in to a problem without much thought. Sometimes I find brute force reigns supreme while strategy and skill get in my way. I won’t stop my charge until it works. Dammit, I’m telling you it will work!
Let’s say I’m trying to get a cupcake behind an electric fence. Rather than eschew the fence, I would probably keep trying to walk through it to get the cupcake. There is a gamble here: either the fence zaps your avatar, or your avatar walks away with frizzy hair and a sweet treat. I like those odds.
3. Trial and error
This is the classic way – well for me anyway – to solve a problem. How do you do it in video games? Re-spawn and learn from mistakes, and I make plenty of mistakes in games.
Here’s an example of me doing something stupid in a game:
“Gee, these bottles with skulls and bubbling purple goo sure look strange, but they could also help me. There’s only one way to find out: better try them.”
Thankfully, trial and error is sometimes a good strategy in video games. See, video game characters are a lot like cats: they both can have nine lives. No more tears when your character dies.
4. Give in to the guide
We’ve all done it. You know you have. You’ve looked online to figure out how to get past a tricky part of a game.
Living life on the guide is a last resort for me, though. I feel satisfied when I beat a tough game by myself; it’s a sense of accomplishment. I don’t need handouts.
5. A well thought out strategy
Start with one scoop of perseverance. Add a pinch of strategy. Don’t forget heaping helpings of practice and skill. If you whisk all of these ingredients together, you might end up with smooth success. It tastes like… victory.
What do you do when video games get tough?