To borrow and misapply a term from John Scalzi, 2004 was a meh year for my videogaming habit. Sure, there were plenty of good games around, but I didn’t do much actual playing of them.
Of the “completable” games I bought, I ended up finishing only two of them: Halo and Jak 3. Others, like Galleon, Riddick, Halo 2, Half-Life 2, Ratchet & Clank 3, and Rainbow Six 3 have slipped into and out of their various loading slots with varying levels of enjoyment, but only moderate amounts of long-term interest. Of the infinitely replayable kind of game, only Burnout 3 has lasted beyond its initial thrill.
In my own mind I picture myself as a fairly dedicated videogamer, so this lack of follow-through and persistence bothers me. But if I look back on the last twelve months and ask myself if I’ve regretted not spending more of my free time on games, the answer is no. My leisure time is limited, and I enjoy spending it on activities I’m interested in. Games just happened to be near the bottom of the pile of things I fancied doing in 2004. (The acquisition of a new XBox and a subscription to XBox Live notwithstanding.)
This lack of real interest seems to have two other consequences:
- The rare occasions when I get together with friends in real life or on-line to play some games, I enjoy all the more because I don’t play much the rest of the time…
- …but I also tend to suck because I haven’t put in much practice time. Head shots in Halo 2? I should be so lucky.
I suppose the advantage of this is that I now have a stockpile of games to choose from as soon as the videogaming urge is upon me again.