“There are two kinds of people in this world: those that [verb] and those that [verb differently]” statements are generally eye-roll inducing. But I came across two today that got me thinking.
My fiancée gets in the shower differently than I do. Our shower is the kind that’s also a tub, with the showerhead on one end of it. I like to enter on the side closest to the faucet; she prefers the other end of the tub. Basically, she gets in feet-first and I’m more of a head-first person. I commented on this today and she said, “Well, you wouldn’t just jump into the deep end of a pool, would you? You wade in and get used to it a little at a time!”
We laughed about it because that’s exactly how I get into a pool. I’d rather adjust to something quickly and even abruptly rather than slip in, adjust, go a little further, adjust, an so on.
Naturally I tied this to video games. I am very much a “jump-in-and-get-the-shock-over-with-right-away” person when it comes to the games I play. I’m a planner; I have to really plot out how I’m going to use my time in a given week (especially these days, with the wedding one week away!!!!!) and if it’s looking like I won’t have a lot of free time, then I’ll probably play things that aren’t too taxing or that I’ve played before.
If I’m starting something new, I need that deep dive in. I need the night off, a comfy chair, a glass of whiskey. I want to feel immersed and to start grappling with the rules and mechanics on my own (until I get confused and look up how to do something that the game tells me is easy).
One of my absolute favorite things to do is blast through a short game in one day. I’ll take a Saturday here and there and knock out something like Inside or Until Dawn in one sitting and it becomes that much more satisfying. As a kid I tended to play games in a more piecemeal fashion; an hour or two on my GameBoy during a car ride, 45 minutes or so parked in front of the N64 after my homework was finished. That’s changed somewhat as I’ve gotten older. I’d rather play something once a week for an extended period of time than play a tiny bit each day, though of course I still do that occasionally. For me it’s the best way to handle Persona 3; maybe an average of a half hour per day. Some days I’ll grind away in Tartarus, some days I’ll only have time to do some Social Link and move through a few school days. But the consistency of playing in a more constant fashion is helpful and keeps me connected to the wide cast of characters.
Sometimes diving in can be scary or intimidating. You can see the hours stretching ahead and deflate. I did that with The Witcher 3 a few months back. I played through the training level and maybe the first hour of the real game and saw the world opening up around me and realized I can’t. I had even set the night aside, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get back to the game in any meaningful way for quite some time. So I put it back on the (digital) shelf for now, promising myself that I’ll immerse myself in it another time.
There are benefits to taking a leap into a game like it’s the last one you’ll ever play. Some are designed that way. If you’ve never played Inside, I think it’s the best way to experience the game- as one big piece. Obviously, some require a little more patience and spool their stories out a little more each day. I love the latest God of War but I think I would have enjoyed it more had I not crashed through it as quickly as I did.
I’m curious to see how my fiancée will approach gaming when we finally get a TV again and I hook my PS4 back up. I think she might be more of a dive-in kind of woman than she gives herself credit for. I can’t wait to find out.