Amidst the typical commitments to weight loss and financial frugality, I have a gaming-related New Year’s resolution I hope won’t be too difficult to stick to. I set off on this path around the halfway point of 2015, but I plan to hew to it aggressively all through 2016. So what is it? Simple: for every game I play, I write about it.
Hardly a revelation, huh? Still, it’s a useful habit to fall into. Regardless of whether it takes the form of a review, a thematic analysis, or just an impressions piece, writing down my thoughts and feelings helps to solidify my opinion on a game. Even better, it reinforces the impact that game had on me, preventing it from fading into the recesses of my terribly forgetful mind. The writing doesn’t need to be published, either; just the act of transferring thoughts to coherent sentences grants me a new perspective on my own cognition.
There are many wonderful quotes from Lewis Carroll pertaining to the similarities between mental and physical consumption. Regarding the concept of intellectual gluttony - gorging on information to the point that proper digestion is impossible - Carroll advises allocating time to the mastication of mental food: ‘One hour of steady thinking over a subject is worth two or three of reading alone.’ By setting aside time to reflect on the books we read or the games we play, we can graduate from simply ‘well-read’ to truly knowledgeable, learning the lessons we imbibe rather than just memorising them.
I aim to take the Carroll approach to 2016. I will give the games, the books, and the movies I consume the cognitive chewing they deserve. Whether my reflections are worth sharing or not, they will at least ensure that I do not waste the new year gobbling up empty intellectual calories. If I can only keep one muscle in shape, my brain is the one I want breaking a sweat.
So, that’s my lonely resolution. What’s yours?