This is going to be a dumb, personal post. Feel free to skip it. It’s vaguely related to games, so there’s that. There may be something worth reading in here but… IDK.
2015 has been a faaaaaantastic year for games. Compared to last year when we had a bunch of indie hits and several AAA flops, it seems like every other week this year we’ve had everyone hitting on all cylinders. I mean, we got Metal Gear Solid V, Undertale, Mario Maker, and Dropsy in the same month, and now we’ve got Black Ops 3 (yes, I still like Call of Duty, JEEESUS), Fallout 4, Crowtel, a new Tomb Raider, Yo-Kai Watch and all of the indie games I’ve been missing the last few months because of the big releases taking all of my time. I still feel guilty because I haven’t written about Tomb Raider GO or Downwell yet. They’re both super good, and you should play them… but I just don’t think I have the energy right now.
So where am I trying to go with this?
I work a lot, and while trying to maintain this site and track down all of the coolest indies that are so important to me, I’m also trying to keep up the conversation about the games my friends are playing. I want to talk to people about the new zombies mode, about the sweet new area I found in the wasteland, about my favorite songs in Guitar Hero. And, yeah, of course I still like dropping hours into Call of Duty and Fallout as much as the next person. But with so many indies coming out every week, how is anyone supposed to sift through these masses of games to see what’s worth playing? In the hours I’ve spent playing Hearthstone, maybe my real Game of the Year was released on itch.io, and I just missed it and I’ll never even know it exists? That very nearly happened with MIbibli’s Quest last year, and Castle in the Darkness this year. I (somehow) played over 400 games for this site last year, and I still feel guilty, like I could have done more for this community…why? Since games like that aren’t covered much by mainstream press (something I go on and on about, but can still hardly blame anyone for: there’s too many games!) it’s easy to miss the fantastic things sneaking by every single day. Holy shit, The Room 3 just came out? Goddamn.
It starts to grate on me. After work, as I’m searching a new ruins in Fallout, I’m worried that Ryan Melmoth just released a new work of art, or that some unknown developer is prepping to launch some amazing new twine game that I’d love if only I knew it existed. I’m usually super excited to open up a browser and see the hundreds of games that came out while I was away, but lately it’s become more of a stressor than a way to unwind. I love, love looooovveee finding all of these new things, but it can be hard to jump into so many new games at once when the familiarity of something like Black Ops is just a button press away.
But I’m not going to stop. Trust me, I’m not.
Even as I chug my way through Metal Gear’s seemingly ENDLESS list of missions (which I’m still enjoying but my god that game never ends) I’m planning time to come write about whatever’s being talked about in the indiespace. I still really enjoy coming up with Game of the Year stuff, even though I’m positive the whole thing would be different had I spent more time seeking out new experiences rather than hopping through another list of Mario Maker stages. I like meeting new indie developers so much, and I love getting their names out there enough that I can’t imagine playing video games without tracking down what’s going on in the indie scene. I still want to spend more time with Dropsy, and whatever else I’ve been putting on the backburner. I still want to find time to try Crowtel, it looks fantastic. Is it bad that in the hours between jobs and social life and whatever else, sometimes booting up a computer and making the indie rounds seems kind of like a third job? I don’t know why, but turning on the PlayStation just seems like less work. Maybe that’s why so many people don’t engage with this scene in the way I do. Maybe it’s easier that way, and maybe they can enjoy games in ways that I just can’t anymore. And in the end, it’s all just video games, right? Who even cares? What makes me care so much? WHO KNOWS????
Games are dumb, we’re all dumb, and we should try to have fun. Do that however you see fit, even if I yell at you to play more indie games. You don’t really have to y’know. It was just an idea.
Maybe I should have played Crowtel instead of writing this.