I have a confession to make. I have a fear of gaming commitment.
To be more specific, I have a fear of getting involved in long games, usually RPGs. This causes me even more pain because this a genre that I am very attracted to.
What happens is that I buy a game and I may play a few hours of it, get to a spot where I am stuck, and give up. Other times, they never leave the shrink wrap because I am frightened that I will never be able to finish the game. And I keep on buying them. It’s some sort of gaming mental hoarding disorder.
Now, at least Leah, one of our fearless leaders and writer of “Confessions of a Backlogged Gamer,” is making an effort and has been finishing her games. I only have to get the gumption to start. Sam bought me Eternal Sonata for Christmas and I am only now playing it. Sadly, I haven’t played it over a week, so I had better get on it. I know there are some stupid puzzle dungeons coming up, and that makes me nervous. Very nervous. This is the type of thing that makes me give up. Stupid game designers!! I guess this sort of thing makes me nervous because it happens to me all the time. I coast along just fine in a game and then BAM! I get stuck and stuck and stuck and I want to stop. NO FUN.
There was a time that I wasn’t so timid, strangely. I actually finished a couple RPGs and was very proud of myself. I finished Radiata Stories and Tales of Legendia. There were a few contributing factors. The first factor was that I was home by myself in the evenings. Sam was working second shift at the time and I had full range of the TV and game systems. The second factor was that Sam was reading a lot so I could get into a game. Third, I had the strategy guide splayed out on my lap and I was following them religiously.
Don’t take me the wrong way, Sam doesn’t keep me from playing video games, but rather encourages me to come out of my timid little shell. I guess I just naturally defer the television and systems to him. I know he would share if I spoke up, and lately I have, and it has been working out very well.
Now, for my fear of expansive games, another set of factors came into play. The first was the absolute horribleness of Phantasy Star Universe. I was really looking forward to that game, but it just plain sucked and it sucked the life out of me. I loved the Phantasy Star Online games, so I thought Universe would be a great follow up. I was wrong. The guide wasn’t even helpful. The second was Tales of the Abyss. The story was ok, but the graphics and controls weren’t so great. I might actually give this one a try, I don’t know. I just thought the graphics were very PSOne, and since it was released later than Legendia, I was taken a little aback. The third is a game that I love and still pick up from time to time and that is Oblivion. I have done so much in that game and barely have scratched the surface. I want to play more and get deeper involved in Sheogorath’s Shivering Isles.
The load of games that I have to and want to play are always nagging me in the back of my mind. I want to finish Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth for the PSP. I have two Harvest Moon games that I haven touched, and I am a HUGE Harvest Moon nut. I also want to play a bunch of games that Sam gets, but I am always afraid of never being good enough to finish them.
Perhaps that’s it. I have a big gaming inferiority complex. And I need to get over that. Maybe it’s not quite a fear of commitment, then. I just need to pick myself up by my bootstraps and get playing. Worrying about the game and if you’re good enough sort of sucks the fun out of it. For me, I guess it’s easier said than done, but I guess they don’t make anti-anxiety pills for gaming.