Kicking off 2017, I thought I would start off with a post about having fun, because who doesn’t need some of that. This might be a weird post, but it’s a question I ask myself quite frequently, particularly when deciding what game to play; What will I have the most fun playing? Hopefully I’m not the only one, but this question can make choosing something to play a 15 minute process of internal debate and deliberation.
Maybe it’s weird because when you think about video games, isn’t that the idea? To have fun?
I think it is the idea, well one of them at least. I play games to have fun, as a temporary escape to help me relax when life gets stressful (as it does). I play them to connect with friends, particularly those that I can’t see in person. I also play games for the experience, and numerous others. People play games for many number of reasons, and while ‘for fun’ is likely fairly ubiquitous among gamers, it usually doesn’t stand alone.
It’s also situational, sometimes you want a certain kind of fun in your video game. This could be anything from hectic, running-around-shooting-people-in-the-face action of Battlefield, exploring a brand new world in Terraria, or even sitting back with some strategic world building/destroying Civilization. Fun in games takes many forms, to fit many situations and people.
Usually the biggest hamper to my fun while playing games is competitiveness. If high school did anything, it was make me a hyper-competitive person. While this has certainly been a blessing in getting to where I am today, it is a curse when I take relaxing activities, such as playing video-games, way too seriously.
Now before I go further, please understand that this is my personal opinion. I am certain some of you find the competitive aspect of gaming to be the reason, or one of the reasons, you enjoy it, and especially with the growth of esports, I understand said competitive aspect is quite large. But personally I find that when I begin to take a game too seriously, that’s when I start to take less enjoyment from it.
In loosening up, and allowing my “I don’t give a shit” attitude to take over, I have the most fun in games. This means that I can try new things and experiment in games, or even challenge myself in ridiculous ways, and I can laugh at myself when things don’t work out. Particularly in sandbox games, like GTA V, having a virtual playground like that to escape into and do whatever you want means the possibilities for enjoyment are almost endless. Even in shooting games, I find that restricting myself to a particular loadout or playstyle can make for some stupid fun.
However, most of the funnest times I’ve had playing games have been with other people. Whether this be friends, family, randoms online, having someone to join in the shenanigans can crack open the door to fun-ville.
Of course in some games, playing with friends isn’t an option, and if you are like me you may not always have someone to play with. Furthermore, as fun as playing with other people is, sometimes playing on your own and getting to do your own thing can be a better alternative. I mean at some point or another, you may just want a break from people to recharge.
The final thing I want to talk about is using gaming as a release. For me, and I’m sure others out there, time for gaming can be scarce, and making the most out of it is important. This is especially true during stressful times. With limited time to relax available, it becomes a matter of making sure I get as much relaxing in as I can, and normally this is directly related to how much fun I have. In the same way, it’s important to not play too much games. You can have too much of a good thing, and video games are no different. Just as not enough games may be stress and anxiety inducing, too much can be equally damaging in other ways.
In the end, having fun playing games is down to you, the player, and what you make of the game you are currently playing. So go forth, and have fun playing video games, in whatever form that may take.
But this is just me, I would love to know what you find fun about playing games? Are there any games you are enjoying playing a lot right now? And has gaming ever helped you through a particularly tough time? Let me know in the comments. Also if you enjoyed reading this, be sure to like it, and look out for more posts by me. Until then, stay beautiful 🙂