If there’s one thing I’ve learned about videogames, it’s that “fun” means something different to everyone.
When I was young, I was certain that everyone played games because they were “fun.” While this is not inaccurate, most of the feelings that people experience while playing games could fall under the broad category of fun, or at least entertainment. It lacks any meaningful description of the contents of a game. A game being “fun” says absolutely nothing about the emotions felt amid a story driven game, the skillset required to effectively manage resources in an RTS, or the creativity that is so integral to open-ended builders. And a game being fun to one person doesn’t mean that it is going to translate into being fun for everyone.
The reason I mention this is taste. I’ve been attempting to expand my horizons in terms of videogames for quite some time now. It’s been quite the undertaking and while I believe it started out in the right place, there’s a point where you can in fact go too far, and end up forcing yourself to play games that you don’t like.
I’ll have to tell you a bit about my taste in videogames. I like RPG’s, shooters, action games, stealth games, and platformers. BAM. EASY.
Well, I wish it were that easy. Obviously, there’s different breeds inside each of those genres, but on the hole (heh), I’d say that those genres consistently grab my attention more so than any others.
Here’s what I don’t like. Survival games. Simulation games of almost any kind. Modern horror games of the run-and-hide variety. And, well I don’t hate racing games, but I don’t exactly love them either. The last racing game I really enjoyed was Burnout: Paradise, and it’s been, what, a decade since that came out?
Now, despite knowing what kinds of games I like and don’t like, I seem to constantly force myself into playing game that I have no love for, and this causes me to burnout sometimes. I’ve been trying to get into games like Arma III and Ark: Survival Evolved for a while now, but it’s never blossomed into anything I would call, “love.” I have fun in ARK from time to time, and Arma is sort of neat, even though I don’t know what I’m doing half of the time, but If I have a Saturday off, with nothing else to do, I’d rather be playing something like Overwatch, Pillars of Eternity, or Metal Gear Solid III.
This…unnecessary focus on trying to expand my horizons had, up until recently, caused me a lot of stress. I was focused on rounding out my taste, and falling in love with every genre imaginable, and for what? To say that I enjoy playing all games? To cater to people’s individual tastes?
I don’t know for certain. What I know now is that if you aren’t enjoying yourself, if you’re not having fun playing a certain kind of game, why bother? Taste is subjective, and what some people may find fun is what others may consider to be drudgery, and vice versa.
Here’s what I’ll end on. Don’t force it. If you feel like you’re missing out on a genre that you don’t like for any reason, don’t feel obligated to play it and love like others do. The great thing about games is there are swaths of great games in every genre imaginable, and while testing the water in a genre is perfectly fine, spending hours upon hours trying to enjoy a game is unhealthy, and can turn you off to playing games at all for a good chunk of time. Just enjoy yourself.
Play what you want to play, and most of all, have fun!
- Load of Bollocks