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On keeping an open mind.

Whether a game initially seems like my style, I always want to keep an open mind when a new game is announced. I have to admit, however, I had always written off several types of games. In particular, I avoid multiplayer games. Every so often I gave one a try but would find I just wasn’t having fun playing a game with strangers. It was not long before I just stopped trying. So when I heard Mass Effect 3 was going to include multiplayer, I was skeptical and a little annoyed. Who was Bioware to shoehorn multiplayer into a great single-player game!

And I was absolutely wrong. I gave the multiplayer a chance and was hooked after the first game—with strangers no less! Teams seem to work well over all, I am already familiar with the game mechanics, and learning how to best deal with enemies with different classes is a blast (except banshees, screw those things). Best of all, every one of my friends plays Mass Effect, and it’s easy to set up missions with them.

So what is my point? I stepped out of my comfort zone and found to my surprise that I enjoyed a type of game I thought I hated. It got me wondering what other amazing games I’d missed out on because I did not keep my mind open. Have I written off Free-to-Play games too early? MMORPGS? Puzzle-based games? I have seen this same mentality in friends—the one who will not try JRPGs, the one who only plays first-person shooters, the one who just knows he hates Pokemon.

It is far too easy to keep playing (and, for developers, making) the same games over and over. Some of us allow ourselves to become only RPG gamers, or action gamers. I think we do ourselves a disservice when we become comfortable with a genre or category of game, rather than continuing to try different sorts of games than we might normally. Even if we ultimately do not like the game, there is something to be learned and experienced. I think that is worth it the price of branching out and being disappointed from time-to-time.

This is not meant to be preachy. The last five games I have played are fantasy or sci-fi RPGs, so certainly I have fallen into the trap myself. I suppose this is really more of a public-service announcement; a reminder to keep an open mind about games you might otherwise immediately write off as not your thing—especially since as a community we so often complain that developers keep making the same games ad nauseum.

If we buy different games, they might just make different games.
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About molamolacolacakeone of us since 8:24 AM on 12.17.2011

I'm an attorney who hates attorneys but loves video games, particularly RPGs. And also, dogs.