Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sins of an Aging Gamer

I'm not old. Not by a long shot. But I am getting older and more mature. I'm also spending more time with my wife. And more time working on my house. I find I have less and less time to play video games. This is a huge bummer!

I had many video games on my wish list, and I got three for Christmas (Orange Box, Rainbow Six Vegas, and Sins of a Solar Empire). I already beat Portal and am playing through Half Life 2 in Orange Box. I'm saving Rainbox Six Vegas for a rainy day (since the online playing opportunities at this point are almost nil). That leaves Sins of a Solar Empire.

I installed it on our new laptop (a sweet rig, I might add) and fired it up the other day. I've been excited about this title ever since I read about (publisher) Stardock's decision to go without DRM. And I've been craving a new RTS to bide my time until Starcraft 2 comes out. 

But after installing the game and going through the tutorials, I found that I had no energy for playing. None. I thought I'd be chomping at the bit to flex my mad RTS skillz, even if just against the computer. But combine the lack of a solid story element (or at least lack of one that pulls me in from the get-go) and no multiplayer aspect (I have no friends to play the game with) and I just have no drive to play.

There are a few elements at play here. I have less time to play games, which means I'm searching for a greater payoff from games I play. That means games I can jump into more quickly (FPS) and games I can play with my friends (Starcraft 2). And that excludes most RTS games that my friends won't play. 

The real final point I'm making is that I realized that I'm getting older and I have to pick the games I want to play more carefully (and maybe let my friends' game selection guide me more). Of course, I can play all the DS games I want; what else am I going to do on the train?
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