Patiently Enjoying The Moments
The wild western adventure of Red Dead Redemption 2 provides an incredibly detailed world brimming with engaging tasks, a gripping story and above all else, a pace not typically suited for the average player. For me, the tedious legwork, lengthy narrative chocked full of mission variety and sprawling map ordinarily traversed via horseback presents a faithful reminder that sprinting my way through the average new game experience only clouds my memories with a mentality determined to finish a game only to move on to the next one; rather than truly immerse myself in an unforgettable, lasting experience.
It’s, perhaps, why most of us game. We create memories as we dive headfirst into these fantasy worlds – and we wish to continue to create these memorable moments with every game we pick up. They remind us why we continue to game day in and day out. Spending only a week or so on a game to quickly move on fills our minds up with a cluttered slide show of vague recollection, rather than the awe-inspiring moments that lead us to never forget a specific title.
However, with the overwhelming amount of tantalizing new game releases each month, year or console generation, it becomes increasingly more difficult to latch onto one sole experience for a month or more. Dedicated gaming enthusiasts want to experience it all, but does that mean we have to? Or that we should even try? After spending some 50 plus hours with Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2, I’ve once again discovered what has made gaming so important and memorable to me; and it’s not the sheer amount of titles I’ve played, but the time I spend with each one.
Wanting To Experience It All
Rushing through games doesn’t allow players to bond with their character(s), nor does it allow them to indulge themselves within the fantasy world. Instead, speed-running through the campaign and riding through the motions of the story merely sets a series of obstacles in place standing in the way of checking off yet another title from your ever-growing backlog. The sense of completion becomes the gratification from gaming, rather than experiencing each game for what it truly is.
It shouldn’t come down to video games to create a simple satisfaction of completing a digital checklist. Games have become a gateway to a more creative side of entertainment, immersion and sheer joy of experiencing something personal. Transforming every player into a lead role where their actions determine whether or not the game is not only completed, but dutifully envelopes the player in a world brimming with imagination is something special. Somewhere along the way I – as well as many other gamers like myself – got caught up in trying to experience every game the industry has to offer instead of enjoying what was right in front of me(us).
Enjoy What’s Right In Front Of You
Adapting to the environment, getting to know the cast of characters, exploring every nook and cranny of the world, and creating a second-nature reaction to the controls is all part of the immersive experience. Red Dead 2 created an experience that taught me leisurely walking in video games is okay, taking a step or two off the beaten path can be just as fun as working your way through the story, and missions don’t have to continuously become increasingly more difficult just to be enjoyable. Games are there to allow us an escape from the daily grind, so why should we feel the need to rush through them?
Perhaps it’s due to the helplessly busy schedule that comes with family duties, heavy work loads and keeping up on a healthy lifestyle. After all, sitting in front of screens all day, while might be intoxicating, isn’t exactly a formidable way to live out your days on earth. However, it’s precisely these life crushing tasks that makes the occasional free hour or two you have with Red Dead 2 – or any other title, for that matter – worth taking your time on. You’ll remember each little detail more fondly and appreciate each moment that much more. And when a 30 or so hour game takes a month or more to finish, you’ll be able to look back on the experience and recall all of the time you spent engaged in the game that much more clearly.
Games shouldn’t task us with more objectives to cram into our already busy lives. They should allow us to enjoy every moment we have with them, but not to the point where we’re just riding out the motions in order to latch on to the next title. Recently, I’ve given up the enduring task of trophy hunting in order to get back to where gaming all started or me. It wasn’t the need for collecting digital hardware. It was to enjoy the medium that has brought so much excitement, so much joy to my senses ever since I was a child some 25 plus years ago. And it seems the next evolution (or devolution?) in my endeavor to return to my more lax or, perhaps, mindful form is to take my time with each and every title, and not to haplessly blink my way through a series of button mashes and animations.