Now that all that family holiday togetherness/gifting/feasting/sobbing/etc is out of the way, it’s time to look to the year ahead and think of how we can improve ourselves. New Year’s resolutions may be a bit rote, but they do genuinely help some people get motivated enough to make a meaningful change in their lives.
Not me, though! Any positive change I’ve ever made for myself has either been a spur-of-the-moment decision or a complete accident. But hey, there’s no reason why I can’t keep trying, right? So for this New Year’s, I’ve made a short list of video game-based resolutions that I can start following on Jan. 1, in order to improve my gaming life, and maybe my life in general.
Who knows, maybe something’ll stick this time?
No Magic: The Gathering Arena Without Doing Squats
I gotta do something about this booty, y’all! It is nowhere near as blasted or crafted as I need it to be, so to fix it I’ll be instituting a new “No Magic: The Gathering Arena Without Doing Squats” rule in my tiny house. If I want to play that new pauper mode, do a Ravnica draft, or make tweaks to that blue/black zombie deck, I first have to do at least 20 squats. At least! Otherwise my Angler Turtle don’t want none.
Keep Not Pre-Ordering Games
Good job on this one in 2018, me! Pre-ordering games only serves to feed a publishing model that places an unhealthy pre-release benchmark on a developer’s product, and I shouldn’t participate in the system. And neither should you! That game will still be available on day one, and if it isn’t, they don’t deserve your business. No one should have to give literal months of advance notice to buy what used to be a readily available product.
The customer receives nothing of true value for pre-ordering a game — the only entity that benefits is the publisher, as it’s able to project expected pre-order income as anticipated revenue in one fiscal year, and then project anticipated sales into the following year. This is why so many games come out at the end of March! Don’t feed the beast!!
Actually Play the Games You Buy
The number of games in my Steam library with zero hours played is frankly embarrassing. I’m not going to reveal it here, but suffice to say that I could have put that money towards almost literally anything else and it would have been better spent. In 2019, I really need to actually play the games I buy, especially the smaller/indie stuff that I might not be as excited about.
Those games are so often the easiest to overlook, as they tend to have the biggest discounts during the holidays. But those games can also be the most surprising, the most eye-opening, or the most laughably awful — and those experiences are worth the money I paid for them. The new Destiny 2 DLC will still be there after I play this two hour monochrome visual novel about duck farming.
Keep Playing Games with Other People
2018 was the first year in a really, really long time that I put effort into playing games with other people, and it was totally worth it. I made new friendships and strengthened existing ones, and was just more social overall. And what’s more, it was social interaction that I enjoyed for crying out loud — as a hermit with a lot of brain problems, this is a big deal. In 2019 I would do well to continue this trend, and keep playing games with my pals in Discord and elsewhere.
Start Streaming Again You Knob
For the first time in a minute I have a powerful computer, great games that I love to play, and friends that would totally love to watch me play said games, and I need to get off my lazy butt and actually start streaming again. Back in 2013/2014 I streamed three or four times a week and I loved doing it — I just need to get back into the habit, and power through those first couple of weeks where not many people tune in. There’s no downside to this!
Actually Do One O’ Them Destiny 2 Raids
I have dozens of shaders that I’ve been saving for “when I get the good gear,” but is that ever going to actually happen? Not if I don’t put the work in and find a group to raid with, it isn’t! I even bought that super expensive version of Forsaken because “oh, this time I’m for sure gonna do and see all the things,” and can you guess how many things I’ve done and seen? Definitely not as many as I paid for! And there’s no one to blame but myself!!
Keep Not Playing Overwatch
This is, quite honestly, the most important out of all of these. My Overwatch problem got very, very serious last summer, to the point that I was playing six/eight hours a day and enjoying none of it. I was becoming a legitimately angry person, and much of it was due to the frustration and actual rage that I felt while pouring my life into this game.
Blizzard’s loot box grind is designed so perfectly to keep people with addiction issues (like me) trapped, for far longer than is healthy or necessary. Every Blizzard game is like this, in fact — World of Warcraft taught Blizzard everything it ever needed to know about the cycles of addiction. If it weren’t for the Humble Bundle sale that got me into Destiny 2 — a game that is radically more respectful of my time — I’d probably still be furious at strangers in deathmatch, desperate to please just get one drop tonight that’s worth it, please Overwatch, please.
But anyway, whether you adopt any of my resolutions, or come up with some of your own, I genuinely hope that 2019 brings you games that give you joy, help you cope, bring you peace, or any of the other powerful things that video games can do for all of us.