We’re back with our “thinking about thinking” series! If you’re interested in our previous deep thoughts, check out the Metacognition series. Join us for some deep thoughts (and maybe the occasional not-so-deep thought) about gaming. If you find one you’d like to answer, you can either comment below or write a post and share the link so we can all read your fantastic thoughts!
What influences you the most when deciding to play a game?
Oh, this one is easy.
For the most part, I’m a creature of habit. I know what I like, and if I see a game that ticks whatever boxes my brain has, I’ll decide to play it. It’s a pretty top-down process, to be honest. For instance, for a game like Kingdom Come: Deliverance, I saw a game that was based in historical fiction, used what seemed like a natural leveling and morality system, told a personal story, and was an RPG. And thus it was added to my “to play list.”
Don’t get me wrong: I watched previews to see what the game entailed, and I can’t say that the above list is particularly exhaustive. But I generally look at “categories” of games – the broad descriptors – and work my way to the specifics.
While I will take a recommendation from a friend, like anyone, usually my process looks pretty abstract. I’ll absorb information about a game, through previews or reviews or other general commentary on the game and percolate on it. It’s one of the reasons I like brick-and-mortar stores, and why I still go to GameStop even though I’m apparently supposed to hate it there. I go, armed with my information, pick up a game, and wander around with it a bit, doing some last-minute calculations about it, this time judging whether I think the ideas that I have about the game thus far are worth the price tag, either at the store or online, and whether this game will present me with the entertainment or meaning that I seek from games.
The poor shopkeeper knows to just leave me alone at this point; bugging me doesn’t give him a better chance of a sale, after all.
I guess this one wasn’t so easy.
At the end of the day, I usually decide to play a game based on… I couldn’t tell you. I looked at Kingdom Come: Deliverance and just liked the idea of it. I heard the music to Dragon Age: Inquisition and decided it sounded cool, and I’d better play the first in the series so I knew what was going on. I played Metal Gear Solid because my brother gave it to me and I felt obligated to at least try it.
I thought originally to talk about personality types here, since that’s a fun little “buzz” thing on the internet, but honestly, my personality type is the rarest and most misunderstood one, and (ironically) I don’t particularly care that people mistype themselves as it, although in this case I do because it makes it harder to discuss objectively since there is so much misinformation flying around. At any rate, I find it fascinating that people hold on to labels that make them feel good, or fulfill needs for themselves, even if it is, at its core, the label is the “wrong” one.
But I digress. I make decisions very much like my type dictates: through an analysis of the abstract, letting answers bubble up from wherever answers bubble up from, and looking for media to provide more information with which to ponder the nature of humanity and/or existence.
Or sometimes via recommendation. But only if it passes through all the above filters. Sometimes.
Clear as mud, right? You should try living here!
What about you? How do you decide what games to play? Do you go by recommendation, or do you have your own process? Do you take the advice of a gaming site/blogger/YouTuber/etc.? Or do you do something really wild, like buy games based on an alphanumerical system that you created for yourself (please explain it if you did!)? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
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