Metacognition: Throwing Away the Plan

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!

Do you set gaming goals/challenges for yourself, or do you “go with the flow”?

I mean, there was that time I orchestrate an entire Year of RPG and challenged myself to play eight RPGs in a single year. Or the time I played all the Dragon Age games before Inquisition was released, and the entire Mass Effect series before Mass Effect: Andromeda came out.

Of course, there is also my usual MO of adding new games to my “to play” pile and perusing it at the end of the day when I’m looking for a game that I just happen to be “feeling” that evening.

But not that I apply myself to thinking about this, I think I usually do have a plan, much like anyone. When I start a game, I see it like a story, so my goal is always the same: to finish the story within a time frame that allows me to remember the details of the story and game mechanics from one play session to another.


I suppose at the end of the day, yes, my play sessions tend to be goal-oriented, with a very broad definition applied to the term “goal.” That goal is oftentimes to experience the story of a game, or to relax and unwind at the end of the day by absorbing myself into the life of another person for awhile (and without the responsibility of actually being really responsible for their lives), and sometimes, like now, I find myself racing against the clock to complete a story by a certain date.

At the end of the day, I’m a pretty goal-driven person, and having goals to reach motivates me to, well, do something to achieve them.

Image result for achieve goal

What about you? Do you set gaming goals for yourself, or do you just go with what feels good at the time? Has your approach changed over the years? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!

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  1. I do not set goals for myself when I play. I just want to focus my brain on relaxing and having a good time. I tend to be a planner and set goals for myself like daily goals to play the guitar or get a certain amount of graduate homework done in a day. But, with games I tend to focus more on the experience and what I want to play that day because games are my way of unwinding after I have gotten all my work done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s fair. Hobbies are great for that, too: they can be enjoyed with minimal planning and goal setting/assessment!

      I can definitely see how grad school would make one not want to have gaming goals. I was definitely the same way during my graduate work!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sure, one of the main reason I created my blog was self-appointed achievements. Usually, when starting a new game I’d write a post with a set of goals, either for role-playing purposes (if I expected the given game to lack immersion) or to make it more challenging. This included limiting my character to certain weapons and skills, giving them a certain flaw (I always play Fallout games with the lowest luck stat possible), etc.
    One example was my Skyrim character whom I decided to be a fervent follower of Talos. So everytime he visited a shrine dedicated to the deity, he was bound to leave the most valuable item from his inventory as an offering. Another goal was to attack every Thalmor on sight for persecuting the One True Faith. Since I played on the hardest difficulty setting, it made things rather interesting (and I immediately screwed up the Mages Guild quest).
    Also, I’m a sort of a video game foodie so if the game has a cooking option, I always do everything to find all the fancy recipes and keep my character well-fed.
    Of course, there’s always that meta-goal you mentioned in your post: to play the game thoroughly, remember as much as possible about gameplay, plot, mechanics and so on, so you can have something interesting to write on WordPress. Not that I’m terribly good at it :`(

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve long had a set gaming goal whereby if I’m playing a game on a particular console, I *have* to complete it before starting up a new game for the same console. For instance, I’m currently playing Breath of the Wild, so I won’t play any other games on the Wii U till it’s done. Hmm…guess that’s more a habit than a goal. 🙂

    In-game, setting goals or not depends on the game. I like to have an end point in mind when I start, i.e. asking “what can I complete in the [x number of] minutes that I have to play?” But I don’t pin myself to that notion. It’s usually in open-world games where I find that I have to set goals more often than not. Otherwise it’s too easy for me to just get lost in exploring and wandering.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I set goals and watch as they go by. I’m horrible with sticking to deadlines, because if I’m having a bad fatigue day and/or my concentration is shot, nothing is getting done, and I can’t force it. I still get frustrated by this, but that’s usually in the aftermath after I’ve slept. Now I just lay out what I want to accomplish and figure out when I can fit it on my endless to do list. Though I don’t really plan when I’m going to play, I do try to carve out some time to do so usually on the weekend.


  5. I’m a gamer goal maker, not gonna lie, haha. Usually within an hour or so of starting a game, I’ll know what I want to do to call it a game (rarely that’s JUST seeing the credits roll, haha). I’m trying to tone down my goals lately though. I have so many games I wanna play and there’s really no need to do everything in most games. It’s those PlayStation Platinum trophies that get me! Some games still scream “Platinum me!”. Alas…


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