Ladies and gentlemen, please put down your controllers and bring your piles of shame to the front of the classroom for assessment. The month of Shameless Gaming is over, please leave in an orderly fashion and resume your normal gaming habits.
Only a month ago, Shameless Gaming Month started with something resembling a bang. Thanks to the coverage over at Kotaku from Mark Serrels, there were dozens of us taking part in this bizarre event where we tried to play some of those games that we never got around to beating.
Okay, I don’t know the actual participation numbers. This was much too informal of an event for that sort of thing. However, the amount of people that took part is inconsequential to how successful I feel this month has been.
Easily the largest success was the feedback from people telling me how much they had enjoyed finding a hidden gem that had been sitting in their pile of shame.
For me, that gem was Uncharted 2, a game that I had started to play many moons ago and then abandoned because of various distractions. To avoid succumbing to distractions yet again, my plan was to play through the entire game in a single night to kick off Shameless Gaming Month.
On the approach to the final boss, early in the morning of July 2nd, my Playstation froze. So much for that. After a few hours of much needed rest, I picked the controller back up and finished one of the best games I’ve played in recent memory.
July was also a success because of the way it changed my gaming habits. One of the reasons my pile of shame had grown to such gargantuan size was because I was always too happy to make excuses.
Instead of having fun in my spare time, I would mindlessly browse the internet in the vain hope of finding something interesting, ignoring the mountain of incredibly interesting games that were sitting right under my nose.
As soon as I started to use my free time more wisely and play the games that I had abandoned or ignored, I was having a lot more fun. When I had a bit of time to myself, I’d sit on the couch and power up a console. When I felt like watching something, I’d force myself to make some progress in on of the games I was playing before allowing myself to be entertained by something that wasn’t a video game.
Some people felt that this made gaming feel like a chore. In a way, they were right. Many games have periods that simply aren’t fun. That’s the point where a lot of people will abandon them in hopes of finding greater enjoyment elsewhere. Forcing yourself to play through these sections, avoiding other more enjoyable forms of entertainment, can definitely feel like a chore.
But once you push through those sections, you might find some brilliance on the other side that you might have missed had you simply abandoned the game. There’s a good chance that the game might not improve but the only way to find out is to push a little further until you reach the point where you can know for sure if the game is worth your time or not.
At the beginning of July, I plucked out five games from my pile of shame to try and finish. They were: Uncharted 2, Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty, Trauma Center: Second Opinion, Dead Space and Darksiders. By the end of the month, I only managed to finish three of them, with Darksiders still in progress and Dead Space completely neglected. On top of that, I managed to Alice: Madness Returns, bringing my tally to a respectable four games finished in a single month.
I don’t think I’ve ever managed to finish four games in a month before.
So on a personal level, I feel like this month has been a success. But that’s only part of the story, how did Shameless Gaming Month go for you?