Every Gamer Needs a Security Blanket

Final Fantasy VI

In the dark, ancient days of my youth, any new game had to last me weeks, or even months. New cartridges were more than my meager allowance could afford; I had to rely on birthdays, Christmases, and the occasional trip to Blockbuster.

And so, I got to know each game I acquired intimately. I played them over and over, exploring every inch of their 16-bit worlds. I read and re-read each line of dialogue and constantly searched for hidden meanings in the text. No aspect of a game went unappreciated, and some games got far more appreciation than they deserved.

killer instinct

Nowadays, my video game library is impossibly huge. I’m an adult with an actual disposable income; whether or not I pick up a game is mostly dependent on my willpower. Add in Steam sales and PlayStation Plus freebies, and I’m left with more games than I know what to do with.

I’m no longer forced to play the same games over and over. Any time I want a new experience, I can have it in an instant. I can journey through worlds I’ve never seen, and experience game mechanics that feel completely new. Excitement and adventure are right at my fingertips.

But excitement isn’t always what I want.

I crave new experiences as much as the next person, but some nights, I just don’t have the stomach for them. I don’t always want to learn the ropes in a brand new world; I’d rather know exactly what I’m getting into. After a long, tiring day, surprises can be too much too handle.

I like having a pleasant bit of predictability to fall back on; something I can rely on no matter what. When I’m in a bad mood or hit by an endless stream of updates, I don’t have to suck it up and forge on. I can just curl up with my video game security blanket.

Mother 3

When you have a massive backlog, replaying an old favorite can feel like a colossal waste of time. But those overly familiar titles are more important than we give them credit for. It’s easier to appreciate new flavors when you occasionally snack on comfort foods, and you can get more out of gaming when you let yourself go back to old favorites.

It’s okay to play nothing but Skyrim, or to eschew new releases for something you’ve experienced many times before. Playing a game doesn’t need to be a grand adventure. It’s okay to stay home and curl up with your warmest, fuzziest blanket.

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