There’s something about being part of modern culture, especially in fast-moving ones such as tech, and our very own game industry. A sort of moving peer-pressure comes along with fandom and dedication. Want to stay relevant in the latest hot topics? You’d better keep up with each game purchase, each series installment, each major news reveal. It certainly takes a considerable amount of dedication to keep up. I myself have slowed from the speedway, braking off the cruise-control and exiting to the service road. Gaming is my passion, but I peaked in interest last year, and since then have plateaued on a shorter step.


What does it take to stay in the know? Checking sites like Gameinformer, Gametrailers, and IGN (yes, IGN) multiple times daily is just the beginning. Watching live streams, big-time premieres, or major unveilings are other criteria. Then of course, it’s actually playing the games. Playing each new creative IP; playing the Journeys, the Bioshocks, the Uncharteds of the world. Being a gamer is tough. For nearly the past year, I’ve missed out on every major release. A gamer of the shadows. A willful outsider. Here’s why.


Taking the time to step away from it all, gives you copious amounts of time to do other things. Namely: catching up. Sure, I haven’t gotten around to Bioshock Infinite or Tomb Raider, but I have gotten the opportunity to take my time at playing through each Pokemon generation again. I have had the ability to try out Fallout 3 for the first time. I have had time to play the miscellaneous things that I just enjoy playing, rather than making an effort to try all the other topping headliners. It’s actually quite a blessing.


When the loop is suddenly untied, and the feed stops flowing, things go by at the pace that you want. Sure, the industry would like that we all by their games the day they release, to populate their online communities, generate buzz, and provide revenue. But in the cases that you get wound up, there’s no need to keep up; why wouldn’t one take a moment to step back and relax?



There’s a special kind of fun involved with returning to your favorite games of old – returning to loved things of the past and feeling the security and the time-still of lounging around. Visiting Animal Crossing for the first time in years, training BA soldiers in XCOM, or training Chao in Sonic Adventure. Often times, I like to think of that as being a gamer, rather than staying up to date with trends. I’m willing to say, the majority of us became gamers for those original reasons that you may be nostalgic for, and reminisce. Remember the game that introduced you to the magic? Remember how much time you spent in it, working towards the ultimate goal, sinking time with your friends, creating memories? It’s such a fun experience, that games provide for us, but more often than not, it’s best created during a time without urgency, or the need for the latest and greatest.


My favorite games are the ones where I disregarded all other news and releases. Battlefield: Bad Company 2, I played for six months with my friends, and it remains a topic of conversation to this day because we have so many memories of it. My cousin and I played Halo 3 for two years non-stop, nothing else, because it’s what introduced us to next-gen gaming. I reveled in Pokemon and Harvest Moon with my family, because we all spent time to show each other our progress and the fun we’d had.


Moving from topic to topic, isn’t exactly dear to yourself. It’s comforting to be in the crowd, part of the mainstream, but at the same time, are you really enjoying yourself when you have to go from one thing, to the next?


Perhaps that is fun for you guys, and that’s okay. I certainly know I had gotten wrapped up in that style of participation a year ago, and in some cases I miss that, too. But the beauty of games is to be engrossed in them, to be entertained, and to travel to somewhere new, be it with yourself or someone close.


That’s why, for now, I’ll stay a willful outsider.




~ GoldvsSilver