Gaming can be incredibly therapeutic. Being able to immerse oneself in a story can really make things better; for me at least, this is definitely true. However, I find that I very seldom finish games these days. The last few years this has occurred more than ever. I used to say a lot that the primary reason that I don’t finish a game, is that I have too many to review. This isn’t false, though lately I do far more than reviews. The average time spent on a game is probably 10-15 hours, sometimes more sometimes less, depending on the content. But I don’t often come back to things I’ve reviewed unless I know it’s going to receive more coverage down the line. Is “I have too many things to review” really all that fair though? I don’t think so. I’ve been thinking about it, and the more I mull over it, the real reason is, I don’t want the story to end. Saying goodbye to stories and people are equally hard. So I stop. I find a reason to stop. Whether it’s losing an encounter, or simply finding something else to start. I have so many games I’m working on right now. However I have a solution of sorts.
Streaming has helped a great deal. On our Bottom Tier off-nights, I tend to play single player RPGs, because Colton tends to have other stuff on his plate and that’s okay! It’s good for me to be able to play and immerse myself in a story with an audience. And if I have a co-pilot, that’s even better. Being able to share these stories with a crowd, about why I love or don’t love them, it makes me feel better. It’s almost invigorating. The last RPG we finished to completion on stream was Final Fantasy X. Start to finish, most of the people who started watching it stayed and showed up every episode, cheering me on, having a few laughs, and mocking the silly parts of the story. I’ve also started streaming on OnRPG’s Facebook, as I said yesterday. That audience is really quiet, which is different and in a way makes me feel uncomfortable, like nobody is really there or interested. But I’m not giving up. It’s something I enjoy doing. I wasn’t always so extroverted. As a lad, I did not like talking to people at all but I’ve really grown to love interviewing people, finding out what makes them tick, makes them successful, hoping their words might inspire someone else. It helps me socialize, and makes my days just a little bit brighter. And I tell myself: it gets better. Because it does. It’s something I get to do with some of the people that are closest to me, where I can be myself with no fear, no judgment. Making new friends all over the world. Making funny videos with Colton. I find that I’m able to complete the games with more frequency now. I don’t always need an audience, but it’s kind of nice. Knowing I’m doing it as a way out is helping me push forward and complete these stories, and move on to new ones.
In the end, it does get better. Streaming’s probably one of my most effective coping mechanisms, it reminds me that I’m not alone. What do you guys do?