Why Multi-Gaming Works

Monday on a Tuesday

I’ve sat here and started this paragraph five times now, and keep backspacing away the results.  The day coming back from a three day weekend is always rough, but this one for whatever reason seems particularly painful.  All in all we had a pretty busy break, and last night we managed to get in a long walk between the thunderstorms.  The rain is needed, since Oklahoma is deep in drought conditions, but it managed to ruin a perfectly good Memorial Day.  For the last several years the weekend has been marked by doing little projects around the house, but this year those projects mostly consisted of cleaning and organization.  As a result our closet is more organized than it has been in years and our dresser drawers are not overflowing with clothing we no longer wear.

While I feel like we had a productive break, I am really wishing I had managed to get more sleep because I feel like that is coming back to haunt me.  For whatever reason I slept roughly this weekend, almost every night.  Each morning I would reach a stalemate where I simply got tired of tossing and turning and was hungry enough to get dressed and go find breakfast.  Here is hoping that tonight my sleep patterns can get back to normal and I will sleep through the entire night.  Last night I was doing mostly well until at some point one of our cats started banging against the closet door.  After that I felt like I never really got to sleep soundly.  God forbid we have a door in the house that is shut when a cat wants to go through it.

All of Your Eggs in One Basket

Lately there has been an undercurrent of folks on twitter talking about planning to leave World of Warcraft when Wildstar launches.  I assumed we would be seeing quite a lot of this, because we saw quite a lot of this when Rift launched and when SWTOR launched.  Both of which are games that directly appeal to the wow playing audience.  I am watching people go through the same agonizing process I did when I got tired of Warcraft shortly after the launch of Cataclysm and devoted myself entirely to Rift.  When you have been playing a game for years, shifting to another game is somewhat like making a religious decision.  One of the things I didn’t expect was just how many social friends I would lose in the process.  There are a lot of people out there that only care about the one game they are playing, and are all too happy to put in blinders to try and blot out any evidence that there are other games.

The problem is, in doing this you are placing your fates in the hands of this one title.  When times are good they are awesome, but when times are bad or decisions are made that you don’t agree with… they can seem so oppressive.  Almost all of the angry rants that I spun up on this blog during the early years were because I felt that Warcraft had somehow betrayed me, by not living up to being the game I wanted it to be.  I am here to tell you that this is just a bad way to think about anything created by someone else and entirely out of your control.  Admittedly when I left WoW I took this same sort of devotion and poured it into Rift, and got the same kind of frustrated when it didn’t quite turn out the way I had hoped it would.  Ultimately games are what they are, and while we the players can provide feedback… there are always decisions behind the scenes that dictate the way the game ends up.

Why Multi-Gaming Works

For me at least the cure for this constant sense of dread and angst over upcoming patches…  is that at some point in the past I just started accepting games for what they are.  Enjoyable but often transitory experiences that will have a beginning a middle and an end as far as your personal enjoyment goes.  I present that World of Warcraft and Everquest before it were anomalies and not the boilerplate that all gaming experiences should follow.  As a result I am no longer looking for the next five year game, I am just looking for a game to enjoy while I enjoy it.  Additionally I am looking to enjoy multiple games at the same time.  While I don’t update it as often as I should…  my games played list is fairly accurate.  I play a lot of MMOs at the same time, because they each scratch some itch that I have inside of me.

When one of them starts to get stale I simply hop into another one and play it for awhile.  While this is greatly booned by the fact that free to play games exist, I still maintain subscriptions to many of the titles that I play.  I realize that is not something that most players can do freely, but I feel like even if you can’t… it is healthy to mix in several single player or free to play games into your mix.  In doing this I am basically protecting myself from the doldrums…. those moments when nothing seems to be moving in the game you wish you were into, and are somehow remaining artificially cheery about.  World of Warcraft for example is notorious for having a massive long slog between the last patch and the next expansion.  If I were ONLY playing WoW right now I would be a ball of anger, pensively hanging on ever word about the potential of getting into Alpha and eventually Beta.

Instead I am happily playing everything that crosses my desk in the meantime knowing that when Warlords of Draenor does launch I will give it the devotion it deserves before booting up something else and enjoying that too.  Elder Scrolls Online has been the proof that this method works for me.  I still very much want to play the game, and I feel like I have only scratched the surface, but I am not forcing myself to play it every night.  In fact this weekend I don’t think I played it any at all other than while we recorded our podcast on Saturday night.  Instead I played a mixture of single player games, namely Transistor and Wolfenstein: New Order and had an absolute blast doing this.  To some extent I think when we pay a subscription we feel like we HAVE to play the game or we are somehow missing out on some value.  I propose that the value is what you make of it, and if you don’t feel like logging in, you are not necessarily losing anything in the process.

Why This Makes your Blog a Mess

I realize I am somewhat rambly this morning, but I am going to blame the lack of solid sleep… and am just hoping that at least some of my message gets through.  For the last year I have purposefully and unapologetically played whatever game happened to catch my fancy even if for a single weekend.  As a result my overall happiness has been improved by not feeling like my fates are hanging on the whims of a group of developers.  As a blogger however this is not necessarily a great thing.  People love to be able to classify you as this thing or that thing.  If you are super into World of Warcraft, they like to be able to classify you as not only a “WoW Blog” but also as a “Warrior” blog or a “Tank” blog or even a “Raid Leadership” blog.  When you play so many things at the same time you become classified as “other” and this makes it hard for people to grasp quickly what your blog is about.

I am sure my constant wanderlust has cost me more than a few readers, because I did not live up to their expectations for what a blog they want to read should be.  My hope is that I can show just enough of myself in whatever I happen to write that folks will stick around for the long haul because I am trying my best to be genuine.  There was a time when I tried to pigeon hole people into neatly organized categories in my blogroll, and I simply stopped trying to connect a specific person to a specific game.  Now I simply having one big “Gaming” section and another big “Geekdom” section for things I am interested in that are not necessarily game blogs.  After a point I find I care far more about the person on the other side of the screen than what they happen to be saying on a given basis.  I just hope folks get to the point of caring about me, and not necessarily caring that I am cycling through a long list of games at the same time.

6 thoughts on “Why Multi-Gaming Works

  1. I find single subject blogs extremely limiting, like only eating apples or only watching TV on one channel. You may think that YOU’VE lost readers due to jumping around, but consider how many readers other, single topic blogs will never get, because of the people out there who don’t play that one game, or don’t play the role that a blog focuses on.
    Chris recently posted..Gaming Is Like the MafiaMy Profile

  2. I find it more interesting really when people blog about multiple games then just one. That is just me tho, probably because I play more then one game. But if I were to play only one, I would want to read other things then just the one I was playing.

    So I quite enjoy reading about your different adventures here and there. Either way you would win some and lose some so maybe it would just add up :)

    As for playing multiple games and overall happiness it does add some stress-level for me as I worry about my in-game friends etc. I am currently learning tho that I am playing for me and not them, they are just a lovely addition to gaming, but does not mean I HAVE to play that game just because they are there.
    It is nice to switch games if you feel you are bored with a game, and relax and get excited about another instead. You can always go back when that boredom has vanished again. That is the beauty of gaming :) It usually isn’t going anywhere, it is there when you come back 😀
    Miss Mojo recently posted..Invited to podcastMy Profile

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