Massive bouts of non-productivity due to video games

posted by Jeff | Sunday, January 11, 2015, 10:38 PM | comments: 0

If at one time I felt like I had a gadget problem, and should have been ashamed of it for some reason, then I would prove to myself how much I've changed by pointing out that I waited more than a year to buy an Xbox One. That's some serious restraint. But after the price drop for Christmas, and a $50 credit from Amazon, and most importantly, a remastered Halo collection, I caved.

I'll be honest, I'm not much of a gamer. I used to buy and play a lot of games, but it's not my thing. That's probably part of the reason I had no issue switching to Macs and letting go of the constant churn of PC upgrades. (That, and my Macs have all lasted three to five years, without upgrading them.) But if you open the drawer below the TV, you'll find a whole bunch of Lego video games, as well as a bunch of Halo games. Oh, and Tomb Raider. You'll find some Wii games, too, but honestly no one has played a game on that thing since 2011, in Seattle.

The new console came with Assassin's Creed, but I haven't even started it. I bought the Halo Master Chief Collection, because I could totally play those games over and over. They're decent shooters with a story, which is often what it takes for me to get interested. I'm not going to lie, playing the original Halo at the crazy high frame rate, and anniversary updates, was like playing it again for the first time. The only negative was remembering how repetitive some of the level designs were.

But the totally new experience was the remastering of Halo 2. I think that was easily the game that redefined console shooters, in part because of the online multiplayer, but also because of the sheer scope of the game. Short as the game was (and abrupt as the ending was), it felt like the environments were just so completely huge. That was a beautiful game to play in its new clothes. I don't suspect 3 and 4 will feel as shiny, but I assume they'll at least play at the higher frame rates.

I also bought Forza 5, a racing game, because I happened to catch it half-price as a direct download. I totally suck at it, but it's a lot of fun and works well as more of an arcade-style racer. It's interesting that it appears to create representations of your friends and how they drive, and puts "them" in the game to race against you. The Internets are awesome.

Still, wow, I've spent a lot of hours in the last two or three weeks playing video games. I'm not sure at what point in my life I started feeling like this was a waste of time that I shouldn't enjoy because I'm not actually producing anything, but I have to change that attitude. It's OK to do stuff you enjoy that adds nothing to the world. You know, like blogging!


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