Geek Life

Confessions of an Impatient Gamer

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We are some of the most impatient gamers we know. A lot of the time, especially in playing games, we find ourselves wanting to hurry up and get to the “good parts.” Most recently, this happened with Final Fantasy 14: Heavensward, the expansion to Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn. We were excited with the whole premise of it being a new game, having something that would take a while to beat, and seeing the revelations of the previous story develop and evolve into something that lingers in our mind. The first part of the cut scenes weren’t too bad, as we saw our character and the remnants of our friends slogging through the snow, trying to find their way into the new land.

The scene was intriguing and we were immersed. Not too long after the story started, however, the more tedious tasks started to come up as well. Go talk to this person. Deliver this to that other person. Talk with this other guy and then go to this lady. And in-between these quests do these other quests for more experience, items, and armor.

It might not have been so tedious if all of it was voiced (or maybe it would, we are not sure), but at that point, we began to feel antsy. We started to mash the “next” button, skipping over some very interesting passages on the new area we were in, and some side information that was meant to explain some of the more minor things around us.

As a story-oriented player, we should not be skipping these things, but we did. We couldn’t stop. We basically were doing the equivalent of speed reading, which meant we were skipping the minor scenes, just getting enough of the gist of things to advance the plot, and then moving on and only watching the full voiced, or action oriented cut scenes. This is somewhat doable still because at least we get the immersion, but at a slight price.

However it doesn’t stop there.

Eventually, we wanted to level up and stay one step ahead of the story’s level and that meant leveling up outside of the main story and its side quests. We started to dwell in dungeons to the point where we felt frustrated. The problem with doing dungeon after dungeon, especially when you are new to a role, is that it is a constant barrage of information you are processing. You are trying to get the mechanics down to a natural rotation, you’re trying to constantly pay attention to what is going on, and if you’re like us, you start to get a little overwhelmed because paying that much attention means you’re in a constant state of anxiousness.

The mind triggers its anxiety and you are no longer enjoying yourself, instead playing becomes a chore. And then we want to stop playing. Welcome to the brain of an impatient gamer.

It may seem hopeless, at times, and we wonder if it’s pointless to play these new classes or new types of games that force us into uncomfortable learning positions, but we know that it’s just a phase and we can work through it and eventually we will enjoy the game and its story. We just need to learn to relax, because not everything needs to be a binge.