I love buying up games 2nd hand. First, they are so frickin’ cheap! I picked up the Game of the Year edition of Skyrim for about £7, and must have got at least 100 hours of entertainment out of it. As value for money goes, that’s pretty damn good. Second, by the time the good titles have made their way onto the pre-owened shelves, the various software updates have usually patched up all the game-breaking bugs. Sure, you have to resign yourself to 5-20 minutes of software downloading before you can get started, but once that’s done, the gaming experience is, hopefully, going to go fairly smoothly. And third, there will be a veritable feast of walkthroughs and guides available should you get stuck. Yes, I sometime use walkthroughs. As Dara O’Brien once said, gaming is one of the few media which will deny you content you have already paid for, if you do not prove yourself worthy. And whether I’ve paid £2.99 or £45, I don’t want to get so frustrated that I rage-quit because I haven’t spotted the one tiny detail that will allow me to proceed.
About 4 years or so ago I found myself slightly depressed in London, and like a shining waypoint in the distance I saw a CEX. £20 later I had a bag stuffed full of noughties XBox 360 games to while away the weekends. But, as is sometimes the way, many of those games languished on the shelf, gathering dust.
Cut to the present day, and Terry and I have been watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Now, I’m not entirely sure what category games fits into, in the KonMarie method. However I am choosing to categorise them as books. Because I game like other people read. At its heart, I think of games as interactive fiction, and my favourite style are the huge, immersive worlds in which choices are made and have consequences. I like cultivating relationships with NPCs, facing ethical dilemmas, and imagining I’m facing down a dragon/reaper with a battleaxe/assault rifle. And between these massive experiences, I have a range of shorter games which act as palate cleanser between heavy courses.
I have to admit the Xbox 360 is getting a bit long in the tooth. But before it goes to the great Gamestation in the sky, I really want to get through all those old titles. So over the next few months, I’m planning to play each one, and see how they’ve stood the test of time. And because I’m also trying to get back in the habit of writing more, I will, as time and energy allows, blog about each one.