Last week, we suggested forgoing the typical New Year’s resolutions of quitting vices and improving your health and instead looking at something that’s actually important: how you can change your gaming habits in 2016. We gave you some suggestions to pick from and also let you throw out some of your own ideas. Here are your top five picks, plus a few of the more interesting write-ins.
“Take your pile of shame/Steam library/etc seriously and actually legitimately play some of the games in it that you’ve been wanting to get to” (23%)
Unless you’re 12 or you simply stop caring about games once they are over a year old (which probably also means you’re 12), you’re probably like the rest of us and you have an obscene number of games that you own that you’ve barely touched or haven’t touched at all. This is typically acrimoniously referred to as one’s “pile of shame.” So in 2016, a lot of you are looking to dig into that backlog and give it some love. Whether it’s boxes and/or shelves full of discs and cartridges or a Steam library with hundreds of games you paid a quarter for and never thought about again, let this be the year that you make that pile a little less shameful.
“Cut back on time-consuming games (RPGs, MMOs, online FPSs, etc) so you can play more different games.” (13%)
There are some games that just gobble up way too much of our limited gaming time, forcing us to ignore far too many other games in the process. A large chunk of you are looking to change that in 2016, spending a little less time on just one or a couple of games and spreading that wealth across a larger number of different titles. Nobody regrets not putting 300 more hours into Call of Duty online on their death bed. Well, nobody should really have any video game-related regrets on their death bed, but the point is that you’ll probably wish you played more games than dumped twice as much time into just one.
“Play more indie and/or under-the-radar games.” (12%)
It’s easy to just stick with what we know and only play the safer-bet, big-name games. But there is a wealth of games out there that aren’t splashed across the main page of PSN and don’t fill the end caps at Target that are well worth checking out. A lot of you are planning to explore some of those lesser-known gems this year, and it has never been easier or more affordable to check out the countless indie and off-the-map titles out there. If you have a subscription to Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus, you’ll even be given – or already have been given – some for “free,” so you can just start with those and work your way out from there. You should also keep an eye out for the various indie bundles that are released throughout the year, where you can get a handful of great indie titles often for literally pennies.
“Vow to finish X number of games for the year. Make it a number higher than you’d normally get to. Set milestones for yourself (one game a week, two games a month, etc).” (11%)
We’re gamers, so of course we love having goals and challenges to meet. It can be really fun to challenge yourself to finish a certain number of games in a certain amount of time. Not only does it serve as an interesting meta game on top of playing the games themselves, but it pushes you to actually finish more games, something that I know none of us do nearly as much as we’d like to. But just like with the more traditional resolutions, keep your goals realistic so that you can actually meet them. You probably won’t be able to lose 100 pounds by February, just like you probably can’t beat 100 games in that amount of time. And if you do manage to do the latter, you can most certainly kiss the former goodbye (unless those 100 games consist of a lot of Kinect titles and Dance Dance Revolution).
“Pick a genre you don’t think you like or just haven’t played much of and give it a serious chance.” (10%)
I really like where your heads were at with your picks, as most of them involved pushing yourself outside of your comfort zones to an extent. I believe that any well-rounded gamer should be able to enjoy as many different types of games as possible, and it’s unfortunate when people have a genre or style of game that they claim to just outright hate and refuse to play any games within it. Almost every genre probably has some game that offers just enough of a variation on that genre’s theme that you may find yourself enjoying it, but that involves actually branching out and giving it a chance. You don’t need to be a hardcore strategy gamer to enjoy Worms, Advance Wars, or Valkyria Chronicles, for instance. So let 2016 by the year that you do a little a research and find games you might like in genres that you might not, and expand your gaming horizons a bit.
We didn’t get a ton of write-ins, but here are a few of our favorites:
“Get my games to 7000 games and my hardware to 1000 pieces.”
“Destroy all traces of DLC tech.”
“Finish the next RPG I start.”
I’d like to point out that only one of our suggestions got literally zero votes, and it was the one where PC gamers should play more console exclusive games and console gamers should play more PC exclusive games. I guess some notions are just too unreasonable to pick them even for fun hypothetical purposes. Oh well.