There’s something I’ve been meaning to get off my chest for a while. With the launch of the new site, now seems like a good time to do it, so here goes.
I’ve been playing video games as far back as I can remember. It’s a constant in my life, same as TV or movies. I couldn’t imagine life without them (or want to, for that matter).
When I bought my first console in my teens I’d think nothing of four-hour stretches on Tekken or Gran Turismo. The combination of disposable income and a lot of free time’s a powerful thing.
Now I’m past 30, my gaming habits have changed. I’ve more bills to pay, so I buy less games. A job and a busy home life mean there’s less time to actually sit down and play. I grab an hour a day in my lunch hour at work and brief sessions at home. The games I play have changed accordingly. Fallout 3 and Dead Space are top-notch, but both have sat unfinished in my pile of shame for months. I go back to them every few weeks with the intention to finally cracking them, but it’s a pain to re-learn the controls and get back up to speed on the story. By contrast, I’ll fire up Guitar Hero or Live Arcade games because I can drop straight back in for short bursts. I rent games with shorter single-player campaigns. I have to schedule online matches days in advance. I’m more likely to be hit by a bus than get into an MMORPG!
I don’t consider myself a “casual gamer”. Between spending longer on gaming websites and listening to podcasts when I’m away from a desk or console I’m more clued-up than ever. This site’s involved me in a growing community of like-minded individuals, so my friends list is a mile long.
My problem is that I (and a fair few of us I’d think), don’t fit the “casual” or “hardcore” stereotypes, we fall somewhere in between the two. We’re dedicated and well-versed in games, but don’t play all that we’d like to. We need a third category to be boxed into. In the meantime, I’m embracing episodic games and digital downloads like never before, at least until I have kids to school in the fine art of headshots…