GamePlay Blog – Week 5
October 9th – October 15th 2017
My relationship with games this week is a bit complicated, given the deviation from my usual games and my mixed feelings about them as a whole. Nevertheless, I definitely gained some enjoyment from video games, though it was not from the source I would have originally expected.
Overwatch (Overwatch) has officially launched their Halloween event, in which special cosmetic items have been added alongside a new “tower defense” style game-mode. Because of this, I spent a considerable amount of time towards the beginning of the week playing the new mode in pursuit of the new items, and all around enjoying the change of pace from the regular game. I did, however, have a lot of work to get done this week, and that definitely shows in my playtime. I also stopped playing altogether in favor of another game that I will discuss later in this post.
This week, I took notice of a few key things in regards to how playing Overwatch impacted me:
- I had a lot more fun than I feel like I usually do, and felt a lot more relaxed during and after play. The new mode means there is less player-vs-player frustration, but the Halloween aesthetic is charming in itself, and I found myself “getting into the spirit,” so to speak.
- The Halloween event also seemed to draw a lot more people back into playing than the usual game does. I was thrilled to have my partner join me in playing the new mode, and it was a better experience than usual because the specifics of the mode meant we could casually talk and experiment with characters, as opposed to focusing all our energy into winning. When we stopped playing it was because we reached a good stopping point, or found ourselves suitably satisfied game-wise, and not because we were no longer having fun.
- Even when I dedicated my time to other things, I didn’t feel nearly as much of an urge to play as I usually do. In some respect that’s to do with playing other games or keeping busy in other ways, but I’m unsure how to feel about it at this point.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Unlike Overwatch, I played Animal Crossing (Animal Crossing: New Leaf) consistently across the week, though the amount of time varied as my attention was pulled elsewhere. I like to check in and see the new things that are happening everyday, since the game operates in real time. The game has become a staple of my morning routine, even when I don’t really feel like committing a lot of time to it.
This week, I took notice of a few key things in regards to how playing Animal Crossing impacted me:
- I found myself playing while doing other non-demanding things—watching videos, browsing the Internet, eating, etc—perhaps more than in previous weeks. Because of the pick-up-and-play nature of the game, I seem to convince myself that there’s always often a reason to be playing or checking the game.
- Though the game is still fun, I did find myself feeling a lot more indifferent about playing. It wasn’t the game’s fault, though. I enjoyed the little tasks that I usually do, wandering around the in-game town, acquiring items, etc—it was more that I was feeling particularly low-energy with or without the game, and it wasn’t doing much to change that mood.
- My partner and I continued to visit each other regularly regardless, and I still enjoyed that aspect of the game, but I think that’s largely to do with the social aspect of multiplayer.
Borderlands 2 (Borderlands 2) is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi first-person shooter. Its main draw, besides its ridiculous characters and engaging storyline, is its gameplay features. The game randomly generates guns, and the results can be hilarious—anywhere from a sniper rifle that shoots multiple corrosive bullets at once, to a rocket launcher that fires electrical shells and explodes when you reload it. Guns aside, the game allows you to play as various characters, each with three different skill trees so you can customize your game play style to your liking.
I have played through the game several years ago, but my partner and I decided to give it another go together. We were instantly hooked, and spent all of our free time over the weekend playing together. It was a really nice change of pace from the usual games I play, if only because it was heavily quest-oriented, unlike Overwatch, and still action-packed, unlike Animal Crossing.
This week, I took notice of a few key things in regards to how playing Borderlands 2 impacted me:
- I quickly became obsessed with the game, despite my original hesitation to play. I had remember liking the game but never having much fun on any previous attempts to play through it again. This time, however, I found myself continuously thinking about the game and wanting to play, even after taking a much needed break.
- I was very interested in completing as many side-quests and gathering as much loot as possible. The game seemed to hit the similar pleasure-spot in the brain that completing tasks in Animal Crossing does, but at a much, much faster rate. It was an incredibly satisfying experience, and I was always in a good mood after playing.
- A few times I did feel a bit burnt out because of the expedited nature in which we were playing, but the desire to play was always refreshed after sleeping it off. The game is addictive, and it already has me planning feature play-throughs as different characters. Playing has been a very enjoyable experience and it’s always pleasant to re-visit an old game with different people. Due to the co-op gameplay, I think it could be fun to play with even more people, too.
While I had a very good time with Borderlands 2 this week, I was not especially invested in any other game I played. It’s a good thing to be able to detach myself from games, and I don’t think I’m becoming bored with them, but it seems that I might just not be enjoying the things that I used to as much. I’m a very low-energy, high-stress individual, and so I tend to rely on games as a hobby to keep me busy. I hope that things improve by next week.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Nintendo. December 8, 2016. Video game.
Borderlands 2. Gearbox Software. September 18, 2012. Video game.
Overwatch. 22.214.171.124B. Blizzard Entertainment. August 31, 2017. Video game.