image

The latest experiment was a failure.

I don’t need to release a video to know the desire to stack up footage from a pile of separate games has been a disaster. In fact, that I haven’t released a video should be proof enough. Clips of partially-started games instead occupy my external hard drives, with only the Metroid games being fully completed. You’d think I’d be on my way to finishing that new episode. Distractions and indecision instead has pile up to delay my progress forward.

This revelation will not get me down. Figuring out why it was a failure would be much more productive, with the first step being an acknowledgement: I didn’t want to play any of the games I intended to do a video on as much as I wanted to play a Metroid game again.

As I cross the threshold into a new year of amateur games criticism I am taking stock of all the disparate elements that make this a stressful hobby. Pressure to play critically received games – regardless of my own personal interest or excitement – is one such factor that needs to be shoved fervently down the garbage disposal. Recording footage from multiple games at once was intended to be high-stress work over the course of two months that paid off in the start of 2018, but one of the distractions came in a self-inflicted need to play the likes of Horizon: Zero Dawn, Planet of the Apes: The Last Frontier and What Remains of Edith Finch before year’s end. My gaming time became stressful as it was all for anything but leisure and likely contributed to my depression that month.

Leaving that first pressure behind in 2017 should theoretically free me up to do more video recording, but my new year revelations also include regular trips to the gym. Time is thus consumed by new factors, limiting my daily gaming time and turning each evening into a transaction. Do I give my free time to a project, or to a game I’m yearning to play?

As a child actress states in a taco shell commercial, “why not both?”

image

I’m recording footage of a Secret of Mana playthrough in case I want to do a comparison to the remake.

Having more videos I desire to work on than I can count is not the same as wanting to work on those videos right now. So if I’m going to record footage, it should either be relevant to the analysis I’m working towards right now or be something I want to play that happens to have value in recording.

For example, I’ve nearly finished recording all the necessary footage for my video on Metroid Prime: Echoes. AM2R is the last game I need footage from, and I may not even need a full playthrough. In order to then minimize stress, everything else I play should in some form be something I currently desire playing.

Right now, that includes Fire Emblem Warriors, a game I’ve concluded has enough material for me to make a video on. Now that I’ve seen the credits roll I had determined to set it aside and return to it later, focusing instead on the next game on “the pile” to play and critique.

Such a move commits a crime most heinous to me, however, and that is treating games as being disposable. I’m not “done” with Fire Emblem Warriors. I still wanted to play it even after seeing the credits roll. I wanted – and still do want – to give its higher difficulties a spin. There’s little more delightful than a game whose increased challenge unlocks some hidden spark of mechanical joy you’d never have been aware of.

This means I’m already course-correcting my approach to increased content in 2018. Stress has always been the most potent poison seeping through the veins of my creative work, effectively making it a job after my job. By removing the stress and emphasizing the leisure and satisfaction, I intend to make new videos an inevitability by playing what I want rather than a checklist in a word document of ideas.

I suppose we’ll find out in February if it works. I’ve got a lot more work to do if the Metroid video hasn’t materialized by the end of the month, and given my struggles with the script its possible I should shelve this idea until I have full confidence I can do it justice.


 

New Review

I'm Playing:

Fire Emblem Warriors Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga Children of Zodiarcs