I came home from work yesterday. I had color printouts of the instructions for Achtung Panzer and Shogun 2.
I apparently looked like a Golden Retriever puppy exultantly carrying his first duck back in his mouth to his master, because my wife saw me come through the door with them and started snickering.
I asked her why she was laughing, and she said that she was thinking about going to Goodwill and just buying me a bunch of random game manuals. She said that sometimes it appears that I simply exist to read game manuals and read about games, and never actually play the games themselves.
I thought about it, and she is right to at least a heavy degree. First, it is often the case that the chase and anticipation (learning about a game, reading about it, thinking about the systems it has or will purportedly have) is more enjoyable than actually obtaining the game. That is true in a lot of other hobbies and pursuits as well.
But it also makes me wonder how much I really like playing games, compared to learning about creative game systems and subsystems. Game systems and anticipation is all about theory. Game play is all about execution.
I see what I consider to be clear cases of this all over the gaming world. People always seem to look forward to that next game, but don’t seem to talk about it as much one month after it comes out. People complain about not having updated versions of old games, even when the old game still works just fine (even if it is a bit graphically dated). People post deep theories about gameplay, and it later is admitted that they don’t really play the game (or don’t play it that much). Games don’t seem to last anymore; for a lot of games, the sweet spot for having an active multiplayer base is a few months at most. I see people who seem to buy a ton of games, and I know that for most working adults, there is simply no possible way to play them all in a deep and meaningful way.
I am curious to get others’ thoughts on this. Do you suffer from the same habits? Did you at one time, but you later got over it? Do you think it is a problem, and if so why or why not?