New Year Resolutions For 2020 That Every Gamer Should Make
Play More Video Games
Sounds simple, doesn't it? But, really: a lot of gamers out there could benefit from widening their horizons a little and playing beyond the handful of big-budget blockbusters that come out in any given year.
It was wonderful to see that GAMINGbible's top 25 games of 2019 had a good few people in the Facebook comments discovering some gems that they'd missed 'til that point, or had meant to play but had forgotten about. But it was also perturbing, frankly, to see some of our readers become weirdly aggressive about us highlighting a handful of indie games over more-hyped titles that enjoyed better marketing but that, for us, just weren't good enough.
And a lot of that aggression could be tempered by venturing off the triple-A path, just a little. Don't simply be a slave to whatever PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo is telling you is their next big thing, and therefore it needs to be yours, too. Do also seek out experiences that aren't plastered over the sides of buses, trailered before films in the local multiplex, or dominating gaming mag covers.
Y'know why Outer Wilds, Cadence of Hyrule, Sayonara Wild Hearts, Telling Lies and Katana ZERO featured in our top 25, alongside big-sellers like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Resident Evil 2? Because they're truly wonderful games, each uniquely special in its own way.
So please, this year: play more, discover more, and enjoy more. And perhaps, when we round up the best games of 2020, we can all be a little less angry because Another Zombie Game didn't make the cut.
Don't Be Such a D*ck Online
Someone on the internet doesn't have the same opinion about a game as you? That's cool, it's okay that we all like different things. No need to be a d*ck about it and tweet them 280 characters of abuse. Because all that does is make you look like an awful human.
Seriously, Don't Be Such a D*ck Online
On topic, if a new game comes out that isn't everything you'd hoped it'd be, or releases with a promise of fixes to follow, don't send a tirade to the developers, please. They're doing their best, really. The vast majority of gaming studios, publishers, and all the individuals, the humans, who work on these things are not trying to rip you off. They love games too, and they're livid that their new game has come out in a compromised fashion. They're on it. They'll fix it. Just as soon as they can.
And that patch that you think can be completed with the click of some fingers? No. No. Be patient. Devs don't need your nonsense bringing them down further.
Don't Waste Time on Games You're Not Into
That new game that everyone's raving about not doing it for you? Don't sweat it. We've all been there: trying to get into something, be it a game or a TV show or a new album or whatever, and just bouncing off it, time and again. Move on, find something to love, that gives you that glow others are getting from something else. It's no stain on your gaming cred, or whatever, to walk away from Sekiro, or Control, or any other critical hit of 2019 because it's simply not for you.
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And equally, don't worry if what you're playing, and loving, seems to be hated by everyone else. Play the games that bring you happiness, as often as you can. Do try new things, of course, and play outside of your comfort zone to get a better appreciation of what gaming can be in 2020. But don't lose sight of the things, the games, that make you happy. There's a reason I'm playing The Witcher 3 again, right now, on Switch - it's like comfort food to me, likewise the Mega Drive Collection that I'll never delete from my SD card. We all need these go-to pick-me-ups, so if you're smitten with Fallout 76, Anthem or Left Alive, you be you and don't listen to the haters.
I mean, those games are bad, but that doesn't mean they can't be something to someone.
Your Smartphone Is a Mighty Fine Gaming Platform, Y'know
Seriously, guys: it's time to get over this idea that games on your phone are somehow less worthy, or less legit, in comparison to those made for consoles and computers. Mobile gaming is in fine form right now, bolstered by the advent of Apple Arcade and its array of enchanting handheld experiences. If you've an iPhone and you've not dipped a fingertip in LEGO Builder's Journey, Assemble With Care, What the Golf or Grindstone, you're missing out.
Get Along to a Live Event of Some Kind
Attending a gaming event, be that a huge expo or a small-scale fan convention, or simply a semi-regular retro gaming night in a pub, is fantastic for feeling part of something bigger than just you and the worlds that play out across your screens of choice. Video games were designed to be social, after all: Atari's breakthrough arcade game, Pong, was installed in bars to be enjoyed by groups of drinkers, and could be controlled with just one hand, leaving the other free to grip a glass. You needn't dress up, or spend loads; just soak in the atmosphere, maybe play some games before they're released, and enjoy the community side of this wonderful industry.
Social Gaming is Great, So Get Friendly on the Sofa
We're past Christmas, when friends and family tend to get together and sometimes throw down on a co-op or competitive local multiplayer game. And there are plenty of them out there, from the Switch-exclusive likes of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, to multiplatform fun times in the company of Overcooked and its sequel, and Tricky Towers.
But don't let the January blues bring you down from your sofa supremacy - keep on playing locally with pals. Get people together, order some pizzas, and smear those greasy mitts all over your Joy-Cons and Dualshocks. Friends who play together, stay together, or something.
Learn About the History of The Games You Love
Do you know how your favourite games were made? You might know the studios, the publishers - but what about the games' directors, their artists and composers, the smaller teams across numerous departments that came together to make all this magic happen? It's well worth looking into, as a simple scan on sites like MobyGames and Giant Bomb can introduce you to some amazing talents - and, subsequently, to a load more games to check out.
And you can go deeper, of course. Gaming is a pretty mature medium by now, so those making games today may well be inspired by creators before them. You don't need to play Sweet Home to appreciate the Resident Evil 2 remake of last year, or Snatcher to get a handle on the workings of Death Stranding - but knowing just a little of the history behind your favourite games, studios and directors can really help to put their current projects in rewarding context. Why is Zelda what it is? Read up on creator Shigeru Miyamoto's childhood, and you'll see.
Don't Sweat it About the Pile of Shame
Let it go, let it go. Nobody has time to play so-so open-worlders from three years ago when there's - *gestures at the great new games coming out soon* - all of this amazing stuff right now. Never played Final Fantasy VII? I mean, where have you been? (Suppose there's a chance you weren't born in 1997, TBH.) But also: pffft, just wait for Remake.
Save Money, Because Those New Consoles Are Coming
Featured Image Credit: Rockstar Games