Games. Culture.

Hey 2017 Games, Chill Maybe?

2017 is a 10/10 year for games but there's not enough time to play them all.

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Hello, hello, hello! What a year 2017 has been, huh? I mean for video games, let’s just ignore the world around us that’s currently caught on fire. At least for a few minutes. So, today I’m here to talk to you about how blessed gamers have been this year. Praise Lord Gaben, because he’s been making it rain all year!

More than a week ago, Greg Miller of Kinda Funny posted this tweet and upon reflection – which took all of ten seconds – I heartily concurred.

2017 has indeed been a stand out year for video games, even only considering the three titles I’ve played this year. In deciding to meticulously make my way through what I considered to be the big releases, while pursuing other passions and hobbies, I’ve lagged behind quite a bit! They’re all just launching right behind one another without any regard for my time or money! Games are continually falling right on top of each other; and if you look away for one moment, another ten throw themselves onto the heap.

This is undeniably great because, you guys, there’s something for literally everyone. Nintendo fans got themselves a new console with a fantastic Zelda game, Playstation has a new leading lady and franchise in Aloy and Horizon: Zero Dawn, and Xbox freaking launched a remaster of Phantom Dust. MOBA players received reworks of Epic’s Paragon and the long-in-gestation Gigantic. RPG lovers were happy to play the mother of all JRPG’s, Persona 5, as well as the console debut of Undertale. Fighting people got Arms, Tekken 7 and Injustice 2; as well as a million announcements at arguably the most lit EVO event in quite some time. Oh – and apparently Nier: Automata is the deepest game in the world. Yet, I get the feeling that come the end of the year, so much of this will be cast to the wayside with the exception of Zelda, Persona and Nier because Y’ALL, the fall rush of games is already starting and it’s only August. 

Last week alone we got Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and Lawbreakers, two games we’re particularly fond of here at OK Beast; and this week we witnessed Undertale’s console debut and the release of Sonic Mania. 2017 is relentless and if you’ve ever hated the poor pacing of your typical year, this is the overcorrection. There’s a lot of developers and projects to celebrate, however we’re not being given nearly enough time to experience them all for ourselves. In a typical year, everyone would’ve played a vast majority of the Game of the Year contenders by now because there weren’t so many releases.

With so many games, there just isn’t enough time anymore.

Not only are most gamers not able to play many of these releases, but we’re not even being allowed to miss them. This thought came up in a podcast that Blessing and Ian (both are staff of OK Beast) recorded a few weeks back. When Ian asked Blessing whether or not he’d want a mechanical sequel to Breath of the Wild, he said yes, but also shared that he likes missing games. He enjoyed the time between games that would typically allow one to be overcome with nostalgia over what a great experience that game was. Not only does Blessing feel it built a love and admiration for the experience, but that yearning, he found, began the anticipation for the inevitable follow up. He cites Grand Theft Auto 6 as an example of a game that he knows is a long way out; but can’t wait for because he has been given the time to properly play, experience and – more importantly – remember Grand Theft Auto V. 

When I finished Persona 5 after my three month odyssey into it’s depths, I felt elated for all but a second. Knowing I had fallen behind, I pushed onward to the next game, which would then inform the next piece of writing for my site. It was all about the grind. I’ve not thought about Persona 5 once since I finished it, not because I don’t love the game but because the output of fantastic games and my growing role in even the smallest of games media endeavors demands I move on. It’s now regressed from being a cherished experience to being a product on my checklist.

persona 5
  I tried to!

This time that Blessing is talking about is also handy for folks like us who like engaging in conversations on games. As a fan of the discourse, I’ve not had enough time to properly digest a game and speak to its merit or flaws and I don’t know how many others have either. Friend of the site and contributor, Chase Williams, has been my sole partner in this regard considering I “counseled” him during his trudge through Persona 5, a that game I loved and he did not. Hence the discourse. 

I know my brain isn’t making life altering connections between philosophy, art and video games, but how can it when I don’t get to think about a game for more than five minutes until the next one is up to bat? Before you say it, yes I realize I’m complaining about having a lot of a good thing. Don’t think for a moment that I don’t realize how fortunate I am to be analyzing and writing about games in this field. Games are games and games are fun (Editor’s Note: duh). 

I’ve been playing games essentially my whole life and there has never, in my lifetime, been a finer year to be a gamer. Yet with every passing release that I fail to play, my identity as a person who enjoys the medium feels less and less relevant. As much as my role as a commentator within the industry demands a constant consumption of the newest latest best, I just can’t. 

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