The Future (of my Gaming Life) Will be Better Tomorrow
I realize now that I’m essentially an unwitting and unwilling victim of gaming hype.
I always think that I’m unaffected by hype, but ultimately, part of my reasoning for wanting Final Fantasy XIV must have been based on something illogical (such as the idea that Square Enix’s previous MMO, Final Fantasy XI, was a 100% awesome game and that people from all walks of life loved it). I resisted the idea of buying FFXIV by not thinking about it or reading info on it, but then the idea that “Final Fantasy XIV is something you utterly deserve as a human being who loves games” latched onto my consciousness like a B-movie version of Inception, and I was lost to my urges.
What urges? The urge to play the game, to upgrade my computer (a path to which I’m already partially committed to as I already bought a ATI Radeon HD5850 and a copy of Windows 7), to learn more about the game, and eventually, to contribute to the community of the game by writing insightful guides that would make me better known as a writer in gaming circles.
It is that last urge that strikes me as odd, because it is a personal yearning of mine to be known as a good writer and to be seen as important in some aspect of my life. It makes me feel bad to know that I’m not achieving as well as I would like to as a writer/blogger/human being, but at the same time, knowing I’m not important feels so comfortable, because there’s no risk in it.
These urges, as well as some need to feel like a part of something bigger than myself where I could still play by my own rules, made me so willing to jump through hoops to play FFXIV. Just so I could say that I belonged to a rare breed of writer that covered games with a certain personality, like Tobold, Syp, Rank-N-Vile, or all the other folks at Massively.
Reading the various impressions people have had, as well as knowing my own experiences with trying to be acknowledged by a company, has led me to reflect upon where I stand as a gamer, and possibly as a writer as well.
I want to accept that gaming hype is part of the process of connecting with a game, instead of resisting the process. I want to rediscover love for a game without being swept by my own urges and emotions. I want to write with the same voice that I’ve been doing, which does its best to be fair to all parties concerned and phrases criticism constructively and arguments diplomatically, while allowing myself the freedom to voice my opinions strongly. I want to balance my gaming life with all the other aspects of life that are available to me. I want to believe that I am important in my own right, and that my writings are proof that I have thoughts that mean something to other people.
To that end, I made an open call for game recommendations on Twitter a few days back, and Brannagar of Corpse Run and Horriftic Intentions suggested I look at Rift: Planes of Telara. Much like Syp had opined on Massively recently, it wasn’t very visible on my gaming radar. After reading the lore they had developed for it, and the large number of potential classes for use, it seemed like an interesting game to watch out for.
A day after I had decided to keep it on my watchlist, Syp gives Brannagar and I a Rift-related gift, which we were both grateful for.
And so, within the span of two days, my interested has all but shifted from Final Fantasy XIV to Rift: Planes of Telara.
I think I will give in to the growing information base of the game that offers bits and pieces of hype for it, and just enjoy the ride without doing anything particularly damaging to my wallet. If I get into the beta and can contribute to making the game good for Southeast Asian players, then all well and good, even if I eventually find I dislike the game.
It should make for an interesting experience at least, and allow me to see if I can offer up information that will benefit people with their knowing it was me who helped (Hurray for invisible ego stroking, I suppose).
Of course, this also means one other thing…
Trion Worlds, please… for the love of God, make the Philippines a region that can play your game!