The beginning of a new year has always signified a time for change in our everyday lives. The longstanding tradition of making resolutions at the start of a new year has become commonplace throughout the world. Each year, we make resolutions in order to better ourselves in the twelve months that are to come.
2014 has now been upon us for a whole week and while some resolution may have fallen by the wayside – you can always go to the gym tomorrow, don’t worry – perhaps it is time to examine our habits as video game fans.
Below are five New Year’s resolutions that are worth the consideration. Simple as they may be, a fresh start in 2014 could certainly change even the most jaded gamer’s outlook.
5 – Become Everyone’s Fanboy
Video game fans have a storied history of passionately supporting the companies and developers they love and vehemently detesting those that they do not. From ‘console wars’ to internet flaming matches, fanboyism has existed in the video game industry for almost as long as the industry itself has.
Why not start 2014 off with a little less stress? Throw biases into the past and learn to appreciate everyone in the video game industry.
4 – Support the Little Guys
Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the past half-decade will be sure to tell you that the indie game scene has exploded recently. A handful of indie releases have quickly become favorites among gamers of every age group and skill level and crowd funding sites such as Kickstarter have helped establish the indie development route as a viable option.
The indie game market looks to only expand in the coming years. With an increased push by Steam’s Greenlight service and both Sony and Microsoft’s welcoming indie stance on their new consoles, it is safe to say that independent developers are going to become more prevalent than ever.
Do yourself a favor and try to keep a closer watch on the independent development scene this year. Those of you who have become jaded by stagnated genres and themes lately are sure to find a world of creativity and innovation that you may not have known existed.
3 – Become an Informed Consumer
There is no denying that the video game industry is growing larger than ever. It feels like every day, a new AAA release is being hyped up to the point where it is being advertised in our sleep. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, it is important to understand that great marketing, massive amounts of TV spots and inflated review scores do not guarantee that any given game is the greatest ever created.
While the industry grows, more talent can be found from many developers. Just make sure not to take everything you see or read about games at face value. All too often, a game that seems great during its development is released and is nothing like what is promised. Inform yourself as a consumer and learn to make purchases wisely.
Remember the old adage: you can polish a turd, but it is still a turd.
2 – Don’t Hesitate to Experience New Genres
Similar to the tendency to become fanboys of certain companies or developers, we as gamers often have an unfortunate habit of not straying away from the genres that know we enjoy.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with sticking to our tried and true favorite, but is there any harm in branching out in the New Year? Make the start of 2014 the beginning of your quest to delve into a genre that you otherwise would have ignored. Shelve your shooter and take a platformer out for a spin, trade your RPG grind for a jaunt as a military strategist in a RTS, or even bench your favorite sports game in favor of subbing in favor of a challenging roguelike.
There’s no harm in at least making the effort of broadening your horizons, is there?
1 – Eliminate Your Backlog!
The most important resolution you can make this year is without a doubt eliminating your video game backlog. Backlogs are a troubling thing, sure, but surely there are some games sitting and collecting dust on your shelf that are just about dying to be played.
Think of every game purchase you’ve made in the last few years – and whether or not you have gotten around to finishing them. For most gamers, the odds are pretty low that you are without some form of backlog.
Start 2014 off right by going back and finishing what you have started in the past. Bringing closure to that backlog can only out you in better shape to experience all the great games scheduled to release this year.