It's a brand new year, and while most people are making life changing resolutions to better themselves, such as going to the gym, being a better person, or volunteering, I'm going the true gamer route and deciding to make my own resolutions as well, but in relation to my gaming habits.
I want to be a better gamer.
I don't mean becoming number 1 in the world and entering MLG tournaments, I'm not that delusional. Instead, I'm going to not let my games go to waste. Let me explain. I have a job, wife, and two year old, so my dedicated gaming time has been drastically reduced in the past two years compared to when I'd easily put 10+ hours into a game a day without any second thought. If I want to sit and play I game for an extended amount of time in the daytime, it can be difficult with the toddler, and that's not even factoring in not being able to play certain M-rated games in front of her. So the bulk of my gaming is done once the kid goes to bed and I stay up late until I get too tired to continue on.
Is it an ideal way to play my games? Not really, but I play with the hand I'm dealt, and I'm OK with that. I'm still usually always playing something every night anyways (unless it's a TV show night with the missus), it's just that the time slot and length that has changed.
So how am I going to become a better gamer? I've got a few gaming resolutions to do so.
Clear a lot of my backlog.
Even simply turning my head, I can see about a dozen games that I've either not started or are only a portion or half way completed... And that's just my Xbox One pile and not including any of the digital titles either. If I factor in my 360 backlog, I've got enough games to last me for well past this mere year goal. To put myself out there, I'm looking at my shelf and feel embarrassed there are some great games I've yet to even touch yet or finish that I've been meaning to for quite some time, such as Dishonored, Hitman Absolution, Beyond Two Souls, Uncharted, Splinter Cell Blacklist, Red Dead Redemption, and probably at least a hundred more that are still sealed or never got completed.
So what do I mean clearing my backlog? Essentially, seeing the credits roll and finishing the campaign. I don't have the time to achievement hunt or strive for 100% completion on every game, but to me story is paramount, and once I see the credits roll I'll count that as done. Given my limited gaming time, I'm shooting for a modest 2 games a month to complete. It doesn't sound like a lot, and 28 games a year doesn't seem like many to complete, but some games take me well over 100 hours (I'm looking at you Dragon Age Inquisition, also most likely Metal Gear V Phantom Pain and Final Fantasy XV) where other smaller arcade-like titles obviously will be completed in either a single sitting or weekend.
I'm going to stream a lot more.
I never thought that I would want to watch someone else play games when I could simply do it myself, but I find myself watching Twitch quite often when I'm unable to play myself for various reasons. I have no grand ideas about becoming a known gaming personality on Twitch, but I do really enjoy doing it when I do and chatting with viewers. I find when I'm streaming a game, I'm trying to pay more attention to smaller things, either in game or mechanically so that I can answer viewer questions better about what I'm playing.
There's going to be a thousand players streaming Halo 5 when it comes out, so I'm going to instead focus on showing others some lesser known games, like The Jackbox Party Pack for Xbox One for example. It was one of the best multiplayer games I've played (was my choice for multiplayer GOTY 2014) last year and barely anyone knows about it. Obviously this will vary based on gaming release schedules, and sometimes I want to sit alone and play when playing something more serious, but I will aim to stream once a week for this purpose.
I'm going to play games for a good cause.
Once a year my closest friends participate in Child's Play and I'm never able to participate as they all get together in one central location on the other side of the country rather than playing in their own respective houses online. I've been wanting to do this for years but never had thought I had the friends that could do a 24 hour stream. Talking to different people, I know this isn't the case, so 2015 will be the year I participate in Child's Play.
What's Child's Play you ask? It's where gamers get family, friends, and strangers to donate while they use their abilities to game. All of the proceeds go towards helping sick kids and giving them toys and video games to take some of the burden away of their hard times, so it's win-win. Not only will I be able to work towards my first two goals, but I get to do something I love while helping sick kids. If that doesn't make me a better gamer I don't know what does.
I'm happy to say that I've already completed my first games of 2015 (Assassin's Creed Unity and The LEGO Movie Videogame, don't judge), so I'm on track and have already made myself a checklist to fill out when I complete a planned game every two weeks. I'm tired of game never being opened or never being completed. I will become a better gamer in 2015.