It's a time-honored tradition. At the beginning of each calendar year, people from all over the world make resolutions to better themselves. What better time to make commitments to improve your health, ability to save money, and chase your dreams than the start of a new year, right? Whether or not these promises pull through or not, it never hurts to keep a self-improving goal in your sights.
If you're a gamer, then video games probably take up a large portion of your life. Why not resolve the way you live your life as a gamer and the way you enjoy this pastime for the new year? The following are 10 new year's resolutions gamers should follow.
1. Finish That Huge Pile of Games You Haven't Played
It seems like most gamers share a common problem of owning an ever-growing backlog of games. You know what I'm talking about- that pile of unplayed games that continues to grow month after month, most of which are probably still in its original shrink wrap. This is usually a result of gamers' love for buying games on release day or buying a game at a sale price with the intent to “eventually work on it.”
Sure, it probably seems like a good idea at first. Not buying a game that you intend to play someday for a low price is just plain stupid! You'd eventually be sorry for missing out on a deal, right? However, don't kid yourself. That sealed copy of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time from 2004 suggests that you'll probably never get around to play the majority of the games that you buy. By the time you come around to playing these games, they'll probably be dirt cheap anyway. Only purchase games that you immediately intend to play, and you'll reduce your backlog size and save quite a bit of money.
2. Chill the Hell Out When Playing Competitive Games
Seriously. Not only will you make gaming more fun for everyone else around you, you'll also feel a lot better by being more positive. Gaming is supposed to be all about having fun, isn't it? This year, make the gaming community a more enjoyable place for everyone by taking a step back when you get pissed, and just chill the Hell out.
3. Stop Playing Games for Achievements or Trophies…and Just Play Games for FUN.
Video games are meant to bring fun and art into our lives. By “forcing” yourself to play a game for achievements, trophies, bragging rights, or ritualistic routines, you will discover that they will quickly become more like chores. Resolve to play whatever game you feel like playing, however way you feel like playing it, and enjoy every minute of it.
4. Stop Being Embarrassed to Play Games in Public
It's only embarrassing if you make it embarrassing! If you've ever refrained from publicly whipping out your portable dedicated gaming device (such as a Nintendo DS or PSP) because you're afraid of what others will think of you, then rest assured that there are hundreds of millions of grown men like you across the world who are feeling the same thing. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Play that Nintendo DS in public proudly, and perhaps it will catch on you won't look like the only creepy guy in the world playing portable games.
5. For the Young Crowd: Play and Beat Some Cheap, Classic Games
Gaming's one expensive hobby, especially for the younger crowd without a steady flow of income. The good and bad news about being a young gamer is that they've missed a few generations of great, classic video games. If you're too young to know what a NES is, then resolve some gaming time this year to try out some of the classics that are the foundation of modern-day gaming. Luckily, they're mostly dirt-cheap, perfect for spending that miniscule allowance money of yours. Here are some must-play classics that are easily accessible thanks to XBLA, PSN, Wii's Virtual Console, or one of those HD Compilations that seem to be so popular during 2011:
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (available on the Wii Virtual Console for 1000 Wii Points)
- Xenogears (available on the PSN for $9.99)
- The Secret of Monkey Island 1+2 (available on Steam, XBLA or PSN for about $20)
- Chrono Trigger (available on Wii Virtual Console or PSN for $10)
- Shadow of the Colossus + Ico (available as part of a HD compilation on the PS3 for $40)
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (available as part of a HD compilation on the PS3 and XBOX360 for $40)
- Final Fantasy IV, V, VI (Available on the PSN for $10 each)
- Secret of Mana (Available on the Wii Virtual Console for $10)
6. Play more Wii Games
The Wii has had a bit of a bad wrap during the past couple of years because of all that family-friendly baloney. However, that does not exclude the system from having some of the greatest games this console generation. The sad thing is that many gamers have already forsaken the Wii late into its life cycle and have missed out on some of these excellent titles. Do yourself a favor and resurrect that little white box and play some games you may have missed, such as:
- Super Mario Galaxy 2
- Zelda: Skyward Sword
- Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles
- Donkey Kong Country Returns
- Metroid Prime Trilogy
- Wario Ware: Smooth Moves (play this with friends)
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl
7. Stop Buying Games for Their Sex Appeal.
There's probably a good reason why developers have to rely on using pixelated boobs to sell you a game. Your copy of Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball is laughing at you.
8. Spend Less Money on Video Games
Buying games on release date is tempting, but think about how much money you can save if you wait a just hold back a few months before buying them. Many games drop to 30%-50% of their MSRP after 4-5 months, practically cutting your gaming expenses in half. Instead of playing that shiny new game the moment it comes out, work on one that's in that ever-growing backlog of yours. You know you have a huge one growing. By the time you're ready to play that “new” game, it'll be a fraction of the cost you would have paid for it.
Also, think twice about buying those limited or collectors editions. Is $20 additional dollars really worth it for an artbook? Games are expensive as hell as it is, and paying an additional $20-40 for an action figure/statuette in addition to your game just isn't worth it.
The same things applies with microtransactions. It's easy to throw away a buck or two (or three!) here and there for XBOX Live Avatar props, but if you think you're friend is jealous of your avatar's dual lightsabers, you're wrong. These things add up!
9. Balance Your Gaming Time and Time with Loved Ones
Yes, we all feel the same thing. We'd all rather be playing Skyrim than visiting family or spending time with friends, but don't allow gaming time, which should be used only for entertainment, eclipse the precious limited amount of time you could be spending with loved ones. You may regret lost time one day. Make a resolution to properly balance time between your personal time and time with loved ones in your life. Skyrim can wait.
10. Do More Standing and Less Sitting While Playing Games
If you spend most of your day sitting down- whether it's in the car, in the office, or in front of the TV, you're putting yourself in an early grave. According to a study shown on nytimes.com, sitting for long periods of time will put you at an increased risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and even an early death. So, whether or not you exercise or have an active lifestyle, sitting for hours on end is bad for you. So, for your health's sake, make a resolution to stand more often, and do a lot less sitting, even when you play video games. You'll live a healthier life and will live to see more new year's days to make resolutions.