Unlike most little boys, becoming a policeman or firefighter wasn’t even on my radar.
As a small child, I dreamed of reviewing games as my full-time job. Literally, I actually had dreams about being an adult and reviewing games as a career on multiple occasions.
Today, I’m still trying to achieve this goal. I’ve made tremendous progress over the last year or so, and I’m lucky enough to be in the position where I can now receive review titles from a number of different publishers and video-game manufacturers. Lately, I’ve been reviewing titles like crazy, and it’s a dream come true.
However, I’m quickly starting to realize something: Playing a game simply for review purposes and not because I want to enjoy the experience it’s offering takes a lot of the fun out of playing video games.
It might sound like I’m complaining, and I guess I really am in some ways. Don’t mistake that for me being ungrateful, though. I’m thankful for every single game a publisher or PR rep sends out to me. Even now, sometimes getting my hands on games from certain companies takes a little convincing as I’m still relatively new to the industry and the local Toronto gaming scene.
I guess my 8-year-old self thought reviewing games would be slightly more fun. I didn’t realize that sometimes I might have to play through a game I wasn’t that excited about in a relatively short period of time. Reviewing games is still a blast, and I really enjoy it. But on occasions when I don’t feel like playing a particular game that I need to review in a few days because I’d rather play something else, the occupation straight up sucks.
This happened a lot when Mass Effect 3 was first released. I had a barrage of titles to review, but all I really wanted to do was see the ending to Shepard’s epic space-opera story. I’m not saying the games pictured in the header image of this story are terrible video games. In fact, for the most part, they’re pretty awesome. Right now, though, I’d just rather be playing Mass Effect 3 than any other video game.
The fact that this isn’t my full-time job is also a factor. I have work, school, a life outside the realm of gaming, and a girlfriend to entertain. Sometimes, there just really isn’t as much time for gaming in the average day as I’d like. I also freelance for a variety of different publications now and still have to hold down the fort as GameJudgment’s Editor-in-Chief. I’m not complaining. I’m happy, and I love what I’m doing, but I wish there were more hours in the day for gaming.
This is why when I purchased Mass Effect 3, I made the conscious decision not to review the game. I didn’t want to rush through Shepard’s final journey. I wanted to take my time and enjoy the experience. It may take me a while to reach the game’s apparently terrible ending, but that’s okay with me. With some video games, I feel like it’s more about the journey to complete them than actually finishing, and that brings the highest sense of satisfaction.
As a reviewer, I think it’s important that you don’t end up writing something about every single game you play. It’s crucial that sometimes you just play a video game simply for the sake of enjoyment and for no other reason but that.
It helps you to remember why you enjoy playing video games so much in the first place.
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