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With so many games coming out each month, it is hard to find the time to play games. Most people my age work part and even full-time and also go to college. Getting older means more responsibilities, and less time for games. It is really tempting to just rush through the campaign of a game in order to have time for a new game, but take it from me: you’ll get a much better experience if you slow down and enjoy every moment.

I have now played through Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us five times (I have a lot of free time during the summer). No matter how much I would like to, it’s impossible to get back the feeling you have during that first playthrough. You have no clue what’s going to happen (unless some jerk spoils it for you), and that makes you want to rush through to see what the ending is. I made the mistake of rushing through my first playthrough, and I really wish I could go back and enjoy it more. It wasn’t until my fourth playthrough that I opened Ellie’s backpack, and it wasn’t until my fifth playthrough that I found every collectible, artifact, comic book, and Firefly pendant. I didn’t want to get every collectible during my first playthrough, as I wanted to focus on the story, but I wish I had slowed down and, at least, done every optional conversation. They really added a lot to the story.

I’ve seen a lot of people who try to compete with their friends when they play games by seeing who can get through it the fastest. That is a ridiculous concept; getting through the game in eight hours as opposed to 11 or 12 doesn’t mean you’re better at gaming or that you had a better experience. In fact, you probably didn’t get as much out of the game as you should have. Stop making everything a competition.

Like I stated before, it can be very tempting to rush through a game, as we adults are always so busy. However, if you’re like me and usually only place one game at a time, you should take your time and enjoy the experience. After all, you can never have a first playthrough of that game again.

Next time you play a game, stop sprinting and enjoy the game you’re playing. You will have a much better experience than if you had rushed.

What games pop up in your mind what you think about rushing through games? For me, I know I rushed through Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception the first time, but I really couldn’t help it. I had my headset on and I so into it that I forgot to eat. I wish I had taken my time and explored more. Let me know what games you rushed through in the comments below.