The anxiety in the consumption of video games (and in leisure in general) is weighing down our own entertainment. How many of you who are reading me right now have a list with all the pending games, series, movies, books and/or comics? Are you playing something right now thinking about finishing it as soon as possible so you can move on to the next one? Trying to keep up with the market, now that we can all visualize it so easily, is frustrating.
This is something that has been happening to me for many years. It’s probably enhanced by my job, where you have to keep up with all the releases, try to play as much as possible, watch all the current series, movies… but I’m sure if I didn’t work here, I’d that you, I would also feel that anxiety, because the market itself has molded us for it. We are living the moment with the greatest amount of leisure in history, and all the stimuli direct us towards them, so it is normal to want to play God of War: Ragnarok on the launch day, keep up to date with series such as The House of the Dragon o The Rings of Power or going to the cinema to see the latest movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (to this we can add the united universes and the need to keep up to date in multiple media).
But it is not necessary to follow that rhythm and, in fact, Every time I’ve decided not to, I’ve come out on top. This year, I voluntarily decided to play Elden Ring at my own pace, taking as much time as I needed, playing when I could, and enjoying every bit of exploration. The result was that it took me several weeks to complete the adventure, as is normal, but the feeling that it left me when I finished it was incredible, far removed from what has happened to me in the past with other From Software games when I had to analyze them. or, of my own free will, I wanted to “play fast” to be able to cross that pending off my list. That is why I have made the same decision with God of War: Ragnarok.
When I played the first God of War (I mean the one from 2018), I also played it faster than normal. I don’t remember the exact context, but I did feel the need to finish it as soon as possible, and I left behind a lot of secondary content and explored many of its worlds with my eyes fixed on the icon of the main objective. The result? I liked the game, of course, but I wasn’t too enthusiastic either. Throughout these years, I have seen how other people brandished that it was one of their favorite games of all their lives or, at least, of the last generation. Obviously, personal tastes come into play, but I was sure that my way of playing had influenced my feelings. I have thought this for many years: how you play a video game and at what point in your own life you do it will define your feelings with it.
Before the release of God of War: Ragnarok I had to replay it, to refresh my memory and come as prepared as I could to this conclusion. However, I didn’t have enough time to finish it, which left me with a decision to make: either hurry up to finish it before the release day of the new game, or the opposite, keep taking it easy to really enjoy it. , even if that meant not starting it on the day of their arrival. I have made this last decision and not only do I not regret it, but I hope I can continue taking it the same with other future releases.
I’m replaying God of War much more slowly than I did the first time in 2018. Taking a lot more time to explore, to really listen to the conversations between Kratos, Atreus and Mimir, to read the journal, complete the secondary objectives and go to the Valkyries, for example, which is something I obviously didn’t do. The result? I’m enjoying the game so much more. It seems different and, although there are certain characteristics that I still don’t like, being able to enter such a rich world in a leisurely way, without rushing to reach its end, is priceless.
“When I play God of War: Ragnarok it will not be a decision dictated by the calendar or the pressure of the market, but by myself.”
Yes, God of War: Ragnarok came home on launch day, and it’s still unopened there. The anxiety to reserve it and to try by all means to get it to me on launch day were still present, but I made the decision not to start playing it until I had finished my stay in God of War, which includes going through the story again (calmly) and complete the secondary objectives that I feel like. And at that point, when I really feel that my journey through the game is over, it’s time to insert the new game CD. But it will not be a decision marked by the calendar or by market pressure, but by myself.
I know that it is complicated and that it is not something that, perhaps, can always be done, but I strongly recommend that you take an example and try to get away from that unnecessary anxiety. Don’t get me wrong either: I’m not saying that looking forward to the launch of a game is bad, or that hitting a marathon on launch day because you have insane desire is not the right thing to do, but that all of this is decided by you, and not for nothing else. That you don’t have the pressure to play a video game in a hurry because you have to finish it before the next video game you expect is released. In the end, you are going to play everything, of course, but are you going to really enjoy it completely?
And this applies equally to other forms of leisure that generate anxiety in the same way. It is not necessary that you follow the series of the moment to the day, or that you have to stop the viewing of that series that you are loving but that has a lot of seasons to be able to see the premiere of the latest series of the MCU or Star Wars. Nor do you need to go to the cinema to see a movie the same day it debuts in theaters. Not being part of the conversation on social networks or with your anxious friends is not a bad thing, and you have to be selfish with your free time and consumption, which costs us a lot of work to be able to taste it.
I haven’t played God of War: Ragnarok yet… and nothing happens. Thanks to that decision, I am enjoying the first God of War much more than the first time and I will surely enjoy the conclusion of it even more.