This post is part II to this post.
Alright I promised I'd reveal my plan for fighting the "decision doldrums" when it comes to deciding what to play from a large library. This strategy has worked well for me for quite a few years now, and that's largely because it's so simple. It boils down to forced variety. Forced variety not only keeps things fresh, but it also helps to narrow down your selections when the time comes. Here's how force variety works for me:
Every time you play a new game, you play it on a different platform than the last, and in a different genre.
Let's say I just finished a classic Playstation Japanese Role Playing Game. What should my next game be? I could play another PS1 JRPG, but that wouldn't feel as fresh as something entirely different. So I opt instead to play a Wii game. But I don't play a Wii JRPG, instead I go with a Wii platformer. When that's done? Howabout a Vita FPS or a DS adventure title or a PC flight sim? This method of forced variety insures that every time I play a new game it feels fresh, and also narrows down my options when it's time to pick. It's a simple strategy that has worked great for me since I've employed it.
Now whether my method will work for you, depends on your own gaming resources. Personally I have a tremendous amount of games and platforms to choose from as a byproduct of decades of gaming enthusiasm. But if you're a younger person, or not as much of a fervent collector, you may have only one or two platforms to choose from. That's fine, because you can still mix up the genres each time you choose a new game.
Thus far we've relied on purposefully changing platform and/or genre with each new play choice. However, this method doesn't necessarily apply if you're a genre connoisseur. And I know you folks exist. Some people only play online FPS, or only visual novels, etc. If that's how you roll, you'll need custom advice to meet your distinguished tastes.
Let's look at what a genre enthusiast can do to enforce variety then. Mixing up the platforms is still a possibility. An adventure game on the DS will feel different than an adventure game on PC, or one on Android, for example. Consciously platform jumping will help, but if you don't have a lot of options in that realm, here's a different strategy. Try mixing up the budget of the game. Did you just finish an Xbox One AAA shooter? Make your next shooter game one of an indie
production then from the Xbox Live Arcade. The juxtaposition of the budgets will make the
experience feel fresher, and you can still stick to your favorite genre.
(If this link ever dies, there's plenty more like it on Google.)
Now let that site randomly choose one of those twenty-odd games out for you. But, you must play whatever it chooses. Don't second guess the whimsy of space time powers outside our contemplation. If upon play the randomly chosen game sucks, just repeat the same process until you find one that sticks. And keep up this process until you're done with the dozen you first chose. When that list is exhausted, you can start a new dozen list. (This also helps to whittle down the dreaded backlog.)
And that's it folks. Enforced variety, or random choice... both methods work just fine. They're easy as pie. Next time your eyes glaze over staring at all your games, I hope these techniques help with your decision doldrums.
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