Playing Alone First
I had an interesting realization recently, somewhat in regards to my buddy’s recent admission. You may remember that he had secretly leveled a character in a game we were going to play as a group, Path of Exile, keeping it hidden out of fear of being chastised. Instead, when he admitted it, I was perfectly fine with it; if he enjoyed the game enough to play it through multiple times, that spoke very well of the game.
I was discussing the situation with him the other day, and something he said brought about this realization in me. I’ve often made a blundering error, it seems, in how I’ve approached games. I play them with my friends; then, when we’re done, I play them alone. I almost always lose interest very quickly as the loss of the social aspect makes the game seem lonely and far less fun, regardless of how fun it actually was. Instead, it would make a lot more sense if I played games alone first, as he did with Path of Exile, then played with my friends; in that scenario, something’s being added to the game rather than subtracted.
I unknowingly was doing this with my re-entrance to Guild Wars 2 recently; I had picked up my Mesmer and was fooling around alone, but then my wife decided to join me. It had been long enough that I was enjoying the mesmer well enough, but when my wife joined, the game was reinvigorated by playing alongside her. By playing alone “first” (even though in this case it was after playing til the end with a buddy and then stopping for several months), the game seemed even better.
I wonder how often I’ve accidentally and unfairly pulled the carpet out from under games by playing them with others first, then returning alone and finding them lacking. I wonder, too, how much better a full game would seem a second time around with a group; I’ve never really had that experience, so I’m going to give it a try next time I get a chance. For now, I’ll have to keep enjoying myself by playing with others in the games we currently occupy.
What about you, dear reader? Is this a trend you’ve noticed? If not, is it something that you, too, may have been unknowingly doing? Or does the alone-or-with-others aspect not affect your enjoyment of a game?
In other news, I had a surprise visitor stop by from Tuesday evening until Thursday morning. He’s a friend I knew in NY who was driving to California and called to see if I wanted to have dinner. I offered to let him crash (which I suspect was his intent, but that’s fine with me, anyway, as I have a guest room for a reason), and he hung out an extra day. Since my wife’s out of town, I was conversing with my cats too much, and having him around for a full day of games was great. We played Illuminati, Ascension, Munchkin, Kingdoms, St. Petersburg, Chess, Canasta, and Grass (I think in that order). He won his fair share, but I did win in Chess, which I failed to do twice the last time I saw him, so that was even better. It was nicely refreshing to have company and play games that aren’t electronic.
Also, I’m leaving today (will have already left by the time many of you see this) to visit my grandmother in Tampa for her 90th birthday. As a result, I suspect Monday’s post will at least be delayed if not outright missed. We’ll have to see.
Have a great weekend!
Stubborn (and again travelling – or traveling, both are acceptable. English is a foolish language.)