How-to Guide: Gaming

I like to think of myself as a “seasoned gamer”. My love for video games began when I was around four years old, when I was watching my brother play Final Fantasy X for the first time. Even though I was still very young, I was entranced by the game and even played a little bit myself (of course, my brother was extremely angry because instead of creating my own save file, I played his save file to the point where he didn’t know where he was). From then on, I started finding games that I liked and developed my own tastes; I’ve been hooked ever since and do not regret it. If you’re thinking about starting your video game adventure, you’ve come to the right place! Even if you are a seasoned gamer, this will still be a good read to introduce new genres and possibilities to enhance your gaming experience! Here are a couple of things to consider as you ease your way into video games.

Step 1: Mindset

Before you even start picking up a game right off the bat; you have to be in the right mindset. Gaming can be super casual, but you also have to be prepared to dedicate at least 1-2 hours of your time if you want to play most games. As well, you also need to have a level head. Gaming can get pretty frustrating especially if you’re trying to get through a difficult level or boss. You have to be patient and determined in order to enjoy video games. It is so easy to give up and turn off the system, but in reality, all it takes is practice and a couple of more tries in order to get through a difficult barrier.

Another point to add is that you shouldn’t be discouraged to start gaming. Whether you’ve been gaming all your life, or you recently discovered the joy of video games, everyone has to start somewhere. It doesn’t matter when you start, it just matters that you do. There are decades of games to play, and although it may seem overwhelming; keep in mind that it is not a competition. Everyone works at their own pace, and even though you may not be the “best”, no one really is. The most important thing is that you’re having fun.

Step 2: Taste

In order to tackle the humongous game library, you have to figure out what kind of genres you like to play. There are many types of game types out there and I think this Guardian article summarizes it up pretty well. There are many genres, and personally, I suggest you play at least one from each type to see what you like. Although I think you can probably deduce what factors you like an don’t like from games and eliminate certain genres from there. For example, if you played a First-Person shooter and you don’t really like the “shooter” aspect of it, it’s probably safe to assume you won’t like other shooter-type games. But, I still think you should still play at least one from each genre because you never know which game will change your mind.

In my personal experience, I never liked shooter-type games before. But, I started playing Borderlands with my brother and my mind has completely changed. Now I’m open to other shooter-type games and actually actively purchase shooter-type games for myself. Don’t knock it til’ you’ve tried it!

Step 3: Platform

This is probably one of the most important and difficult steps because you have to invest a bit of money. Once you’ve actually decided what genre of games you like, it’s much easier to pick the platform on which you'd like to play. Most mediums offer “platform-exclusive” games that can only be played on that one medium. It is very important to consider what types of games you would like to play, because they may not be available on any other system. For example, if you like to play JRPGs, picking up a PlayStation 4 would be the best bet because they have a whole library of exclusive JRPGs you can play.

Consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One offer more exclusive games, and usually come equipped with controllers. However, it is quite a steep investment and if you are a techie, you probably wouldn’t like how difficult it is to upgrade console parts.

PC gives you more room to breathe, and upgrading computer parts is super accessible and typically allows you to budget for what you want most out of your gaming experience. As well, the longevity and flexibility of a PC is much better than a console. If a certain part breaks in your PC, it can often be easily fixed. However, if you break a part in a console, it will be much more difficult to fix and find parts.

Handheld consoles such as the Nintendo 3DS and the PS Vita are for those who on-the-go a lot or do not want to invest fully into a Console or PC without learning what kind of games they like yet. Although limitations exist on handheld consoles because they have so little space to work with, it is still my go-to platform of choice. Games and systems are usually on the cheaper side, so you can splurge a little without hurting your wallet too much. I recently invested in a PS Vita a couple of months ago, and I’ve already finished 4 games on it, spending less than a hundred dollars on games!

In reality, it doesn’t matter where you start or which platform you start it on. As long as you have the right mindset, dedication, and time; anyone can be a seasoned gamer in a matter of months. As long as you start somewhere and figure out what suits you, you’ll have an awesome time either way.

Happy gaming!


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