The realization through games that I’m not a completionist

Growing up I always considered myself a completionist.  I saw things through, and took each point to it’s natural conclusion.  I’m not sure if I was proud of this, but I definitely considered it one of my defining traits.  Now, after years of playing video games, I have to admit that at best I’m a “finisher”… which is a far cry from a completionist.

The differentiation became clear in my inability to grind for trophies.  No matter how much I tell myself beforehand, rarely do I have that platinum trophy to show for it.  Sometimes I will come amazingly close with games I love, like Dark Souls, only to let it drop for a few weeks and then be too far out to ever go back.  The current game to hold this is The Last of Us.  I continue to plug away at it, but I give only 10:1 odds I ever take it all the way.

Some I never bother with.  Metro Last Light had me convinced for a day I was going to go back and play it, but at the end it failed to address that final question:  “why bother”?  It has nothing to do with the number of endings either.  I’ve been lying to myself since 5th grade that I was going to see all of the endings for Chrono Trigger (spare me).  For me, the only thing that truly offers longevity is the gameplay.  Which is difficult because most games have their gameplay designed around a specific difficulty level, it’s rare that changing this allows the game to main it’s balance.  This is the reason Demon’s Souls (and to a slightly lesser extend Dark Souls) are such great games, and why FPS shooters shed fun for the slog as you move up the difficulty ladder.  Or, perhaps the problem is worrying about trophies at all.  Dragon Warrior 4 (this was back when it was still “Warrior” instead of “Quest”) rocked my world in second grade and I never had to play it again.

Most of jokes as a kid came from obscure Japanese videogames
Most of jokes as a kid came from obscure Japanese videogames


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Owen is a writer based out of Denver and currently preparing his first novel PUSH PULL for publication. In the meantime, feel free to explore his meandering thoughts, movie and videogame op-eds and situational playlists. If you know him from another life, this is a chance for exposure to his creative endeavors.

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