Video games are an incredibly varied medium, and as a result, you can be a diehard fan of gaming while only experiencing a narrow slice of what it has to offer. It can be difficult to move out of this lane, and everything else might seem unappealing to you – after all, you’re into what you’re into, why bother trying something that isn’t the same?
However, these other experiences offer things that your preferred one doesn’t; the opposite is obviously true, but learning to appreciate a wider range of rhythms can not only help you to get more out of video games as a whole, but it can strengthen your appreciation of the craft.
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There is a somewhat increasing trend in the gaming world of ‘cozy games’. These present themselves as a stark contrast to more action-oriented titles that pit you against demons or monsters and instead focus on creating a calming atmosphere where the goal is ultimately more constructive than destructive. If this sounds like something that you’d enjoy, consider titles like Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing, and you might find that unwinding with these helps you to de-stress after a long day, immersing you in a calming and tranquil world.
The Concise Experience
There are also games that aim to convey a particular message, doing so within a short time frame that places a greater emphasis on the themes, story, and mood than on the gameplay itself. The inclusion of the player and the way that these games incorporate the medium into their storytelling tends to lend them some amount of acclaim, and titles like Firewatch and Inside have seen a fair amount of positive attention from outlets in this way. These won’t be for everyone, but it can change your perception of video games as an art form.
Action Heavy Games
That’s not all to suggest that there’s nothing valuable about a typically action-heavy game, however, and as the technology and experience behind them improves, so does the finished experience itself. Describing a game as being in the genre of ‘action’ does little to describe the experience that’s being offered to you at this point. It might mean that you’re in a typically bloody shooter like Doom, but it could also be that you’re in a dark fantasy role-playing game such as Elden Ring or Diablo, or perhaps even an open world game like Assassin’s Creed.
You have to recognize what you respond to in a game and lean towards it respectively, perhaps with the help of customer reviews.