Well, more of a thought inspired by a thought inspired by a thought. I apologise in advance if this is a little incoherent – I’m not feeling very clear this morning. Anyway, thought I’d put it out there 😉
My recent post on finding time to play for pleasure sparked an article on the Scent of a Gamer blog, and it seemed only fitting that the thoughts his article inspired in me should be another short comment here. It’s like internet tennis.
I’ll assume you’ve read both articles. In fact, while you’re at it, you’ll probably find a bunch of other interesting stuff to read on his blog. It’s definitely worth adding to your list of things to check. Anyway, when you’ve done, I’ll see you back here 😉
His points about Focus and Be Ruthless are fine as far as they go, though I think they are only relevant for a fraction of the gaming fraternity. I’d argue that they only work with a certain type of person, and not with me at all. I’ve tried to focus over the years, but it just isn’t fun for me. A major aspect of my enjoyment is understanding the game as a whole. The meta-game, perhaps, but perhaps not really that. I mean understanding how the different armies/factions/whatever go together to make the whole patchwork of the piece, and tell the story of the game from different angles. Naturally, some suit me more than others in terms of playing style. Even so, my playing style is not a static thing. It partly depends on my mood and partly on what else I’ve been playing lately. I like the change and the challenge of getting to grips with a different army. Sticking to one army might make me more experienced with them, but palls after a while. Also, understanding how to fight against an army makes you better at commanding it too, and if you only ever see the battle from one side of the trenches then I’d argue that you were likely to be a more limited general. So there are good aspects to diversity as wells focus.
To take it back to his comments on opportunity cost and first/second best options, I’d suggest that he’s mistaken in assuming that threes remain static for everyone all the time. If my most enjoyable experience right now would be to play game X with army Y then it does not follow that this will always be the case. Focus may, in fact, diminish my enjoyment.
Another factor (and one that admittedly may be peculiar to me) is related to my thinking on Loving Them Equally. It’s so ingrained in me now, and needs to be, that I find it very hard to decide between armies. I can see some good points in pretty much all of them. Am I really benefitting from restricting myself?
Having said all that, I do sometimes envy people who can focus on a single game and army for years on end. It must be nice to have that lack of distraction. But as I said, after years of trying various approaches, I think I know myself well enough to know that I simply can’t be happy doing that.
Another aspect is to do with foreknowledge. How do I know without trying different things which one suits me best? He touches on this with his final comment on Exploring (which does indeed sound contradictory). He’s absolutely right about there being a lot to choose from – I’ve written as much myself. So I don’t think it’s that we disagree entirely, just that I think there’s more than he suggests, and that while the focussed approach may be perfect for some it’s just not practical for all.