Traditionally the release of a new game would necessitate time off from work and a chance to reserve a couple of days devoted to the engagement of some relaxation. Usually I’d bookend the weekend with the nurturing splendour of a new exciting game, brimming with untapped potential. All the speculative assertions you’ve made about a games quality can be vindicated, the game has the potential to exceed all expectations, with the farcical monotony of the world and all its trivialities for a short passage of time is everyone else’s concern. Your world is localised entirely through your 50 inch, 4K television with soundbar and compartmentalised on your preferred gaming console. An uninhibited experience that truly enables you to absorb a game without distraction or adhering to the limitations of time. Time off work or perhaps even school are always the best gaming times.
For most of us any opportunities to play a game is solely regulated on the caveat of restricted time. Whether there are other domestic or professional obligations to full-fill, borrowed time, restricted and mediated by the critical considerations that dominate our lives. So any time dedicated to the solitary delights of gaming is embraced as though the 4 Horseman were coming round “with the boys”. Utilising this time efficiently is dependant on external interference’s or in later years, battling dreaded unconsciousness, at least in my case. The only truly liberating method is taking time off these compulsory duties. To really engage and assimilate without yielding to some other pedantic or menial task. These are the best times to game.
Memorable moments are almost exclusively reserved for those introductory sessions of uninitiated catharsis. Those little points where your grasp of game mechanics are erratic, tentative and downright embarrassing. Familiarizing yourself with it takes time, with only fleeting sporadic periods that impart the briefest slivers of potential skill. You can’t replicate this kind of “toddlers first steps” progression with interspersed engagements, nor truly immerse yourself in new insatiable environments. You have to take your time to marvel at what you are playing. To savour the experience permitted by the luxury of time unrestrained by responsibility.
I remember playing Skyrim on day of release. I’d booked the day off, ventured out bright and early to my local Sainsbury’s that I’d reserved a copy from. Entering the store I sauntered over to customer service desk and requested my copy of Skyrim. After explaining to the elderly receptionist precisely what a Skyrim was, I purchased my copy, thanked the bewildered lady and dashed off picking up a few choice snacks to consume over the course of my day. I’m not ashamed to admit that I spent the first 20 minutes just looking at the case, not even considering the contents. Of course I eventually tore through the protective casing and rescued the trapped disc from its cellophane prison, idly trekking through this frigid and enchanting land. Such extended vagrancy and slow, listless ambling wouldn’t have been possible without taking time off work.
With only a few hours at your disposal you’re compelled to make good use of the time. You can’t compromise it by idly wandering with no direction, at least not without feeling like you’ve wasted your evening. That’s why it’s so important to take time off to play new titles. No commitments. No responsibilities. Just you, some unhealthy food and oodles of time to meander. I had the same experience with GTA V, Uncharted 3 and many others besides, simply because my first play-through was uninhibited by life. The simple extension of time is crucial to really experience a game without restriction. And nothing promotes this quite like a day off.