Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A benefit of playing games you've finished

Do you go back and play games you've already finished? You see the end credits roll but sometime later you've just got to put the game back in and play some more. I'm not talking about those "save+" games that let you keep all the stuff you've collected from the previous game so you have it available at the beginning of the new game for "a new experience". I'm talking about starting from scratch.

I've started Legend of Dragoon a couple of times. That's a great game. I've even started Final Fantasy Tactics Advance over (several times before I finished, but once since I've finished). And there's some Arcade games I've "finished" by getting all the achievements that I've gone back and played some more. But those games (Backgammon and Carcassonne) are games that don't really have credits that roll when the game's over. Jewel Quest on the other hand does . . . kind of.

My interest in Arcade games comes in fits. I become obsessive about a particular game and I have to play that game every day. Jewel Quest was one of those games. I made it to the end, got all my achievement points and I was done. I could have continued playing all the way back from the first level but I didn't think I would be playing that game again. Not because it's not a good game, but what else was there to see or do with it?

What I did learn while obsessively playing that game is that it's a very good decompressing game for me. When I get home from a very stressful day at work a level or two of that game and I'm more relaxed. And after an adrenaline filled night of shooting people playing that game kelps me calm down enough that when I do go to bed I'm not tossing and turning for hours before I fall asleep.

Some of my friends don't understand why I continue to play that game even after finishing it. And sometimes I don't understand myself. I just know that every now and then I just have to load it up and play a grid or two before moving on to something more serious. And since I don't have to worry about whether I’m going to make it to the next level or not, or what achievement points I need to pick up the game is very beneficial in many ways. My blood pressure goes down, my mood goes up and I don't have to feel like a loser because I came in last.

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