blog: In the Dust – 12/19/22

Not too long ago Chivalry 2 was released on Game Pass, quickly making it a staple in my gaming group’s rotation thanks to its satisfying and somewhat mindless gameplay. It’s not the kind of game that requires a lot from you in terms of progression or even paying attention which is the perfect platform for us to just talk about life only to be interrupted by someone screaming about how that last kill was “total bullshit.” It’s a good time for sure but it’s kind of the only game I can really join them on solely because of how little its progression actually matters, although I’m sure they’d beg to differ.

The amount of time that I have to play games feels like it’s going to be a pretty consistent theme that runs through most of my written pieces and it’s showing up here too. The other folks in my group have way more time than I do to play games, which becomes more and more of an issue with every game we try to play together. I don’t begrudge them or anything for having more free time, it just leads to a lot of instances where they’ll get to play so much more of a game and out level me before I can even grasp the basic mechanics of it.

That’s just with something lightweight like Chivalry 2, a game where I don’t think your level actually impacts anything on the matchmaking end. In something with level-based matchmaking or even worse, with shared story progression, we’ll maybe get one session to play together on equal footing before they power-level past me. Then if I do happen to join them it’ll end up feeling like we’re playing two completely different games as they dump their deep knowledge of future mechanics, lore and optimal strategies upon me. It all leads to me feeling like I’m holding them back from playing a game how they want to play it and have been in my absence, so I opt to play most things alone.

Once again, this isn’t the fault of anyone involved, it’s just the nature of our lives right now. Maybe one day we’ll all reach an equilibrium where we’ll all have to parse out our gaming time, but we’re not there just yet and that’s okay. Sure I don’t get to interact with my friends as much as I used to, and sure I don’t get to play as many multiplayer games unless I want to be a lunatic and just matchmake into things alone, but that’s alright. I don’t mind playing games by myself because that way the only person I’ll be letting down with my poor performance will be me.

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