Attempting a 50-day challenge for this year’s GameBlast20 event gave my other-half and I the perfect excuse to spend plenty of time with video games and each other. The idea was to get home from work in the evenings, be on Twitch for at least an hour and play as much as we could in just under two months.
We weren’t entirely sure whether we’d succeed when we started out on Sunday, 05 January 2020, as adult responsibilities and work commitments have a habit of getting in the way of gaming. But somehow we made it through: despite it being tough sometimes and struggling so much with the last hours of the final 24-hour stream, we got to Sunday, 23 February 2020 in one piece. We might feel as though we can now sleep for days but a lot of positives came out of the event.
Most importantly, the £600 raised will help SpecialEffect create even more customised gaming set-ups for people with physical disabilities across the UK. On a more personal level, the 50-day period gave us the opportunity to refine our streaming processes and be more comfortable in front of a camera (although neither Pete nor I are ever going to be naturals). And on top of that, people we already knew through blogging became good friends and we’re looking forward to hanging out with them again soon.
One of the best things was realising that we’re able to play video games after work even when we’re not feeling motivated. In the past, we’ve been guilty of collapsing on the sofa and using the excuse that ’20:00 is too late to start a game’; but from now on we’re going to put more effort into doing something we actually enjoy in the evenings rather than succumbing to trash television. Although we no longer want to restrict ourselves to a schedule, Pete and I are planning to continue streaming several times a week so we’ll see you over on Twitch.
The outcomes from the GameBlast20 50-day challenge weren’t all positive though, and I’m not just talking about the weariness we don’t yet seem to have recovered from. The thing I’m kind of sad about is how few titles we actually managed to complete during the event. I lost count of how many we started but at a guess, I’d say it was at least 45; and I’m pleased we tried genres outside our comfort zones and releases we wouldn’t normally pick up. But compare that to the number we finished: only one.
Over the past several years I’ve been working on getting out of the habit of starting titles and never completing them. As the rate of new releases increased rapidly, I found myself constantly distracted and jumping from game to game to the point where my experiences began to feel empty. It turned out that the thing missing was the sense of accomplishment which comes from seeing the end credits roll, so now I keep a list of the games I intend to play next to help me stay focused.
Later Levels (@LaterLevels) February 25, 2020
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying you should stick with a title you’re not enjoying. As I’ve written before, what’s the point in spending your precious free time slogging through a release when there are so many others more worthwhile of your hours? But for me personally, there’s nothing quite like finally making it to the end of the game and seeing how the story wraps up – and then being able to begin a new adventure without the baggage of not finishing the last one.
Although I’m aware that everything we did for GameBlast20 was a great personal achievement, I can’t help but feel guilty we didn’t manage to complete more of the games we started during our 50-day challenge. The past couple of months has been fun and I’m sure I’ll remember it for a long time; but I really miss the sense of accomplishment that comes along with the end credits. So with this year’s event now out of the way, I’m ready to focus on getting that back again.
The first title on my list to finish is LUNA The Shadow Dust. A review code for Lantern Studio’s release was kindly given to me by Emily Morganti last month so expect a post soon. Next I need to finish Detroit: Become Human and Life is Strange, two of the most popular games during our streams; and then perhaps I’ll start Beautiful Desolation after receiving my Kickstarter backer key from The Brotherhood recently. And while that’s all going on, I’ll visit the Shade in The Longing to see how he’s getting on.
Does not completing games bother you at all? And if so, how do you stay focused? Give me all the tips you can, because I’d love to be able to report back on finishing several in March’s editorial at the end of the month.
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.