Gaming Vicariously

It’s shaping up to be A Week.  People are in town from the home office, I started off the week with a sleep debt, and I’ve got a fair amount of sewing to do.  If this post seems a bit disjointed, that’s probably why.

I like video games.  But like many people, I don’t have as much time to play them as I’d like.  So rather than lament my lack of free time, I’ve been trying something different lately: I’ve been listening to people talk about video games!

That is to say, I’ve been listening to The Diecast, a podcast where people talk about video games and the games industry.  It’s been pretty fun.  And while it doesn’t scratch the itch the same way that actually playing games does, doing so has allowed me to engage with my hobby in a productive, safe-for-work manner.

I often try to put something on in the background while I’m drafting.  Sometimes it’s music, sometimes it’s podcasts.  Depending on what sort of work I’m doing, different things can help my productivity in various ways.  Podcasts are nice because they’re interesting and engaging, but not so much you need to be paying attention all the time.  This one is nice because it’s really just a conversation amongst friends, and while the discussions can sometimes get technical, they’re not too engrossing that it distracts me from my work.

Well, or so I hope.

And they really do have interesting things to say.  I’m slowly but surely working my way through the backlog, and the gaming news is becoming more and more current.  I will say it’s also contributed to my backlog problem, as I’ve picked up a few of the games mentioned throughout the various segments.  But it’s refreshing to hear from people that are both passionate about gaming and interested in its more philosophical and artistic aspects.

Because that’s something we don’t really get enough of, in my opinion.  I know it’s something I don’t do enough of.  But I think my recent attempts to reconcile my collecting habits with my playing habits has caused me to think more and more along these lines.  After all, most of my angst comes when I think of games as nothing more than throwaway entertainment.  But when you think of them as having more cultural cachet, of having something to say, it can go a long way towards not feeling guilty.  At least, that’s what it does for me.

And since I can’t spend as much time as I’d like gaming, the least I can do is think about games and encourage other people who do the same.