I've got a friend who'll obsessively scour a map for every last collectible, and try to play through GTA without killing anyone, and following traffic laws... just to see if he can.
That's fine and valid, but it sounds like my idea of a nightmare. I tend to want to rush through the story, and lose interest in the finer details of map-mopping.
Traffic laws? Traffic schplores. GTAV is never better - in my eyes - when I'm causing as much pyrotechnic chaos as possible. What does that say about me? And what does my mate's playing style say about him? You might be surprised to learn that it's all about the holograms...
Holograms have been around since the 60s. You're well aware that they're essentially a 3D photograph, taken with a laser.
But here's a thing: if you somehow cut a hologram in half - and we're talking about real holograms here, not sci-fi projected holograms, like that blue nude woman out of Halo - each half will still contain the whole image. Cut those pieces in half again and each subsequent piece will still retain a complete imprint of the original 3D picture.
And we're all holograms. Not literally - this isn't Red Dwarf, for pity's sake - but slice our personalities into smaller pieces and those pieces will still retain the broader characteristics of our essence. For example... does it matter to you how others perceive you, and does that influence your behaviour in any given situation?
Your appearance, your choice of interests, your conversation, whether you support charities, or give over too much of your time to others so that you appear "kind" and "helpful"? Or are you unashamedly you no matter what? Do you put you first? Or maybe you think animals are more deserving of your love than humans - even more so than yourself.
The possibilities are as infinite as personalities in the world, but while our outward behaviour may contain contradictions, there's always a consistency beneath that. The psychiatrist Eugene Abroms described it thusly: "A hologram is a representation of an object of an event in which every part contains sufficient information to characterise the whole".
And does that extend to our personal style of playing games? Of course it does.
What names do you choose for your characters, and how much care do you take over your appearance in RPGs? I'm not sure what this says about me, but whenever I get to create a character he's generally as bizarre-looking as possible, and called Bummo...
In know that in life I don't need everything to be perfect - it just needs to be good enough. I'm impatient - I want to rush through any job as quickly as possible to get the ideas out of my head. I'm no fan of repetitive tasks. Same with games. I can't handle Dark Souls or Bloodborne or Destiny, repeating the same actions over and over. I don't need to get 100% in a game.
And I'm hopeless at stealth, because I don't have the patience for it. I'll storm a base all guns blazing, and set off the alarms, rather than sneak around.
The same could be said for my approach to DIY, or paperwork, or arguments...
I'm not going to be playing Rock Band 4 because - if I'm totally honest with myself - I'm a bit embarrassed and disappointed that I never learned to play guitar, or joined a real band. Plus I sing like a walrus gargling a sack full of burnt kazoos.
Playing with a toy guitar just presses that particular button. I don't want to think about all the people I know who've had the chance to play in real bands, while I'm sat at home playing with some stupid toy instrument. I don't like that implied, and utterly imagined, feeling of being laughed at by them.
And then when you dig even deeper, beneath that there's a resentment of the Bonos and Biebers of this world who get hit with a tsunami of love every second of the day, when they're no more deserving of attention and adoration than I am. Than any of us are. No - scratch that: than I am, for being a good dad, partner, colleague, uncle... etc.
So there you go. That might be oversharing, but I can only speak about me. We're like peeling an onion, and usually the core of that onion is pretty whiffy, and will make us cry if we sniff it for too long.
Every single thing we do says something about who we are. Our Facebook status updates. Our behaviour online. Our choice of games. All of it can be traced back to the pure, untainted, essence of who we are at our core. Games feel like a brilliant way to look at that - and to look at ourselves.
HE'LL BE ON STAGE AT 1pm FAILING TO LIVE OUT HIS EMBARRASSING ROCK STAR FANTASY.
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