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September 28th, 2017, 09:04
OK, I'm 90 hours into Witcher 3 (started the game over, since my last attempt at finishing it), and am amazed by the consistency of content. It's chock full of stories and interesting quests. And I realize something. Something I kind of knew for some time, but I guess I just now game myself the time to think about this. I love games mostly for story and narrative context. This is a must for me, for 90% of the games I play. I don't play for gameplay. I play for stories, lore, world building. Kind of escapist I know, but so it is. I'm not saying I don't like gameplay, some games I play mostly for gameplay. But those are very far and in-between.

So I started thinking about how much time do I spend gaming, and how much of that is actual stories/lore/world-building in most games. It's mostly rpgs that have stories/lore/world-building. And even those, you usually have to play through the gameplay, and in most cases it's not really stimulating. I have to admit it, but even in the witcher, while gameplay is decent, it's nothing to write home about. I mostly don't even notice it, except for some highlights when I pull out of a situation where I keep dying and keep having to try again and again. And that also leads me to frustration, when I'm fighting the controls.

So, my conclusion: even for narrative heavy games, I probably spend a considerable time going through mechanics and gameplay, mostly to get at the narrative content. And this realization also comes at a time when, again, I realize how much time I spend gaming. And is the time investment worth it. The games that are absolutely must plays are probably in the 1-2 dozens, at most.

So then I went back to what other activity satiates that narrative need of mine, and of course dropped on books. Now, I know what you're thinking. Why don't I just balance my time between games and other activities. And that's the hard part, at least for me. I have a very obsessive personality, and I like to deep dive and fully immerse myself into what I'm doing. I'm not really a person of measure and balance. And while I realize that's not good, I find it hard to control.

So, I'm currently considering this. I'll give it some more time and thought, and probably want to at least take witcher 3 to its end. At least once. And after that, I'll see where that takes me. But I'm seriously considering this.

Plus, there's loads more of must-read books that have been on my backlog for ages now. But for some reason I keep going to games. I think the fact that games have a way lower barrier of entry, than books. It's a lot easier to be constantly stimulated by all the artifacts in a game, than in a book.

So, anyone have any feedback on this? Anyone do something similar?
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September 28th, 2017, 11:36
I think that as far as games are concerned then I am like you. It's the "other world" aspect that I like whether it's sci-fi or fantasy. The fights are only a means to getting to the next part of the story.

I read but it tends to be complete series and the next one, after "Ash", is "The Wheel of Time". I also like to watch DVDs of TV series - I am finishing off the X-files (season 10 comic & season 10 tv series to go) - from start to finish. "Fringe" is next on the list.

So I read, watch DVDs and play rpgs/ adventure games.

A typical day is get up before anyone else usually between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m., play computer games until 8 a.m. Read before bed and at coffee breaks during the day. Tend to watch DVDs at dinner time, late afternoon and at night.

The balance means that I don't get bored too quickly with either the book, DVDs or game. There are of course non-typical days.
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September 28th, 2017, 13:11
I'm the opposite, I play for gameplay, story for me is like a background connecting the important parts of the game. But I also read books.
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September 28th, 2017, 13:44
I was a bookworm for most of my life. But I don't read books any more - for years now.

Could be connected to my eyesight, I developed myopia those few years back, dunno how, it's common as you go older eyes develop farsight. Then again seems I'm always the statistical anomaly.

The reason I believe is I don't have enough time for everything I like and among things I sacrificed was reading books.

But because of that, I play games only for the story. Gameplay is at the bottom of my "what a game needs" list.
If a game story is yucky or doesn't exist, you won't see me praising such game. For example, Farmville gameplay is beautifully simplistic and efficient, but is it a great game? Absolutely not IMO, it's timewasting ubertrash. Yet, I admit, it's gameplay is pitch perfect. But I want rich experience, I want variety, I want diversity and if there is no story, what do I get from repetitiveness? A second job.

No I won't quit games. Games with a story, ofc.
I read everything in games and that's most probably the reason it takes me many more hours than reviewers to finish them.
What I will quit, in fact I already quit, is playing games where I can't read anything. Anyone noticed I'm always spitting on a game if subtitles are not enabled by default?
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September 28th, 2017, 14:37
I'm just the opposite. Most stories and lore in games bore me to death. I have been playing games since Pong so I have read and seen it all in games already. I play for strategy, gameplay, and character advancement.

I could not finish The Witcher 3. I tried two times. It was like playing a novel. If I can't make my own character I usually don't like the game. I even thought Geralt was a cool character but I didn't create him. I have played Skyrim for over 700 hours and Battle Brothers for over 500. Because I can play the game my own way and make my own story.

Sorry, but I will just read a book, if I want a great story. Many more great stories in books then video games.
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September 28th, 2017, 14:42
I do both, but yea, sometimes I am reading books a lot more, and doing little gaming. Other times when I'm really into a game, I'll rack up many hours playing it. Lately, been reading more, but I like both forms of entertainment, really. That said, I don't play games for the story most of the time. Its much more about the interactivity of the game for me. Anyway, I have way too much of a games backlog to even think about not gaming in the near future, for now.
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September 28th, 2017, 15:12
I have been an avid reader all my life but I also cut way back on books later in life. I used to read 2-3 books a week up through college and into my mid 30's. Mostly fantasy with some non-fiction stuff (usually science or psychology). I still read but now its like a book every other month.

A lot of that is time as @joxer pointed out. When I was younger I had more free time - if only because I had more energy and could stay up to 1am reading or gaming. Now I have two dogs, a very demanding full time job, lots of chores, and I am lucky if I can stay awake to 10pm at night … and by end of the week often go to bed at 9.

When it comes to stories in games I think I have a balance on them. I love story in games but do not like games that are so story driven that they are utterly linear in nature. I prefer open worlds with enough story to hold it all together but not so much that my character becomes predefined.

Hence I adore games like Morrowind, Skyrim, FNV, and FO4 while I have never been able to finish games like the Witcher series or Assassins Creed where my character is pre-defined for me.

I am playing DOS2 right now and love the story. It is all I can do to keep myself from just diving into the main plot line as I want to know more about the story and lore and what will happen. I almost wish it was a book just so I could focus on it.

Yet I also love being PART of the story. This is why I LOVE games. I get to be part of the story - often being able to play a version of myself (my character) in the story. The more flexibility I have to be my own character in a world and become part of that world the more I tend to enjoy it.

For example I played all the ME games including MEA. They had more defined characters though so one play through was more than enough for me. I also could only play them as I was able to find just enough connection to the defined main character I had to play to make it enjoyable. For the WItcher games I could not do that. Even though I really like Geralt I could never connect to him as we have so little in common. I like reading about him and own all the books. But playing him? It just felt wrong. I quit the game when I set his horse Roach on fire one play session - as I realized how inept I was at playing him.

I sometimes miss reading as much as I did. It is more relaxing and comfortable in some ways. Also, if the writing is very good, more immersive. Often when I get into a good book I lose track of time and my surroundings. I totally get into the story even though its just words on paper.

That doesn't happen as often with a game as I have to be more conscious of things. Still a good game will also let me sink into it and I do prefer the more interactive nature of it.

In the end I do what I enjoy the most. If I want to read I read. If I want to game I game.
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September 28th, 2017, 17:10
I do both, but I read probably a factor of ten or more than I game. Not a single game that I've ever played could come close to the satisfaction I get from reading most books.
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September 29th, 2017, 01:11
I've read thousands of books and still read at least 2 or 3 a week as I find it relaxing, especially before bed. I don't game quite as much as I used to except when something special arrives like DOS:2. I tend to game early in the day when I'm more alert; if I'm tired, I get careless and we all know what happens then!!
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September 29th, 2017, 05:08
Like others here, was avid reader till my late-twenties and time and circumstances changed everything. Basically no time, and changed my commute to driving instead of taking the train where I could read. In past 2 years, I've completed virtually no games which is in stark contrast to 10 years go.

What I really want from my games now is immersion and I have very high hopes for VR as it starts to be a thing. I've already preordered Fallout 4 VR despite never playing more than 2 hours of FO4 and will definitely pay for Skyrim VR when available. I hope the visceral experience will be well worth it. Few books can hope to really provide this especially in an open world where I have a great deal of control.
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September 29th, 2017, 05:33
I do it for gameplay and story. I dont read much, I prefer the story in games because I cant direct the story more than reading a book. For example I played Divinity Original Sin 2 the whole way through with one source point and rejected the gods, it gave me new story options and a new scene in act 4.
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September 29th, 2017, 11:50
Unfortunately there are very few games which combine a good story and good gameplay. So you have to choose either. In my opinion the sound graphics and story is amazing in TW3, but the gameplay is so horrible and boring, I really don't know what they were thinking. This means that it is just a transport from one cut-scene to another with a lot of time wasting in between. So in this case it might be better to just read a book, which probably have a better story anyway.

But I think if you find a game which has both great gameplay and story then it might be more enjoyable than reading a book. Unfortunately such a games are few and far between.
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September 29th, 2017, 12:16
I play games for much the same reason as you, danutz. However, the fact that they're interactive adds another layer for me compared to books, which is why I spend more time playing than reading (I do both, though).
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September 29th, 2017, 13:46
Originally Posted by danutz_plusplus View Post

So, my conclusion: even for narrative heavy games, I probably spend a considerable time going through mechanics and gameplay,
Like which ones?

The rest of the OP is a mere report of the dilution of content process. Which was much hyped by the crowdfunded scene.

Vid products are also and mostly perceived as time sinks. They must fit this purpose.
The dilution of content favours that.
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September 29th, 2017, 15:03
Luckily I find many games that combine both good game play and good story which makes the hobby a lot more entertaining and fun for me. Just glad I haven't become so jaded and critical I can't find enjoyment in a simple hobby.
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September 30th, 2017, 05:09
If you've been reading for 30+ years, you start running out of books, as well.
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September 30th, 2017, 13:06
Originally Posted by posfan12 View Post
If you've been reading for 30+ years, you start running out of books, as well.
That's why I keep my good books and re-read them again and again and Well you get the picture. The first book in "The Wheel of Time" saga, published in 1990, has been read at least six or seven times. I start again from the beginning when a new book is released.

It like meeting an old friend and reliving those exciting memories.
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September 30th, 2017, 17:38
That's too funny, actually running out of books. I've been reading for over half a century and at reading on average around three books a week I'm barely keeping up. Part of my problem is my love of books that I've already read, some of the best reading is to pour over those stories again and find/learn something new. Bottom line for me is I'm often wondering if I'll have a game to play (or replay), that is never an issue with reading books.
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September 30th, 2017, 18:45
I'm currently returning to reading and writing again … more than ever. I'm currently reading a book with ancient Egyptian Literature, I have a dialog by Cicero not far from me, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (with a commentary by Tolkien) also - all these books bought within a week.

Plus to all of this I'm more buying music CDs again. I don't listen to that all of the time, but it's like some kind of "homecoming"., Reading and listening to music - these were my pillars before gaming came. And going outdoors, too.

I'm currently more and more withdrawing from gaming ingenerel - and while I do so, I read more and more, listen to music (newest : "Tubular Brass") and watch DVDs (newest : "Police Squad!" - forerunner to "The Naked Gun").

In short : I'm changing a lot these daysw. It feels like some kind of "going back to my roots".

This is of course heavily fuelled by my distaste of where's gaming at these days now, especially what I call that "heavy metal style", or "grimdark", as it has been called in an recent interview. Or "dark & gritty", as I called it before. Since most gaming is these days at a point where it doesn't meet my tastze, I'm simply withdrawing from it like withdrawing from an awfully looking & tasting meal.
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September 30th, 2017, 19:56
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
That's too funny, actually running out of books. I've been reading for over half a century and at reading on average around three books a week I'm barely keeping up. Part of my problem is my love of books that I've already read, some of the best reading is to pour over those stories again and find/learn something new. Bottom line for me is I'm often wondering if I'll have a game to play (or replay), that is never an issue with reading books.
I am starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel when it comes to newer fantasy and scifi, and a lot of older stuff like Asimov and Heinlein are too dated for my taste and make me cringe when I read them, so I skip them.
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