Press Released: Summer Games

Sean Sands | 11 Aug 2008 21:00
Op-Ed - RSS 2.0

Time Enough At Last - For me, the most frustrating thing about the winter release schedule is that I get a game that I could spend months with, and within a week I feel pressured to try the next best and greatest thing. Part of that is because some fraction of my livelihood is related to my knowledge of videogames, so I feel compelled to know of what I speak, but it's clearly not a problem exclusive to games writers.

Each week between mid-August and mid-November seems to offer at least one game that I genuinely crave, and the truth is that I can't play them all. And yet, I'll feel compelled to accelerate through one experience so I can get right on to the next.

Ah, but these summer months, how I can linger and savor. The release schedule is of my own design.

Volumes of Content - This is not a young industry, nor one that is ever really quite in hibernation. Claiming that there are no games available during the summer months shows a genuine lack of creativity. Even if you are limited to a single console, the number of current games, downloadable games, backward compatible games and independent games are absolutely staggering, and genuinely beyond the abilities of mortal man to play them all.

Sure, there is a pleasant shininess to a newly released game, and I'm looking forward to the holiday gaming season for a whole slew of different reasons, but I don't have to dig very deep into any credible list of the best games to play on my favorite systems before I run across something I'd always meant to try. This is the opportunity in the year to expand, to play that game that everybody loved and I couldn't be bothered to get around to, or perhaps the game that I wasn't willing to shell out 60 bones for, but that seems reasonable at twenty bucks used.

The summer, so often maligned as a gaming wasteland, doesn't need to be looked upon with such scorn. While fans of that new game smell may be without ideal conditions, there needs to be something said for the phrase: It's new to me.

Soon the retail shelves will swell with titles such as Spore, Fallout 3, Gears of War 2 and so on, and some percentage of those games will go upon my heap to be played at a later date. And next summer a game like, say, Warhammer Online, Dead Space or Mercenaries 2, which somehow I just didn't have time to play this winter, will have had time to ferment and improve with just enough age. And, it'll be new to me.

Sean Sands is the co-founder of gamerswithjobs.com and a sucker for a good gaming bargain.

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