The Need for Focus and Purpose in Games

This is Fascinating Stuff

During the Steam sale, I only bought one thing: An add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator (and others) called Air Hauler 2. What this does is add on a business meta-layer to Flight Simulator similar to Euro Truck Sim 2 and their ilk. It has you start a business and then do missions for that business in order to keep it in the black.

Side note: The funny thing is, you’re supposed to do a “type rating” test flight in your chosen aircraft before you can actually take on missions. I’ve failed six times because I’m so rusty and can never get the landing right.

The point being, it’s given PURPOSE to Flight Simulator where it really had none before. I love Flight Simulator, don’t get me wrong, but I began flying it (back when it was Sublogic Flight Simulator) when just the time spent flying virtual aircraft was enough for me. It didn’t matter what was the purpose or destination, all that mattered was BEING in the aircraft.

These days, I need a little more than this, I’ve realized. I need a purpose for doing things, a focus on what to do and where to do next, however tenuous, in order to keep me going. This is why I can’t play games like Minecraft. Put me in a big sandbox with nothing to do in the game beyond “go do whatever you want” isn’t enough for me anymore.

I think this is why I’ve gravitated toward games such as Lord of the Rings Online and Warhammer 40k: Inquisitor because they’re basically awesome games built around to-do lists. Quests, missions, what have you, even in an open world, these give me purpose. A reason to run around in the world, a focus on what to do next.

When I started playing Far Cry: Primal — which I need to get back to, honestly — folks told me I should play with the mode that turns the minimap and markers off, to make it more challenging. SCRRREEEWWW THAT. This is a game, give me the compass pointers and quest lists and markers and all that stuff.

So now I’ve spent more time in the last five days in Flight Simulator than I have in the previous five years, all because now I find a reason to beyond “just fly from here to here.” I mean sure they have self-contained scenarios and missions, but those are one-offs. I love something connected to the larger world, which is why quests and missions are so appealing to me.

So yeah, this is why you’ll never see me record or stream Minecraft. I’ll just sit there, staring at the screen, going…”Is this it?” If I was fifteen when Minecraft had come out, I’d have been ALLLLL over it. Now, however, I’m at a point where I just need a slight push to keep me moving forward.

What about you guys? Do y’all need some focus or are y’all great just being dumped in a sandbox? I’d love to hear your thoughts here or on the forums. Thanks for reading!

2 Responses

  1. jds says:

    I especially love these posts , it shines a more mature light in gaming overall, we need this voice heard

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