We’re now firmly in the liminal space between Christmas and New Year. Sick of your family, sick of leftovers, wondering if the day after Boxing Day is still excuse enough to eat two dozen After Eights for dinner, your mind might start to slip towards the future. 2024! What all could you achieve with a whole twelve months stretched out before you?
You could finally learn piano, you could re-commit yourself to bouldering, you could finally scratch out that novel. Or maybe you could just play a lot of video games. That’s no less noble a pursuit. So what is your video game resolution for 2024?
Mine is 1920×1080. Weyyyyyy.
You might like to first review the comments when I made that joke last year, where some of you laid out your ambitions for 2023. Did you successfully boycott remakes, find co-op games for you and your spouse, make time for Field Of Glory II, or 100% all the FromSoft games? Tell us – share your successes and failures.
For they’re not really failures. The aim here isn’t to set ourselves challenges or to submit to judgement, but to think about how we spend our time with video games as a hobby, and to think how we might spend that time more enjoyably.
I entered 2023 with the hope that I might use quick sessions with the Steam Deck not only to play arcade racers, but to plug away at longer games. “Making real progress in big games” was also my resolution way back in 2015, in fact. It has never happened. I barely touched the Steam Deck this year and the only games I completed were the three or four I reviewed for this site.
Instead, I spent far more time in 2023 with games that cannot be completed – particularly multiplayer games, played with friends or with my son. That’s fine with me. The reality is that, for a few years now, when alone I tend to favour reading a book, watching a YouTube video, or staring exhausted at a wall, but as a social activity, video games have a new, rejuvenating place in my life.
Is there anything I’d like to do differently in 2024? Well, it’s related: I’d like to model patience and grace in defeat in these multiplayer games. I’d like to keep my cool when Fall Guys’ clumsy jump physics sends me to the slime, and when an opponent in The Finals headshots me with uncanny precision and speed. I’d like to swear and slam my mouse less.
Was I always this grumpy or am I just more tired than ever? I honestly don’t know. And perhaps fixing a core character flaw is beyond the power of a mere video game resolution, but if I’m honest, this is what I think about. I don’t really care whether I play more JRPGs or try new indie games this year, or whatever. At this stage of my life, I’ll play whatever I fancy and happily ignore the rest. But I’d sure like to be less of a prick.
How about you? There are a few days left until New Year’s, but I’d love to know what you’d like to do differently on your next trip around the sun.