Image via Penny-Arcade
I suck at Halo Reach. I'm not a bad gamer and I do fine in the campaign, but compared to everyone else in matchmaking online I am not good. Penny-Arcade summed up my feelings perfectly, so I couldn't resist using their strip from last week.
Why do I suck at Halo? I've been playing video games for something like 20 years now, so it's not lack of experience. I like FPS games and I play them often, so that's not it. I'm 23 and my reaction times are still good. I think the problem is my lack of time.
To get good at twitch games like Halo Reach a person needs to spend a lot of time with that particular game. It all comes down to execution, which can only be improved through playing. I don't have as much time to devote to any one game as I used to. I have work, taking care of my newborn, spending time with my wife, and other adult responsibilities. Also, I like trying a lot of different gaming experiences instead of confining myself to one game for months or years.
I remember when I could play one game for the majority of a day when I was a teenager. 12 hours of gaming in a day was not unreasonable. Even when I was in high school I would regularly play games for 6 to 8 hours a day. Looking back, it probably wasn't the healthiest amount of play time but it definitely made me good at the games I was playing.
I'm not complaining about any of it. I love my life and I still have tons of fun playing video games. I don't care if I can't compete with teenagers anymore. I've moved on in my life. I spend a lot of time with my family, which I love and I feel that I have enough time to enjoy the games I play. As long as I'm having fun, does it really matter if I can't be as competitive as I once was?