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Blog: Red Dead Intention

(5) August 25th, 2010

Recently I’ve been convinced of a conspiracy. You know the one. I think we’ve all been sure of a similar swindle every once in a while. You just want to do this one thing, and the universe colludes against you to make sure you cannot achieve it. It’s the Truman Show all up in this bitch. It’s the most simple of tasks, yet it seems utterly unreachable. I got Red Dead Redemption on release months ago and excitedly popped it in my PS3 to have a bash. I played a small amount of single player, and a small amount of multiplayer, enough to know I loved the horse physics and the mind-breakingly beautiful surroundings. Just a taste was all I needed to know I would love this game if I played it more. This game is my freaking kryptonite. EVERY time I sit down to play it, something happens that distracts me or stops me playing it. It’s a super power that rivals my actual super power.

It may come as a shock to you, but Mum’s are busy people. Even the dull ones that don’t play with their kids are busy. Even the great ones. Even the mean ones. Just stopping kids from killing themselves is hard enough let alone helping craft and shape them into good, intelligent, caring people. I’m not complaining, hell I signed up for this in a big way, but it’s one of those things you don’t really understand until you get first hand experience with it. Much like making sausages, I’d imagine. I have a policy (to avoid turning into a completely lousy parent) that I don’t play games when my son is awake. Limiting my daily game time immediately by quite a lot. This is to ensure I don’t sit there gaming while my son is wanting my attention. If he’s happy playing with whatever he’s playing with and doesn’t require my attention I might fire up a game on my iPhone but I tend to avoid anything more ‘intense’ than that, and certainly wouldn’t play anything I wouldn’t be happy with him witnessing. In short, my game time is at the mercy of a small blonde-haired ghetto pimp that digs tomato sauce and tries to reach in and grab things that are on TV.

The day arrived where I said to myself “I AM going to play RDR today, and I’m going to play LOTS of it”. I woke up knowing it was going to be an RDR kind of day. I even swaggered down the hall that morning in the most cowboy-like plod I could muster. I tipped my invisible hat to the dog. I mumbled something about varmints and practiced my draw. As I put TheBoy™ to sleep for his nap at 12:30 I was fairly confident I would get at least an hour of free time, maybe two if I was lucky. I took it as a personal challenge to try and get as many missions done in that hour as possible. I was in the zone. Bean bag parked in front of the tele, phone next to me incase someone calls, water, some kind of delicious snack. I was John Marsten… Until the dog barked that aggressive hair-raising bark that meant someone was approaching, and a delivery man pressed the door bell – it was all over. The monster was roused and not happy about it. The next half hour was spent putting a very tired and very cranky devil-spawn back to bed. I snuck in a whopping 18 mins of RDR before he was up again, even more pissed off than before due to his pathetic rest. That night after putting him to bed early, I was distracted again. This time by the taller version of that handsome little man.

Every time I have sat down to attempt to play this game, I have been interrupted. Years ago this kind of thing would have sent me into a furious rage. I’ve been trying to wrangle some horses and hogtie some wenches for months now, all the while being interrupted by barking dogs, waking children, housework, friends, the need for sustenance, and that hot dude that lives with me. The worst part? I don’t mind one bit. After really looking at my love for games and realising it’s actually a love for play, I feel so much less pressure to channel that leisure time into one specific activity. My need for play is a need for play, whether it’s with my family or with a video game. My need to relax is placated by more than just games, and more than just the latest ones. Yeah it’s frustrating that I can’t seem to get really get stuck into this game like I want to, in the past I would have devoured this game, but when I look at my distractions I’m perfectly OK with it. I have every intention to get to Red Dead Redemption, and when I do it will be amazing fun, but I no longer have a fire lit underneath me to get onto it, it’s no longer a looming task on my to do list. Perspective is a wonderful thing. Now if you don’t mind I’m going to sit down, relax, and try and skin some critters. Or not. Whatever. ;)

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5 Responses to “Blog: Red Dead Intention”

  1. Justinbiebersballsack says:

    RDR is a game that is definitely worth finishing. You’re looking at about 20 hours for just the main story line. Just do it in short spurts and save often. :)
    Just out of curiosity, excluding casual games and mini titles on xbl, what was the last game you played all the way through?

  2. Hawky says:

    This exact reason is why i think alot of indie developers making short 4 hour games are booming. Most people dont have time to sit down every night and blow 2-3 hours of time away on one computer game. Portal was a critically acclaimed game that only lasted for at best for me, 4 hours. I’ve played that 4 hours enough times though over and over to make it worth the price.

    I haven’t yet had a chance to play RDR either, as it’s far to hard to code for computers anymore apparently. Since the only other console i have is a Wii, The chance of me playing this game in the next 6 months is slim to none.

    I’ll race you to see who finishes it first :P

  3. Joaby says:

    Haha funny story I was thinking last night – after unsuccessfully playing Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock thanks to hardware troubles – about how terrible a preview would be of “the time i almost got to play Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock”.

  4. Leena says:

    I’ve no doubt I will get to finish it eventually, it really does seem like an amazing game. Looking forward to it. :) The last game not in those categories I finished would have been quite a while ago, probably Everybody’s Golf for PSP or Flower or something like that, although that probably counts as a “mini title”. My guilty pleasure is sandbox games, so they get a lot of time. I don’t devour games (mowing through them, from start to finish) as much since L came along. I’m definitely drawn to the smaller titles and sandbox games mainly out of convenience.

  5. Nirvesta says:

    I’m still in the process of finishing the game myself. As with most sandbox games I tend to get sidetracked with things that have either a more direct line through the story… or as you mentioned, real life things that need doing.

    Still I love your perspective of being a parent while trying to get things done. Give some good insight on time management of being a parent. One day I’ll need a shoulder to lean on when I’m trying to raise a little runt of my own and I’ll be thinking… what would Leena do :P

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