Amnesia Lane: Posing the question

generic amnesia

While the Amnesia Lane series began focusing on the revival of my favorite Pokémon series, it’s true focus was never on a single game, moveset puns notwithstanding.

It’s more about the reference to a quick quip in Dead Poet’s Society. This is about looking through life now through the lens of life then, and vice versa.

It’s a different time

“For more than two weeks, I have been reliving an addiction from high school… though if I were still IN high school, I would have plowed through both Johto and Kanto by now (but that’s a story for a different time).”

I’m nearly 27. I have a full-time night job (well, part time with the hours of full time) which by itself is not enough income to live independently with $40,000+ worth of student loans on my hind. So, I spend my days taking classes for certifications to boost my earning potential, running errands and taking care of things around the house. On the one day a week I have totally off, I go visit far-flung friends and family.

The bottom line is: The time (and money) I invest in my gaming habit is far more limited than it was 10 years ago.

Gone are the days in which I would repeat the same games over and over.

I would enjoy some games over and over, sometimes challenging myself with handicaps. Can I beat The Legend of Zelda with only 12 heart containers? With 6? How much can I fill my inventory before entering the first dungeon (pretty damn much, it turns out)?

Gone are the days that I could make a marathon push to jump into a new game.

I beat Final Fantasy VII in the extra time I had off from school following the Great Northeast Ice Storm of 1998.

Gone, too, it seems are the days in which I would always reach 100% completion of every game I owned.

I gave up on playing The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker because it was far too much game for me to hope to finish in the time I could allot for it. Nowadays, I’ve left behind the completist attitude, which enabled me to only mostly finish Final Fantasy XII. I may just dig up a copy of Windwaker and play it through for just the story… But that would be inadvisable considering:

Gone are the days in which I always finished what I began.

Here are a sampling of the games currently on my plate. I enjoy each of them, and want to finish each of them, but haven’t been able to in light of newer games stealing my attention (and roughly when I started playing them):

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 (2004), Parappa the Rappa (2004), Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 (2006), A full season of NHL Hitz Pro (2007), StarCraft: Brood War (2007), Persona 3: FES (2008), Earthbound (2009), Final Fantasy PSP (2009), Final Fantasy: Disidia (2009), Pokémon Platinum (2009), Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2009), Final Fantasy IV: The After Years (well, maybe I don’t enjoy this one so much) (2009), New Super Mario Bros. Wii (2009), Braid (2010), Pokémon Soul Silver(2010) and Luigi’s Mansion (2010).

And this list doesn’t include games I finished but gave up on going 100%.

And all these games are waiting in the wings. Not pictured: Suikoden II, Willow, all my current-gen console games, PC games and digital downloads.
And all these games are waiting in the wings. Not pictured: Suikoden II, Willow, all my current-gen console games, PC games and digital downloads.

I’m sure you’re getting the drift. And I’ll bet many of you near my age are experiencing some or all of these realities yourself. It’s far from a unique experience; people 10 years our elders also could have grown up with gaming and experienced a similar shift into their adult years.

But shifting into adult responsibilities in the era of the Playstation 3 is vastly different from doing so in the era of the Playstation 1. Nevermind the turmoil of the job market; merely the way the games industry grew and evolved over the past decade is enough to give us plenty of trouble adapting. It’s been said before that there are too many games these days, but to simply say that (however true) is to miss the real point. The real issue isn’t that we’re outgrowing games, but that games are outgrowing us.

Consider that idea until next time.

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