I recent came to the realization that most people will never get the chance to hear their favorite song, watch their favorite movie or play their favorite game. But why? Most of us spend our free time doing something we know we’re going to like, so we rarely try something new. Not only does the process of playing games can become mundane and dull, but it also limits us in several ways. In general, most people who play video games (and this goes to other pastimes as well) associate themselves with a specific genre that they enjoy. Trying new things, on the other hand, involves a risk, it can be time-consuming, but it can also be one of the most gratifying things you can do. Here’s why everyone should forget about that self-imposed identity and try games outside of their comfort zone.
You’ll learn something new
Each type of game or genre comes with its own caveats and even if the games you choose aren’t of your liking right away, you’ll at least understand why people like them so much. Think of all the competitive games out there (Hearthstone, League of Legends, Street Fighter and so on.) I can’t count the number of times that people have laughed whenever I bring up that competitive gaming is a thing that exists and that players and commentators have developed careers around those games. If you try any of those titles, you’ll at least understand why they are competitive, why so many people play them on a regular basis and why they are so convoluted and deep.
You’ll expand your social sphere
By trying new games, you’ll undoubtedly visit new websites, blogs or listen to new podcasts. That means that you’ll be exposed to content that was developed by different people that you’re used to. Although this doesn’t mean that you’ll necessarily meet them in real life (though tournaments and conventions definitely help,) you’ll at least be exposed to different points of view.
You’ll get more confidence
Most people avoid new things like the plague. Taking the plunge and actually doing research to try something that you have no idea if you’re going to like or not is a commitment, but you’ll get more confidence. And the more you keep doing this, the easier it’ll get in time. The good thing about confidence is that it can change your entire life and this doesn’t relate to just video games, but everything you do.
You’ll see things differently
It’s really easy to dismiss something that you don’t understand. Most people do it on a regular basis. But once you try something different, you’ll realize where the “MOBA players” come from, you’ll understand why Dark Souls is such a beloved series of action-RPGs. You don’t have to agree with everyone, but at least you can respect their opinions and have some intriguing discussions with them.
You’ll be entertained
Most of the people who play games do it because the medium is fun and entertaining. Playing the same thing again and again becomes so mundane that you can dread it. But it shouldn’t be like that. Do some research, read blogs or websites you wouldn’t normally read and try demos or emulators to see if the game in question is even remotely interesting. You might be surprised.
You’ll discover more things about yourself
It may sound like a cliché, but playing new games is a journey of self discovery. Trying new games might even make you a better person (and we need more of those on the internet) because you’ll learn to listen instead of dismiss everything you might not agree with, you might meet new people, you might discover your next favorite genre.
You’ll be more understanding
I can’t remember the number of times, I teased a friend telling that the things they treasure the most are terrible. But don’t perpetuate ideas just because everyone else keeps dismissing them. How many of those people saying that Nickelback is the worst band ever actually took the time to listen to one of their albums? Just think about it.
You’ll have fewer regrets
I completely missed the MMO fever back when World of Warcraft was huge and for better or for worse, that game will never be as popular ever again. I know that example is too specific, but I would have loved to check out WoW and see what the fuss was all about back in the day. We often hear these magical stories about certain games fans are really passionate about (Metal Gear Solid, Dota 2, Half-Life, Super Mario Bros. and the list goes on and on.) Most of those games have nothing in common with each other and that’s the beauty of it. This medium is so broad nowadays that there are lots of games to choose from.
You’ll encourage others to try new things too
If you play games, you probably have friends, coworkers, family members who do that as well. It’s hard to escape the ubiquity of the medium nowadays. When you talk to them and they see how this little experiment changed you, they’ll be more likely to try something new as well.
You might discover your next favorite game
So here’s a little exercise whenever someone brings up a game you wouldn’t normally play: hear them out and if anything about the way in which they talk about that game piques your interest, play that game. Do some research, read Wikipedia lists, check out blogs or websites, see some of those top 10 lists and check out some of those video games. Who knows? You might discover your next favorite thing.