Video Games are Like a Grand Buffet

Credit: Igor Ovsyannykov on

Before I received my kidney transplant a few years ago, I used to savor those times when I would go to a buffet. To see so much food with so many choices was always a delight for me. No matter which food group I focused on, there were multiple attractive items to choose from. Since my transplant, I no longer go to buffets for health reasons. But the more I think about it, the way that I go about gaming can be likened to how I would be at a buffet. In a hilarious but truthful way, gaming to me is like a buffet experience.

I’ve played and completed many games throughout my decades of gaming. It’s way too many to remember or count. There was a time when the achievement of beating a game was important to me. I would zero in on a particular game and constantly play it until I reached the end. Somewhere along the way, that changed. It was as if I felt that I was limiting myself by taking this approach. I was what I would describe as a “restaurant gamer.” Just like we may have our favorite restaurants that we prefer to dine at regularly, I had certain types of games that I played and consistently purchased. But what if one day as you were walking down the street, you happened to glance through the windows of a grand buffet hall and saw an assortment of food you had never seen before? You were intrigued because your favorite restaurants didn’t have those items on their menus. And it’s not that you stop liking your favorite restaurants. But that glance into the buffet hall allowed you to see that there was a dining experience that you had been missing out on.

Had I continued my previous approach to gaming, I would have missed out on several of the games in the above picture.

Because my gaming focus used to be so narrow, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of great games that I’ve missed out on over the years. What was my reasoning? I liked my first-person shooters, sports games, fighting games, and roleplaying games. That was back during a time that I didn’t buy many games to begin with. So why not stick with something I knew I would enjoy? It’s like going to the same restaurants and ordering the same items because you know you won’t be disappointed. But what happens when the food you see through the window of the buffet hall catches your eye? What happens when eating at the same restaurant all the time becomes monotonous? And for me with gaming, what happens when I start watching YouTube gaming videos and come to find that there is a much bigger gaming world out there than I ever imagined?

Suddenly, I was no longer satisfied with buying the same type of games. They started to become stale. The enthusiasm that I once had for those games was starting to fade. I realized that I had been limiting myself and wanted to have a more expanded gaming experience. So just like the person who saw the buffet items through the window would eventually decide to eat at the grand buffet hall, I decided it was time for me to explore gaming in ways that I hadn’t before. It turned out to be a great decision.

The way I look at gaming today mimics a buffet. Although I still complete games, my greatest delight is sampling as much as I can. Rather than having a full serving of any particular entree, I would rather have sample servings of a variety of entrees. I want to know what the multiple items taste like, even if it is just a bite for many of them. Bringing that to gaming, I get just as much satisfaction playing bits and pieces of many games versus fully completing a few. I love finding new games to try and appreciate the unique creativity that goes with them. This is how I enjoy gaming in the present, which is why I jump around all over the place from week to week.

I never thought I would ever own a Digimon game but treating gaming like a buffet will have you try new things.

My approach to gaming isn’t for everyone. For some gamers, the idea of moving on to another game before finishing the previous one doesn’t make sense. It’s wasteful. I can understand it from that point of view. But from my gaming perspective which is based in entertainment, my priority is what I want to enjoy at that particular time. Having my leisurely activity be overrun with some sort of obligation would cease its ability to be leisurely. If I viewed gaming that way, I would no longer play video games because it would no longer be fun. I like that there is no sense of order or structure with how I go about my hobby. It doesn’t matter that I have many games still yet to be completed. The most important part is having fun. Of course, I would not recommend my approach in a romantic relationship, but for a hobby such as gaming, I believe people are free to choose how they wish to go about it. This is especially true if they are doing so responsibly.

I’ve truly come to enjoy my buffet style of gaming. It has opened me up to new genres and awesome games that I would have never been aware of before. I love the freedom of just switching to another game when I desire to do so without having to complete the one I’m currently playing. My former approach both restricted and limited me. Now I’ve been able to have an expansive gaming experience that has led me to appreciate the gaming industry more than ever before. How these games are crafted and end up in our hands is a work of art. Now remember, all of this is my opinion in regards to what works best for me. However, I suggest your approach to gaming should be according to your own preferences. As for me, I prefer the buffets.

-LandoRigs (TVGA)

2 Comments on “Video Games are Like a Grand Buffet

  1. I love the idea of gaming being a buffet. Never though of it like that before but your quite right. I never used to play more than one game at a time but now I like to have a few games on the go at once. I think some video games you have to be in the right mood to play, while others you just want to kick back and have some fun with. I’m still very much an open world gamer, but from time to time I like to play a racing game, or just replay an old game on PS2 or something even for a hit of nostalgia!

    • “I think some video games you have to be in the right mood to play…” – Your comment right there is what plays such a big role in how I play video games. Some games require so much more from you, whether it is trying to remember expanded controls, engaging in a battle system that requires lots of timing and parrying, or having to think your way through puzzles. When I am tired or don’t feel well, I avoid those games. Instead, I will play something that is slower-paced and more chill like a visual novel, point & click, or narrative-heavy game.

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