Arts

Brennan Bova | Fulcrum Staff

I’VE TALKED TO many people about this problem I have, and I know I’m not alone in it. I just don’t pay as much attention as I should and it results in me losing the things I love. People who have become important to me are tossed aside and forgotten in favour of something newer and shinier. Just last week I saw my old friend, Isaac Clarke—once a dear companion, now a sad acquaintance.

If the name Isaac Clarke seems at all familiar, it’s because he is the protagonist of Dead Space, a series of sci-fi horror games that I love. Early in February, Dead Space 3 came out. I’d been looking forward to it, sure, but I forgot all about it until I got a surprise call from the local game store to inform me that my pre-ordered copy had come in. This is something that should have been great news, but instead it felt like a call from a girl I’d gone out with and never called back.

I still haven’t finished Dead Space 2.

It’s not because I don’t love Dead Space or its sequels. They’re just a few games out of many that I pushed aside when a newer, more eagerly anticipated game came out. It’s a terrible problem and the list is still growing. Red Dead Redemption, Blue Dragon, Xenoblade, Ocarina of Time—these are all games that sit on my shelf, unused, as newer games come and go, passing them by. Pokémon, Ni no Kuni, No More Heroes—all games I loved, all of them bitter mistresses that tore me from the warm embrace of the game I’d been enjoying before.

I still haven’t found any solution to this. Sure, I say, “I’ll just get back to it later.” But sadly, I still haven’t. I really, really want to play Dead Space 3, but when am I going to make time to go back and play Dead Space 2 first? A week before the release of Metal Gear Rising, I was still playing Ni No Kuni. The weekend before, I sat and played the living shit out of it so I could finish before Metal Gear came out. I loved Ni No Kuni too much to let it be shelved with the rest of my lonely collection. I succeeded, but at the cost of enjoying some of the post-game treats. And I loved Ni No Kuni enough to play through the whole game again, but when will I ever have that kind of time?

This will sound incredibly spoiled, but there are just too many good video games.

It wouldn’t be a problem if one really good game came out every three months or so. That’s a good, manageable amount of time. Instead, this month alone, Dead Space 3, Crysis 3 and Metal Gear Rising all came out within two weeks of each other. How am I or any other dedicated nerd supposed to make time for this madness?

The cost of beating any great game is often shoving aside other games, regardless of their quality. I don’t shove them aside for a better game; I shove them aside for something new and different. I am the cheating, scumbag boyfriend of the gaming world. I’d argue that most gamers have done the same thing at some point. We just can’t remain faithful to our beloved games.

The call of the new game is exotic and sensual. “Come on…” they say. “Just try it… Maybe you’ll like it.” And like so many impressionable young nerds before me, I am taken in by their wiles. It’s not like I can apologize to the other games or make it up to them. “I’m sorry, Dead Space 2! It meant nothing! It was an accident—it just sort of… happened…”

My cries fall on deaf ears. So long have my games been abandoned that I no longer know what was going on in the story. I fear I will have to start them all from the very beginning, rebuilding my relationship with them one step at a time. I betrayed Dead Space 2 and it deserves nothing less from me.

The question is: Am I up for this challenge? Can I commit?