You’re walking along a sandy shore through the universe of Agrabah, when a faint glimmer in the surf catches your eye. You rush over .
Is it..? No, it can’t be! Sweet Odin’s Raven! Why, it’s a magical lamp!
Could this possibly be a magical lamp? Oh how that would lessen the drudgery of another morning spent walking along fictional beaches! You rub the lamp with the excitement of a child on Christmas morning tearing open the largest box in the bunch, awaiting whatever might happen next!
Much to your surprise, a magical genie pops out! He’s the Genie from Aladdin! Except with the voice and biceps of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and is green for some reason.
You take a knee and observe a moment of silence for Robin Williams. The genie taps you on the shoulder, asks if you are alright, does a quick flex, and tells you:
“I am not your normal Genie! Get to da choppah! I do not grant wishes – I only grant one ability. The ability to freeze Earth time for 100 hours, so you can play a video game! Any video game you wish! I need your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle.”
A small hut with every video game console and PC immediately appears before you. Right above the doorway is a countdown timer set at 100 hours. The ghost of True Lies-era Bill Paxton fades into view. He’s jacked, and carrying a battleaxe. Quickly it becomes evident that he will be your bodyguard. You quickly ponder why such a thing is necessary, but that thought is interrupted.
“The timer will begin when you enter. I’ll be back.”
Before you can ask him any questions, he blurts out a “Hasta la vista, baby,” as energetically as it is ill-timed, before exploding into a bloody green mist, covering you from head to toe in Genie goop. You briefly recall the movie Aladdin and can’t remember any Genie explosions. You realize the accidental brilliance of your decision to wear sunglasses today. You wipe your face and hands in the ocean, and step inside…
Glancing around at the machines surrounding you, you realize that there truly is everything you could ever want to play. Everything from the earliest PC right through the Nintendo Switch. 100 hours is enough to play any game in its entirety, and take your sweet time while doing it. Without the responsibilities of the outside world, you could finally knock out that huge game you’ve been putting off until your retirement!
From what I’ve gathered in this WordPress gaming community I stumbled into, it’s that a large majority of us are adults over 25 with far less spare time than our 15-16 year old counterparts. I’ve toyed with the idea of playing lots of longer games over the past year or two, only to realize I’d have more fun playing 4-5 shorter games and actually getting through them all and enjoying it without it feeling like another job.
Of course, that’s not to say I haven’t knocked out some epics over the past few years, with Final F’ing Fantasy X (40 hours), Dark Cloud 2 (65 hours), and Xenoblade Chronicles (85 hours), sitting gracefully on the “Complete” column. But to tell you to the truth, the only reason I ever finished those three games last year was because I turned down probably dozens of others. I don’t even backlog games that are longer than 20 hours, because then it’s like listing mountains to climb.
Could you climb them all? Theoretically. But you’ve got that thing going on at Tom and Janice’s place next weekend. And then you gotta wait for the cable guy the following Friday, so that weekend won’t work since you need an early start to pack your climbing gear. And then you have that wedding and you’re in the wedding party. See what I mean? What’s the point of making goals you won’t accomplish?
So, put yourself in the situation outlined above – you have 100 uninterrupted hours of frozen time. Which game do you choose? What is your “white whale”? Let’s hear about it in the comments. I’ll post a followup article in the coming week with my own person answers. Choose wisely!