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#1 2020-08-19 14:48:25

Registered: 2019-09-19
Posts: 90

Weird Video Game Cravings

Food cravings for a specific type of nourishment makes sense to me.  Your gut microbiome, composed of many different departments, that run a city.  These departments then hold meetings, sometimes planned, sometimes sporadic, to campaign for needs to keep them alive.  We are dying down here, please send in the slushieWe’ve been backed up for days now, where are the fucking prunes!?. Your daily payment of Moon Pies is due.  The complicated effects of how sustenance communicates with our brains makes sense because it deals with the core need (even if that need is a trick) of survival.  Do without Moon Pies, and by golly, you might die.

I wonder though, how big a part of the consumption of media deals with our daily survival.  What is it about specific songs, TV shows, books, movies, and video games that we crave?  What intrigues me even more, is what draws out cravings for things that seemingly should be dead and deeply buried in the vast ocean of our minds?

This question, this topic, springs up because one morning I woke up with my first thought being I want to play Halo. Badly. I was at once hungry and startled.

This is a weird one for me.  The last game in the series that I played was Halo 3 back when it was released in September 2007.  I finished the fight and dabbled in the multiplayer in about three weeks.  Didn’t think of the series since.  The campaign for the first game stirs up agreeable feelings, but when it comes to the series as a whole, I became largely indifferent.  I associated Halo as something people around me would be way more excited for than I’d ever be.

Flash forward to our current stormy times, where the strong and sudden urge to play Halo takes over priorities.  Is it the voice of god?  Is it some hidden code written by Microsoft that is lodged in a fold of my cerebral cortex that activated through some form – either sound, sight, smell, taste, touch – of subliminal messaging? Is Microsoft God? And I hurriedly make way down the stairs in pursuit of fulfilling this need. Fuck breakfast, fuck a cup of tea, I’m going right for the computer baby, online forms, Microsoft app store, Steam, just tell me how to get this mother fucking game and Ohhhhh, a Master Chief Collection huh? Six Halo games for the price of $40? I mean I just wanted to play the first one but what if I want more ---

And the mental gymnastics start.  And they are swiftly completed and judged with a score of “Buy” “Buy” “Buy” because we are grading on a curve this time, there’s a goddamn pandemic, you could die tomorrow, let’s party today dawg cause tomorrow you never know. Collection purchased, now I gotta wait for this to download over a DSL connection because I’m currently not living in my own house with Sonic the Hedgehog speeds of internet.  Luckily, I can manage what Halo games I want to install, so we are just going Combat Evolved for now, but the wait for an approximately 20 GB download is hours and so in the meantime I’ll bite my nails, check NBA scores, and admire my mother-in-law’s cattle.  These soon became hours of doubt. 

Bruh, you just spent $40 on Halo. You have no real attachment to Halo

That’s $40 you could have spent on some good games chimes in a voice that sounds like John Thyer, like John Thyer now has a seat at the table of my conscious.

You’re gonna play like two hours max and never return to it.

That’s $40 that could have gone to the Eiyuden Chronicle kickstarter John Thyer squeaks in.

You have a problem.  You just like buying games because you can.  You don’t finish them.  You don’t even play them. All you do is waste your families money.

And I feel like I am about to scream, but it turns out that I was asleep, and now it’s early morning. NOW.  I dash toward the computer and its downloaded and installed and I know it’s not good for my brain to play video games first thing in the morning but this is a 19 year old event darling and I click on the MCC launcher and I gotta sign up for an Xbox live account so I guess I’m a gamer now and the start menu greets me with Gregorian sounding chants and assault rifle bullets and now I’m really wondering if I made a mistake but I click forward into the campaign layers to where I follow the path of beginning Combat Evolved Anniversary and as it begins I’m getting really nervous y’all, I’m getting real peaked. Now I’m playing up close and personal with comfortable headphones on and I’m handed that badass pistol and I soon pickup that rifle that conveniently counts down your bullets in your magazine and the MUSIC kicks in and I’m getting off the Pillar of Autumn and I am on Halo and I am saving Marines and I forgot about those hunters and I am sneaking onboard a Covenant ship and I am in maze hell – and – and – and my worst fears about Halo are confirmed: Halo is fucking fun.

It turns out, I really needed this right now.


#2 2020-08-20 17:57:46

From: Ghost Town
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 48

Re: Weird Video Game Cravings

This is reminds me of a time, sometime around 2016. I got this bizarre idea... I wanted to play Pokémon!

-Why in the world would you want to play Pokémon of all things, Ghosty? It's a series of games whose entire world must've been concieved by a nitwit - a game that tries to be a turn-based JRPG with a severe case of ADD. It tries tried to be a colllectathon - but you hate both those things! Not to mention the horrific thing that was the Pokémon anime and fad that plagued the world for so many years! So why would you ever want to play it? Oh no, apparently they've started teasing the next gen starters! Oh no, I don't have a 3DS!

-What do I do, what do I do? Oh, right I have my DS, I haven' played a DS Pokémon! I look at used carts cards online, but why are they so expensive, there's no way I'll pay that for POKÉMON! xP

Some weeks later I see Pokémon White at a Game store.
-Crap, it's used and old but almost full price. I stare at it for an uncomfortably long time - fuck this, I'm leaving! I need to eat something!

-Wait crap, I have to get the game first. ._.;

-Whelp. I got the game. This is bad, I must be ill or something. I'd better lie down when I get hom- Wow, I can pick a girl now? Look at those cute sprites! I like that! Oh, the touch menu is real nice! Oh, the sound design and music is nice - look at all those great sprite distortions!

-Crap, I'm having fun! It's a miracle! Look at that bridge!! yikes

What I'm saying is... I had to play this awful game for some reason! What madness compelled me to do such a thing? Does anybody know? sad

...Lately I've had this strange idea that I should be playing Diablo (the first game) - but I hate Diablo, so I'm definitely not getting that!

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
The hole is greater than it was a minute ago.
Wait, it's growing! Oh no! Run!!


#3 2020-08-21 01:39:42

Moon Pie Advocate
From: Pollyland
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 172

Re: Weird Video Game Cravings

I feel like continually trying to consume and enjoy Idea Factory content was this for me for a while.  Their games are, for the most part, very budgety which isn't the problem.  It's that so often, design wise, they come SO CLOSE to just being mindlessly playable.  So, you may not think it's the greatest thing in the world, but there's something there you're holding onto.  Some nice character designs, an interesting battle mechanic, easy to pick up and put down quest-fodder.  More often than not though, they drop the ball at some point and just become insufferably designed and balanced and it ruins the entire vibe.  The Neptunia Re;Birth games probably come the closest to being okay almost all the way through, but a replay of  Megadimension Neptunia recently sent me on an anger spiral in the first chapter xD 

I think in the last few years I'm just craving a lot of visual novel and Falcom energy.  I want my big long-form anime-adjacent stories presented to me with fantastic music, pretty character designs, and LOOOOOOTS of dialogue.  The Trails series and myriad of visual novels I've chewed through in recent years is definitely indicative of all this.

You got a 25% at best at beat me.


#4 2020-08-27 12:59:08

Zeloz (Mark II)
Retired Ume Detective
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 37

Re: Weird Video Game Cravings

I think "weird videogame cravings" are just another way of the body knowing what you need at a specific moment more than your mind, if that makes any sense.

I've put on hold a lot of potentially excellent games this year in favor of trashy, eroge/hentai/"adult" visual novels, and while I can't say I'm proud of it, recognizing the acute awareness of my loneliness and desire for human connection this pandemic has put me into has made me less ashamed of that fact.

Though sometimes it *is* just straight up curiosity that pushes me to weird cravings, like anytime I get the urge to try and play a 4X strategy game; these games are popular for valid reasons, and I'm constantly fascinated by them, but micromanaging on any level is just not my brain's idea of fun.


#5 2020-08-28 23:16:04

Phil Collins Appreciator
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 71

Re: Weird Video Game Cravings

I have this weird desire to play Quake 4. It's the only Quake (not counting console ports that are demonstrably different) that I haven't spent significant time with. I remember playing the demo over a decade ago and not liking it. It just had that modern id game feel where everything is too chunky and enemies take way to many shots to die, they all slink around and act demon-possessed like the splicers in Bioshock (a 2K game running on the Unreal Engine, but my gripe stands). Hell, it's part of the reason RAGE didn't really gibe with me. I guess got the itch because I've been seeing Quake in my social media sphere lately, whether it's Bethesda putting Quake 3 Arena for free on its launcher for a limited time or Joymasher dev Danilo Diaz playing Quake 2 on period accurate hardware.

Now I know the obvious line of questioning is "why don't you just play a good Quake game?" Unfortunately any time I want to play a classic shooter it seems like I have to screw around with mods to get them running properly with 3D rendering on modern hardware. I did run through Quake 1 a couple years back and Quake 2 is always a squishy good time. Quake 3 is good in its own right for how it polished the deathmatch play style, but I'm too old for Quake multiplayer and it gets outshined by Unreal Tournament in my mind.

I will also not be playing Quake Champions, which looked to be a floundering attempt at the Overwatch formula that was quickly forgotten.


#6 2020-09-13 17:32:51

Peaches the Rayven
From: a place filled with smoke
Registered: 2020-05-04
Posts: 5

Re: Weird Video Game Cravings

Don't know what I'm craving lately because I've just been binging games during the lockdown but that description of wanting to go back to Halo despite not playing it in over a decade kind of spoke to me. I do miss being able to just sit on a beanbag in my college apartment and get my virtual self blown up by aliens whenever I felt like.

I have had specific cravings for genres. I picked up Two Point Hospital, and a few years before that Prison Architect, because I wanted to build something and watch little things happen on the screen, feel like I was maybe the master of my own tiny pretend domain for a while.


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