The recent discussions (such as they were) about unfinished games got me to thinking (yes, always scary ;). As I mentioned before, unless a game is really awful, I always finish it. But there’s something else.

Not only do I have a strong urge to complete a game (no anxieties there!), I experience a driving need to reach the end as quickly as possible. Of course, some of that comes from the “good old days” when I was writing for CGW.

Print deadlines are unforgiving, so dawdling along, exploring every nook and cranny (or crook and nanny, ahem) wasn’t possible. Naturally, I did as much of the “side stuff” as I could, but the important thing was getting to the finale in time to write the review.

Later, no surprise, I’d go back and replay the game a few times, usually for writing up a walkthru or tips file, or answering mail (gee, I miss those letters).

However, it’s been years now (eek) since I wrote for the mag, yet that need to “get it done” is still with me. And I’ve been pondering why. There’s no urgent reason for zipping through a game anymore. Print deadlines no longer apply. And it’s not as though I had a big pile of games waiting to be looked at (more’s the pity, too).

Most of the games I’ve played since leaving the mag haven’t been bad; so the idea of “getting through it to be done with it” doesn’t factor in, either (I’d make an exception for Neverwinter: The Movie ;).

So is it that all those years of having to finish quickly burned the “hurry hurry” into my brain? Burned it in so deeply, that even now, quite a few years later, I can’t shake it?

Y’know, when I stopped writing for CGW, I thought, in my innocence, I’d finally be able to relax a little, take my time, go through a game slowly. Play it without that deadline looming over my head. The way it used to be before I became a professional.

Something tells me that’s not going to happen. I have the feeling that I’m stuck forever with that “need for speed”. Just as well there are no virtual cops out there to give me a ticket for “speed gaming”. I’d be in traffic court every day. Or at least, every day I was playing a game. Heh.