I’m realizing more and more lately that I have a problem with endings. As in, I don’t like them having to happen.
I’m of a type to draw out experiences as long as humanly possible, often to the detriment of my experience in doing whatever thing I happen to be doing. Often, I wonder why that is.
For example, TV series. Even in my immense enjoyment of any given long-running show, I tend to waver, to hesitate as the end approaches. I start rationing episodes over time, if I’m watching them after the fact on DVD or something, watching fewer and fewer in a sitting so as to not reach the end. Indeed, to this day, despite owning the entire series on disc, as well as having it syndicated ad infinitum, I have never seen the final broadcast episode of Futurama, one of my favourite shows of all time. And that’s just one example.
A similar thing happens in my gaming habits. I love video games, unabashedly. I love the stories they can tell, I love the immersion in an exciting world not my own, I love the attention to detail the best can provide and the swaths of things to do and see and collect. But all too often nowadays my gaming habits tend to winnow away the joy I get from said games, unless I’m actively pushing myself towards a concrete end point. I’ll drag out the experience of each and every game, spending inordinate amounts of time collecting every last feather (Assassin’s Creed) or scanning every planet (Mass Effect) to the point where it dilutes my experience of the driving fiction of the thing and pulls me out of what was no doubt a very deliberately paced and plotted piece of fiction like any (well-made) other. Only through sheer force of will do I push forward without worrying if I’ve missed some tiny piece of (perhaps amusing but ultimately superfluous) miscellany that I could just have easily gone back later to see.
Hell, I eat the same way. I ration leftovers from well-enjoyed meals, snack in ever-decreasing proportionally-determined segments as supplies of a particular nosh dwindle, never really considering the idea of just, y’know, going out and buying more. Is that what it all comes down to?
Am I really that cheap?
Admittedly, I was raised in a (to put it politely) frugal household. It was never that we didn’t have any money, simply that it was scandalous to think of spending it. And also admittedly, being jobless has led us to be hopefully more thoughtful (than I admittedly already OCD my way to being) with our pennies. But should my panic about obsessing over squeezing every last cent of value out of a $60 game purchase really override the enjoyment I get from it? At what point does the experience suffer enough through a concern over bang for buck that the bang gets overridden by buck every time?
All that being said, now I’m off to apply for some more jobs, then play more Mass Effect 2. Gotta get it out of the way for Bioshock 2, which comes out tomorrow.