A gamer once told me that 100% completion was the only way to be called a gamer. This is my retort.
Video games are meant to be enjoyed. The video game industry has blossomed in the last few years, leaving behind a legacy of what the gaming industry can be. Barring a few dark spots on the horizon, the gaming industry seems to be on an upward trend, and hopefully it will not be slowing down any time soon. That being said, there are plenty of reasons why video games should be enjoyed by the masses, and that being a gamer does not mean that a game has to be finished 100% to be called one.
1) Games now are an art form, more than any time before.
Showing off high graphical fidelity is now a priority in many AAA games. Games as an art form itself has come up for debate; clearly why not, seeing how art styles have permeated video games, making them look like amazing drawings (like in the case of Okami) or photorealistic landscapes (think The Witcher 3 or Final Fantasy XV). Game graphics have definitely come a long way, from the times of lines and dots (very much akin to that of cave wall drawings) to our modern games. Eye candy has become expected. And why not? Our current generation of technology has allowed for more information to be processed, and thus more can be conveyed to the eyes of the beholder. Some gamers do enjoy gaming just because games look beautiful, and so who are we to take that experience away from them? Perhaps it is good if we stop and see the flowers once in a while.
2) Stories are becoming more fleshed out too
People are an interesting bunch; we enjoy listening to others recount their lives, being able to empathize with what they go through as though we are there ourselves. This translates to gamers as a whole, as players are able to transport their entire being into the avatars they control. This allows them to live lives outside the mundane world of everyday grind and experience worlds that are way beyond what this realscape (a.k.a. real world) can accomplish. They basically get to live lives that they wish they could, telling stories of their own as they play on in games that encompass high fantasy, modern noir, or even futurepunk. “Imagine what it would be like to be there” is the mantra, as players meet the loves of their lives as well as greatest foes through a 3D scale model of ‘themselves’, rushing off to save the world from a fire spewing hamster.
3) Gamers just want to play
Ever heard someone at a skatepark tell someone else “If you can’t grind this handle you aren’t a real skater/biker/extreme kick scooter”? I have; it made me feel indignant and angry. You see, I was one of those who never got around to learning how to do tricks on my scooter, and being ridiculed for it just made me feel excluded. Sure, being part of an elite group is a powerful feeling, I get it. Ever played a 1 turn deck in Magic the Gathering? The feeling is amazing when you can pull something of that calibre off. That makes you feel like you are an elite in your field of gaming; elitism grants you membership into a small and wonderful world of comparisons with others. When someone falls short though, it does not give anyone the license to make others feel small about it. I never ever saw the “ridicule everyone else” clause on my membership card. Some just want to go through the game because the game is part of a larger lore that has been established from prior games or because they have heard good things about the game and want to find out more about it.
Not everyone has the time to finish a game fully and milk every ounce of gameplay out of the games they play; after all, we still have to go back to our lives eventually. Maybe it is a hobby they like to take on once in a while? Whatever the reason is, some just really want to play. Why should they be thought of as less than one who completes games 100%? If you wish to do so, more power to you. If not, just sit back, relax and enjoy your time slaying puzzles.