New Year’s Schmresolutions: Diversity
Confession: I need negative reinforcement. You want something done from me? You hire this guy.
So I knew right off there was no way I could just rattle off a New Year’s Schmresolution like these other losers and have any decent chance of following through on it without some sort of Giant Spiky Dildo of Shame looming over my head. New Year’s Resolutions are, anymore, synonymous with ‘unfulfilled good intentions’ for even the averagely motivated among us, much less someone as notoriously flaky with ‘self-improvement’ projects as I am.
- Come up with some vague and/or nonspecific ‘goal’ that is literally impossible to not fulfill by the end of the year
- Pick something that I was planning on doing anyway
- Actually challenge myself, but with the prospect of some unpalatable consequence waiting as motivation
The third option is more entertaining for everybody, right? Absolutely. Here’s the plan:
I resolve to not play consecutive games from the same country without first playing games from at least two other countries.
Youse guys are always hounding me about discussing obscure Japanese games way too often, so I aim to eliminate the Japanese part. Every country’s obscure games deserve some love! Not only does this resolution ensure that I won’t spend too much time with esoteric Japanese titles, I specifically stipulated ‘two other countries’ to force myself away from Americo-centrism as well. The rest of the world is capable of putting out some quality entertainment and Schmamerdom can only benefit from digging up overlooked gems from regions apart from our own. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be overlooked indie titles, several popular AAA titles are developed outside the US, like Montreal’s Assassin’s Creed or Italy’s Just Dance franchise; something gamers often neglect to think about.
‘A noble goal,’ you think, ‘but let us get to the Spiky Dildo of Shame part.’ Indeed. Any good punishment needs to be, first and foremost, enforceable. The entire exercise is moot if there is no way to hold me accountable for breaching the resolution, and therein lies a big problem. I live alone, and none of my friends out here would be willing (or able, really) to monitor every video game I play to ensure I’m not cheating. This also makes finding a suitable punishment more difficult as well: I could very easily impose buying a One Direction song for every infraction, but what’s to stop me from just claiming I paid my penance?
There’s no perfect way around this, unfortunately, so part of this will simply require me being honest. But here is what Adam, Josh and I brainstormed as ground rules: We’ll keep track of what games I’m playing through Schmame Over, in which all three of us routinely discuss our most recent gaming excursions. I’ll try to at least mention all the titles I’ve been playing, and if I happen to mention two games from the same country without first mentioning two other games— even if I’ve played two games from two other countries— that counts as an infraction. To clarify, I can actually follow the rules perfectly, but if I forget to mention all the titles I’ve played, then I lose.
Punishment? Adam and Josh get to choose the next game I play, and I have to finish it. Before I can play anything else. Rest assured they will make it an excruciating experience. And if it’s streamable I’ll be streaming every second. If it’s unbeatable, then an appropriate hour count shall be specified. I’m expecting this in my near future.
Honestly this isn’t a remarkably painful resolution to fulfill; I’m actually kind of looking forward to it, it might be fun to figure out how to delegate my gametime. The problem lies in actually remembering to do it three or four months down the road. It isn’t very likely Josh and Adam will be adamant about keeping me honest either, so maybe I’ll escape unscathed, but if any of you start to think “Gosh, Pat’s talking about another Japanese game again?” bring it to our attention! I might be breaking my Schmresolution, and then everyone gets to delight in my suffering. A win-win if there ever was one.