I am now a week into my new project as a minimalist gamer. It has been a week of removal and subtraction. A week of analysis and reflection. The last seven days are the start of a path to more intentional gaming. I am happy with the results, and I’m enjoying the time more when I do decide to play.
The first thing I did to help me establish what I mean by minimalist gamer was to identify the three things most important to me while gaming. (For you, it may be two, it may be five. I would advise not going over five.)
- Enjoy my time
- Limit the options
- Be streamable
With these points in mind, I began to look at my gaming life in more detail.
Drilling down further, I took a critical look at all of my gaming habits, the hardware I use, and how I want my ideal playing situation to look.
- What do I play? PC, PS4, Macbook Air, iPhone, iPad, 3DS, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch (on pre-order)
- Where do I play? At my PC, Living Room, basement, anywhere with my phone
- What haven’t you played in the last 90 days? Xbox 360
- How could you streamline your gaming life? Realize you can never do it all. Reduce the options in front of you. Be intentional in you gaming choice.
Minimalist Gamer: A week in review
By applying the answers given above to my current situation I took the following actions to create a minimalist, more intentional gaming life.
- I restored my five-year-old, 3rd generation iPad which I primarily used for gaming while on business trips to its original factory settings. Apple made it obsolete with iOS 10. I made it obsolete when I quit my job to work for Kyla last April. It will be sold or donated.
- I deleted all games on my iPhone. The games I do enjoy to play occasionally – Fire Emblem Heroes, Ascension, Fallout Shelter – I installed on an old iPhone 5s. The 5s is now an iPod Touch for gaming only. This move has created a distinction between devices. My 6s is for work/social media, and the 5s is for the moments I want to play one of these games.
- I reinstalled the PS4 remote play app on my PC. For the last year, the system has lived in our living room attached to our main television. When I decided to dive into Fallout 4 to finally finish the main campaign last month, the game and system needed so many updates, I had to hardline it in and used my computer monitor to get them done. It took almost four hours to complete. I also remembered I could play it at my PC with remote play. It now lives in the basement not plugged into a television and streams to my PC.
- I have completed a purge of the games installed on my PC. I used the 90/90 rule on my game library. If I hadn’t logged into a program in the last 90 days, I removed it from my hard drive. My Macbook Air also had all games removed from it. The MBA is now for business and writing only.
- The Xbox 360 is now a media center for our basement TV.
- I gave my 3DS to Kyla to play, and she has since started a new character in Pokemon Sun.
- Nintendo Switch pre-order is now cancelled.
After week one, this is my new reality:
- What do I play? PC, PS4, iPhone 5s
- Where do I play? At my PC, this includes iPhone gaming.
- How is your gaming life now streamlined? Gaming is in one place on a central device.
The steps I used to create a more intentional experience can apply to any aspect of your life, not just gaming. By removing obsolete, stressful and imperfect situations, I now have a gaming life I enjoy. And that should always be the goal. Enjoy what you are doing, especially with your leisure time.
How would you better use your leisure/gaming time if you could? Let me know in the comments!
With my gaming life now in order, I move on to my primary goal of this project – make World of Warcraft fun again! I started streaming again over the weekend and will go through some of the progress in my next post.