Woes of an Adult Gamer: Why the Prospect of Playing No Man Sky Scares Me

No Man Sky.jpgWith eighteen quintillion planets and five billion years of gameplay, there is no debating that No Man Sky is the biggest video game to ever be released. Players travel across a shared universe with the basic aims of exploring, surviving and trading and with the main aim of eventually reaching the centre of the universe.

The game is so large that even when players are exploring the same planet, there is a huge possibility that they will never ever encounter one another. It is basically unfinishable.

It is obvious that such an innovative effort would garner great excitement and the hype surrounding the No Man Sky’s release has been absolutely crazy. There is no way that you could visit any gaming-related website in the past few weeks without seeing at least one article related to the title and that is putting it lightly. Gamers have been speaking about No Man Sky’s release non-stop over the past few weeks.

Generally, what tends to happen in such situations is that a person witnessing all of this excitement will become quite interested in what exactly is making everybody so excited. People will basically buy into the hype and become excited about whatever is about to be released as well. It happens with everything: films, video games, tech. Anything that has the ability to excite a group of people.

I am no stranger to buying into the hype surrounding the impending release of something. I have bought several video games that I probably would have never even thought about buying had I not spoken to a friend or visited the comment section on a video game site.

Some of these purchases have been hits and others misses. I’ve found that the general consistency that underlies all of these purchases is that there needs to be a rather significant amount of excitement surrounding the release of the video game or else I might think twice about it.

No Man Sky had the right proportion of excitement surrounding it for me to pre-order it. However, excitement has died down significantly. In fact, I’m actually quite terrified to play the game.

Why am I terrified to play what is sure to be the biggest (both in length and sales) game released this year?

The sheer length of the game; the title’s biggest selling factor is, ironically, what makes me want to avoid playing it.

At this point you may be asking, “Why would anyone complain about the length of a game?”

Well, my dear reader, I am afraid that I will never get to experience the fullness of the game because I don’t simply have the time to do so. As a recently employed graduate, I have seen a significant cut in my time for video games, which means that playing an open-world (in this case, an open-universe) game seems rather daunting.

The level of appreciation that most open-world games require can often not really be attained after only a few hours of gameplay, as would be possible with a linear title. If one doesn’t have time, how are they supposed to gain this appreciation?

This seems to be a problem that plagues quite a few gamers.

If Steam/Xbox Achievements and PlayStation Trophies are anything to go by, there is a significant chance that you probably haven’t finished most of the open-world games that you’ve owned.


Reasons as to why one may not finish an open-world title may vary. You may find simply interacting with the game world more interesting than completing the game’s main and side storylines or you may have started the game and did not enjoy playing and thus decided to stop.

However, more often than not the main reason people may struggle to finish an open-world game is that they simply did not have enough time to do so. As previously stated, a common denominator of open-world games is that they require copious amounts of time; time that is not always available to all gamers.

This is particularly true as one starts to grow older. As a child or a teenager, most people do not have enough money to purchase as many video game titles as they would like due to a limited cash supply; therefore, purchasing a content-heavy open-world title may seem extremely appealing as it is the title that will probably entertain you for the longest.  Finishing such a game is also somewhat easier due to the limited number of games you are able to buy, thus forcing your full attention on finishing your last purchase.

As you age into adulthood, however, the scales begin to change. You may now have more funding to buy the video games you want, but you don’t necessarily have the time and thus games that require a lot of time and dedication become somewhat undesirable. This is particularly true when popular open-world games come out with very short time periods in between them.

Even if you don’t buy new video games every second week (like I seem to do), one may quickly become frustrated with large games because of the slow rate of progress that is made, which is likely to make you want to stop playing it, again preventing you from truly appreciating it.

To be honest, saying that I’m terrified to play No Man Sky is a little bit of an overstatement. A better way of phrasing it would rather be to say that I’m a little sad that I will probably not be able to spend the amount of time I would like to playing it, but I guess that is one of the sad realities that I’ll have to accept as an adult gamer.