Abe, a green creature, giving two thumbs up

My Gaming New Year’s Resolutions (I’ve Already Ticked One Off)

Is it too late to share my gaming New Year’s Resolutions?  Probably, but here we go anyway.

If we’re being honest, 2021 hasn’t started off as well as we’d all hoped, but there is still optimism that the year could improve as the months pass and we may return to some form of normality.  Here’s to hoping, anyway!

From a gaming perspective, 2020 was a good one for me.  It started off with Horizon Zero Dawn on PS Now on PC and finished with Cyberpunk 2077.  I managed to get my hands on a new console (the Xbox Series S, and I love it already) and started playing online with my friends again, which definitely helped me to get through the challenging weeks that 2020 brought to the table.

2021 promises more new and exciting games, whether you’re playing on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X or S, PC, Nintendo Switch, or the last-gen consoles.  Here’s to hoping that we’ll get new instalments to our favourite franchises and new IPs that kick ass.

At the start of each year, many people set out with a handful of resolutions to better themselves in the year ahead.  Here are my gaming New Year’s resolutions for 2021:

Play More Games

Sonic and Knuckles playing video games as adult gamers.

Now, when I say “play more games”, I don’t mean “play video games more often.”  As most adult gamers will know, game time is in short supply and increasing it usually means the wheels falling off of something else.  

“Play more games” simply means play more titles throughout the year.  Sounds obvious, doesn’t it?  But it is too easy to get caught up playing a small selection of games when there are so many amazing games released every other week.  

PlayStation Now meant that I had an impetus to play the various excellent Sony exclusives (and non-exclusives) that came to the platform before they left after a few months.  To give a few highlights, I’ve completed Horizon Zero Dawn and Spider-Man and played Control and Days Gone without seeing the credits roll (and I’m fine with that).  I’ve also played dozens of games with my daughter on the Wii U, and played a handful of PC games, too.  

On the flip side, I reignited my FIFA Ultimate Team addiction by picking up FIFA 21 on my Xbox Series S.  I’ve had a lot of fun assembling a team featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Freeze Martinez, Zola and company, but I have spent hundreds of hours that I could have used completing the Witcher 3 or playing more games on Xbox Game Pass.  It definitely hasn’t been wasted time, as I’ve primarily played it when I’ve only had 20-30 minutes free after a long day at work then supplemented it with trading on the app, but it is time that I could have used experiencing other games all the same.

I’ve made it a mission to play at least one new game a month.  If I like the game, I’ll complete it, but I’m much more relaxed about walking away from games that haven’t gripped me these days.  As long as I get to the end of 2021 having played at least 12 new games, I’ll be happy.

Win a Rocket League Tournament

Rocket League showing two remote controlled cars chasing a football while another swoops in.

So, I’ve already ticked this one off, which is a win.

I play Rocket League with my brother and cousin two evenings a week, time permitting.  For the past several months, we’ve been trying to win a Rocket League tournament and failed during season one.  We made it to the semi-finals once, but otherwise, we were generally last 8/quarter-finals fodder.  Given that we had three bites at the cherry a week (one on a Wednesday, two on a Saturday), it was demoralising losing time and time again, so I made it my New Year’s Resolution to win a Rocket League tournament.

What I didn’t expect was to do it the first weekend after New Year.  On 2nd January 2021, we made it to the final, lost the first tie, won the second tie, then drew after normal time in the final game before winning in extra time.  To say we were jubilant would be an understatement.

Not one to simply tick a New Year’s Resolution off so early and pat myself on the back, I’m stepping this one up a bit.

Git Gud at Rocket League

Ultimately, the above resolution wasn’t really about winning the tournament, it was about getting better at the game, which would then result in a tournament win.  Getting better at Rocket League still stands, even if I’ve already achieved what I thought was actually the goal.  

I’m a decent Rocket League player but very far from being pro (which will never be an aim or a reality).  I can score air goals, come up with the occasional dribble and perform a wonder saves, but I’m a high Platinum-level player who has an awful lot to learn about the game despite having put over 500 hours into it over the years.

When we won the tournament, my brother did a lot of carrying.  He is a level that would put him at a high-Diamond level, and though my cousin and I scored a fair few goals and kept us in many of the games, the reason we won the final was a masterclass from my bro.  The opposition took to trying to ‘boom’ him in the third and final game, recognising that if he wasn’t in the game then they’d have victory on a plate.  Predictably, he took the knocks before scoring the winner.

I’ve made it my resolution to improve in Rocket League to remove some of the burden.  Specifically, I want to finish the year by being more competent with dribbling and by getting to grips with flip resets.  Practice makes perfect, and a few more tournament wins will hopefully come as a result.

Support Content Creators

I made this resolution thinking specifically of YouTube, but it extends across all platforms.  I have a handful of YouTubers who I watch on a regular basis and enjoy their content.  I recommend them to others when they ask, but that is where my support ends – I don’t post comments, I don’t like videos, and I don’t share their content.  While I’m sure that an extra view is appreciated, as a content creator myself, I know how great it feels to receive a nice message about something I’ve created.

This year, if I like a video, I’m clicking that ‘button’ and I’m dropping a comment under at least one video for each creator thanking them for doing what they do.  I’m also going to leave comments on website articles to thank other people who spend their time trying to entertain others.

It sounds simple, but I hope that this small bit of extra support gives these creators a little buzz – they deserve it.

Connect with More Gamers

Despite being on pretty much every social media platform, I can’t say that I’ve actively gone out of my way to connect with other people for quite some time.  I share GrownGaming’s content on the site’s Twitter page, and in the past have then retweeted it from my personal account, and occasionally tweeted or retweeted some random stuff.  I’d only really respond to people who commented on my posts, otherwise I’d log off until the next time that I had something to say.  Selfish, right?

This year, I’m putting more effort into responding to other people’s tweets and messages.  I’m following people who write new tweets rather than just endlessly retweeting the same stuff, and engaging in conversation with them.  It could just be to say I like the game that they’re playing, to compliment them on their gaming set-up, or to reminisce about games gone by.

While it is early days, I’ve already connected with a handful of awesome gamers and I hope to build these new connections into friendships as the year passes.  I also hope to meet several dozen more gamers as the months pass.  Not for promotion or self-promotion purposes, but just because we can all do with more cool, like-minded gamers in our lives.

That’s All Folks

Thumbs up

Yup, my list isn’t spectacularly long or overly challenging, but it doesn’t need to be.  Rather than making wholesale changes, I wanted to use this year to make small tweaks.  I want to experience more games, get better at the games I play with others, and connect with more adult gamers.

What are your gaming New Year’s resolutions?  Let us know over on Twitter!  Also, if you want to hit me up on my personal Twitter, it would be great to connect with you.

Wishing you all the best for 2021 and beyond.