Five Gaming Resolutions for the New Year
2023 is looking like it will be a great year for games and I think it’s the perfect time to make some gaming resolutions in preparation for the new year. If there’s anything I’ve learned from videogames, it’s that sometimes you need a fresh start. Imagine your playthrough is going terribly, you accidentally got your favourite character killed and you are fairly sure you’re barrelling towards the worst ending of all time. Not to worry! You can simply press pause, go back to the menu, and start over from the beginning — most of the time at least.
New Year’s is like that too; we don’t get a “new game” blank canvas, but we do get new chances to achieve our goals and fulfil the promises we made to ourselves. If I’m being honest, I often ditch my New Year’s resolutions sometime around March or April; I either say I’ll try them again next year or I simply forget I made resolutions at all. I’m sure I’m not alone! This time round, I’m trying something different by making a gaming resolution list for the first time. I’m hoping that my love for games keeps me motivated. Plus, if I’ve learned anything else from videogames, it’s that having goals is a good thing!
My list will likely look different than yours. Naturally, New Year’s resolutions will reflect the person setting them. I won’t be able to predict your unique gaming needs for 2023, but I hope this list helps if you need ideas. Now, without further ado, here are my gaming resolutions for 2023.
#1 — Finish Hollow Knight
Hollow Knight is a fun 2D Metroidvania action-adventure game that excels at turning exploration and discovery into a rich experience. You play as a small, nameless bug with a black body, white head, two horns, and a cloak. Visually, the game is stunning, and the animations are excellent. Combat is engaging and versatile with various charms you can use that provide bonuses and special abilities. The music throughout is also hauntingly beautiful. With all that said, I somehow have managed to start three playthroughs of this game (what many would call a masterpiece) and I haven’t finished any of them.
There’s no definitive reason why I haven’t finished Hollow Knight. I enjoy exploring the world. I love the challenging boss fights. Every time I play the game, I get sucked in for hours. By all accounts, I should have seen the end credits by now; I even believed I was getting pretty close to the end with the last playthrough I started back in September. I’m going to blame this one on life, deadlines, and my habit of gravitating back to my favourite comfort games like Stardew Valley. Excuses aside, I have a good feeling that this time will be different. 2023 will be the year I finish Hollow Knight.
#2 — Stick With My Animal Crossing Island
Ballade Island is the fourth and latest iteration of my island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. This time I’m designing the island with a cosy, relaxing aesthetic in mind — like you’re on an endless camping trip surrounded by outdoor libraries and you can wear winter sweaters year-round. The reason I created a resolution to stick with this island is that I tend to delete my save and restart whenever I manage to unlock terraforming.
Terraforming is a feature in New Horizons that allows players to change surrounding cliffs and rivers/waterfalls as well as create paths. It’s supposed to be a tool for creativity by letting you fully customise your island’s layout to your heart’s desire, but my island ends up looking like a total mess compared to the original setup. My solution? Restart the island. Rinse and repeat. This cycle also means I put myself through the initial New Horizons tutorials again, which are very tedious because progression is time-locked. For 2023, I’m telling myself to stick with it even through the chaotic mess (for at least one year). This way I can experience the seasons in their entirety, collecting more crafting recipes, creatures, and items whilst avoiding the early-game limitations. Ultimately, I think if I take the time, I can create a great cosy island for my villagers.
#3 — Attend a Gaming Convention or Tournament
This one may be the most difficult resolution on this list due to the planning and budgeting it requires, but I’m hoping I can make it happen. There’s something fun and special about being in a space with other players, celebrating games from many genres and platforms!
If you’re also interested in going to a convention or attending an esports event this coming year, I suggest looking up the ones closest to you in your area. Even if some of the bigger conventions don’t come your way, you might be able to find smaller, local events that are just as fun!
#4 — Explore, Collect, and Enjoy!
In 2023, I’ll be embarking on a hunt for achievements and collectables. The release of the Xbox 360 is the first time I remember caring about achievements in games. Around that time, adding points to your Xbox “Gamerscore” became an inherent part of the gaming experience. I remember wanting to find all the flags in Assassin's Creed or become a “Garden Value Master” in Viva Piñata. In recent years though, I wouldn’t describe myself as the kind of player to collect all the achievements, collectables, or quests available in a game. I admire the players who do! Me, however? I am likely to launch my 100th playthrough of Dragon Age: Inquisition, choose to play a mage again, and wouldn’t consider the many achievements I miss when I ultimately make the same decisions I’ve made with each previous playthrough. What can I say? I love familiarity. However, I have to admit this habit does get in the way of discovering new challenges, secrets, and endings. Developers put so much effort into their games; I feel quite guilty for only experiencing half of what they created.
My overall goal with this list is to refresh my gaming life and a big part of that is seeking out all games have to offer, enjoying them in their entirety, and approaching them with the enthusiasm I had when I was younger. So, this resolution to explore for hidden collectables and unlock achievements fits right in with what I’m trying to accomplish.
#5 — Play More Games / Try Something New
As for my last resolution, I want 2023 to be the year that I create a more varied gaming experience for my gaming life. This mostly means playing a little less World of Warcraft: Dragonflight and making time for more games sitting in my backlog. It also means trying more genres of games! Recently, I’ve been incorporating more hidden objects, horror, and simulation games into my library. I’m finding the variation creates a more textured experience overall. So, I definitely want to keep this up going into 2023.
For me, this is the first time a resolution list feels achievable. If you find yourself bored with your usual resolutions, I suggest making a game-related one. You might have a seemingly endless backlog of games in your library, maybe there’s a genre you’ve never tried before, or you have your eye on a new graphics card for your PC — your list is already growing! If you have gaming resolutions for 2023, I’d love to read them in the comments below.