Tobold's Blog
Thursday, August 30, 2018
What remains of the games we played?

This week there was a short news piece in the gaming press that Square Enix was removing an older JRPG from Steam, The Last Remnant. You can still buy it now, and if you own it you can play it forever, but from next week on you can't buy it on Steam any more. Prompted by that, I decided to have a look at that game. I didn't remember having heard of it at all, and thought that maybe it was one of the many games I missed over the years. Turns out I didn't miss it: I had bought the game in 2009, played it for nearly 50 hours, and written a review on my blog. I just had completely forgotten everything about it.

Even reading my own review and looking at the trailer and screenshots on Steam didn't bring back any memory. Complete blank, as if I had never seen it. That made me a bit sad. Not just because I am getting old and forgetful, but also on a philosophical level: What remains of the games we played, if not our memories? My Steam library is getting twice as depressing: Not only is it full of games I bought at some sale and never played, it is also getting full of games that I played and don't remember.

You should read up on how memory works. It's fascinating and still not really well understood even by neuroscience. My advice is that if you want to remember something, remember to remember it. Otherwise you most likely won't.
Just like your health is better from the healthy food you forgot and worse from the smoking and drinking you did decades ago, your problem solving ability increased from every game you played, even if they are long forgotten.

Yelling a bit because you're getting old... 😈
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