Are consuming experience media a waste of time?

  • Global Moderator

    Hi Allies.

    After an argue amongst friends we started to discuss the value of "re-experienceing" consumed media. To clarify I mean media, such as books, films, games etc a second time around. Is it worth to go back and revisit these places again after you've finished them, or is that just a waste of time? One of my friends argue that once you have gone through a film/game you have already seen it and as there are constantly new amazing things being created you should focus on what lies ahead. As if we just keep going through the same old films and games, as good as they might be will be missing so so many new experiences that are being created each and every day.

    Then my other friend argue that just because you revisit media which you already may have consumed might just help you. Going back allows you to grow a stronger bond with the material, see more details that you might have missed the first time as well as knowing that you will get a good experience. Just because you go back to old things doesnt necessary mean that you miss out on new cool stuff.

    So I ask of you dear allies, where do you stand in this question? New is always better? or should we not forget old experiences that we might have had in awesome games and films?

    Would be interesting to see where you all stand!

  • I tend to side with your second friend on this one. However, it all comes down to every person answering the fundamental question: Am I having/Did I have fun? If you enjoyed media, in any capacity, and want to go back to it, you know how much of a good time it is. Nothing is a waste of time if you enjoy it. Is it productive? That's an entire different question. I go back and play Final Fantasies VII, X, and XII, the Kingdom Hearts franchise, Mass Effect, and Uncharted, (Just to name a FEW) and I go back and re-read Harry Potter from time to time, because I gain the same enjoyment out of it. True, there are new experiences to be had, but if they don't appeal to you, don't worry about it.

  • Man, I have had this argument many times. And each time I get mildly annoyed when someone tells me I shouldn't reread a book, or rewatch a movie.

    But my reasoning is simple. It's a comfort to revisit old friends, and as far as I am concerned, the books I love are old friends. Same goes with movies, tv shows and games.
    Not to mention I do notice new things with revisits.

    But to each their own. Perhaps some people are very thorough with their first experience and only need the once through.

    I will also say though, that I think both extremes are bad. You should revisit old faves but certainly try new things to find new faves.

  • I think about it every day. It’s not so much about games but more about anime and some movies I would like to watch again. But there are just too many games to play. It’s like in the 30 or more hours it takes to play a game you could watch 15 movies or like 5 series of anime. Anyway what I decided for myself is that when I watch or play something I actually try to focus on it. For example, I do tend to watch movies alone and often even repeat scenes even while watching a movie for the first time when I feel like I lost attention or like some interesting lines of dialog happen or to analyse how a scene is cut… But that also means that often I have the time but I know I’m not in the right mood for much. Then I play some really dumb game with lots of grinding or other monotone gameplay while listening to a podcast or watching a lets play.
    The only time I revisit things is when there is a new value in it, like a director’s cut, a remaster, watching/playing in a different language or watching it in 3D. But yeah, there are really lot of things I want to watch again, even if it is just for nostalgia.

  • It depends how good it is. A story like The Last of Us or Twilight Princess, I'll notice meaningful details or intentions that I didn't the first time through. I think this especially helps after you've watched a review discussion or spoilercast about the game. It helps to get an outside perspective I feel (unless it's something like Inside or Journey, which are so vague and interpretable that no one knows what they're talking about).

    Another good measure for whether you'll gain something new from going back to a piece of media is "Am I smarter than the last time I saw this?"

  • Time moves forward constantly. Our time is limited and we only get one pass. The only way to make the most of it is to spend it on things that you want to do. And that includes re-consuming.

    Each experience we have is always different. Just because the story/game/outcome is the same doesn't mean the experience is the same.

    I just started playing Jak and Daxter remaster. I played and beat it when it first came out and I can't remember much about it. So I experienced it as the latest blockbuster and now I'm experiencing it as a classic game from generations past.

    Yes it can feel guilty. But it can still feel good. And what's wrong with that?

  • I also agree with the 2nd friend.

    I think it's totally acceptable to replay games. I can see why the 1st friend and others can move on after reading or watching a book or movie. A movie and book will not differ from the first time experience but I believe that games differ. Sure most game stories will be the same but the gameplay will differ. Your experience will differ, you may die in a different place or tackle a boss a different way. For other games where it may have branching story lines, then replaying the game can add to multiple replays. For games without story and built for only gameplay, will only really come down to what your end goals are each time you play. For some its to achieve a the high score, for some it can be speedrun times, or some just for the challenge it invokes each time you play it.

    Games at their core are created to challenge or motivate your brain to solve the scenario you're playing through. It's just that story has also become a strong influence in game development. How much challenge that game was for you or how much fun you had beating that game should be the bigger question. If it was too easy and provides no challenge, then there might be motivation to move on.

    Not to forget the games that are designed to simply immerse you in a world. You return every time you want to get away from the real world and enter your favorite world. Should you return to those games? Well ask yourself why you go back to your favorite real life locations. The answer might be very similar.

  • Its never a waste of time if you enjoy yourself.

  • Experiencing things multiple times is really important when it comes to art. A lot of works require it in order to get a full or even coherent understanding.

    I think it's important to reevaluate the things you enjoy every few years or so. You'll always bring something different to it when you do. I'm not sure if becoming fixated on, or constantly replaying a game is all that useful, but it's your life.

  • Global Moderator

    Thank you all for so deep thoughts so far! please keep it coming!

    I personally tend to enjoy going back to experiences now and then which I really enjoyed. It can be for certain parts of a game which I want to experience again or just to play through the story again. There have been games which I replayed on the easiest difficulty just to be able to enjoy the story and "RP" in the world.

    However I am always on the lookout for new experiences and I also think that there are a big difference of "enjoying old gameplay" and "just lazy development". I can really enjoy bits in a sequal or such where the developer have brought back a fighting system or such, but sometimes it feels like "they just threw it in" without any thought and it just wants me to get past it or stop playing the game over all.

  • As somebody who has played through the entirety of Super Marip RPG, Final Fantasy VI, EVERY God of War, F.E.A.R., and a few other games I am probably forgetting, at least five times each... Fuck that first guy.

  • Basically everything you do that isn't eating and sleeping is a "waste of time" in one way or another.

    But you have to ask yourself, why do you read/watch/play various media? Isn't it generally because you find it enjoyable? That you want to have a good time? If that's the case then it's hardly a waste of time since you're spending your time on something you enjoy.
    So if you're having a good time re-reading, re-playing, etc. stuff then how can that be a waste of time?
    The argument that "you could have done X or played Y" is irrelevant because you chose not to. You chose to revist something you knew you would enjoy over something you might've enjoyed. There is always a next time, if you so choose.

    For me there is only one thing that matters in life and that is to make sure you enjoy living it. If you enjoy doing the things you do then it's not a waste of life.

  • I had this question on my mind as well since I recently purchased Bioshock: The Collection, so it's nice to see others with views on it as well. I have to agree with what nearly everyone here is saying - it's not a waste of time if you enjoy it. The great thing about a game is there's so many ways to 'experience' it. My first run of Bioshock back when it was originally released consisted of a casual playthrough on Normal to enjoy the story and I had a great time. Now I'm finally replaying through it on Very Hard (with no vita chambers) and... I'm havng a great time, potentially even a better time, although it's difficult for me to compare experiences so far separated. Sure, I know the twist coming into it, but I've been forced to use weapons and plasmids I didn't even bother with so many years ago. That's just one specific example in an ocean of them. I honestly don't think remasters would continue to be popular if enjoying something a second time wasn't beneficial in some way.

    Honestly, I'm more concerned with people that just rush through everything they can get their hands on, just to say they beat it - I feel like your own personal interaction with a piece of media is far more important than the fact that you made it to the end. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I have a friend that plays close to 10 hours of Smite a day. He really won't play much of anything else, he'll refuse social events and the like, all in the name of Smite. Once it gets to extreme cases like that, I feel calling it a waste of time may hold some merit. There's value in the saying that variety is the spice of life and I honestly don't believe someone can grow as a person if they do the exact same thing, day in and day out.

  • @SabotageTheTruth Remasters and new collections are interesting to me when asking this question. This recently came up with me as well since my BF wants the Skyrim remaster. We both played that game on PS3, and each well over 80 hours. I am all for replaying games, but it's another thing to rebuy the same game without any new content. Initially I was all for it when I thought the mods were coming to the PS4 version, but now it's just better graphics. I adored Skyrim but it's not a game I want to replay without new content. That particular game is just too long.
    The Bioshock one is more likely though since we never bought the DLC for Infinite.

  • Oh! I forgot one other point I wanted to make. I think playing games as tradition can be a lot of fun for setting the mood for a certain time of year. For instance, I know Huber boots up Resident Evil on Halloween, I personally love playing the original Doom on Christmas (because it's not Christmas without some bloodshed).

  • Life itself is a waste of time.

    The only thing you could possibly consider an objectively correct purpose in life, is to breed so that you propagate your DNA and ensure the survival of the species. That's what evolution has designed you to do. The value of anything beyond that is subjective. Which is a roundabout way of saying it's up to you to decide what the point of all of this is.

    To me, the purpose of life is to have fun. I have 80 something years, hopefully, on this planet. I'm going to enjoy them to the fullest, and then eventually I'm going to die and cease to exist forever. But in the mean time, I'm going to do whatever I derive pleasure from, and I don't give a damn what anyone thinks of it. So if going back and watching the Star Wars films every couple of years is something I get enjoyment out of, I'll do that. And if re-playing games over and over is something I get enjoyment out of, I'll do that too. And so should you.

    It is most definitely a waste of time, but so is everything else, so who cares?

  • @Paper-Lion Any further breeding will only lead to overpopulation where we exceed our planet's carrying capacity (K), deplete its natural resources, and mostly all die off.

    So that's a waste of time too ;P

  • @Haru17 We can solve that problem with a couple of incredibly bloody wars, or a pandemic or two. Either that or terraforming another planet, which we really should be doing anyway. Being a one-planet-species is starting to become pathetic. It's like, how long are we, as a species, supposed to keep living in our proverbial parents' basement? Time to make an interstellar empire, guys. Conquer some lesser developed alien races and shit.

  • Global Moderator

    @Paper-Lion Im up for that! also we need to figure out a faster and easier way to travel than just move around in metal containers of different sizes and shapes.

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