Saturday Morning Gaming: Choice Paralysis
Guadalcanal Diary was one of those skinny-tie bands from the 80s that nobody listens to anymore. They had a really awesome song called “Always Saturday“. The song had the same theme, kinda, as The Talking Heads’ Heaven but was a hair more existential. As “Heaven” was a place where “nothing ever happened”, Guadalcanal’s place where it was always Saturday had a little more bustle:
A chorus of laughter fills the air.
Everyone’s going everywhere.
So many choices it’s not fair!
I hop in the car and I just sit there.
I bring that up because that is exactly how Red Dead Redemption 2 feels: So many choices! It’s not fair!
I get on my horse and I just sit there.
Get this. The game has:
178 animals to discover
30 fish to discover (wait, aren’t fish animals? Maybe that’s 208 animals to discover, then)
19 different horses (don’t see them as animals, see them as vehicles, I guess)
43 different plants
144 different tobacco cards
You meet a guy who sells you a treasure map (or you can rob him, I guess, and get it)
You meet a lady who asks you to find dinosaur bones
You meet a guy who is writing a book about a very particular gunslinger and he asks you to go out and visit the people in the stories he’s writing about so he can finish the book
And that’s not counting the different pieces of equipment or guns or whathaveyou.
You can play dominoes.
You can play poker.
You can play blackjack.
You can play Five Finger Filet (though you shouldn’t).
I sit down to play the game and get on my horse and I have *NO IDEA* what I should do. So I normally go out and find a turkey or a deer or a couple of rabbits and make sure that the people in the camp are fed. I feed the horses. I chop wood. I carry water. I have short conversations with my campmates. Sometimes I play dominoes or poker with them. By then it’s afternoon and I have enough time left before dark to go out and maybe do *ONE* thing.
And, inevitably, it’s something like finding a poster that says that a museum in town is looking for two perfect rabbit specimens.
There are too many things to do. It’s not fair.
So… what are you playing?
(Picture is promotional image for Red Dead Redemption 2 from Rockstar’s twitter feed.)