Papers, Please is an indie release from last year that I should have reviewed and recommended.

The human race has managed to survive another year on this little piece of space dust we call home, so that means it’s time to celebrate on the one hand and set goals for ourselves on the other.

I admit freely that I’m rarely strict about my resolutions. My resolutions are vague at best, usually something along the lines of “slow down and enjoy life,” and “be more motivated,” or some similar set of contradictions. This year, though, I’m going to make a couple of resolutions as a gamer. If I don’t live up to any of these, feel free to call me on it.

Play More Indie Games

Since I only started writing about video games in November, I didn’t give myself a chance to play a lot of indie games. I think Outlast is the only game I played that counts as an indie game. This is a bit shameful, as several indie games, including Papers, Please and Gone Home made a splash among gamers. This is in spite of (or perhaps because of) the fact that they are completely different from the typical “mainstream,” big-budget game.

Give Casual Games More Lip Service

Not every gamer wants to grab a fake gun and roam fake maps and shoot fake people. Sometimes you want to buy a simple game to distract yourself from ordinary troubles. I’ve played such things as hidden-object games and match-3 games. I’m going to try and devote some more time to reviewing and recommending those games in addition to the big-budget releases.

Talk About the Big Issues

As gaming gets bigger, so do the little issues within gaming. I’ve already discussed the problems with bugs in expensive games, but it goes deeper than that. The nature of microtransactions is putting a crimp in the usual more-game-for-your-money status quo, as companies release games that are close to unfinished and charge for the privilege of the complete experience. And it seems hardly a week goes by in which we don’t hear about some fresh instance of disgusting misogyny, harassment, and sexism perpetrated against female gamers. Gaming culture is just as important as games.

Happy New Year, everyone! Game on!

I'm the daughter of a veteran who spent my childhood in Killeen. As of 2013, I have a degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. I'm a critic of books, films, television, and video games. Find me on Twitter: @rachel_knows

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