分段睡眠模式改變了我玩電子遊戲的方式

作者:Steve Bailey

對於我來說,2015年是奇怪的一年。對此的更多細節我就不在本文中說了,而有一點要提的是我的睡眠習慣變成了我們所知道的分段睡眠(或雙峯睡眠)模式。這種改變是從春天開始的,而比起抵抗改變,我反而接受了它,並對於這種改變會創造出什麼不同充滿好奇。

那時候的我害怕的是自己得了失眠症或者一種更嚴重的症狀。然而在9個月後,這種改變卻對我的生活產生了積極的影響。我很少出現睡眠不足的情況,這不再是困擾我的日常壓力。即這意味着我每天晚上會有兩次睡覺時間,並且每次睡覺大概會持續4個小時(持續時間長短會發生不同變化)。即在兩斷睡眠中間會出現1或2個小時的清醒時刻,通常是在凌晨3,4點。這時候我總是會起牀看會電視,讀會書,散散步,或者,也是最有趣的是:玩些電子遊戲。

晚上9點後我便不會再看手機或檢查電子郵件,這一原則同樣也適用於我在凌晨甦醒的時刻。對此我會建議你們閱讀Jonathan Crary的短篇書籍《24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep》,它能夠有效地解釋爲什麼你需要對自己的機理和工作生活被劃分成兩個部分而負責。

FFVII_Inn(from gamasutra)

FFVII_Inn(from gamasutra)

不管怎樣,這種睡眠間的中斷就像是一塊靜止的冷凍麪糰。那時候的我是清醒的,但卻不能做出快速的判斷。而我也熱衷於在這個過程中玩電子遊戲。我覺得那時候的自己再次變成了一個小孩,內心充滿渴望地想要碰觸一切事物,雖然這種情況維持的時間並不長。我並不存在何時睡覺,定鬧鐘或做家務的壓力。這種睡覺間斷爲我創造了一種放鬆且幸福的感覺。

我並不需要擔心何時能回到睡眠中,因爲我的身體已經適應了這樣的生物鐘。在經過一段遊戲時間後(可能是3分鐘,60分鐘或90分鐘),我便會慢慢感受到睡意,關掉遊戲,重新回到牀上,並馬上進入睡眠狀態。

當處於這種狀態時,我便可以玩自己所收集的那些遊戲,並真正沉浸於其中。這是與我在下班回家後決定玩遊戲時經常面對的選擇困難症(遊戲邦注:有太多遊戲想玩但卻沒有足夠的時間)截然不同的體驗。在我的睡眠間隔期間,這種輕微的恐慌根本不會困擾到我。但這並不意味着我沒有任何選擇標準,只是這些標準被重新調整了。

對此的一個有效例子便是年初發行的《Mad Max》。這是一款古怪的開放世界遊戲。並且當你深入玩遊戲時會發現它比表面看起來更有趣。看起來很大,同時也很小。遊戲中擁有許多小齒輪以及很少的大齒輪:興奮點太多,成就感太少。你的眼睛裏將充斥着大片的荒地,並且你需要想辦法完成更多無用的任務。Eurogamer的Christian Donlan在一篇文章中是這麼描寫這款遊戲:

“當你在玩《Mad Max》時,你並不是真正在玩一款電子遊戲,甚至於你只是在玩其中的一部分內容:即如今許多高預算電子遊戲的一個地質樣本。”

MadMax_MaxatOverlook(from gamasutra)

MadMax_MaxatOverlook(from gamasutra)

《Mad Max》擁有許多單調的支線任務和繁瑣的工作,就像是能夠很快完成的刷任務機制。通常情況下在面對這樣的遊戲時我總是會不斷念叨着它的缺點並最終將其賣給或送給其他人。但多虧了我的全新睡眠模式,這款遊戲被拯救了:每個晚上我都會完成大部分的支線任務目標,並漫無目的地在地圖上行走着。因爲很容易走神,我便不會再注意到遊戲無聊的環境設定,並更加專注於遊戲中華麗的風景與分層系統。

開放世界遊戲總是處於某種認同危機中,但多虧了我在今年養成的睡眠習慣,我覺得現在的自己已經能夠直接接受開放世界遊戲的這種問題並最大限度地看到它們的優點。當然了,這並不是在爲開放世界遊戲所遭到的任何批評找藉口。但說實話,比起基於傳統的遊戲評價去玩遊戲,我在睡眠間斷期間更多地感受到了遊戲的樂趣。

所以如果你只會在凌晨2點至4點期間玩《Mad Max》,它便有可能成爲你心中年度最佳遊戲之一。這是不帶任何遊戲計劃而體驗的遊戲。

本文爲遊戲邦/gamerboom.com編譯,拒絕任何不保留版權的轉發,如需轉載請聯繫:遊戲邦

How segmented sleep changed the way I play video games

by Steve Bailey

2015 has been a strange year for me. I’ll spare the detail, but one major change has been that my sleep habits have shifted to what’s known as a segmented (or bimodal) pattern. It started happening in the springtime, and rather than fighting it, I just relaxed into the change, accepting the fluctuations, and seeing what happened.

At the time, I feared that I was developing insomnia or that it was a symptom of a much deeper issue. Nine months later, it’s had a hugely positive impact on my life. I’m rarely in sleep debt, and most common day-to-day stressors now seem like distant boogeymen. Basically what this means is that I have two sleeps per night, lasting approximately four hours each, although durations can vary. This is broken up by one or two hours of wakefulness, often at 3 or 4am, where I get up and watch some TV, read a book, go for a walk, or, most enjoyable of all: play some video games.

I refuse to look at my phone or check my email after 9pm in the evening, and the same applies to when I’m awake in the early hours of the morning. I’d recommend reading Jonathan Crary’s short book, 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep, as to why you need to take responsibility for how the mechanisms of your personal and work lives are collapsing into one another (It’s a patchy but worthwhile read; its earliest chapters are its best, I think).

Anyway, this interval between sleeps is such a chilled piece of cookie-dough downtime. I’m alert and lucid, but have no immediate priorities. And I *love* playing games during this stretch. I feel like a kid again, approaching everything with eager tunnel vision, and little concept of time. There’s no pressure on having to hit a certain bedtime, to clockwatch, or to take care of any chores. It’s a loose, happy sense of affiliation.

I don’t have to worry about when I should go back to sleep, because my body seemingly now takes care of that timing itself. After a play session – perhaps 30 minutes long, 60 minutes, or even 90 – the lull of slumber starts to seep back in, and I finish up on my game, roll into bed, and fall almost immediately to sleep. Seriously, it’s the best damned feeling. The very opposite of modernity’s brittle preoccupations.

When in this state, I can pick up pretty much any game from my collection, and sink right into it. It’s the antithesis of choice-paralysis that I often experience when sitting down to play games when I arrive home from work in the evening: There’s so much to play, and so little time!? But this micro-panic doesn’t bother me at all during my between-sleeps interval. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have standards, more that those standards have recalibrated.

One great reflection of this was the Mad Max game released earlier this year. It’s such an odd open-world game. Beneath the surface, it’s far more interesting than it appears (an ‘opine-world’ game, I guess?). Too big, but also too small. It has too many little cogs, but too few large ones: Too much arousal, too little consummation. It crams your eyes with lurid wastelands, but struggles to ask more than hollow tasking in terms of player goals. Eurogamer’s Christian Donlan described it wonderfully, in a recent article:

“When you play Mad Max, you’re not really playing a single video game so much as you’re playing a sort of cross-section: a geological sample of where many big-budget video games are at today.”

Mad Max is packed with humdrum sub-quests and busywork, the kind that can feel like a disposable grind in no time. Normally, I’d bang my head against such a proposition for a bit, lament its shortcomings, then sell the game or give it away to someone. But thanks to my new sleeping patterns, the game came alive: Each night, I’d mop up a generous bunch of sub-quest targets, pinballing around the map with no firm trajectory in mind. Too zoned out to worry about the game’s bland wider context, yet alert enough to appreciate the game’s dazzling landscapes and layered systems.

Open-world games have always been in some flux of identity crisis or other, but thanks to the way I’ve been sleeping this year, it feels like I can now step directly into that flux, and salvage the best of it. This isn’t to excuse any criticism of all the peculiar pressures and priorities involved in open-world gaming, of course. But, frankly, I’m probably going to be having more fun with it than is accountable under any conventional umbrella of game evaluation.

So there you have it: Mad Max is one of the games of the year, provided you only play it between 2am and 4am. Gaming without any game plan.(source:gamasutra)