Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Value of the First Impression

It's a natural thing for humans, for all animals for that matter, to put a lot of stock in their first impressions. It's not entirely surprising; sometimes life and death is decided in only a few seconds. The deer decides whether to stay still or run from the wolf, as does the antelope from the cheetah, even humans have fight or flight responses; they all depend on the first impression.

In the month of April I played four games in particular after the excellence that was Mass Effect 3; The Old Republic, Witcher 2, Tera, and Diablo III. Every game came up wanting for one reason or another; Republics' story wasn't as deep, Witcher 2's combat was a tad wonky, Tera's story was non-existent, and Diablo III was just a shade weaker than expected. Those were all my first impressions. Then came Guild Wars 2, a game lauded for its combat, and I was unimpressed. I found it wanting versus the brilliance of Tera's combat and it made me pause. Earlier in the week I had been sure that I wasn't going to play Tera based on the fact that other than its combat I was bored, sure it doesn't do anything wrong but it didn't feel like it would be enough. When I went to play the Guild Wars 2 beta I realized that my first impression of the game, while not complimentary shouldn't be enough to stop me from playing some more, in this I realized that I had to give Tera more time to pass or fail. 

Still it made me think, so much of life based on our first impressions. With MMOs' we usually get five or ten years to go back and see if we were wrong, but games are different; so to is life. How many times have I not done something, or traveled down a road based on the first impression. It's something to ponder, time is precious to us its true and yet how much sweeter would life be if we took the time to take a second impression or a third.

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