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分段睡眠模式改变了我玩电子游戏的方式

对于我来说,2015年是奇怪的一年。对此的更多细节我就不在本文中说了,而有一点要提的是我的睡眠习惯变成了我们所知道的分段睡眠(或双峰睡眠)模式。这种改变是从春天开始的,而比起抵抗改变,我反而接受了它,并对于这种改变会创造出什么不同充满好奇。

那时候的我害怕的是自己得了失眠症或者一种更严重的症状。然而在9个月后,这种改变却对我的生活产生了积极的影响。我很少出现睡眠不足的情况,这不再是困扰我的日常压力。即这意味着我每天晚上会有两次睡觉时间,并且每次睡觉大概会持续4个小时(持续时间长短会发生不同变化)。即在两断睡眠中间会出现1或2个小时的清醒时刻,通常是在凌晨3,4点。这时候我总是会起床看会电视,读会书,散散步,或者,也是最有趣的是:玩些电子游戏。

晚上9点后我便不会再看手机或检查电子邮件,这一原则同样也适用于我在凌晨苏醒的时刻。对此我会建议你们阅读Jonathan Crary的短篇书籍《24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep》,它能够有效地解释为什么你需要对自己的机理和工作生活被划分成两个部分而负责。

FFVII_Inn(from gamasutra)

FFVII_Inn(from gamasutra)

不管怎样,这种睡眠间的中断就像是一块静止的冷冻面团。那时候的我是清醒的,但却不能做出快速的判断。而我也热衷于在这个过程中玩电子游戏。我觉得那时候的自己再次变成了一个小孩,内心充满渴望地想要碰触一切事物,虽然这种情况维持的时间并不长。我并不存在何时睡觉,定闹钟或做家务的压力。这种睡觉间断为我创造了一种放松且幸福的感觉。

我并不需要担心何时能回到睡眠中,因为我的身体已经适应了这样的生物钟。在经过一段游戏时间后(可能是3分钟,60分钟或90分钟),我便会慢慢感受到睡意,关掉游戏,重新回到床上,并马上进入睡眠状态。

当处于这种状态时,我便可以玩自己所收集的那些游戏,并真正沉浸于其中。这是与我在下班回家后决定玩游戏时经常面对的选择困难症(游戏邦注:有太多游戏想玩但却没有足够的时间)截然不同的体验。在我的睡眠间隔期间,这种轻微的恐慌根本不会困扰到我。但这并不意味着我没有任何选择标准,只是这些标准被重新调整了。

对此的一个有效例子便是年初发行的《Mad Max》。这是一款古怪的开放世界游戏。并且当你深入玩游戏时会发现它比表面看起来更有趣。看起来很大,同时也很小。游戏中拥有许多小齿轮以及很少的大齿轮:兴奋点太多,成就感太少。你的眼睛里将充斥着大片的荒地,并且你需要想办法完成更多无用的任务。Eurogamer的Christian Donlan在一篇文章中是这么描写这款游戏:

“当你在玩《Mad Max》时,你并不是真正在玩一款电子游戏,甚至于你只是在玩其中的一部分内容:即如今许多高预算电子游戏的一个地质样本。”

MadMax_MaxatOverlook(from gamasutra)

MadMax_MaxatOverlook(from gamasutra)

《Mad Max》拥有许多单调的支线任务和繁琐的工作,就像是能够很快完成的刷任务机制。通常情况下在面对这样的游戏时我总是会不断念叨着它的缺点并最终将其卖给或送给其他人。但多亏了我的全新睡眠模式,这款游戏被拯救了:每个晚上我都会完成大部分的支线任务目标,并漫无目的地在地图上行走着。因为很容易走神,我便不会再注意到游戏无聊的环境设定,并更加专注于游戏中华丽的风景与分层系统。

开放世界游戏总是处于某种认同危机中,但多亏了我在今年养成的睡眠习惯,我觉得现在的自己已经能够直接接受开放世界游戏的这种问题并最大限度地看到它们的优点。当然了,这并不是在为开放世界游戏所遭到的任何批评找借口。但说实话,比起基于传统的游戏评价去玩游戏,我在睡眠间断期间更多地感受到了游戏的乐趣。

所以如果你只会在凌晨2点至4点期间玩《Mad Max》,它便有可能成为你心中年度最佳游戏之一。这是不带任何游戏计划而体验的游戏。

本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,拒绝任何不保留版权的转发,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

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)

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