5 Immersive Games You Should Play

5 Immersive Games You Should Play

Even if you don't play that many games, these are a few you can't miss.

I don't consider myself a big gamer, but I find myself enjoying playing games from time to time that really grabs me. Usually, I find myself drawn to games that have an immersive and large world to play in along with well-developed characters. Even if you don't play games, I highly recommend playing (or watching play-through of) these five games in particular.

1. Stardew Valley

For Harvest Moon lovers, this RPG is a flash from the past. You start the game with inheriting a farm from your grandfather in Stardew Valley. The location is an escape from busy modern life. There are lots of opportunities for building your farm however you want; you can farm, mine, tend to animals, forage, and even complete tasks for your fellow villagers. What makes this game stand apart from being a Harvest Moon copy is its Minecraft inspired crafting system.

2. Firewatch

This story-heavy game is a mystery set in Wyoming wilderness, where you play as a man named Henry who has left his life behind to work in a fire watch tower. Other than exploring the expansive nature-filled map around you, your main form of gameplay is communicating through a handheld radio to another fire watch named Delilah. Communication and character development are the center of this game.

3. Okami

Even if this game is an older, I still find myself returning to it and replaying it. You play as a goddess reincarnated in the form of a wolf named Amaterasu. Your mission is to rejuvenate the world and banish the evil spirits from Nippon. As you run around and regain your powers, you help many different characters all over the map. The world itself is large enough that there's plenty of side missions to play outside of the game. This is a game that is timeless, and I highly recommend buying it if you haven't.

4. The Last of Us

While I'm not huge on horror games, The Last of Us is a post-apocalyptic zombie game that stands out from the rest. The game starts out with the start of the spread of a virus that turns people into The Infected. You follow the story of Joel, an older man who lost his family, and Ellie, a young survivor. The story is heartful and deep, and the world is intricated. Along with the main plotline, there are plenty of small details that define the world around the characters.

5. Soma

Once again, while I usually don't like horror games, Soma is another game that has a story that made me want to play this game over and over again. The game is set in the future in a remote research facility after the world has suffered from a meteor strike. You play as Simon, a man from the past who doesn't know why he's suddenly woken up years ahead of his time. One of the things that makes this game super immersive is the enviroment; not only are you in a creepy, abandoned facilty, you're also underwater.

Cover Image Credit: Sony Computer Entertainment

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Snapchat Could Be On Its Way Out As A Top Social Media Platform

Snapchat is suffering a long slow death.

I remember when Snapchat first came out. It was a big deal. The next big thing since Facebook. It came out around the same time Instagram did. Both were geared toward using pictures as a means for sharing your social life. It was a movement against Facebook status updates and lengthy paragraphs.

Rather, the two apps have focused on the mantra "a picture is worth a thousand words." The only problem is Instagram is changing and constantly has the room to advance as a formal platform, whereas Snapchat is dying a slow death do its dwindling audience and minimal areas improvement can happen for this informal platform.

The most recent Snapchat updates could have been the ones to send people over the edge and away from using this as a social media platform.

The new layout is disorganized and makes it difficult to watch other followers stories. Not to mention Instagram has also added stories that are more organized and overall more attracting to look at. You have to scroll through your chats in order to watch peoples specific stories and you can't go through all the stories with just a tapping motion anymore.

They put adds and big names to put their own stories that are annoying and time-consuming. Going through Snapchat stories now could take me over thirty minutes. Social media apps are supposed to be designed to be a convenient and quick way to stay in touch not over an hour of your time to watch what people are doing.

I have found that as we move away from the high school scene the appeal for Snapchat also fades. Many college students are busy with classes or joining on-campus activities that no longer requires them to live their lives through the phone. I have not had the time or the desire to go on Snapchat in the last four months because of the time-consuming nature and the immature stuff posted on Snapchat.

It was how people got attention in high school. In high school, having Snapchat was how the cool people stayed cool and the uncool people watched everyone else's lives. It was a platform for people to be able to do immature and illegal things without anyone finding out. It is the app parents can't seem to figure out or have the desire to use. Becuase Snapchat is so appealing to the middle school/high school realm it is only targeting a small audience than an overall larger audience.

You may not agree with me and still find Snapchat as appealing as it was when it came out years ago. Social media cannot last forever and this was already observed through the downfall of Facebook. People will start to move away from something so informal, time-consuming, disorganized, and unsafe as a platform on to the next big thing.

Cover Image Credit: Luke Porter via Unsplash

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If You Answer Yes To Any Of These 10 Questions, You Might Need To Breakup With Social Media

Don't let social media make decisions for you.


Look, I know I sound crazy, but just bear with me on this one. Think about it: how many times are you hanging out with a friend, and both of you are just sitting on your phones? Maybe you're even sitting right next to each other and just texting them instead of verbally communicating (call me crazy, but I feel like humans have vocal chords for a reason).

And maybe even worse: you guys can't have a real conversation in person because who you are online is different than who you are offline. You know, the absolute worst part is that this kind of scenario is just the tip of an iceberg larger than Mt. Everest. There's also cyberbullying, an increase in self-esteem issues, and even more (maybe that we don't even realize yet).

Giving up social media for lent really opened my eyes to the issues with social media and the burdens it places on both society's shoulders and an individual's shoulders.

Honestly, I felt so much happier with myself when giving it up that when I could finally use it again, I didn't really want to use it. In fact, using it kind of stresses me out now, so I've decided to break up with social media for good.

Well, kind of. I'm keeping Facebook so my family, especially those in England, don't think I'm dead or missing. I'm basically remodeling my personal twitter account so I'm just following poetry and topics I actually care about (and memes but I like to keep that part on the down low).

As for Instagram, I'm going to delete my personal and keep my photography account. Lastly, I'm just going to use Snapchat for communication and keeping up with my friend's lives. Basically, anything that makes me unrealistically self-conscious or more selfish, I'm getting rid of or modifying it to not be that way.

If your relationship with social media is at a crossroads, ask yourself these 10 questions:

1. Do you tweet more to your drafts than to your actual feed?

2. Do you constantly check Instagram to see how many likes (or comments) your selfie got? And/or do you check Snapchat to see how many views (or replies) your selfie got on your story?

3. If you didn't get enough likes, comments, replies, views, etc., do you delete the selfie?

4. Does scrolling through your feed make you feel self-conscious about characteristics of yourself that you normally would not be self-conscious about, or even self-conscious about characteristics you love about yourself?

5. Do you find yourself scrolling through social media while hanging out with a friend rather than talking to them in person?

6. Do you get in fights with friends, family, or significant others when one of you misinterprets something that someone said on social media?

7. Do you find yourself acting completely different on social media than you would normally in person?

8. Are you getting fewer things done (homework, projects, etc.) because of spending time on social media?

9. Is it hard for you to talk about uncomfortable, controversial, and/or significant topics in person?

10. Do you struggle to connect and converse with people in person?

If you answered yes to 5 or more of these questions, or honestly even any of these questions, I would strongly suggest taking a hard look at your social media: who you follow, what you post, how you act, etc.

You don't need to cut social media cold-turkey if you don't want to, but I think you'll find that your life is much simpler without the stresses and burdens it places onto your shoulders. Trust me, the process isn't easy, but it is liberating in every way imaginable.

Don't let social media wear the pants in your relationship, people.
Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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