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Forget movies and television—Dr Jonathan Robson of Avenue Dental in Baringa, QLD, likes to relax with an open-world video game.
“I’m an avid gamer and find it much more engrossing to play a game than watch a movie. I stay away from online games because they take up way too much time. I prefer console games that take 20 or so hours to play through. You can play them for as long as you like, save your progress and then come back to continue at a later time.
“When I was very young in the early ’80s, my dad bought a Commodore 64 computer. It only had very basic graphics but I found that much more interesting than television. The first console I ever owned was a Nintendo NES loaded up with classic Mario and Zelda games. These days, I have a PlayStation 5 and the new Xbox Series X.
“For a monthly fee of about $15, the Xbox provides a Game Pass that gives you access to hundreds of games. PlayStation doesn’t have anything like that so I probably use the Xbox more frequently. PlayStation does have exclusive titles that are fantastic to play. A sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn called Horizon Forbidden West is at the top of my list. New-release games cost between $80 and $110. You can wait six months after they’re released and buy them much cheaper but that’s not me—I’m too impatient.
“I like games with a good premise and a well thought-out plot. The characters have to be believable and the graphics should be seamless. I play a lot of smaller, independently developed games. I’m not a big fan of shooting games.
“My favourite game is a series called Yakuza based around the Japanese underworld. I lived in Japan and the game is set in the neighbourhood where I stayed. It’s modelled exactly the same as real life so it’s fun to explore those streets as I play.
“The thing I love about gaming is that it’s pure entertainment and much more engaging than television, movies or watching sport. You’re controlling a character, making decisions and reacting to situations. I’ve always felt a bit envious of people who grew up in the ’60s and ’70s and saw popular music develop in really interesting ways. I feel lucky, however, that I experienced video games evolve from extremely primitive graphics to games that look as realistic as a movie.
“I can be a bit obsessive when a game I’ve been waiting on is finally released. I just cancel all my weekend plans and settle in with the console.”