No Man's Sky Is A Game For Introverts

I like this game, and I won't apologize for it.

No Man's Sky is a game for introverts.

The View

So in the past few weeks, after the official release of No Man's Sky, the gaming community has lost it's mind and threatened the game's developer with enough pitch forks and torches that refunds have been offered. I won't be asking for one, because I like this game. Maybe it's because I'm 40 and I don't care. I forget I'm 40 when reading what other gamers are saying, and I need to remind myself they might all be young angry boys.

I think some of my reasons for liking the game are because I'm not actually a hard core gamer. I didn't not get exposed to every bit on hype leading up to it's release. I did not spend days on end speculating with others about how awesome it was supposed to be. I did not anxiously await the download finishing so I could be the first in. I knew what it was in a very general way, and I never thought it would be something you could plow through. If Hello Games did oversell the game as something it's not, then shame on them, but I didn't get exposed to whatever that hype may have been. And if you played 40 hours in and then asked for a refund, shame on you.

If your favorite game is Call Of Duty, No Man's Sky is not for you. As I have played the game, I've developed the sense it's much like raking a Japanese zen garden. It is a slow game, and it's supposed to be. It is a lonely game, and it's supposed to be. No Man's Sky is a game for introverts. Maybe that's why I like it. Hours of explorations and no humans messing up my mood. I have spent a lot of my time searching for alien ruins and monoliths to expand my knowledge of the languages used in the games. Huh, imagine that, a game that allows you to make intellectual pursuit your main goal.


I've heard complaints about the graphics. I like them. They are not hyper-realistic, but then, neither is Picasso or Van Gogh. It has a style and I can appreciate that. The creatures are odd, the planets sometimes beautiful, sometimes harsh. It's a world design I can enjoy. What does a "real" alien look like anyway?

There isn't much combat in the game. I think this might also be a complaint for some. But wow, a game not based on violent conflict, how refreshing. I'll take it. And then, in those moments when conflict arises, it's all the more surprising and jolting. It can be a slog to build something, but should it be easy? And I also don't feel like this is a game you should play 8 hours at a stretch. Back to the zen garden metaphor, load up No Man's Sky and meditate for an hour or two, then get on with your life, hopefully with some lingering hope for the future and awe at the scope of the universe.

If you didn't buy it yet, I would wait. The price tag is steep, and for what the game is, I think that's a valid complaint, as I think most games are expensive these days. It isn't perfect, but it's not worthless, and in the interest of preserving civilization even if I didn't like it I would not attack the developers with the vitriol that so many have. But if you're looking for a mostly relaxing, visually interesting game that you don't have to have the reflexes of a 17 year old on six red bulls to play, get No Man's Sky. I would expect it to drop in price soon, and Steam often has holiday season sales. I like sci-fi, and as with movies and tv, sometimes any is better than none, and this game isn't awful as some would have you think. It just isn't what so many thought it would be. Blame the developer, blame your brain for buying the hype. I don't blame the game itself because I've found a purpose for it in my life. Whatever it's problems, I would still rather be out there, in No Man's Sky, than here at my desk.

In Flight

No Man's Sky

"I actually want people to boot up the game and just think, 'Isn't the universe huge? Who are we? What are we all doing here?'" - Game creator Sean Murray

I'm a semi-avid gamer, and I'm really looking forward to this game. 18 quintillion planets, it would take hundreds of billions of years to even briefly explore all of them. Let it be a reminder of the overwhelming vastness of the universe. You may never run into another human player, much like we may never meet another sentient species even if they are out there.

No Man's Sky