I have a philosophy about the necessity of playing bad games. Without knowing what a bad game is, you lose sight of what defines a good one; if all you ever play are good games, then your perception becomes warped to the point where you’ll probably end up hating some perfectly decent titles. It’s harder to spot what good games do well without some context for how bad games do the same thing badly. I won’t expose myself to things that are deliberately bad — I think there’s very little to be learned from the likes of Bad Rats — but I’ll happily play games that look like they might be interestingly bad, which try with all their might to succeed and fail in spite of it. It’s this philosophy that led me to play SimCity on launch, and it’s also responsible for my sporadic efforts to understand the CoD series’ repeated attempts to remain culturally relevant. And now, too, it has led me to sink 20 hours into No Man’s Sky.