I know plenty of people who have told me that have come to a time in their lives where gaming just isn’t prominent any longer. They’ll play something here or there but they don’t consider themselves into the hobby anymore. I don’t feel that way, at all. However, I’m starting to realize that I don’t game like I used to. My habits have changed but my expenditures have not. I’m still a dedicated gamer at heart but my actions don’t support that. I just don’t beat game anymore.
Recently, I played through Sleeping Dogs from start to finish in a weekend. I couldn’t stop playing it. I had a great time playing the game but after I beat it I said to myself, “man, it’s been awhile since a game held onto my attention like that.” It’s true, too. This year has been very shallow in that department. Sure, there are a ton of games ranging from decent to amazing that even I think people should not miss. In the overall list of releases this year, though. I could only pick out maybe 10 that I have done everything offered in them. This is so radically different to when I was younger. Hell, just a few years ago it was different. I would play games from start to finish, explore any area I could, pick up collectibles, and ensure I could experience all I can.
I rarely feel like a game is pulling me in anymore. I can sit here in front of a brand new game, perhaps one I was waiting for, and say that I enjoy it a lot and like it. Yet, it will take me some time to complete it or I may never see the ending. Nowadays, a game needs to hold my attention for a long time so I take the initiative to turn it on, play, and try to beat it.
I really don’t like this.
I miss being able to sit down and play without having to worry that I won’t even look at the game in a few days. I spend all this money and my back catalog is ginormous. I keep buying yet I don’t complete. Now when I look at my game pile or my Steam library, it is too daunting to even begin. I find myself playing the same games over and over again because I know they can keep me concentrated.
While some of my friends are outgrowing games. I seem to be neglecting them. I don’t want to outgrow them, either. That is far and away what I want to happen. Gaming has provided me with hours upon hours of getaway, relaxation, and enjoyment. It was what I used to get away from the world. Key word there is: was. Games don’t relax me anymore. I feel like I can’t just sit down and play a game for the previous reasons. Perhaps it’s a byproduct of getting older. Maybe it’s because I have deadlines to review or preview. Or could there be something else making me neglect my gaming?
This year I’ve completed a few games but the ones that I truly remember are Mass Effect 3, Diablo 3, and Sleeping Dogs. That’s not to say the others aren’t worth my attention nor praise. I just think I’m finally ready to admit that I’m neglecting my games.
It’s time to change that. Why? Why would I want to change that? Why not just accept it and move on? Because I’m still of the thought that gaming is the kind of release I, myself, need to barrel through the week. Everyone needs something in their lives to help them skirt the edge and keep going. For me, for most of my life, games have kept me sane and my mind at ease. I need to return to that.
Have your gaming habits changed over the years?