Skyrim and gaming fatigue


This week’s Nerds Assemble while trying to remedy the UK’s high street also looked at another important issue: gaming fatigue. At least that’s the term were giving the experience of feeling reluctant to play games (old or new) or going back to the same one again and again, when previously you played a lot of different games.

It’s like you feel worried that a new game is going to turn out to be bad and thus have wasted a lot of your time, or you feel that you could be doing “better things” with your free time – even when watching TV still seems like a legitimate activity. Experiencing game fatigue when, at your core, you still love the medium is very unpleasant.

But us hosts of Nerds Assemble are not the only ones who’ve been suffering from this phenomena. I’ve noticed a slow increase in the number of people saying that they’re experiencing the above or similar. Becoming tired of videogames without necessarily wanting to.

Dishonored party

At the same time, the industry hasn’t been helping much. The reason I keep going back to Skyrim so much, despite my love-hate relationship with the game, is because I know that it definitely brings me enjoyment and fun. Meanwhile, it took me a great deal of self-persuasion to get on and play Dishonored after being given it for Christmas. I was worried, despite its mainly glowing reviews, that I was going to be disappointed by it, that I wouldn’t have fun.

And why would I have such worries in the first place? Mainly because of the number of games I’ve played in recent years that I have found disappointing: the Final Fantasy XIIIs and Fallout New Vegases of the world are what have left me feeling like I haven’t had fun, haven’t been rewarded for my time. That I’ve been driven through the same old tropes. That I’ve had unwieldy game mechanics forced upon me that stop me from connecting with newer titles as much as older ones.

I’m not saying that games need to be original – that is technically impossible to do – but if I’m to move away from playing Skyrim most of the time when I do game… the game needs to be enticing enough to make me feel like I will have fun and then delivers said fun.

Meanwhile, I have started a diary to accompany my latest play through of Skyrim.


3 thoughts on “Skyrim and gaming fatigue

  1. I don’t want to sound like an arsehole but …
    If you’re tired or bored of your games (even the ones you haven’t played yet) why don’t you try something other than an RPG? All the games you mention in this article are RPGs of one type or another; I have nothing against an RPG (not my favourite genre but not my least favourite either) but I’m sure if I only played one genre I’d be bored as fuck too.
    It’s not surprising really, the RPG dominates the gaming market at the moment (followed, probably, by the FPS); you only have to look at the current release calendar to see that RPGs are succeeding in separating gamers and their money and so developers and publishers are bound to pump out more in the same mould. This is probably down top the fact the open-world games are very popular (and have been growing in popularity for some time now) and the RPG is about the only way to structure a open-world game unless it’s not very serious (like Saint’s Row and similar games).
    Perhaps the problem is less the fear of disappointment and more a industry-wide reduction in choice. I mean when was the last time anyone saw an RTS game take any awards (well, Starcraft but I mean Jesus Christ have you played that game?). Portal tried to make things more interesting, with some success, but there’s a limit to what you can do with one game series. As for the FPS, well the FPS is still wallowing around in the bottom of the COD pit where everything is browny/grey, and set pieces/quick time events are the only plot drivers, and everyone hates the characters, even the ones they are playing as, and the multiplayer is full of teenagers dual-wielding shotguns, inexpertly swearing and jumping around like ADHD kids on a coka-cola drip.
    Fuck it I’m going to go read a book.

    • I like games with a decent amount of narrative available.

      Also, while you’re only going off of the information available here, a look at my Raptr profile shows that RPGs don’t make up the majority of what I play.

      I have played other genres before like RTS and even platformers, but I don’t enjoy their mechanics.

      • That’s totally fair; I was really using this article as a opportunity to make the over-arching point that when a genre (a few years ago it was the FPS) takes market dominance gaming as a whole suffers slightly from the stifling affect.

        Side Note:
        I took a look at your Raptr Profile and your top 12 (first page worth) most played are:
        Skyrim – RPG
        Dragon Age 2 – RPG
        Resonance of Fate – RPG
        Batman: Arkham City – RPG
        Mass Effect 3 – RPG
        Fallout: New Vegas – RPG
        Red Seeds Profile AKA Deadly Premonition – Survival Horror
        TF2 – FPS
        Prototype – RPG
        Borderlands – RPG
        Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Action RPG
        Mass Effect 2 -RPG

        I don’t think I was being unfair to say you clearly like an RPG or two; it’s not a criticism to say you enjoy a particular genre just an observation that lead into my more general point.

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