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.
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.