In a slump lately...

Looking over the ~40 games I have bought or linked into my Steam library I don't feel compelled to play any of them, and I'm trying to figure out why, exactly. Over time I've broken down what compels me to play games and at the top of the list seems to be the social component. Not social in the facebook and Twitter sense, but social like sharing game experiences with friends, just talking about how awesome games you've played are, and playing co-op with them. The problem now is most of my friends I used to do that with have sort of drifted off to go their own way after we graduated high school. Between then and now I've had League of Legends to keep my needs more than satisfied, but I've played it for almost 2 years now and I feel it's time to move on.

It's not an easy thing to fix. I've been trying to think of ways to get involved in the community such as starting a blog about games I've been playing or writing reviews of games (neither of which are great ideas since writing isn't my forte) to sort of motivate me to play games again. And even that sounds odd to me. Should I need something like that to motivate me to play games? I should play them because they're fun, right? I shouldn't need any outside push to want to jump into a game and have some fun, right? Solving this problem is part of why I've returned from my Giant Bomb hiatus I had been on for far too long.

Part of the issue lies in the fact that I've essentially moved entirely onto PC as my gaming platform which took away the thing that easily kept me going even back when I would talk about games with my friends: achievements. Actually my first blog post on GB almost 2 years ago is about them which was a bit funny to go back and read. That blog post is almost perfect foreshadowing to this post I'm writing at the moment, but back then I was complaining and the present problem hadn't even developed yet. If only I knew...

So what's the best course of action here? Has anyone gone through anything similar?

Also, for someone who has been absent from GB for about a year: What are the most important things I've missed? Business as usual for the last year or has any exciting stuff happened?

15 Comments
16 Comments
Edited by Sanryd

Looking over the ~40 games I have bought or linked into my Steam library I don't feel compelled to play any of them, and I'm trying to figure out why, exactly. Over time I've broken down what compels me to play games and at the top of the list seems to be the social component. Not social in the facebook and Twitter sense, but social like sharing game experiences with friends, just talking about how awesome games you've played are, and playing co-op with them. The problem now is most of my friends I used to do that with have sort of drifted off to go their own way after we graduated high school. Between then and now I've had League of Legends to keep my needs more than satisfied, but I've played it for almost 2 years now and I feel it's time to move on.

It's not an easy thing to fix. I've been trying to think of ways to get involved in the community such as starting a blog about games I've been playing or writing reviews of games (neither of which are great ideas since writing isn't my forte) to sort of motivate me to play games again. And even that sounds odd to me. Should I need something like that to motivate me to play games? I should play them because they're fun, right? I shouldn't need any outside push to want to jump into a game and have some fun, right? Solving this problem is part of why I've returned from my Giant Bomb hiatus I had been on for far too long.

Part of the issue lies in the fact that I've essentially moved entirely onto PC as my gaming platform which took away the thing that easily kept me going even back when I would talk about games with my friends: achievements. Actually my first blog post on GB almost 2 years ago is about them which was a bit funny to go back and read. That blog post is almost perfect foreshadowing to this post I'm writing at the moment, but back then I was complaining and the present problem hadn't even developed yet. If only I knew...

So what's the best course of action here? Has anyone gone through anything similar?

Also, for someone who has been absent from GB for about a year: What are the most important things I've missed? Business as usual for the last year or has any exciting stuff happened?

Edited by WilltheMagicAsian

I'm going through that right now. CS being my game of choice. It just stopped being fun and after CAL then Eco shut their doors it seems a lot of my friends quit the game and I haven't really played it at all for almost two years. I have friends that haven't logged into their steam account for over or close to a year, and a lot of them, including me, just use it as a messaging client now.

After playing one game for so long I'm now finding it hard to find a game that will keep my attention for more than a week. It's like I have game ADD with a touch of cynicism. That and after high school I moved and haven't really been keeping touch with a lot of old friends so we don't really play games anymore either.

For what you've missed, Whiskey Media was recently sold and GB is now owned by CBS interactive. I guess you could file that under "exciting stuff."

Posted by Jumanji

@tdk08 said:

The problem now is most of my friends I used to do that with have sort of drifted off to go their own way after we graduated high school. Between then and now I've had League of Legends to keep my needs more than satisfied, but I've played it for almost 2 years now and I feel it's time to move on.

Nothing is going to come close to the adrenaline high you'll get from a League match. The Dota2 beta is quite open with keys apparently.

Posted by Humanity

@tdk08: I'm going through it for similar as well as different reasons. Similarly as you I've moved and keeping in touch with even close friends becomes difficult when you're simply not there to partake in any events and e-mails and messages slowly degrade into "whats up, nothing new, ok." It's ironic actually that in this age of technology and ease of communication it's hard as even to keep in touch with anyone even when they're staring you right in the face on your friends list. Much like yourself the lack of actual friends to play games with online has diminished the appeal. When Bad Company 2 came out I used to spend entire nights playing online with 3 other friends, literally until 5am and having the time of my life. When BF3 came out I thought we could recapture those good times, but sadly we played literally a handful of matches before everyone seemed to had lost interest or just stopped being online.

A large part of it has to do with what I'd call gaming attrition. Recently all major releases have been sequels to long running series. I'm certainly enjoying myself less in games where I inherently know all the mechanics before I pop the disc in. Nicer graphics and some new levels and narrative just don't seem to be doing it for me anymore. Gears 3, Battlefield 3, Assassince Creed (4), Arkham City, Mass Effect 3, even Dark Souls - all those games were inherently excellent but I couldn't help but feel that I've already played them beore and I just bought a really massive DLC.

I don't have a solution here yet. Getting the new games when they come out I find myself playing each title successively less than the previous one. I still force myself to go back and beat everything I buy - which sometimes leads to discovering a lot of fun I initially didn't have with a game (such in the case of Skyrim where I was really bored and unimpressed with it at the start) and sometimes it jsut turns in a slog of me muttering how annoying something is under my breath while going through the paces of closing out the story. I'm hoping that a new development cycle will come to save the day. New IP's and new tech will really reinvigorate my passion for video games.

Posted by nickux

For me, interest in games can be cyclical. In fact, it wasn't until my first year of college that I got REALLY into gaming. And by "really" i mean immersed in the news, podcasts, sites, culture, etc. Interest in games comes and goes but I've found that a huge backlog can lead to disinterest because no choice seems like the right choice in terms of what to play next. I've been chipping away at my backlog the past two months and managed to whittle it down from about 10 or so to 3. Having a goal like that cured my last bout of gaming fatigue. There's different reasons for everyone but, if I were you, I wouldn't over-think it. Use the time you're not interested in games to do something else. They'll still be there when you want to play. 

Posted by believer258

Giant Bomb is now owned by CBS, which also owns Gamespot. Other than that? Nothing that I know of.

As for games that can't keep your attention? Maybe you're just burned out on games. That's happened to me before - I'll sometimes do nothing but play games for a long stretch of time and then put them down and barely touch them for a while. It sounds like you just need to find something else to do for a little while.

Posted by James_Giant_Peach

Happened a few times to me, although usually just when I've got too much shit on my mind or my desk to be able to concentrate on games. Just have a little break and the urge to jump on dude's heads and stab some monsters will come back.

Posted by Redsox44

You probably just need to find something else to do for a couple of weeks. Maybe get into movies and TV shows for a while. After not having any interactivity for a while, the itch for gaming will come back. And making friends with the same interests as you never hurts too.

Posted by GunslingerPanda

Start reading loads of books until a game that interests you comes along.

Posted by krazy_kyle

@tdk08: I agree with most of what you said, I think the social side of gaming definitely helps influence what I play and don't play. I bought Battlefield 3 not long after launch on PC for £20. I played Call of Duty more as it was on Xbox and my friends also had it as they didn't have Battlefield 3 on PC and I didn't even like COD as much as I liked BF3! It took me a while to notice this and since then I haven't played COD for a while and focused more about what I liked, forgetting about missing out time with my friends, I see them 3 times a week anyway.

I don't think you should ultimately decide to move on completely or stay with games entirely but try something else and see if you get the urge to play something. I also found that I got bored just buying games that got good reviews instead of buying of what I thought looked good. I bought a few random games like Evochron Mercenary and From Dust and I found these new experiences very refreshing. So since then I try to avoid looking at review scores and just going with my gut when purchasing some new games. I sometimes worry that I will make a bad decision in my purchases but I've only ever made one error of judgement and it was a big one... Splatterhouse (Xbox 360).

Posted by returnofjake

I've spent the last month trying to get myself into the city-building / RTS side of games because I've always been terrible at them but wanted to get better. I've had Anno 1404 and Stronghold queued up and ready to play, but I just can't bring myself to commit the hours I know I need to. So I keep going back to SMNC. Damn SMNC.

Posted by Hizang

I have 19 games that I haven 't even taken the sticker off, when I look at them trying to decide what to play amI end up playing Skyrim..

Posted by AURON570

You're not alone dude, it happens to everybody.

Posted by Sanryd

Thanks everyone for the responses. I guess I'll just hang back from games for a little while until something sparks my interest. I've got plenty of Bombcast to catch up on anyways, so I can at least keep tabs on what games are coming out.

Posted by astrodoggy

@GunslingerPanda: this

was here a month ago and then read Ender's Game (best Sci-Fi book evaa). now I'm back in full videogaming force.

Posted by Tireyo

I've turned psychotic!

Wait....

O_o