Did lockdown and the pandemic make anyone else burn out on games?

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sombre

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Hey duders,

Like many of you, I was stuck inside for the majority of the lockdown. I was off work for 9 months due to me leaving work to move somewhere else (Which ended up not happening, but that's neither here nor there), so for those 9 months from January to September-ish, I was sat inside on my own all day with a PS4, a PC and a dream. At first, I thought it was great. A real chance to catch up on my backlog and play these games I was eager to try. The first couple of weeks I did more gaming than I did in the previous year combined.

But then it hit. I was no longer enjoying my free time. Without work or a job to keep me busy during the day, I felt like I couldn't enjoy my leisure time. I've always been a big proponent of "Work and home were meant to be enjoyed separately", so to have 12-15 hours at home all day was interminable.

Did this happen to anyone else? Did overexposure to free time and game time diminish the time you had? Or am I just not THAT into games anymore?

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vaiz

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#2  Edited By vaiz

@sombre: I was unemployed for about a year straight starting in May of 2020, relating to various things in my life that all went tits up at the same time in conjunction, coincidentally, with the pandemic. For the first couple of months, it was great being able to sleep in every day, do basically whatever I wanted, play games, etc.

But after a while. yeah, it's living hell. I think we need something beyond just doing whatever the fuck we want to keep us feeling... I don't know, useful? Dynamic? It doesn't necessarily even have to be a traditional job -- other projects, volunteering for shit, etc, I think can serve that same purpose, but of course usually don't come with an income.

Anyway, now I'm back to being employed full time and every time I groan when I wake up and have that moment of wishing I didn't have to go to work, I remember what it felt like to not be able to go to work.

Or maybe our monkey brains are just trained to desire labor thanks to capitalism, I dunno man.

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Giant_Gamer

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I used to play any single game i find to my liking but not anymore. Now I only play what I know will be fun after some research about it.

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isomeri

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Working from home every day has certainly made me spend less of my free time on screens at home. I don't think I've played a single PC game in the last two years, since sitting in front of the PC just reminds me of work now. Overall I have more of a desire to go outside after work and spend as little time at home as possible.

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Ginormous76

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@vaiz:As humans, we need something to do that feels at least somewhat relevant. This is why people who work in a job where they have to be at their desk for 8 hours a day, but only do about 1 hour of actual work will leave that job (even though you would think it would be a dream to only have to work 1 hour, the other 7 hours are detrimental to mental health). If I ever won the lottery or inherited a bunch of money to the point I could quit my job, I would volunteer about 20 hours a week. A 40 hour work week is about 5-10 hours too long once you factor in commuting, lunch break not counting towards your 8 hours at work, etc. I think about 20 hours a week is a good amount to still feel relevant/contributing, but also have free time.

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Ginormous76

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#6  Edited By Ginormous76

@sombre: It depends on the individual. I found out that I LOVE working from home. I always thought I would dislike it, but for me there were a lot of positives. I can take a 1-2 minute break whenever I want to pet my dog. I can play video games over my lunch break. I save 45-60 minutes a day in commuting (plus gas money). I get to use my toilet. I get to set the air conditioning to whatever I want. I can put my work laptop on my treadmill and exercise while working. I work a job that I enjoy, and I have no desire to move up in the company (I do not like having people report to me, and it would be higher stress, which I took this job. I was working 60 hours a week minimum in my previous job, and 100 hour weeks at least once a month), so not having to play office politics works just fine for WFH.

Shutdown allowed me to catch up on my entire backlog and really reignited my love of gaming. I now play games I enjoy and stop playing games I'm not enjoying (instead of feeling like I need to finish them due to buying them).

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Nodima

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I never stopped going into work and interacting with the public every day, and I mostly never stopped going to the industry bar after work because it just felt so necessary to commune with fellow service workers after each day about how weird everything was, but otherwise no I had the complete opposite reaction. My days off became and have mostly remained entirely indoors affairs rather than going out to check out new restaurants or see old friends at bars other than the post-work spot. My circle's whittled down significantly and I've even been struggling to convince myself to go out and see a movie even when I really, really want to see it because I've come to value just being hermetically sealed at home so much.

I really got into Japanese games for the first time since the PS1/2 era in a major way and I've finally dove in on some franchises I was just hesitant to spend money and time on initially. I put 100 hours into Genshin Impact and remember almost none of it, I was gifted a Switch from the manager of that bar and finally got to put my hands on Super Mario Odyssey, Hades and Breath of the Wild. I replayed Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us Part II just because, I buried even more personal time into MLB The Show's Diamond Dynasty than ever before, actually played some of my PS+ games like Vampyr, Detroit, GreedFall and LotR: Shadow of War. Dabbled with PS Now just to see how it compared to Gamepass and came away pretty impressed - I got to play the Avengers campaign for just 99 cents!

It honestly was pretty fun to play some very mediocre games and find the charm in them, or some truly bad ones and wax nostalgic on childhood memories of making a rental at Blockbuster that was so bad I could - and perhaps did - cry over the waste of money. And then the PS5 arrived and it was a real treat bashing through all my favorites from the past generation and seeing them in a whole new light (I'd also finally joined the 4K/HDR generation during the first round of stimulus checks, but only had a base PS4 so it wasn't outputting what this TV deserved) for a few hours - or just completely replaying at an absolutely glacial pace, like Red Dead 2, because it just looks so damn good even if I'm a bit sour on the late chapters and thought I'd never play it again because it's such a time sink anyway. And yet it's become my total comfort food time waster, it's perfect!

So I can't relate to any of this thread's premise, really. I wasn't afforded the opportunity / privileged by my line of work to just sit at home all day and indulge all my own personal interests (and I really mean it when I say I was envious of all the service industry friends I know who went on unemployment and just chilled on their own even if they unanimously say it was awful) and yet the nature of all that public interaction left me far, far, far less interested in socializing or just going on random day drinking adventures than I used to be and gaming more than anything else was the reclusive activity that compelled me home, or to stay home, whenever I could.

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mellotronrules

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@nodima said:

So I can't relate to any of this thread's premise, really. I wasn't afforded the opportunity / privileged by my line of work to just sit at home all day and indulge all my own personal interests (and I really mean it when I say I was envious of all the service industry friends I know who went on unemployment and just chilled on their own even if they unanimously say it was awful) and yet the nature of all that public interaction left me far, far, far less interested in socializing or just going on random day drinking adventures than I used to be and gaming more than anything else was the reclusive activity that compelled me home, or to stay home, whenever I could.

yeah, i find i'm more on this end of things. working in a hospital- i was fortunate enough to be afforded a large chunk of WFH in the spring of 2020, but since the science of COVID transmission has settled and PPE supplies stabilized we're basically back to 100% on-site working and events unless told otherwise.

games have remained an excellent pastime/hobby/socializing tool for me through all this- especially given the increased anxiety and awkwardness around in-person social gatherings. they're basically the main form of video media i'm consuming these days- i've almost completely fallen off television and film.

i will say one thing i have burned out on tangential to games is games coverage- i don't know if it's a function of limited free time, the industry, format fatigue or 100% personal- but generally i'm consuming a fraction of the giant bomb, waypoint, kotaku, polygon, etc (including new efforts like fire escape and nextlander) than i used to pre-march 2020.

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rorie

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I think more generally it's kind of ruined my attention span - have found it very hard to concentrate on books or much of anything for more than half an hour at a time. Going to try and start getting on the exercise bike more to see if that helps!

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hack1501

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@ginormous76: My experience has been similar to yours. I've been working through the pandemic but have been working from home since March of 2020. I work four 10 hours days and save 2 hours on commuting now. Before, I almost never played games on work days since I would be out of the house for so long and would be too tired. Now I play on work days in conjunction with weekends, I work out more, and just mentally feel better. I've always been a person who likes a lot of alone time so that's probably why this lifestyle suits me. I finally started working on my backlog which has been several years in the making but, I will admit, gamepass has slowed down that process.

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constantk

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#11  Edited By constantk

I'll just add myself to the chorus of people advocating for exercise. I feel dramatically better when I get out in the fresh air for a walk or exhaust myself with a good workout. It helps your sleep, your body chemistry and of course your fitness level.

Speaking to gaming specifically, I don't know that I've played any more or less to be honest, but I enjoy my time while I play a lot more. Games have always been a bit of an escape, but that used to come with a certain amount of guilt, largely a byproduct of work culture in capitalist America. I understand better now the beneficial aspect of really prioritizing one's mental health. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to start playing Minecraft at the same time as the GB crew. Not only was it a bit of zen-like, methodical progression, it's something my kids have always been into but which hadn't really clicked with me until I saw some of the projects the GB folks and the community were working on. Now that's one more thing we regularly share.

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Shindig

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Nah, I've loved it. This week I'm back in the office and really, really miss having a console inches from my knees.

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Efesell

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I’ll be honest lockdown changed absolutely nothing about how I went about my day.

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MeierTheRed

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#14  Edited By MeierTheRed

Not really, I have been working throughout the pandemic I'm in healthcare. But I was kind of burn out on games before it hit, but it has nothing to do with pandemic it self, more just the state of "gaming" in general. All the negative press a lot of Publishers and Dev companies are getting because of creepy gross assholes in those work spaces.

Along with the feeling that most of the game coming out feels like the same games I have played a 100 times over. Graphics and sequels are no longer a thing that will keep me excited.

So my gaming habits have bee completely reworked over the last two years. Started playing games I would never have done, and recently after finishing my first Metroid game (Dread), I got the urge to seek out that series as they where never on my radar. Which means that I have no finished Zero Mission, and started playing Super Metroid.

So yeah, dunno. Shits fucked.

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Besetment

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The opposite, actually. During the lockdown I had time to focus on family and enjoy some games. Now, I spend most of my time at work or asleep. I can't get into games at all.

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imhungry

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Nothing about my gaming habits changed other than dropping the gacha games I used to play on my daily commute.

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prolurker

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#17  Edited By prolurker

It burnt me out on the PvP genre, and made me want to play puzzle games, which kind of lead me down a rabbit of hole and now I started making mods (whoopee). I went back to school over the pandemic (online), and that's kept me pretty busy too.

Also helps I'm a huge introvert, and being quiet and peaceful indoors isn't exactly a tall order for me.

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sombre

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@rorie said:

I think more generally it's kind of ruined my attention span - have found it very hard to concentrate on books or much of anything for more than half an hour at a time. Going to try and start getting on the exercise bike more to see if that helps!

I feel this one. For me also, that attention span also feels like...guilt I guess? Like I sit playing a game for forty five minutes, and I think to myself "Man I could be doing something more productive" and then I go and watch Twitch or Youtube for 5 hours straight. I'm playing Red Dead 2 for example at the moment, and I maybe do one or two missions then I just get distracted by my phone or some freelance work or something.

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Humanity

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It didn't impact my consumption of games mostly because I do all of that on the TV and I work at my desktop. So for me gaming is a "different screen" scenario where it's been pretty much the same. I don't try to sneak in a few minutes of gaming in between meetings or whatever despite the TV being right there. What has gone down is me staying at my desk after work. Since I've been working from home for about 2 years now I typically stay off the computer for most, if not all, of my day after work is done. I have a pretty demanding and time sensitive job so unfortunately my home desk has sort of turned into a "work desk" situation. On top of that despite my best efforts I've noticed my wrist has been getting more and more sore as time goes on along with my back. My desk chair is pretty decent but has been worn into a very casual leaned back YouTube watching position that isn't that great for upright, detail oriented work.

So yah gaming has been just fine. My cat started to commandeer my desk chair after work anyway so I just stay on the couch. My physical health has been on the decline though. Guess those fancy $2000 chairs with hydraulics and adjustable desks really do go a long way in preserving your body health.

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MrGreenMan

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@giant_gamer: This is pretty much how I feel. With my new job, my time is even more limited, so if a game wastes my time I drop it pretty fast. I do not have the patience or time to deal with bullshit in games anymore. I often will just wait for a sale now til i can get it cheaper as I mostly likely won't be able to get play any games near release anyways, so there is no point in me trying to get a game when it's new.

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styx971

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#21  Edited By styx971

as someone still pretty much stuck at home since april of last yr ( i can't mask due to motor tic issues) i can say no it didn't make me enjoy gaming any less. that said i definitely thought i would game more. its a weird mixture of semi-depression combined with doom scrolling and limited sense of time i think more than anything. i have a large backlog but often i'll bounce off of things n just lay around n watch stuff. i've been in this position before tho , i was a housewife for 3 years pretty much right out of HS ( it wasn't planned i met the ex over the summer in FFXI) i didn't know how to drive at the time and him being in the army ment moving away from family/friends and then him deploying after 6 months so i didn't really get out other than food shopping ( something i haven't been doing since the pandemic started) ... a few months after he got back home we moved to germany and that was rather isolating since we lived too far for him to want to bring me anywhere language barrier aside so i feel like it trained me for this sort of thing honestly . back then i definitely gamed more than now tho even with pretty equal amounts of time so whos to say tho honestly. games are pretty hit n miss for me lately but i still enjoy them. money is pretty tight tho so new releases have been limited for me so that doesn't help too.

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sweep

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#22 sweep  Moderator

I've found that the games themselves became less important than the social experience of playing them as a group - for months my primary form of social interaction was playing WoW or PUBG, without really worrying too much about what I was doing or whether we were winning, but just having that common interest with a group of friends who I could talk to and interact with. In that regard I found that my desire to play games alone, or to play single player games, has been greatly diminished - without the social aspect games occasionally just feel frustrating and arbitrary.

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FacelessVixen

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If anything, COVID has helped me justify spending $4,000 on a high-end PC. I had my doubts when pulling the trigger in 2019, but my Steam library and Adobe related hobbies have kept me [relatively] sane since March last year.

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Whitestripes09

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I think having to be a functional adult changed my gaming habits more than the COVID lockdown did.

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styx971

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I think having to be a functional adult changed my gaming habits more than the COVID lockdown did.

this is pretty fair/valid imo .. i know i used to love long ass jrpgs but these days i feel like even with all my free time my tastes still lean towards the bite-sized indies and run based games because thats what i had to (mostly) play on work nights .. couldn't play a rpg cause the long ass who knows how long or if pausable cutscenes not to mention those imo are better for long sittings.

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Shindig

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Yeah, my RPG pile of shame only exists because I've not got the inclination to start one up. One thing I don't do as much is buy new releases. I'm more conscious of sales than the fear of missing out.

I definitely had a couple of weeks during this year where I wanted to do anything but play games. I'd put that down to the pandemic because it's just become so easy to game in the last 18 months.

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Justin258

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I played almost nothing but CRPGs towards the beginning of lockdown. I only actually finished one of them (Pillars of Eternity) but I spent time in so many of them and eventually burned out on the whole genre for a little while. I picked Baldur's Gate back up towards the end of 2020/beginning of 2021 and finished it.

But games as a whole? No. I still played other things throughout 2020 and these days I'm just as into video games as ever.

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Ryan3370

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#28  Edited By Ryan3370

It was the exact opposite for me. I work at a grocery store, so when all the restaurants basically shut down everyone went to the store instead. (Or ordered for pickup.) Other peoples' lockdown became 70 hour work weeks for me, so what little time I have is all games.

PS fuck everyone that grocery shops without a mask. Employees have families too.

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SethMode

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@ryan3370 said:

PS fuck everyone that grocery shops without a mask. Employees have families too.

Amen to this. I'm in Korea so literally EVERYONE here wears a mask regardless of vaccine or they get fine (amazing IMO...haven't been sick in 2 years), but when I talk to people back in the states, a buddy of mine in particular has literally been SCREAMED at FOR wearing a mask in a grocery store. Some folks back home have some truly fucked up concepts of what freedom is.

But I digress. Mostly I've been the same, but where I live hasn't really been one of the harder hit areas in Korea, so we have school as normal here. Really the only lockdown I experienced was in March of 2020.

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denyo83

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I played much more than before but wouldn't call it a burn out

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theonewhoplays

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#31  Edited By theonewhoplays

Nah, I played about the same amount of games as usual, maybe even less since I try to lessen my screen time. I did go on a big Yakuza 1-6 bender, though, and absolutely hated Judgement when I tried it afterwards. Don't know if it's a Yakuza blackout or if Judgement is just that worse, though.

I've never cared about MMOs or online shooters or any online game and Covid did nothing to change that, even though I live alone. I started teaching myself Japanese and bouldering, though. And took up jigsaw puzzles :p

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mackdack

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@sombre: DUDE...this is me so bad. I really sit down and play for about 45 to an hour max, then I turn GB or Nextlander on and watch them play games for 2 hours. How does this make any sense at all?

My gaming habits are really bizarre.

I'm going to focus these next couple of weeks on a new island on animal crossing before 2.0 drops and going to try to enjoy the dip in and dip our loop that AC offers.

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sometingbanuble

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#33  Edited By sometingbanuble

The lockdown was the final blow to me caring about anything multiplayer.

Going in to work where i have to suffer fools is one thing if there is a dollar per interaction attached to it. My tolerance for bullshit pre-pandemic was thinking most deranged thought was an outlier. The pandemic truly showed me the reciprocal of that fraction is actually the truth. With online voice chat and just cheating behavior in the gaming community I don't think I will ever play a game that has match making ever again. I absolutely won't get Battlefield 2042 or any game that doesn't have a single player narrative campaign.

A PS5 might be a non-purchase simply because the disconnect with all their multiplayer games means I'll pick up some random game that defaults to voice chat enabled with everybody with their built in mics turned on and I'll come home from a 12 hour shift just to hear some slur.

I used to watch Twitch type stuff and enjoy banter and when some edgeLord spoke up it didn't bother me. Now i know that fool's entire existence is in an echo chamber of online interactions that the cohosts are just too casual or indifferent to put the brakes on it. So after initially consuming any podcast with gaming as a subject I have completely nixed the podcast app (no bombcast even... especially since the shakeup because after a decade of listening I can't be sure if im listening to a persona or a real person any more.. with zero nextlander comingling is proof that even after 10 years we dont know much about anybody we follow) from my phone because I'm a little more cautious about who i invite into my life. I don't give anybody the benefit of the doubt anymore.

I've secured more pre-Ps4 consoles and once my gamepass lapses on Halloween I think i'm going to just marinate in old games, reviews, and the youtube videos of old. Where the wicked were too dumb to figure out how to get online.

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fisk0

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#34 fisk0  Moderator

I'm not sure it was a direct causal relationship, but, yeah, I haven't played anything in months and haven't felt like playing anything either.

I have an 'essential job' though, so I was never off work, couldn't work from home and still had to meet hundreds if not a thousand people daily, and was rather overwhelmed with stuff for a good part of last year, got covid twice and we only got to use masks in the last 8 months or so.

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ThePanzini

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#35  Edited By ThePanzini

Nothing to do with lockdown as I worked all the way through, but as I get older I'll go through phases where I don't feeling like playing anything. Probably being exhausted from work, nothing better than sitting down and doing absolutely bugger all.

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falloutraven

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No the pandemic has only made me game HARDER BETTER FASTER STRONGER

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Casse1berry

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I'm gaming the same amount of time. But my love of watching others play games on YouTube/Twitch/Giantbomb is what has dropped significantly.

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cikame

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Lump me in with those where nothing really changed, i went to work like usual and played games as normal, but i'm 32 now and my attention span for single player campaigns is falling off, after about an hour i start to wonder if there's anything to watch on youtube and tend to play more simple repetitive games while watching streams, thus i've been trying to get through Star Fox Adventures for the last 3 weeks.