How much do you relate to gamepass paralysis, or emulator syndrome?

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sombre

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Hey duders,

I saw Jeff involved in a twitter discussion the other day, and it got me to thinking about the way we currently engage with media.

Like many of you, I have Xbox Game Pass. It seems great. There's 50 plus games I wanna play, and they're all just available to me whenever I want. But therein lies the problem.

When you haven't paid for anything, how can you even engage with any meaningful content with it. Because there's SO MUCH choice out there at the moment, I find myself swapping games in a heartbeat. I played Jedi: Fallen Order earlier, died once, and went to play something else instead. Then I played that for fifteen minutes, and went to play something else

Back when I was growing up, we called this emulator syndrome. Because games are so easy to pirate, and have hundreds of at a time, how are you meant to pick one to play, meaningfullly?

When I was gaming on the Playstation Two, it was great. I'd buy one game at a time, enjoy it, beat it, then move onto the next one. Nowadays, I have up to 60 games that are possible plays at any one time, and I find it hard to really have a meaningful time with any of them

Combine this with phones, and a decreased attention span in general: I'm struggling to have real interaction with almost any form of media nowadays. I'm saddened, as I can't read a book anymore, because after a chapter, I'm loading up Instagram or LINE or something.

Surely I'm not the only one this is happening too...right?

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Efesell

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Not much at all to be honest. I have a tendency to latch onto one thing at a time and hyper focus on it. So there won’t be anything else once that happens.

The most I might run into something like this is in initially choosing what that thing is.

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spacemanspiff00

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#3  Edited By spacemanspiff00

I've hit a point with Game Pass now that I won't allow myself to DL any more than a few games at a time. Its helped me keep up with the stuff I want to play more or less. Still have a couple I haven't even started. I also use GP for discovery so I don't feel too bad if something isn't grabbing me. And were it not for Game Pass I never would have played Psyschonauts 2, which I adored.

I find any digital library these days causes this sort of paralysis in my case. I do the same thing with my Steam and Epic libraries, where you often just stare or jump around aimlessly and not beat anything.

I don't really play games on emulators much anymore but when I do its more just to test out stuff and see how it runs. Usually with a game I own. Though I do remember being pretty ADD with Snes ROMS back when.

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ghost_cat

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I'm with Efesell: typically I know what I like and don't like, so it's easy for me to choose something. When I do, no matter the medium, I tend to give it a through dive until completion, or if it's too annoying, drop it towards the end and move on to the next thing.

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imhungry

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I understand why this might be the experience for some but I can't relate at all. Outside of more long-term games, like Horizon 5 is soon to be, I've pretty much exclusively played 1 or 2 games on Game Pass at a time, same way that I've played games for most of my life. The nature of the service just makes it easier to give up on a game if I find myself not being particularly invested so that I can find one that I am.

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constantk

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I experience this all the time, so any advice I can give will likely veer into hypocrisy a bit. I've mentioned elsewhere on here that I've got a huge PC backlog and I also have Game Pass. You're right, it can be daunting to not feel like you're "wasting" your gaming time on something that isn't as enjoyable as something else that's just waiting to be played. I'd be surprised if this feeling isn't pretty common. I think it's also what a lot of people were concerned about with subscription services like Game Pass when they were first being conceived: the gradual devaluing of games. If we don't perceive an investment, will be continue to sink time (and for game companies, money) into a thing?

The only way I've been able to manage this feeling myself is making lists or tiers of games and trying to stick to them. Of course, the important thing is to make peace with the fact that you can't play everything, so attempting to do so is a fool's errand.

I am also working on a plan to go through my extensive backlog and make it an experiment I do with my kids. They all like to play video games to a certain extent. So I'm considering playing through my backlog with them by just playing 30 minutes or so of each game and then keeping track of the ones that stand out for us and we want to go back to. My hope is that I can whittle down the list a bit and introduce the kids to a few things they wouldn't have tried otherwise. At the same time, I can maybe quiet that voice that's reminding me how many games I've purchased and never played. I've also thought about blogging this experiment here, but there's already several duders going through large lists of games, so I'm not sure how much of an appetite there is for more of that.

Overall, remember it's a leisure activity. If it stops being fun or feels like work, it's probably time to re-evaluate or take a break from it.

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bigsocrates

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I sometimes have "paralysis" when deciding what game to play first, but even then I just pick one and play it. I've finished a fair number of Game Pass games so I definitely don't have an issue with seeing them through if it's something I'm enjoying. In fact I might argue that at this point I should abandon more games, since I'm never going to get to play everything I want to and I have a tendency to force myself to finish stuff I'm not really enjoying, which is pointless.

I've never understood the mentality that if you paid for something you're more likely to actually engage with it, or that prior to Game Pass we all had 1 game to play at a time like it was still 1988 and our grandparents only bought us one Nintendo tape for our birthday.

Games have been cheap and backlogs have been a thing for many years. The difference with Game Pass is that you have a shorter window to play stuff, and you have a more limited selection than when you're buying games, but also can play a lot of newer stuff much cheaper than if you waited for sales.

You just have to realize that you're never going to play everything and then decide whether you'd prefer to play a little of a lot of different games or finish a smaller selection. I find the latter more satisfying most of the time, but if you don't that's fine too. There's nothing wrong with playing 20% of a game and moving on if you got what you wanted from it.

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brian_

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I'm usually pretty good about sticking with something until I've finished it. At least when it comes to current releases. There are a handful of games that I've started and put down that are older games, in order to start something that was just released, that I haven't gotten around to finishing yet. And I don't know when I'll ever get around to actually finishing them. Turns out, new games come out all the time now. But I never find myself in any sort of paralysis really.

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alistercat

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I find it much more prevalent with emulators than game pass, but that's because I'm emulating games I own and are old. They do bare a lot of similarities though. At least with Game Pass there is the excitement of something that didn't exist before to break through the paralysis.

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mackdack

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I have a problem with too many games and analyzing everything a million times...I think if XBOX had more tent pole releases I would be more engaged with them.

Forza 5 coming out will make me focus on that because its more of a AAA release. Certainly Halo Infinite will be a big draw once that comes out too.

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GTxForza

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#11  Edited By GTxForza

For GamePass, it's not a bad thing but I still personally prefer to buy the games for whichever platforms including Xbox consoles so I can play them whenever I want.

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prolurker

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#12  Edited By prolurker

Use this google doc for gamepass games, which gives you the metacritic score and time to complete. I use this to make a list of games I want to play.

Just because you have gamepass doesn't mean you have to use it. I spent $100 on 3 years of it, even if I just play 2 games at launch, then that saved me money.

Paralysis by analysis is real, if the problem runs deeper then obviously go exercise and put your phone in a drawer for an hour or two while you read. Many productivity tools exist like apps, windows programs, etc.

Idk, I'm very motivated to find ways to combat addictive bs that prevents me from doing what I really want to do in my free time. I'm probably the only person in the world who only spends 10 seconds on instagram before exiting, 1-2 times per day.

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frytup

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My struggle with Game Pass is not having too many options, it's my desire to own my games library. Yes, I'm aware this is weird and dumb in the digital era, but my collector brain wants what it wants. Even if I never play huge numbers of games in my collection, I like having them.

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bigsocrates

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@frytup: I have similar impulses, but the way I see it even if I do end up wanting to own everything Game Pass lets me play it to see if I like it and then, if I do, pick it up on deep deep discount some time down the line.

There are games I play on Game Pass that I just don't enjoy and don't want to play any more of and those I feel no need to own. It's like a rental back in the day.

There are games I play on Game Pass that I beat and either may want to play again some day or just want to own them because I had a good time and want the satisfaction of having them in my collection and letting other people play them if they visit me etc... That might include something like The Medium where I'll probably never go through it again but I had an okay time with it and some day I might pick up a copy for $10 or so. That's still much cheaper than if I bought it at launch or even now.

Then there are games on Game Pass that either go off Game Pass while I am playing them or that I put down but know I will pick up again (and I do pick up games I've played part of...sometimes years later like I did with The Darkness.) Those I can either buy when they go off Game Pass at a small discount or wait until they get a more significant discount and buy them then.

In any of these scenarios Game Pass saves me more than enough money to justify its cost if I play a few games off there a month; especially if I end up not enjoying one or more of those games. And with some games there's no actual point in buying them, like Outriders because it's totally server based so even if you have a hard copy that's going to become a coaster at some point.

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ll_Exile_ll

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#15  Edited By ll_Exile_ll
@efesell said:

Not much at all to be honest. I have a tendency to latch onto one thing at a time and hyper focus on it. So there won’t be anything else once that happens.

The most I might run into something like this is in initially choosing what that thing is.

That's how I play games as well. I've never been one to juggle multiple games at a time, especially single player game. At most, there may be times where there's a single player game I'm playing and then I'll jump into a multiplayer thing (usually Destiny) here and there, usually to do something with friends.

In general though, I am typically not engaging with more than one game at a time. I'll only start something new once I finish a game, or if I dislike it so much that I stop with no intention of picking it back up. I'm the same way with TV shows, I will binge one show until it's over rather than watching a bunch of things at once. My mom will have like 10 shows she's watching at once and it takes her forever to finish anything and I just can't consume media like that.

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DrFidget

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Game Pass has been mostly liberating for me because it removed the shame from my pile of shame. In my teens and early 20s I bought a ton of physical games and amassed a substantial steam library, which eventually made me feel super guilty about wanting to buy new games. Why should I get new game when I have hundreds of games I haven't touched right? It got to the point where if I bought a new game and bounced off it I would go months without getting anything else because I was trapped telling myself I had to finish it before getting something new, all while knowing I was never going to. Game Pass removed that entire mentality because I can dip into new things guilt free. I'm even buying games fairly frequently for the first time in years because I'm not worried about shame spirals if a game doesn't click anymore.

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noboners

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I definitely had this problem earlier in the year but have been able to curb it some. I think the main thing is that I realized the problem for me wasn't that there were so many games to choose from but that nothing could hold my attention and it was too easy to move on to something else. And so I just kind of let it.

It doesn't have to be a big deal if something isn't holding your attention. I usually try and be playing one game from each genre I enjoy, and then kind of decide what type of interaction I'm looking for and sticking with that. So I'm always playing one jrpg, one sports game, one platformer, one shooter, one social/mmo and one uncategorized. It helps me feel like I'm not compelled to stick with any one game and has helped me finish most games I started since the pandemic.

But the most important thing is that if I'm not enjoying a game, I move on. I keep it installed and if I haven't played it in a month I just uninstall it and rarely look back.

As for consuming other media, I used to be an avid reader but now I can't get my brain to shut off long enough to commit. I think if I had a public transit commute, that could help, but it's definitely a struggle at the moment. I tried switching to audiobooks while playing some games, but I always end up tuning out for too long and need to rewind to figure out what I missed. So the only thing I'd say is to maybe put your phone far enough away so that you can't just keep checking it? Easier said than done for some though.

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BladeOfCreation

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I relate this particular phenomenon to Netflix when it comes to shows and movies, and Steam when it comes to games. I can totally see this being an issue with Game Pass as well. I think I'm lucky in that there are a few very specific games that have come to Game Pass that I've wanted, and I'll stick with them for a while. The difference with this and stocking up on games during Steam sales is that Game Pass has new stuff, while Steam usually sales consisted of older games I'd wanted for some time but hadn't gotten around to.

I love books. But my attention span for the written word has never been great, with constant re-reading to make sure I don't miss anything. I switched to audiobooks a few years ago, and they're great. Have a commute? Boom, let someone read to you! Put on a book for 30 minutes before bed to wind down for the day.

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Topcyclist

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@sombre: I fell into this trap. I got rid of social media, set out 1 hour a day to relax and try something, and alway focus on beating one of the many games each day. multiplayer is for relaxed fun on the weekends, beating rpgs is a daily thing. There are too many games and thats the trick. They really dont want you to beat them...they want you to try em then buy em when their on discount later once you remember how much you liked it but now its gone. Thats why companies are ok giving it away plus indie games get more notice and their sequels will sell also people now try indies plus the indies get a lump sum bigger than what they would selling.

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BaneFireLord

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#20  Edited By BaneFireLord

Not really. Game pass isn't meaningfully different from my experience of having an extremely distended Steam library full of sales and Humble Bundles. I'll finish some games, I'll bounce off others, I'll jump around, whatever. As long as I'm having fun I don't really care. Game Pass has also been a net benefit for my wallet, since I almost never go ham on Steam sales or Humble Bundles anymore due to the constant fear that something will pop up on Game Pass immediately after I buy it.

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styx971

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your not alone , i have this exact issue for the same reason coupled with the nearly 1k steam library thanks mostly to random bundles and sales in the last 10 years its just ridiculous granted most of those 1k i don't want or care to play n i've started actually giving things like that away now. but i have that same choice paralysis and the only time it usually lets up is if i know exactly what i'm in the mood for or X new thing i want to play is released. couple that with passage of time n going back to older stuff feels increasingly hard at times. when i was in HS and discovered emulation it was the first time that hard hit me the exact way you mentioned but couple that with getting a mod-chip for my xbox and swap magic for my ps2 and well i've pirated more things than i've played n most of what i've beaten from back then i've bought ( thank piracy for my love of yakuza since the first game thanks to that all those years ago , instant pre-order every release since) .... gamepass is definitely a source of backlog guilt for me instead now , so much to pick from that i'm curious about but guilt playing things on there cause i don't play things i buy instead but cross-over guilt cuse i did pay for a sub to play things .... idk how to actually handle any of it either , i literally went in the overblood group and made a thread with 2 games for buddy's to pick for me to play with the disclaimer that i probably wont finish either cause o this exact issue .... its hard to deal with .. sometimes i just pick a couple games look on howlongtobeat and see which is shorter n go with that tho ... best i can do sometimes.

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cyberbloke

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I'm quite strict with myself in limiting myself to 2 or three games on the go at a time, and tend to only move on if I've finished the story. I rarely give up on a game, as I'm quite selective and only start games I'm pretty sure I'd like.

Gamepass does give me a chance to dip my toes into a few games I wouldn't bother with otherwise, but for the most part I quickly discover my instincts were right.

What it is great for is keeping the kids constantly supplied with new stuff to play.

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Jared

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#23  Edited By Jared

As someone who only plays a few games a year I think XBOX Game Pass isn't worth it. I rather buy 2-5 games a year individually (and often on sale) versus paying $10 - $15 a month for Game Pass. After paying monthly for say 3 years that's $360 - $540 just for leasing games that you never own. Also, even if a game is on game pass it's always the standard edition and you have to pay more to unlock any DLC, battle passes, etc.

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styx971

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@jared: i think that type of thing really depends on who you are when what your lifestyle/habits are like. i can totally see how that position you'd veiw it as overpriced , but as a person who enjoys alot of indie games and the occasional AAA then i've found it instead to save me a fair amount of money i would have otherwise spent. even moreso factoring in that i stocked up on about 3 years with pretty cheap ( around 100 bucks or so? i got the gold off of eneba on the cheap )doing the gold to ultimate conversion last yr. while ultimate is a bit of a waste for me just being a pc user it was still cheaper at the time than basic pc gamepass. .. i've beaten 2 games on it this yr and while that might not sound like alot that would have just been 40 bucks on steam , then thers another 8 more games i have installed that i would have eventually picked up more than half of those were over 20 but even then if they were just that thats 200 bucks so even had it been full price of 10/mo (120 a yr ) i would have saved ....it really depends on your purchasing habits i think

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MerxWorx01

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Be it Game Pass, Steam or the several launchers much like all the books on my kindle or the movie/shows on different streaming services. I'm finding myself trying to choose up until the inevnitable moment that I decide that laying down in bed till I fall asleep is the answer nine out of ten times. The only game I find myself mustering to play lately in any meaningful way is Darkest Dungeon 2. I don't fight it anymore. If I weren't playing Darkest Dungeon I would only be playing games to see how they look on my new graphics card and maybe playing something once a week. I continue to buy games apparently and put a few hours into them but If I am being honest I end up just watching streamers play these games and tell myself I will get around to trying them tomorrow.

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judaspete

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Totally relate. When I have too many choices, I don't want to commit to any of them. I have to set my own arbitrary limits to the number of choices, just to get it done and move on with my life For games, I started making my way through three at a time, each of a different genre. That way when I have some time to game, I pick whichever most fits my current mood. Right now I'm simultaneously making my way through Mirror's Edge Catalyst, Gravel, and Killer Instinct.

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FacelessVixen

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My Steam and Switch libraries often leave me paralyzed by choice.

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eccentrix

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I've always had a lot of games, so that's how I've always consumed them. Nowadays I'm sticking to individual games more and I have so many games already that Game Pass isn't really worth it and even the Epic launcher is too much of a burden to be worth the free games. I try to remind myself that I have too many games to play already, and so many of them are amazing. I can just play one of those whenever I want, I don't need new ones.

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apewins

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This has already happened to me with games I have purchased too, so it's not really related to Game Pass in any way. Nowadays games just go on steep discounts so often that I can't help but to pick them up. The problem I had with Game Pass was that with a monthly subscription fee, I felt that I had to play specifically a GP game or my subscription fee was going to waste, as opposed to something on my library which I paid for once and that is permanently in my library.

But I am finding a lot of success with just picking up a game and really making a strong decision that I am sticking with this and am not starting anything else until I've either beaten this or gotten bored of it.

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vaiz

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That is why I've finished maybe three or four games in as many years. And surprise, they were all games I paid for when they launched. I have the same problem with movies. Shit is too accessible and I want to consume it all. So I end up consuming none of it.

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sometingbanuble

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For me gamepass is not something that i see myself subscribing to for anything longer than a month ever again. I've had gamepass for nearly 3 years. Because of their $1 upgrade to live promotions i felt compelled to keep the service since for those 3 years it only cost me about $180. I'm mostly satisfied with the purchase because i also got 3 years of games with gold titles (360 games permanently versus subscription enabled xbox one titles), which is the real meat of the gamepass lineup. While i waited for the announcement for Nov 21 games with gold i contemplated reupping my service. I waited for the November 2021 GWG titles. The titles were Rocket Knight and Lego Batman 2. I wasn't incentivized. The next time i get gamepass will be when i get a Series X that i can casually walk into a gamestop and get one used. 2023? I'll get it for a month an play whatever titles are on the service that run in an enhanced way. When that month close out and if games with gold is still a thing if the GWG titles ( try to subscribe so my subscription ends on the 30th so i can snag the next months early) for the next month are tantalizing i'll subscribe for up to a year. If not i'll be okay without it.

The nice thing about gamepass it highlights some of the features of games on the service that i already own. Where else am i going to find out that Arkham Knight got the ray trace, 4k, and 60fps update out of the kindness of the developer's heart? Only if i scour the internet constantly or listen to every gaming podcast on the planet. Gamepass is like CNN at 2am in the morning. There's always news if there isn't news. Gamepass is the best place for gaming news.

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Mediocrates

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Totally feel this after a weekend of mostly idly scrolling the Gamepass PC app. On top of that, even games that I was super excited about and paid full price for (Melty Blood: Type Lumina, most recently) I end up wrapping up my time with rather quickly, even if I don't feel like I'm truly "done" with it. Part of it is depression, tbh, which medication has thankfully helped with, but I definitely still experience some of the exact paralysis that you're talking about.

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cikame

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I don't like subscriptions because that's not how i engage with things, even with films, i don't need a Netflix account because i might not watch a film for 2 months, i don't need Game Pass because i've been playing Star Fox Adventures for the last month, for hardcore users subscriptions can translate to savings, but i can only see them as wasteful.
Which is why i'm getting really angry at exclusives to subscription services, i'm more than ready to pay for things but more and more i'm finding i can't, and when i can the digital offers outside of subscription services are revolting, i haven't watched Tenet yet because it's £13.99 to watch on Amazon, £16.99 on Youtube, it would be cheaper to buy and cancel a Netflix account every time i want to watch something... why?

Sorry back on topic, i use emulators a lot but my desire to see games through is greater than my need to just touch them, i don't just want to have impressions of games i want to be able to say that i've completed them.

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Justin258

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The best way to get around this is to realize that there's no "best" choice, there's just a choice between a bunch of good things. Yeah, you might miss out on game B if you chose game A, but who cares? If you're really that interested in game B you'll get around to it eventually, and if you don't it's fine. What matters is that you do something that makes your life better, whether that's simply enjoying game A or maybe thinking about why you did or didn't like game A so you can know yourself and your tastes better.

Is choosing between a hundred different "good" options actually more stressful than you'd think? Yes! I know that's one of the "most first world problems ever", but it's true. Sometimes you know you want to play something but you've got so many options that you can't decide. Making a list of things you'd like to play and culling it down to a handful might be a good idea.

Also, do something other than play video games. Get away from your computer. Read a book. Play an instrument. Drive around town. Talk to a friend.

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Shindig

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I've definitely got a huge slice of PS Plus games that are lost in the shuffle. Games that I want to play but there's so many sitting there gathering dust.

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Nodima

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Definitely, but I have this with every subscription service. The backlog is never ending so I don't worry too much about it though.

My slightly more specific issue with games in particular is that I tend to no-life MLB The Show pretty hard from launch in March/April through September or October, partially because I have a blast playing it and the content drip feed is never ending but also because it's just such a perfect podcast game. Half the point of an at-bat is to not swing so you can spend a decent amount of any given game reading the news or forums or whatever as well. And when playing the CPU, you can just turn the pitching to classic, play on any of the first three difficulties and just kind of mindlessly plug away at batters without even looking at the screen once your muscle memory is built up.

So I find it hard during that time to pick any single player story driven games to play because I know I'll have to turn off the podcasts and tune out the news while I'm playing and so I can really struggle over what to spend my "serious" gaming time with unless it's one of the truly big releases of the year. This is kind of why it's been nice replaying Red Dead Redemption II on PS5, because now that I've done it all and sat in that world and taken it all really seriously once before, all that time I spend hunting, fishing and doing menial busy work I can justify podcasts in a way I couldn't before because I absolutely had to respect what the sound artists put into that game. But now it's just another part of the white noise that is my downtime at home.

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bybeach

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I don't, strictly speaking, because I haven't looked into game-pass (for pc?), and very old fashion-like, I prefer my games in an owned-like state on Steam and other services.

But I do go through something similar with my owned games. For instance, right now I am winding down with OperationWarlock, soon to go through my last lives because of the exponential difficulty curve and be dumped back to the very beginning. It was a very long haul, and I am saying eff it to this notion of a rogue-like. Also I have run out of patience with Manifold Garden, having done enough to maintain my honor.

But what next. I am certainly not buying a new game, being this close to the Winter sales. And I do have a lot of games,...but what, which one? I go examine my back log, and yet I am having trouble making a decision. And this has happened before.

I'll figure it out. I can't tell if actually owning the games makes me more inclined to make a choice then the game-pass conundrum, except subjectively in degree, perhaps.

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Leviathan_Dive

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Ive had this problem too lately. Cant settle on a game and finish it. The grass is always greener on the other side type deal. This game will satisfy from the minute I pick it up to the minute I put it down, hasnt happened in a while for me.

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stinger061

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Certainly an idea I've struggled with in various forms since I've had enough disposable income to more or less buy games whenever I want. Probably became even worse with gamepass because I didn't even have to go through the payment process each time I want a new game.

Recently I've managed to snap myself out of it by minimising the number of games I have installed at any one time. On the PS5 side the tiny SSD size has actually helped with this. I'm forcibly limited in how many games I can have installed so have been pretty good at limiting my purchases and spending a lot more time with the games I do have.

With PC/Gamepass I've had to be a bit more disciplined but so far I've managed to do it. I limit myself to about 5 games installed at any one time and my rubbish Australian internet means deleting one and installing another is a several hour process.

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eukara

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I limit myself to a few games at a time and it's worked out okay.

I still need to finish a few games I paid full price for too... but yeah...
I'm just gonna take my time with them.

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IR0N-PR0L3

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Yeah, absolutely. People aren't supposed to live this way. It's terrible for your brain. Between the Facebook Papers and the legitimate mental illnesses that have been directly attributed to TikTok and Tumblr, it's pretty clear that people have been over saturated with positive stimuli. From what I've read, and from personal experience, there are few different ways to overcome this. You can become conscious of it, identify it when you encounter it, and compartmentalize it appropriately (this works for me.) You can utilize cognitive behavioral therapy to avoid the ill effects of constant positive stimuli in the same way that drug addicts do. Or, you deliberately create periods of negative stimuli by purposely removing yourself from the flow of information by unplugging.

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Whitestripes09

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#42  Edited By Whitestripes09

I had the exact same issue when I got game pass and it got to the point where I didn't re-subscribe when it ran out.

A video game in my mind is very different than a movie or a TV show. There's a start and finish usually within 1-3 hours with that type of content. So in my mind it's easier to just throw on a movie or TV show from Netflix because I know I'm going to get a beginning, middle, and end in that time frame.

A video game is more of a whole experience from beginning to end which can take multiple days if not weeks to complete. So I don't really understand how people want a Netflix with gaming because it just isn't the same time frame to complete the experience as it is with a movie or even an episode of a TV show. Everyone's time is precious. Especially if you're a functioning working adult, I would guess everyone's personal time is worth it's weight in gold. 'Trying' out a game is not the same as throwing on a movie because it can REALLY feel like a waste of time if something isn't clicking with the game or you've wasted time downloading and putting in a few hours to come to that conclusion.

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tacobelmont

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I unfortunately deal with this all the damn time, so much so that my friends would say I suffer from the worst ADHD. I'd been collecting games since my teenage years and sometimes I'd pop something in, play a few levels, get wrecked and decided "eh, I'll play something else." It's worse now with access to flash carts and Game Pass, and my lack of time during the work day. A game has to get it's hooks into me correctly for me to want to play it for an extended period of time. I get most of my gaming in on my off days during the week now, and that's if I shirk housework. So when I drop a game and play another after a few minutes, I'd do better to just uninstall it from my Xbox or PC so I'm not tempted to go back after 10 minutes.

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Efesell

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This is an interesting set of responses, and largely vastly different from how I think to consume media.

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NameRedacted

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You've illustrated one of the problems with streaming services like Game Pass, or Netflix, or Spotify: all that "free" content isn't free. Unless you pay zero $, they've got you on the hook for a monthly subscription feel, and once they've conditioned you into accepting it (just like paying for Disney +, Hulu, and or Netflix, etc. and only ever watching one or two big shows a year), they don't care whether you use it a little or a lot.

Multiple monthly subscriptions are death by a thousand cuts.

One of the other issues with subscription services, wherever everything is "free," whenever you want, you begin to devalue everything there. If you got a new $60 game as a kid, that was a big deal, and unless your parents were rich (or you were paying for games yourself), you played the shit out of that game. You made it last and got your money's worth or sold / traded / swapped it. When I see my nieces and nephews with things like Game Pass or Spotify, they don't "buy" anything; they're a new generation of Leasers and Renters who don't balk at endless subscriptions, nor do they truly value any of the media they consume, because there's an insane, overwhelming, omnipresent supply of media; don't like something, who cares, on to the next thing. This is exactly the mindset these services want.

Lastly, I'll leave you with this amazing TED talk from Psychologist Barry Schwartz about "The Paradox of Choice": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO6XEQIsCoM

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Efesell

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#46  Edited By Efesell

@nameredacted: This feels awfully close to a bout of “Kids these days..”

Just reminds me of how every now and then someone writes a think piece about how the youth has it easier than my generation did about X and let’s talk about how that’s Bad Actually.

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styx971

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@nameredacted: thats a pretty true way of looking at things , companies really don't care n ppl keeping their subs is usually better for them than of because of course it is , they wouldn't be doing this otherwise. i'm finally thinking of dropping my ps+ when it rolls around for the first time in 10 yrs cause frankly its not worth what they offer anymore and honestly it never truely was but if i was playing things online i could at least justify it ... i've touched my ps5 for a total of 4 single player games this yr tho , zero mp , and i haven't touched my ps4 since GoT last yr.

as for kids these days tho i still think that depends on the family. my niece n nephews have older systems in their house that sadly for them aren't normally hooked up so they mostly just play stuff here when they visit (my mother lives with us causing it to usually be every other week) , but they don't have access to subscription game services so they still value games when they get them , possibly more than even i do honestly. my mother has thought about just giving them the switches they play here to take home but ... my sister's husband isn't the best parent n frankly he would probably break them like everything else they've gotten. its sad and sure times are changing but i'm sure they/we aren't the only family like that. i mean think of the single parent with X kids living paycheck to paycheck , they're either supper happy for that yearly sub probably or don't have it at all n just have a handful like i did in my yesteryears. ... just sayin'

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bigsocrates

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Where did people get the idea that you didn't rent games back in the day? There have been game rentals since at least the NES era. Even mom and pop video stores in rural areas had Nintendo games for rent. The idea that you never rented seems entirely made up out of whole cloth (except in certain countries where it was illegal.)

Also the romanticism of "you only got a few games so you played them to death and that was somehow better" is also absurd to me. I did only get a few games and I played them to death and you know what, it sucked. You might get to appreciate some of those games more but I also got a copy of The Karate Kid for NES and I played it for hours and it sucked and I would have been much better off if I had been able to just rent it and then move on to something else.

Whether subscription services are a better or worse value for you than purchasing games is an individual thing, and it's fine if you prefer to own games, but subscription services are a fantastic option that absolutely do not take away from your opportunity to buy games. I can't think of one important game that is subscription only.

But whatever you want to say about subscriptions let's not pretend that game rentals, or even subscriptions, have not existed for a very long time.

Like, do you even Sega Channel, bro?

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bigsocrates

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@sometingbanuble: I don't agree that we can't have meaningful conversations about older games. I've had those conversations. This message board is sort of dead so it's harder now, but while there's naturally a lot more attention given to new releases you can still have a cool thread about BioShock or whatever. And did you try having conversations about games on older hardware back in the 80s and 90s? Everybody used to sell their old systems when the new ones came out so nobody was talking about the NES during the SNES days.

Yes having fewer games around meant that the conversation was more concentrated, but that's something that's affected all of culture, from music to movies to books, not just games. It's not always a good thing either. And I lived in a big city so I had lots of places to rent from, including some that stocked imports and very out of the way things (I know about small town rental because my parents had a weekend house in a small town and I used to rent games from the grocery store there.) That's just a matter of location more than time.

Yes games are cheaper now than ever and more accessible and those are good things! Scarcity and the fact that my big city friends had access to many more games than the kids on my small town weekend basketball team were not good things!

I don't understand the argument that your friend has played 96 DAYS of Fortnite but doesn't "respect" the game. He obviously loves it. It's just a multiplayer game. I knew plenty of people who owned Street Fighter but never played the single player because they had it so they could play multiplayer. Did they not respect the game if they didn't beat it?

You seem to have some arbitrary 'rules' about how people should play and enjoy games that were created at a time when that's all we had. Vinny is absolutely right. This is the best time to be playing video games.

Calling Game Pass a Casino where the goal is to beat the house has no relation to my experience with it. I just play the games on Game Pass that I want to play when I want to play them. It saves me from having to buy Microsoft first party games and a lot of other stuff. I don't think of it as "beating the house" at all. It has cut down on my spending on games and, as data shows, gotten me to try some stuff I might not have otherwise, but it is nothing like a casino.