I seem to have found myself trapped in a vicious cycle as of late. I’ve enjoyed video games less and less for one reason or another, and that has only convinced me that the issue is indeed the games I’m spending copious amounts of time with as opposed to myself. I, therefore, find myself looking forward to the next title that will plant it’s hooks in me, and in doing so I seem to find myself on what is commonly known as the ‘hype train’, albeit without having first paying my fare. I see every opportunity to escape; the doors open, the outside looks welcoming, but I refuse to believe it’s an issue with myself. I let the doors close, and I continue on this journey, seeing the same old landscapes time and time again. Now, I may be ready to depart.
I, as many others in my generation, have grown up playing video games from a very young age. They’ve been an incredibly important and persistent force throughout my childhood and continues to be so to this very day. I could spend hours at a time being swept into each different mechanic, environment and story that dozens upon dozens of hard working individuals had perilously toiled away creating, and I could play a game to completion, only to continue playing it further soon after. In this modern day of gaming, however, there are very few titles that I actually complete from start to finish. I find myself not bored of the experience, but distant and detached. Knowing that, after months or, in most cases, years of hyperbole from publishers and press alike, I already know everything there is to know about a game, and I know whether I’m going to like it or not. Gone are the days of walking into a brick and mortar game outlet and being able to pick up a game that you’ve never heard of, simply choosing to pick that game up opposed to the one next to it based on the title, or artwork, for example. Drakengard is a great example of this. A friend of mine had noticed I had curiously picked it up and simply stated “That’s great, that is”. Money was exchanged. I walked out, expectations in check, and I loved both the first title and the subsequent sequels.
The act of playing the games themselves has been a tiring experience, to say the least. My attention is never grasped, and I float between multiple games an hour. I’ll load up The Division, only to find the servers are down. I’ll rely on Just Cause 3 and, before I have even had the chance to start actively playing the critically acclaimed title, I have already cast it aside and chosen something else entirely. There’s a common misconception that floats around, being that you have to continuously play games if you are a ‘hardcore gamer’, a title that I despise with a passion. Apologies for hopping back on the previously used metaphor, but that train of thought was what paid for my entry fee to the hype train. My emergency stop lever, and I only use that analogy to finish off this imagery, may be coming to terms with the notion that I simply don’t have to play games if I don’t enjoy them at the moment. I can partake in other activities, such as writing and photography to satisfy my other areas of interest, and if I choose to get a return ticket to this past-time, then so be it. It will still be here, but whether I can fall back in love with it remains to be seen. There have been some problems, so we’ve downgraded from a serious relationship to a more casual one. Seeing each other in fleeting moments, enjoying the company of one another, and then going our own ways until the temptation rears it’s head. Maybe then, everything will be stronger than ever. Maybe then, will it be exciting again.