rambling

On Simplicity and Monotony: Fine Lines and my Gaming Dilemma

Hey folks, I’ve been having some trouble maintaining interest in any one game for longer than an hour or so at a time. There are some gamers out there who are convinced that it’s part of a cycle for certain gamers, and I’m inclined to agree: every so often, it’s good to remove yourself from the gaming world for a while to let your batteries recharge. No, not just the batteries in your handheld device or your controller – your personal batteries.

When I’m not doing homework or reading for funzies (yeah I used “funzies,” what of it?), I’m playing a game of some kind. I shop at GameStop every now and then, and every time I try to fill out that post-transaction survey that’s linked to my receipt. Near the end of the survey, there’s a question about how many hours I typically spend in one week playing video games. If I recall correctly, the highest option available is something like “Greater than twenty hours.” I pick that one every time. It’s true. I spend a lot of time playing games, and I’m certain that’s why I’m at the point I’m at – games can barely hold my attention for more than an hour now before I turn them off and jump to a different one. I’m restless. I’m confused. I just want to play something, damn it.

So I look back at my gaming habits. I’ve always been something of a collector, and I’m assuming it may have something to do with the way a lot of adventure and/or role-playing games handle items: you get a big damn bag and you fill it up with cool stuff. It’s always useful to stock up on potions, and despite most of the key items sounding/looking huge, the protagonist can carry like a hundred of those suckers. At least. In short, games require collection more often than not, and I’ve amassed a pretty tidy collection of games throughout my life thus far. It’s not like I’m checking eBay or Amazon for rare games, it’s just that I’ve held onto all my games.

Sadly, I think that policy needs to change. I’m trying to simplify my life: own fewer things, be more efficient. There are games I’ve had on my shelves for almost twenty years and damn it, I haven’t played them since I first completed them. Wouldn’t these games be better off with people who will play them?

My answer is yes, so I’m slowly picking out the games with which I can bear to part. Being the collect-a-thon loving pack rat that I am, it’s more difficult than I’d like to admit. And yet I can’t help but feel that once I shed some of this unnecessary pixelated baggage, I’ll feel pretty good – like I’ve taken some kind of step toward the future.

I ain’t quitting games altogether – I’m just altering the way I interact with them. I need a change and this could be it; here’s to saying goodbye to the games I won’t play again, and hello to a more self-aware consumption of my beloved pixels.

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