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Thread: Gaming lethargy

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere

    Gaming lethargy

    OK so I was just wondering if anyone else feels like this.
    Now I am a definite gamer, its my favorite pastime/hobby. Love talking about them, reading about them, thinking about them, but recently I havent really been playing a lot of them. I have a backlog of amazing games to play/finish and I kinda feel this weird ass guilt about not spending time to delve into it. It seems whenever I do have free time I end up doing something else and theres a voice in the back of my mind saying "you should really be playing x/y, you know"

    And the thing is when I do end up playing something, I enjoy it for sure, but the compulsion/desire just doesnt seem to be there like it used to. The last time I really got stuck into a game was Kingdom Come Deliverance, which I finished last year around sept/oct. Brilliant game, played it daily over 100 hours. But after that apart from the occasional Arma 3 session with the ttlg crew and casual stuff like hearthstone I havent really played anything, not to any depth at least.
    For example, got a ps4 for the family for christmas, and RDR2 and Last of Us remastered (which never having owned a ps3 i really wanted to experience) and I have clocked maybe a dozen or so hours on RDR2 and last of us is still in its shrinkwrap.
    Now I have had some pretty major life changes in the last 6 months or so, but I still love gaming as a hobby, except I just feel very "meh" and not inclined to sit down and play stuff that I know I will enjoy for some reason.
    Does this resonate with anyone or am I just getting some kind of midlife crisis?

  2. #2
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Don't sweat it, it'll pass. I get this "gaming ennui" every so often too, usually after completing a big game I've put lots of hours in to.
    So I usually play on a cycle these days; one big "feature" game, that requires tens, if not hundreds of hours, followed by something more freeform and systemic, such as management / city builder games (Dwarf Fortress, Rimworld, Sims etc.)
    That's usually out of necessity, as I've found with my current phase. Having finished AC Odyssey, I tried going in to Gears Tactics and DMC 5, but they're both too linear and structured for my current mood. So I'm now playing a lot of Sims, and I bought Age of Wonders Planetfall in the GoG sale, so I may put some time into that too.

    But that's just me, and it took me a while to get in to this schedule.
    The first time it really hit hard was after completing Witcher 3, and I really struggled to find something able to engage me for a long time. I think at the time Civ helped me get out of that phase.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Pretty much the same here. Once a year or so, I have a phase where I feel meh about gaming. So far it's always passed. It tends to be during phases when I'm not doing great anyway and things I generally enjoy are somewhat sapped of that enjoyment. If you're feeling off in other respects as well, definitely keep an eye on that and look after yourself. Games will always be there when you feel like them again, but you don't owe the hobby anything.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    yeh thats a good way to describe it "owing the hobby something", thanks for the replies

  5. #5
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Also, I don't know if your current circumstances are the same where you are, but I'm currently furloughed, with a LOT of spare time. So I'm making sure to spread it out amongst lots of different activities.
    My typical day consists of a couple of runs in the morning broken up by some forums and YouTube until lunch, then some gaming up until dinner, when I'll watch some TV. Then I might put in some time playing guitar (grabbed my old electric out storage after almost 20 years!), followed by more gaming.

    In the week, I'll squeeze some work-related training in there too. It really helps to stay this busy and structured, spreading my attention out amongst different things.
    I honestly don't know how I'm going to find the time for it all when I go back to work!

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Elsewhere I described playing Dragon Quest games a "pure liquid joy," which then raised the question of why I would ever not play them. Well, for one, they're exhausting and draining to play, if joyful. But, more importantly, I've come to approach them with something akin to reverence. Whenever I play a DQ game in my normal compulsive manner, I feel like I've defiled something special, like going to a beloved childhood park and tossing my fast food trash into the bushes. So it's reached the point where I'm only willing to play Dragon Quest when I'm in top condition, and that's rare.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    The thing is, I have also had a heap of spare time recently, for obvious reasons. I was kinda expecting to be gaming a lot, but just hasnt happened. I actually enjoy watching my kids play rather than gaming myself.
    Although with gta5 having been free on epic, now both me and my eldest daughter can play co-op online, which is pretty fun in short bursts i must admit. Although its like rockstar DONT want you to play it the amount of hassle we had setting up both accounts, i mean for fucks sake.

    malf- what guitar you got, after 20 years it might be worth something

  8. #8
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Nah, it was low-mid range at the time of purchase (300 in 1991 if I remember correctly, so the guitar itself is almost 30 years old!), and having looked around, they can be picked up quite cheaply; it's a Washburn KC 40V.
    The two single-coil pick-ups are quite noisy, and the volume pot has a tendency to cut out completely if touched, so I'm thinking of getting a new one depending on how the current situation works out. So far, this has been pretty good to me financially, and I have more money than I've had in a long time. But I don't want to go splashing out while things are still up in the air.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Yeh its not the best time to be buying a new instrument tbh, prices are high and stock availability is low, at least here in Aus.

    haha funny fact I had one of those washburns, some years ago with a leopard skin pain job. Yeh not worth much these days. The ones that are worth a bit are South Korean models made in the late 90's, that was the years before they switched to chinese/indonesian manufacturers, the korean ones were of a much higher build quality.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: Netherlands
    Not to armchair psych here, but if you feel this way about many things, you might be depressed. Was one of the signs for me at least.

  11. #11
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    While that could be one of the reasons, I doubt it unless it comes with the anhedonia and general fug of depression. The lethargy was something I felt a while ago specifically for gaming because I was at a natural ebb like the others describe; as long as everything else is okay, that enthusiasm generally comes back. It's dependent on a few variables though, for sure.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Nah I was seriously depressed, clinically so in fact, at least late last year. I have been on a fun ride of medication, some of which has worked, some not so well. Anyway thats a tale for a different thread than this, other than this little tidbit, when I was depressed I played more games.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    There are some types of games I find soothing to play obsessively, when depressed. Classic roguelikes come to mind. I would never have ascended in Nethack if not for depression.

    Anyway, for me depression doesn't lower my overall time with games, but it does make the thoughtful and engaging ones much harder to play.

  14. #14
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Yeah, it's not unsurprising to have a game that's your goto when the feeling takes hold. I know friends who were a bit obsessive with things like Hyper Light Drifter in dark times. I don't know if it helps in the long run; I don't think it does, because in my mind it's only a short-term salve that distracts one from managing difficult feelings.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    When I was depressed in my mid to late twenties, for a long time I played Half-Life 1 single player mods during the night. There were review sites for those user-created single player levels, and I pretty much played anything that got a halfway decent review. Helped to take my mind off things, but I'm glad those days are long gone.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I guess it depends on what form a depression takes. With me, they were (they're not gone, but they're much more manageable than they've been in the past) a very regular thing, with low points every 3-4 months. After a while, I knew that whatever coping mechanisms - including games - would get me through the worst bits were worth it.
    Last edited by Thirith; 31st May 2020 at 17:03.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    I think such games are like anesthesia: addictive, perhaps dangerous, but... what's wrong with sparing yourself pain?

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2005
    Location: Watching the puppets thrash.
    It could be an ailment, it could be just boredom. Take a break for a week and attend to another hobby.

  19. #19
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    I got a similar thing. Games don't grab me anymore.

    For a part, it is because of me. But I also think it is because of the games.

    I started playing games in December 1998. Half-Life 1. It was recommended to me by a guy who had just joined the company I worked for. 1999-2005 I played lots of great games. Thiefs, Morrowind, Oblivion, Deus Ex, etc, I'm sure you know them all. In 2005 I started playing WoW. I played that on and off until spring 2010. I probably played ~10k+ hours of WoW. That's 5-6 man-years. And I probably spent another 2k+ hours just reading about WoW.

    In 2010 some stuff changed in my life. And of course I stopped playing WoW. I still played games, but maybe a little less frequent. And not as intense as before. In 2014 I did play WoW (Pandaria) for 8 months, and 1 month of the new expansion pack (Warlords). I haven't played WoW since December 2014. In 2015 I played and finished The Witcher 3. And I played some GTA V.

    GTA V is like a thermometer for me. I like GTA V. It's impressive. I think it's awesome. But for some reason, I can't play it for more than a few nights. After that, I just have no drive to start the game. Maybe it's because of the controls. You really need a gamepad to drive the cars. But even when I bought a gamepad last year, I still don't feel the drive to play. Normally I would have bought RDR2 and played it. I'm sure that's an awesome game too. But I know that when I buy it, I will hardly play it.

    Since the end of 2015 I have played only a few games. The Witness in early 2016. The three Dark Souls games. Ashen. Dishonored 2. No Man's Sky. That's all I played. Since then I have played all three DS games multiple times. To get all the achievements, to do NG+/NG++/NG+++, etc. I even did SL1 runs in DS3. In january I did another run in DS2. I'm kinda done with DS now. But for some reason, I can't get myself to play other games. So I spent ~1k hours play DS[123], in 4 years time. That's not a lot.

    It is a weird feeling. I want to finish GTA V. I want to play RDR2. I want to play Demon Souls in the PS3-emulator (got that working, it's why I bought a gamepad last year). I want to finish Dishonored 2 (I got through 50% of the game in 2016). I want to replay Thief 2 (I replayed Thief 1 in 2014 or so). But I just can't set myself to do it. I don't know why. I rather watch some TV series, call someone on the phone, or do something else.

    There are lots of new games that I'm not interested in. Games these days seem different than before. Easier. Simpler. Shorter. More boring. And a big difference is that game companies are all trying to milk their games for every penny they can get. Not fun. I don't mind paying 50 or 60 euros for a good game. That's fair. I pay the price, and I receive the full game, and 1-2 months (or more) of fun. But with all the DLCs, the micro-payments, the extra services, I don't find most games fun anymore. It's too obvious how companies want to milk me. That irritates me. No, thanks.

    To be honest, I don't really mind that I'm not gaming anymore. It's been a fun 10 or 15 years. But games can take a lot of time, energy and focus. I quit my last job a little over a year ago. I plan to start working again later this year, after the summer. If that's possible (it seems lots of (small) companies are not hiring right now). We'll see. Last year I wrote some software myself (32k lines of C in 2 runs of 10 weeks each), just for fun, just to prove to myself that my code is better than most/all commercial implementations. If I can't find a job, I'll start working on that code again. Looking forward to that, I feel 10x more enthousiastic about coding than playing another game.

    I think it's actually good for me that I lost the drive to play games.
    Last edited by Gryzemuis; 9th Jun 2020 at 12:19.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Yeh I understand your feelings gryz, these days I want to create stuff more than just consume stuff, and thats not in anyway a denigration on enjoying games, its just what gives me more pleasure I guess. Would love to create games, but I have tried a little using various engines and coding and the like, but just isnt for me.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    I go through phases, too. I'll find a game I get interested in and want to spend every waking moment playing it. The last time it happened was with Prey, I think. But since I got my Switch, I've played it almost exclusively, and usually in short sessions, which means overall I've been playing way less than usual. I do sometimes crave that feeling of getting really immersed in a game, but like you I've been focusing more on creating things, music and woodworking and home renos and that kinda stuff, which is ultimately more fulfilling for me. There are a few games I'd count as being fulfilling in the same way, but not many. And it doesn't usually have much to do with spare time. If I have lots of spare time, I tend to do very little in general and get grouchy about it.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    I thought I was experiencing gaming ennui, but lately I replayed Thief Gold and am about halfway through Thief II and I'm enjoying the hell out of them. Right now I feel like I'd rather be reading a book or playing a musical instrument than enjoying a hobby that mostly makes me feel stupid. At least until Outer Worlds is on Steam or Deathloop comes out.

  23. #23
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    I'm time poor so I find it hard to get into big games these days. Death Stranding sessions are too long for the time I have, though Spiderman seems fine.

    I have to really find something fun to play it these days, and it has to be from the start. I got Invisible Inc and just couldn't get into it. FTL though, it's complex enough to be engaging but not too much.

    Cyberpunk looks like it'll be great. I don't have time for that though. I'm hoping I can get into TLOU 2 as I've been looking forward to it. Ghost of Tsushima too.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Lockdown... if only
    This topic is really on point for me.

    I used to blame my decrease in playing time on lack of free time. Between work, doing things with the kids, home maintenance, and family gatherings, I've had little time for hobbies over the past few years. My other hobbies have suffered as well: motorcycle riding, cycling, skiing, golf, tennis. But this pandemic has given me a different perspective. I'm still working full time, and with kids at home, day care has become a much bigger burden. On the other hand, we don't have family gatherings anymore and we don't go anywhere, so I actually have more free time on the weekends.

    I've been trying to take advantage of that to play some recent games I've missed out on, but I'm having a really hard time getting into them. I've mentioned this a couple of times on the Shock forum, but I started with Prey and it just didn't pull me in. It's a damn good game, and right up my alley, but I felt like I was forcing myself to play it. I could have just as happily spent the screen time reading about current events or engineering and science, looking for recipes to try, or helping my kids play a game.

    And when I am genuinely in the mood to play a game, I'm more drawn to playing around with old favorites and mods than trying something new.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    My work involves staring at two screens for most of the day, so I want to spend the rest of it elsewhere, possibly outside, at some physical leisure or activity. I get back to my desk in the evening, for 2-3 hours max, but I prefer to spend that time creating stuff rather than playing. So I'm not even looking at AAA time sinks these days. Everything above 10-15 hours feels too demanding for me. Either fast sessions in something like Dirt Rally, Quake Champions etc., or short indie games is what I'm interested in now.

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