Tell Us Dammit: Gaming Fatigue

I think we've all been through it at one point. Gaming fatigue. You just can't be bothered playing video games. Sometimes these spells last for days or weeks. At other times it lasts for months or even years. What do you do during those times? Completely stop playing? Do something else? How do you re-find the MAGIC?

I remember at one point in my late teens I sort of just stopped playing games for a while. Not too long. I just remember being over them in general. I can't remember which game it was that got me back on board, but I remember distinctly feeling a bit disengaged with the whole thing.

As someone who spends a vast majority of their day writing and thinking about video games, fatigue is an on-the-job hazard. When I feel myself getting a bit over it I usually start playing a game that reminds me why I fell in love with games to begin with. Metroid Prime, A Link to the Past, Hotline Miami. I play a game I have genuine love for, that usually gets me back on board.

Part of the problem, I think, is that lots of games simply aren't that inspiring. When you play something original, something genuinely brilliant, all that love for games tends to come flooding back.


    Yeah pretty much that last bit. I'd gone off games for years until Red Dead came out. I played it thinking, yeah thats right, this is why I liked games.

      Funny timing. I was thinking last night, "I'm bored of games lately."
      Then I started Red Dead all over again.

        I saw it for something ridiculous like $7 on XBL the other day. I was tempted to buy it and play it again just because!

        It really surprises me how much that game has stuck with me. I only played it because it was a freebie with my 360, but it ended up becoming one of my favourites of all time. The atmosphere is just so... complete and magical? It really draws you in unlike anything else.

          Wahhh time to play it again! That first time I rode alongside Bonnie along the cliff and there was a sunset, complete and magical really does describe it.

            That game needs to be on PC

              A sequel has been confirmed but even so, I would be content with just Red Dead Redemption coming out on PC. With some new graphics mods and a few tweaks to improve the difficulty, it would be a whole new game.

                It already looks better than most 'next gen' games and it's on an 8 year old machine!

    I've sort of been going through this lately. I just finished re-playing TLOU Remastered, and while it looked amazing and I saw things I previously missed, it wasn't as enticing.

    I think I'm going to replay Costume Quest (one of my favourite games ever), since the weather feels kinda Halloweeny right now, and it makes me feel good. Usually doing something like this helps - comfort gaming.

    Also, thinking about going to PAX for a day - seeing all the devs with the indies and such is a great way to get excited.

      Go to PAX early when they're all full of hope and stuff.

      Seeing the indie devs last year was a double-edged sword.

      It's just... unbelievable seeing the glow on the faces of the undoubted smash hit/darling games in the indie space. They're on cloud-9, walking on air, bulletproof.

      Unfortunately, not everyone gets to be That Booth. The others... Just see them early. Late in the first day and every day after you could see the battle-fatigue settling in pretty hardcore on anything that isn't polished/release-worthy but instead got caught at, "OMG WE NEED A DEMO FOR THE CON," stage, interrupting their schedule.

      Frustration, resentment, disappointment, self-doubt in the face of just so many 'impromptu testers' who were starkly highlighting all the flaws they knew about and worse, the ones they didn't, over and over and over and over...

      And the crushing thing is you can read it on their faces. That look on a dev's face when he watched you play-test a bit that's really just not ready for prime-time, that mechanic that's repeated just a little too often to be fun, that path that's not intuitive enough, where they stifle a sigh and help you out with a weak apology, or when they see some gamer wrinkle their nose at this mobile game when they encounter that part where they're obviously expected to start buying gems or whatever... God. I just wanna, like... bring them donuts or something and geek out about other shit they've seen/done, or plans they have. Sign up (briefly) to their mailing lists, like that's some kind of internal barometer for success, to them.

      If you can catch them at a quiet time and they're not utterly fatigued, you can have some really great conversations, though. Insightful, stress-relieving. If you make a connection with some dev who you're just totally in synch with, you'll probably even score some freebies.

      That was probably my favourite part of the con, last year. Talking to some Aussie indie devs who were just totally passionate gamers doing this brutal, gruelling, punishing and mostly-unrewarding thing that they love anyway. Those are my stand-out memories.

        I could only get tickets for Sunday this year :( But still :D

        (I totally get what you're saying though. OT, but I think the new venue and better organisation should totally help the show run a lot better for everyone).

          Would you like to buy my 3-day pass? I can't make it this year, unfortunately my last HSC exam falls smack-bang on the Friday I think :( $120 negotiable? haha

            Aw thank you, but no. I'm sure you'll be able to sell it easily though!

              Thanks for the enthusiasm anyway :) Recommend any place in particular that would be good for selling it on perchance?

    I can't remember what year it was but I was getting tired of gaming. This was probably during the heaviest point of dudebro Call of Duty clones. I didn't even want to play Halo: Reach. I then decided on a whim to pick up Blur, despite not liking racing games. Fell in love with gaming again and managed to get back into other games. Only problem is that because of yearly CoD games I can barely stand military shooters anymore.

    At the start of last year, I wasn't fatigued by gaming but I really fell in love with Dark Souls. I had the game for a year but never got into it (distracted by other games). My brother then showed me how the game played and once I got through that wall I was in love with gaming even more.

      Yeah, surprised how little impact Blur had. I bought both it and Split/Second at the same time and loved both of them :)

    Maybe I felt this when I was 16 with my N64 and summer holidays. You'd smashed the same 3-4 games with your friends so hard you needed a short break. Now I don't have time to get gaming fatigue. I have ample amounts of responsibility fatigue. So over that shit. :)

    Back in 2010 games bored me. Filled it with 4Wding and fishing. Then i discovered steam.

    Wtf is with moderation? Have i been naughty?

    Last edited 28/08/14 11:24 am

      Happens with too many downvotes, being an infrequent/new poster, posting multiple links, and rarely just 'cos.

        Ah, i did say a thing that no one agreed with yesterday, not offensive though.

        Last edited 28/08/14 2:35 pm

    I take breaks of a week or two every now and then, and then something gets its tendrils back into me.

    About 8 years ago, my life consisted of gaming and saturday nights watching TV episodes/movies with friends. I was in a rut! I definitely had gaming fatigue. I decided to do something about it. I moved to Melbourne, met my now wife, we now have 3 children (5yo and under) and you know what I found myself doing about 3 months ago? Upgrading my PC to get back into gaming!!! :) So - I didn't do much during my bout of gaming fatigue... just get married and have 3 kids! ;)

    Last edited 28/08/14 11:28 am

    I usually catch up on TV shows I wanted to watch but never found time too, do some scale modelling, or any of my other hobbies.

    I just can't get into FPS games anymore. I feel like I should be getting hyped for things like Destiny, but i think the first COD: black ops game was when i just gave up. Still haven't been able to get excited about them.

    These days I'm pretty much fatigued on most games though. I probably spend more time reading about games than actually playing them. lol. or on my phone playing freemium games, to which i'll admit I'm contributing to the problem of their success...

    PT totally reinvigorated my love of the horror genre of games though. a genre I got tired of after RE5, which seemed more veering into action territory

    Last edited 28/08/14 11:42 am

    I get genre fatigue not gaming fatigue all the time. I went through JRPGs, FPS' everything. When there is a good story you can keep my attention.

    Go do some photography, sometimes I just need to clear my mind and that helps then ITS BACK TO VIDYA

    When I get tired of playing games, I spend way too much time reading about them. Stupid, I know.

    I've gamed for pretty much my whole life, until I hit a point at about in my early twenties where I didn't have a console or PC for about 4 or 5 years. Had a PSP, but that was it. Just got burnt out. Working as a PC technician day in day out ruined all enthusiasm for PCs, and I think it extended out to general gaming fatigue as a whole.

    Nothing specific dragged me back in, but curiosity was piqued by the 360, and I picked one up second hand probably about two years after they came out, and the passion was promptly reignited. Ended up with a PS3, and rebuilding a new gaming PC in the year or two that followed.

    Hitting a fatigue point again in the last year or two though. Not as complete and totally as last time, just in general. Skipping AAA titles more and more and just focusing on my handhelds and more open ended/sandbox replayable titles like Minecraft, MMO's, Breaking Point, ArmA 3, Diablo 3 etc.

    I keep buying the latest AAA titles, playing for an hour or two (if at all) and end up losing interest. I don't think it's that they're not good games either, it's just me that's changed. I don't like having a finite completion point. My brain turns it into a job, something that needs to be completed. Whereas the games I've stuck with are less defined in such a way. I feel more comfortable knowing I can play for 30 mins or 10 hours. It doesn't matter.

      I think your last sentence ties in to my enjoyment of games.
      Games have a playspan for me that very heavily depends on how much they respect my time.

      Veterans of the medium can tell when something has been padded for the sake of it; to extend the tail/social pressure, extend play for achievement-hunters, shoe-horning in some multiplayer, incentivizing it with contrived mechanics, meaninglessly-extended gear/rep-grinds... That shit? It's not respectful of my time. It actively shortens a game's lifespan on my hard-drives.

      Honestly, it's better that it be over too soon and I miss playing it than it drag out.

    I try and spice things up in the gameroom by playing 2 games at the same time.

    It's exhausting and always ends in hurt feelings for all parties involved.

    Have felt largely lethargic about games since.... dark souls actually.
    Still played games but vastly fewer, maybe a half dozen a year, most never finished. Stuff has just not interested me.
    Read books and watched stuff mostly instead.

    Getting back into it now though; Divinity:OS, D3 PS4, replaying Warband - all lighting the fire again.
    And with some much anticipated stuff coming out soon and next year, you could almost call me enthused.

    Though the first 3/4 of next year is still probably gonna be dry for my tastes.

    The snes / n64 era involved many many hours of gaming - the best era of video games (IMO)
    I bought the game cube and fell in love with the games, but then it broke (I may have dropped it) and I stopped playing games for years.
    I was a late comer to PS3 and Wii - I bought a lot of games but never dedicated much time (a shame)
    I now have a PS4 (still waiting for some real games) and Wii U
    Having a family and 1 TV, the wii u off screen is getting a fair work out - it fills my need for a quick game session

    I stopped for about a month after finishing Borderlands 2 and starting the Tiny Tina campaign. The repetition of killing exactly the same sorts of enemies just got to me.

    For the last few weeks, I've been watching a lot of relatively old TV series: 1) Daria 2) Dogfights (History Channel about historic air combat stories) and learning how to play various board games that I bought.

    In particular, I played 3 different solo storylines from Firefly the Game.

    Only just started gaming again because I took up PS Plus.

    Funny you post this article, gaming fatigue actually hit me last night. I think it's mainly because I don't want to start something I won't have time to finish before metro and destiny are released. I spent about 2 hours disc swapping on 3 different consoles! So I watched the first season of Friday Night Dinner instead :) good show!

    Normally doesn't last more than a few days for me - I either catch up on TV/movies I've not had the time to see, or spend more time reading, or watching Let's Plays on youtube (this normally gets me back on track). Or I'll pick up one of my portable consoles and make a bit of headway into a game that I'd started ages ago, and drifted away from cos I simply prefer consoles and PC.

    Im in a long gaming dry spell at the moment, I've been playing GTA V. I have a steam library full of games and nothing interesting to play. The likes of Far Cry 3 and Watch Dogs remain unfinished.

    Although i have been hitting the emulators, i finally finished Sonic 3 and Knuckles.

    I feel like I go for months at a time without gaming/feeling like gaming. Even though I've got piles and piles of them unplayed, the motivation isn't there.

    I think all it really takes is to just actually start playing one, then I'm good. The thing is it seems to take a lot of effort to get that ball rolling.

    I have it right now tbh I have like 20 games all started played a few hours then went onto something else.

    The games weren't bad at all, infact I only started playing some of those considered quite good so I would actually finish them.

    I think the biggest thing is that for me its never what I want to be playing. Once I played the Destiny beta that is ALL I want to be playing. Once I got my Wii U sure mario kart was great but i wanted to be playing smash bro's or for monster hunter 4 to makes it way to console.

    Hell I've been stuck thinking about The new LOTR shadow of mordor game since I read a gameinformer early this year about the authors play through and the dynamic AI that evolves and all the cool shit you could do.

    That I think is the biggest reason for my current gaming situation, because no matter how good something I'm playing is once the "new" factor wears off Its not the game I want to be playing right at this moment. So untill I get to play both shadow and Destiny It probably wont change, it almost always takes a game that really hits home to get over the slump.

    Throughout Uni I stopped playing everything except Battlefield Bad Company 1, then Skyrim came out. Then I stopped for another year and a half while I started full time work and just felt very disengaged with gaming until I bought a Wii U for the virtual console titles and a 360 for Halo 4 in early 2013 and am now fully in it again with a PS4.

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