Bitksel - The 'I don't feel like playing' problem

on 2017-08-24

Sometimes when I read internet forums like Reddit to rot my brain, I stumble upon on threads where people are asking stuff like: "I haven't felt like playing anything for ages, what to do?" or "I have hundreds of games but no desire to play." I've never really felt this way since I always find something to play, but I have few tips for people who wish to "get back to gaming" again. Hopefully these are helpful.

1. Nostalgia trip

One that always has worked for me whenever I'm in gaming slump is that I pick up some game that I absolutely loved as a kid, or just have fond memories about. Games such as Morrowind, Oblivion, Halo, old NES games, Wipeout games on PS1, Harry Potter games.. Too many to list for me. Everyone has their bunch of nostalgic favorites, or if you're completely new to gaming, try the first game you liked.

Seeing how technology has moved forward in the gaming front always makes me very inspired. I always want to find out more and more differences between old and new. Finding secrets that you have never seen from your favorite childhood game is also very possible and it may give you that spark to keep wanting to find more. I always start to wonder how many secrets the newer games have.

The point however, is to remind yourself why you liked gaming in the first place. Try finding that thing you like from your huge list of games. It'll be a proper research, but you most likely will end up having fun.

2. Slow down, take your time (details)

It's the little things. Game: INFRA

People are busy these days and tend to rush even during their free time. Having huge backlog of games may pressure you to play games faster just to get to the next one. Games aren't intended (usually) to be played that way. Look at the details. Look at the textures and models the devs made you, hear the sound effects and take them in, experiment with the gameplay and learn its little tricks.

Too many people just run past a big portion of the game, then wondering why it didn't feel any fun: You didn't give it enough attention to become fun. "But I don't have time for it!" you may say. The games aren't going anywhere, play them when you do have time and feel like it. Don't force it.

Bonus: Hunt for bugs and glitches! Those can be really fun, for example Skate 3 has a lot of funny glitches, as demonstrated by a youtuber Helixsnake

3. Don't collect, just play

So you have a huge intimidating backlog, but there's that new game coming out you reaaaally want. So you gotta buy it right? Nope! Well, you can, but there's a risk it becomes another game in your backlog.

You may be addicted to buying games, instead of playing them. Collecting things is fun and it's what us humans do, but what fun is to collect things if you can't enjoy them?

Stop buying new games until you have completed at least 5 of the latest games you have bought. And if you find out you truly don't enjoy the game, go to the next one, but you have to actually complete 5 games. Soon you realize you have spent a lot of time on these games, your backlog is shorter and the game you really wanted could possibly be on sale! Be patient with buying things. You don't need to jump the bandwagon while others do, unless it's some multiplayer game everyone and their grandmother is buying and you really wanna join in.

Remember though, gaming is hobby, so never force yourself.

Also shout out to /r/patientgamers.

4. Learn about how games are made

This is something that has helped me a lot. The moment I got into gamedev, I began to "see behind" the games. I see how some things are made, I can theorize how some parts of the game have been coded, I can troubleshoot games easier when I have a hunch what's going wrong.

Obviously this is something not everyone isn't interested in, or they don't want to be a gamedev. But there are a lot of Youtube videos of how games work, here's one of my favorites about Pokemon games: "An Exclusive Look At Pokémon’s Early Design Documents"

Check it out, you may find it intriguing. And be warned, some gamedevs have said that knowing how games are made have taken out of the immersion, but for me that has never been an issue. It has only added to the experience.

5. Get out of your gaming comfort zone

So you have your favorite genres like FPS or RPG's or platformers, and you tend to play only those kind of games. You see a game that looks interesting but then learn it's not a genre you like, and don't even give it a try.

I used to do that, especially with JRPG's. I have never liked Final Fantasy series, but lately I got to try Tales of Zestiria, which isn't a traditional JRPG but it's close enough. I have really enjoyed it, despite the anime-ish look. I've gotten more into anime and manga in general, thanks to my fiancee.

It was so refreshing to get out of my circle of games. It's very possible that you won't like most of the games in the genre, but when there's that one you do like, you will be very happy you gave it a shot! So explore a bit! Go on a gaming adventure!

6. Take a break.

It works, honestly. When you're on break, you may find yourself thinking about games more and more often and feel the urge to play everything. And boom, you're back in gaming.

There's also a slight possibility that you find a new hobby and stop gaming completely, however I've never seen anyone who has played video games completely quit. You may feel like that you have wasted money on all this stuff if you stop now, but it's never really wasted. The games aren't going anywhere, unless they're on Steam and Steam explodes or something. They will be there, awaiting for your return.

Like I've said earlier, don't force yourself to do anything. I've done that, I still keep doing that and it takes all the fun out of things. Human mind is a weird thing and sometimes taking a breather can help, not just in gaming world but in everything. The length of the break is completely on you. For me personally, when I take a break from gaming, after day or two I get the "itch" to play something.

That's all I got. If you have your own protips, feel free to share em. I hope these help!