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Author Topic: Fork in the road?  (Read 474 times)
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Arclight
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« on: May 08, 2016, 09:15:51 AM »

Gaming! Just that word alone would get me salivating to jump into my game of the day. I would get butterflies thinking about getting home from work or whatever and making sure my online family was taken care of.(always after my real family). I miss those days quite a bit lately.

Gaming is now causing more of a yawn response, than anticipation of play time.  Hey, I'm no Spring Chicken, this could very well be old age(62), or the Gaming World has become stale, predictable, a world of sequels, and crass money grabs.(Movie-games). Am I imagining it? I dunno, but games just all feel the same(within their respective genres) And I know to some degree similarity is what makes a genre. But my word, has the MMO genre become, anathema to me? What a bunch of worn out old ideas that they keep trying to perfect.(like perfecting the Wheel)I think the gaming World has to be on the cusp of something drastically different. We certainly have the tech for it.

I would almost tremble trying to get the shrink wrap of a brand, spanking new game. The manuals!!!! oh my, the manuals of those games were as much a joy to me, as the playing of them. I'm thinking more of flight simming when I say that. Remember Falcon 4 and its military grade standard manual. It was a work of art.
Now? I hit enter, and Steam delivers. Nothing to open but an exe file. No manual.   But then I think, aha that's what the problem is. We don't need manuals for new games any longer. We've played every game under different names a thousand times before.

Maybe its a generational thing. Like the next major paradigm-shift in gaming will come from the kids in school now. I'm very hopeful for the gaming hobby, its just going to be a while longer I believe before we see something, really new and fresh. And then begin a new era of Gaming.

This old dog might not be playing them, but most of you will. Keep being fair, and critical of our gaming. And maybe part of the change will come from us.
I really miss the old days of gaming. But then again, I'm starting to miss a lot of things from my younger days. And that brings me to a close. This all could just be an ageing man's cynical eye on things. But, I don't believe so.

Time to raise a glass to the Old School days, and bid them a fond, Adieu.  And start to usher in a new Era of Gaming. 

Enough waxing and waning from me.
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TiLT
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2016, 10:46:45 AM »

I know the feeling (despite having 25 fewer years of life experience behind me), and I believe it's just part of getting older. I've found myself gravitating towards unique gaming experiences over the last few years, finding more interest in indie games than in the by-the-numbers AAA games. It's also one of the reasons I'm so into Virtual Reality, because it offers something completely unique and new. I'm once again discovering the pleasure of being surprised and awed by something as simple as a pretty view, and thinking about where this new platform can go in the future makes me incredibly excited.

It might just be that you're tired of gaming in general and would rather do other things with your life now, despite your nostalgia reminding you of how much fun you had with it back in the days. Or it might just be a call for you to try something new within gaming, instead of jumping back on the same bandwagon over and over again while expecting it to give you something you haven't seen before.
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Arclight
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2016, 11:28:22 AM »

All good points, Tilt.

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Bullwinkle
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2016, 02:36:39 PM »

For me, these feelings come in waves.  There will be times where I think I may be done with gaming and then a week or two later, you cannot pull me away from a game.  Of course, I'm not as giddy as I used to be, even at the prospect of a game coming out, so the waves are definitely on the ebb for me in the big picture, but I can't imagine a time where I won't want to game in some capacity.

The shift lately has been to smaller, bite sized but addictive games.  It started with just apps, of course, but that market has been so blazingly successful that the ideas started there have carried over to the big boy market, too.  Of course, the problem with a steady diet of sugar is that you're going to crash eventually.  And at some point, this'll happen on a big enough scale that the market will have to shift again.

Maybe it'll be VR, I don't know.  Maybe that's the future.

However, I have been seeing an increasing number of people returning to the past: board gaming has been on the rise for the last decade or so.  It's nowhere near video gaming's numbers, but the increase has been pretty dramatic.  I've gone that way myself, but recently I've been finding it harder and harder to get games to the table.  My wife doesn't love the hobby, and my daughter is much too busy with middle school.  So I've got to go to outside sources.  I have a friend who lives really close by who likes to game, but we both have families and generally spend time with them on the weekends.  There's a group he introduced me to, but they're almost 45 minutes away (and are into heavier euros than I enjoy - I don't get enough time to play games as it is, I don't need to scramble my brain min maxing my point salad for three hours, thank you).  So, solo gaming is ever more a thing.  But reading the rules (ah, the manuals, as you said), setting up, and playing take a very long time, and so I often find myself saying, "Screw it.  I'll just play a video game."

And we're back to square one.
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2016, 03:50:00 PM »

I have those feelings, but not today, because according to USPS, I'll be getting Uncharted 4 today.  It's gonna be a tug of war... Mothers day or Drake.  hmmmm
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Ironrod
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2016, 03:56:12 PM »

I only buy 1-2 games per year, and in fact haven't bought any yet this year. I choose games with replay value in mind and am generally content to keep playing the same 4X games over and over as long as they have enough variety (different civilizations, victory conditions, difficulty levels, etc) to keep them fresh. When one starts to get repetitious, I move on. So I'll play a 4X game several times, then switch to a citybuilder or a business sim, then go to a different 4X game, then maybe an adventure game, then another 4X, etc, and before you know it another year has gone by and I'm ready to go back to the game I started with.

Sometimes gaming borders on being a chore and feels like a complete waste of time, then sometimes the same game grabs me and I can't wait to play again. I'm wrapped up in a good game of GalCiv2 at the moment, for example. That's right -- GC2. GC3 has been out for quite some time but it's still unpolished and incomplete, while its predecessor is still an excellent space empire game.

Maybe I'll move on to GC3 when they finish patching and expanding it. But I think this year's game is going to be X-COM 2. I'm overdue for some squad-level combat. I'd love to get on the Fallout 4 train but I need a new PC for that one, and my 6-year-old rig still plays everything else adequately. I'm comfortable being a few years behind the curve.
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2016, 06:07:40 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on May 08, 2016, 10:46:45 AM

I know the feeling (despite having 25 fewer years of life experience behind me), and I believe it's just part of getting older. I've found myself gravitating towards unique gaming experiences over the last few years, finding more interest in indie games than in the by-the-numbers AAA games. It's also one of the reasons I'm so into Virtual Reality, because it offers something completely unique and new. I'm once again discovering the pleasure of being surprised and awed by something as simple as a pretty view, and thinking about where this new platform can go in the future makes me incredibly excited.

It might just be that you're tired of gaming in general and would rather do other things with your life now, despite your nostalgia reminding you of how much fun you had with it back in the days. Or it might just be a call for you to try something new within gaming, instead of jumping back on the same bandwagon over and over again while expecting it to give you something you haven't seen before.

Well said Tilt.

I'm in a similar boat these days, and find myself struggling to enjoy even those games that would have been no-brainers in the past.  For example, I would consider the Infinity Engine games (Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Planescape Torment) among my favorites of all time, yet the new crop of isometric RPG's (namely Pillars of Eternity and Divinity Original Sin) have fallen completely flat with me.  I struggle to really get into current JRPG's (both standard and tactical), which were practically the sole staple of my gaming diet for 20 years.  It's a little disappointing, but makes sense when I recognize couple key things:

1.  I have far less gaming time than I used to.  The thought of an 80-hour RPG simply doesn't hold the appeal because it'll take me 2 months to finish.
2.  I have little patience for learning complex systems.  This sort of ties into #1 because if I only have an hour to sit down and play something, I don't want to spend that hour bashing my head against obtuse or unclear mechanics (I'm looking at you Black Desert Online).
3.  I also have very little patience for overly difficult games.  I have enough stress in my life, the last thing I want is for my games to add to it.  I've become more of a "filthy casual" when it comes to games, mostly because I'd like to at least make some sort of progress when I play.  There's a whole genre of games that I would probably love (ahem, Dark Souls), but I know I would never have the patience to get through them.

I still love gaming, but the games I do end up finishing and enjoying are becoming fewer and further between.  These sort of gaming ruts are also dangerous for my wallet, as I end up throwing money at a whole bunch of random games in the hope something will click. 
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SeaMoosi
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2016, 08:41:56 PM »

I might have a different outlook on this, so bear with me a bit. biggrin

I've been playing games since I was a kid, but almost always as a past-time or hobby. Nowadays, I do so for both fun and for work, so it gets really easy to get burned out, especially when the lines between play and work become incredibly blurred.

In that sense, I've tried to focus on looking for games that provide what I've identified as what I enjoy. Usually, this means a social/competitive title (Dota 2, Overwatch, Battleborn) where I can chat with others while still theorycrafting and being competitive with other people; or a personal, introspective game that presents a valuable story and narrative (Undertale and Firewatch are obvious, but even Ratchet & Clank fills this need).

I try to avoid things that consume a great number of hours by nature, like JRPGs and Dark Souls-esque games, as those tend to be the types of games I review anyways. Having something simple, memorable, and relaxing is better for me.

Anyways, if you're feeling burnout, my suggestion is always to either explore waters you haven't yet, or just take a break. No shame in not keeping up with the AAAs.

If you need some suggestions for stuff you might not have tried, Undertale is my go-to, as well as other indie titles from the year that do interesting things like Stories and Stardew Valley.
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2016, 11:11:28 PM »

I'm on the complete opposite side of the spectrum from all of you. There has never been a better time to be a gamer, and there have never been more choices in titles and platforms- PS4, XB1, WiiU, Vita, 3DS, iOS, Android, VR, PC. The indie scene has exploded, social gaming is everywhere, Kickstarter has delivered some wonderful titles, games are now magically downloaded into your home without ever needing to leave your couch, etc.

My problem is that as I get older (over 40 now) I get this creeping anxiety because there is SO MUCH that I want to try, and I'm no longer a young man that can devote every waking moment to these environments and experiences.

When I lose my spark for gaming, I've realized that it isn't gaming that has lost its luster. The weight of being an adult, and the responsibilities that come with it can sometimes lead to depression or restlessness. And when THAT happens, even the best games lose their magic. But eventually those troubles/regrets/anxieties pass, and I'm Nathan Drake again with a smile plastered across my face.
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Ironrod
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2016, 02:33:50 AM »

What I meant my first post to say is that I buy new games so seldom that starting one is an event. I still get sucked down the rabbit hole every now and then, especially because I research games before committing to one. Buying a new game is enough to get me out of a slump...but that won't work if you're the sort who has a huge library of un- or barely-played games.
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2016, 03:49:03 AM »

Quote from: Ironrod on May 08, 2016, 03:56:12 PM

I only buy 1-2 games per year, ....

I've gone the other way. Scattershot purchases via the humble bundles and steam sales where $20 gets me to the table at 7-10 different games. Most don't last more than an hour or two, but every now and BOOM I hit an evergreen that gives me hours and hours of play.

Can't recall the last highly anticipated game that I really enjoyed. Don't Starve, Dominions, F.T.L. Sunless Sea all provided more gameplay than anything that I anticipated.
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2016, 01:46:31 PM »

Personally I still like gaming but it isn't as big of a thrill as it was.  I remember very fondly having the buy an SVGA card so I could play Myst!  It was so cool.

I think it doesn't happen now because there are just so many games.  It is hard to get excited about one game because I am already being bombarded with ads about the next great one.  It has become such a money maker, such an industry that a lot of the charm has gone out of it.




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« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2016, 04:52:19 PM »

Yeah, I am kind of along the lines of dfs and farley2k.  There are so many games coming out now, and so many available at low prices, that it's hard to ever get too excited about any one release or focus on it for too long after it comes out. 

The noise of the marketing, the internet, constant releases, and frequent sales has made it all just sort of lose the peaks and valleys that made it so exciting many years ago.  It has all become a quagmire of hype that causes me gaming ADD.

Very rarely does a game come out of left field to blow me away.  Not to mention that the "big" games (and even many indies) are mostly iterative these days, so you largely know what to expect when RPG XV or FPS 4: The Repeat come out. 
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« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2016, 02:11:19 AM »

I don't really do big PC games anymore, I've switched to a lot of indie and smaller games. Every once in awhile something comes along though like Overwatch which makes me all addicted again.
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