There have been far too many days in my life where I feel either so tired, anxious, or depressed that all I can do at some point is plop down and play a game. Not just any game, though. A familiar game. A game that I’ve played so many times that I probably shouldn’t derive pleasure from it anymore, but I do. This is a great way to relax, however I also notice that I fall into a slump, and that can prevent me from starting a new game or even just finishing a different game that I never finished before.
I don’t know what it is exactly, but something has gotten so daunting about playing an unfamiliar game. It isn’t that I’m afraid I won’t like it (that’s actually irrelevant to me as if I don’t like something I can just stop) it’s always some concern about time. If I haven’t played the game, then I should pay close attention and I should dedicate more time to really feeling out the game. Something about this mindset makes me equate the process with work, and that kind of bothers me.
My attention span isn’t the problem, as if anything it has only improved since my youth, but the prospect of utilizing it is a deterrent to me. I’ll get around to that game on a day I can set aside strictly for playing that game. Until then though, I’ll just go back to what’s familiar. And so I do, and I never leave.
One exception I’ve found are handheld games. I adore my 3DS and have played several more titles over the years on it. I think that being able to close the system and put a game on standby is a big help, as it allows me to stop and start playing whenever I feel like. It doesn’t involve booting up my computer or turning on a console and selecting which game to put in.
Despite my reforged love for portable gaming, I still find myself frustrated that I don’t dedicate more time to titles I’m interested in. I’ve been trying to finish I Am Setsuna for ages now, and that game isn’t very long. I found out a few years ago that I actually really enjoyed playing Bayonetta but I haven’t sat down to push through more of it since that discovery. I’m not sure if this is a personal issue, an aging issue, or something felt by a lot of gamers, but it’s one I can’t seem to shake. I keep thinking it may be connected to real life organization, that maybe I don’t make my games accessible enough physically, however whenever I get things set up even just so I still hem and haw over actually turning a game on.
And so I find myself in a rut, unable to enjoy some big new world that I would probably love, because I’m so complacent and comfortable… Of course, maybe I’m just being too hard on myself. Maybe I should just let myself enjoy gaming, no matter what game I play. But still, I would prefer to not limit myself, especially since the only thing that seems to be in my way is me.