The end of Computer/Video Games?

20 replies [Last post]
retroc64
Offline
Joined: 05/11/2008

Hi all,

I have been playing computer games since around 13 or 14. Now almost 42, I have almost lost all interest in ALL computer/video games. This has happened before, but each time the hiatus seems to last longer. I have no reason why I have lost interest again. I don't think it is just because I am getting older.

So what am I going to do?

I decided to go back, back to the 80's with my trusted emulators, games, and books like "Vintage Games", and "Dungeons and Desktops," and explore games from the beginning. I want to play games I use to play in my teens, and games I never played before. I am hoping the experience will get me re-interested in games again, and a self-discover about what I liked about video games in the first place.

Has anyone ever thought about doing this before? Has anyone had any great revelations when they re-examined their gaming past?

Rowdy Rob
Rowdy Rob's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/04/2006
Too many options.
Bill Loguidice wrote:

I think that's very true and something I've talked about in the past on here too. It's like a paralysis from having too much stuff/too many options. While I can personally never be bored, I can also regularly fall into the trap of not doing anything because I'm a bit tired and don't want to tackle anything in the "pile". Sad, really.

Exactly my case. Never bored, but paralysis from too many options. Tired and not wanting to tackle anything in the pile.

I took yesterday and today off to recuperate (spinal problems), hoping to tackle some of this stuff while I was off. I ended up just vegging out and wasting time. I need a dose of "fire" to get me going again. I did do some work on Unity today, though.

I think what most of us need is a TEAM to join. I'm talking about locally, not over the Internet. Most of us are probably team players more than solo artists, and need the camaraderie of geek friends to spur each other on. People like Bill and Matt are rare solo artists who don't need that, it seems.

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
FWP?
clok1966 wrote:

I think ther is some real truth in the fact we all want "more". Its breed into us .. cartoons ar all bout selling toys to kids, heck even the first thing we ate int hte morening (cereal) advertises something or had a toy in the box to make us buy it.
Every night I sit at my PC with my TV and 360/ps3/Wii by me i think.. nothing to do, and its not becuase there is nothing to do, it becuase there is to much to do. I have a Kindle with several books I want to read, I need to finish the expansion packs to Fallout Vegas, I finished the first Drakensang but not the second, My Diablo III betat test had big changes a week or so ago and I havent logged in to see what. I recently started watching the X-Files, and need to catch up on Dexter. I bought a 2000 Ford Expedition that needs some tinkering.. (this is my #1 priority, but tis to cold here to work outside, so my days when i can use a freind garage are limited). my ex is wanting to make at trip to rekindle the past.. and I been putting it off (why I dont know).. I promised a buddy to help him clean his basement out.. etc.. etc.. plenty to do.. and still i sit and go "bah im bored' overload is ...hmmm if people can have ever other aliment.. I HAVE "boredoffmyasscuzimlazy" syndrome. now if i can just find some treatment.. i think a week inside with the ex alone should work? worth a shot :)

I think that's very true and something I've talked about in the past on here too. It's like a paralysis from having too much stuff/too many options. While I can personally never be bored, I can also regularly fall into the trap of not doing anything because I'm a bit tired and don't want to tackle anything in the "pile". Sad, really.

n/a
clok1966
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2009
I think ther is some real

I think ther is some real truth in the fact we all want "more". Its breed into us .. cartoons ar all bout selling toys to kids, heck even the first thing we ate int hte morening (cereal) advertises something or had a toy in the box to make us buy it.
Every night I sit at my PC with my TV and 360/ps3/Wii by me i think.. nothing to do, and its not becuase there is nothing to do, it becuase there is to much to do. I have a Kindle with several books I want to read, I need to finish the expansion packs to Fallout Vegas, I finished the first Drakensang but not the second, My Diablo III betat test had big changes a week or so ago and I havent logged in to see what. I recently started watching the X-Files, and need to catch up on Dexter. I bought a 2000 Ford Expedition that needs some tinkering.. (this is my #1 priority, but tis to cold here to work outside, so my days when i can use a freind garage are limited). my ex is wanting to make at trip to rekindle the past.. and I been putting it off (why I dont know).. I promised a buddy to help him clean his basement out.. etc.. etc.. plenty to do.. and still i sit and go "bah im bored' overload is ...hmmm if people can have ever other aliment.. I HAVE "boredoffmyasscuzimlazy" syndrome. now if i can just find some treatment.. i think a week inside with the ex alone should work? worth a shot :)

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Ha!!! I know most of us here

Ha!!!

I know most of us here have similar stories regarding the "loves we've lost" and so on. I'm just glad I had learned some painful lessons by the time I met Elizabeth, so I knew I had a good thing and should hold onto it rather than keep pursuing the "greener pasture." I'm ashamed to say it now, but when I was younger I had a terrible view of relationships as "upgrading," so you start off with rubbish and dump them when you get a better opportunity. Usually, that "better opportunity" would evaporate (or turn out to be worse) and I'd find myself with nothing!

It might seem unrelated, but I think there's something similar with games.

We're playing a game, let's say, and having a "reasonable" good time. But somewhere in the back of your mind, you're thinking there must be a better game you could be playing, or you should just try something else for awhile. It's kinda like those dudes back in college who went through women like cigarettes. They had zero appreciation for any of them, even if they were amazing and wanted nothing else but to make them happy. You KNOW the type. Now look at your own gaming habits and ask--are you THAT way when it comes to games? Even a masterpiece that people put their hearts and souls into becomes just a disposable thing, sample a little bit and toss it. Move on to the next.

I guess the alternative to that is really LOVING a game, not just "wham bam thank you ma'am." Instead of trying to play so many different games, spend a LOT of time with just one or a couple.

I'm that way with World of Warcraft, though I have to say I've been taking an extended break. But I was able to overlook its faults (even come to appreciate them) and found so many ways to enjoy the game. Now my brother and I are doing that with Civilization 5 multiplayer. I find myself going back to it single-player and trying different strategies, playing different characters; just trying to experiment and get to know the game better.

My assumption is that any game widely considered great is worth spending time with, and the more time you put into it, the more you will get out of it. I bet if you spent two or three months playing a game like Planescape: Torment, you'd really get to loving it. If you just play it in short bursts here and there amidst a dozen other games, it just won't stick. It's like that guy who goes out with a different girl every weekend; there just isn't the time and focus required to really get to know one (much less fall in love).

n/a
Rowdy Rob
Rowdy Rob's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/04/2006
A bit more to it...
Matt Barton wrote:

There is something bittersweet about realizing how great something is after the fact. But at least we have the opportunity with games. Unfortunately, the wonderful women we've spurned are forever lost to us, the door forever closed, the opportunity damned to mere conjecture.

Wow, what a depressing thought.... I can't help but think these thoughts quite frequently.

(*snapping out of it*)

But back on topic, I'm not sure you understand what we're getting at, Matt. You're still young(er), so maybe it's an age thing. It may not happen to everyone at around my age, but it seems that games don't involve me (and apparently others) as passionately, breathlessly, and deeply as they used to. Oh, I still play them and enjoy them, and am still enthusiastic about them, but while I may really enjoy "Planescape" today, I probably would have really, really enjoyed it 10 years ago.

It's not really a "game quality" thing, it's something else going on. I think it's age, but...

My tastes have changed, and I don't get addicted to games like I used to. I may really have a great gaming session one night, but the next night, not even consider booting that "great game" again. It'll be there when I feel like playing it again. Oh wait, another cool game just came out, let me play that one. Oh, and another!

It might be more of a case of "game overload" than lack of interest or age. I have too many games, and not enough free time or inclination to play them as frequently as I used to. And I'm buying too many "deep" games (CRPG's, simulations, etc.), which require a "long haul" approach, which kind of scares me anymore. But games that are too simple don't satisfy like they used to.

retroc64
Offline
Joined: 05/11/2008
I agree

Looking back now, I deeply regret leaving Taylor Swift, Angelina Jolie, and Jennifer Lopez, but you are right, I still have my Commodore 64 and older DOS games. I look forward to going back and learning for myself that special something inherent in yesterday's RPGs. Maybe then I can make the next great RPG.

Oh gosh, is Taylor calling again...

I have to go :-)

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
I think what we're looking at

I think what we're looking at here is the difference between SEXY and BEAUTIFUL. That may seem superficial at first, so let me elaborate.

What is beautiful might at first appear as SEXY. Thus, we might fall in love with a game like Planescape: Torment because we think the graphics are awesome. However, as time allows us to mature, we realize that there was more going on than just the audiovisuals. There was something ELSE; a hard-to-define, possibly impossible-to-articulate quality that continues to attract us long after the initial blitz has faded.

Thus, many of us are still fascinated by older games that have long passed into "obsolescence" by the mainstream.

I compare this to the sexy/beautiful comparison. Looking back, we all have ex-girlfriends (or boyfriends) that we now realize were more than just physically attractive. For most of us, it's too late--we realized it too late, now it's gone and the opportunity is lost forever.

Fortunately, with games we CAN go back at any time we choose, and THIS time with the maturity and experience of years. Maybe you didn't care for Baldur's Gate II or Arcanum when they were new. NOW you can go back and really savor the accomplishment because you KNOW their significance. Or maybe you can play a game like the original Fallout or even Wasteland and realize how great it was, not just AT THE TIME, but also NOW, since nothing that's come out since has had the same quality.

There is something bittersweet about realizing how great something is after the fact. But at least we have the opportunity with games. Unfortunately, the wonderful women we've spurned are forever lost to us, the door forever closed, the opportunity damned to mere conjecture.

n/a
bahototh
bahototh's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/18/2012
Grown up Gaming

Hope I don't go too deep with this, but it's interesting how people see gaming as they grow older.
There's nothing "childish" or "unmature" about games, in my opinion. These are constructs of our society.
If more adults than kids are involved in a certain activity, like playing a certain game, than by definition it would be an adult activity.

The sad thing is most people over a certain age tend to view gaming as irresponsible and/or unimportant.
That said, others things naturally take up our time as we grow older. But the fundamental feeling of instant gratification, reward system or simply "fun" you can get from games should never dissappear all together. I've thought about if music would be viewed in the same way. Nobody would be taken seriously as a member of society as a mere "musician". Now, of course, music got financially interesting at a certain period (whole other story...).

I am getting back into pixel graphics and gaming. I have the luxury of being able to devote time to games and game development, that's my
life choice. I balance it with other activities. And let's not forget: When others say that computer games is for kids only, I kind of think that they see something fun they may be missing themselves, and resort to ridicule as a defense.

Have fun gaming!!!

davyK
davyK's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/21/2006
I've gone through some

I've gone through some periods of inactivity. The first was around the time of 8bit micros here in the UK. While this is considered a great time of creativity and innovation (and indeed was the nursery for the likes of RARE and Rockstar) I found the tape loading and poorly designed difficulty curves offputting.

I had come from the instant loading of the 2600 and for the most part well designed games with well judged difficulty to the slow loading lottery that was tape loading. While many of the games were enjoyable and had visuals far better than what the 2600 could produce (I mapped the Amstrad CPC464 version of Jet Set Willy 2 for example), the hardware got in the way and my lack of funding meant I missed out on the Amiga / Atari XL scene Around 1990, a friend producing a Sega Master System re-ignited my interest in consoles and it went on from there,

I have always since linked PCs/computers to a poor gaming experience. The fact thay PCs are also strongly liked to work means I won't ever really enjoy PC gaming as much as console gaming though I do indulge from time to time (MAME, Peggle, Mahjonng etc.)

The second time came when I was sitting playing an over-whimsical puzzle game - Hebereke's Popoon on the SNES - some years later. I looked at the images on-screen and seriously questioned my sanity and wondered if I would ever grow up. This feeling wore off after a few weeks but during that time I considered packing the whole thing in.

I've now come to realise I'm hopelessly in love with the whole subject, and despite some disillusionment that sets in around new generations when I get fed up listening about hardware specs and hype I know it will always be a part of my leisure time.

Rowdy Rob
Rowdy Rob's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/04/2006
You're just getting "experienced," Retro64.

Sorry I'm late to the party here. I'm 45 years old, and I still play videogames. I certainly don't play them like I did when I was younger, but I go through phases. I went through much the same thoughts a few years ago as Retro64 is going through, and even wrote a bit about it in my Baldur's Gate slog on this site.

Retro64, I occasionally go through periods where I game, and periods when I don't. I think as you get older, the wow factor and thrill goes away, and you play games just for casual entertainment and amusement. I find that no matter how "awesome" a game is, I don't feel any particular amazement or burning desire to acquire them right off the bat. Skyrim, Call of Duty XIV, Grand Theft Auto XIV, XBOX Kinect, Wii U, 3DS, or whatever is on its way... I'm interested, but not breathlessly dying to see them or play them like I would have been when I was younger.

You're just not going to get that same, consistent thrill playing a game now as you did when you were younger. It's all games, you've seen it all before. Heck, you've even seen "new" before, so when they release something like "3D TV" or "XBox Kinect," you've already become accustomed to dealing with "new," so it doesn't seem as mindblowing as it should. That's why it doesn't seem as "thrilling" to you anymore. It's not that games "suck" nowadays so much as you have changed, and you're more experienced.

I think many people mistake "losing the thrill" with "things suck now." I think I'm seeing it in Matt right now, based on his reaction to "Skyrim" and other CRPG's that fail to hold his interest like they did when he was younger. The teenage versions of "Matt" playing the modern games right now are having a major thrill with these games! They don't "suck" to them; they are in fact thrilling to them!

When I first saw "Star Wars," "Superman," "Star Trek," "Poltergeist," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," and so forth as a kid, it was just astounding, exciting, and just all-out inspiring!

When I first played "Space Invaders," "Galaxian," "Donkey Kong," "Defender," and so forth, it was much the same feeling!

Now, we're swamped with similar movies and similar games. It's all just movies now, and it's all just games.

I don't get the same feelings as I did when I was younger, but I still watch movies, and I still play games. Not every day, and I am not breathlessly excited by them, but I still frequently enjoy them. But it's all old hat now.

But you know what? That's okay. You're older now. You have responsibilities and priorities that you didn't have as a kid. You're also more broadly knowledgeable and experienced. This puts "entertainment" in a different perspective. I'm more likely to seek out and appreciate different types of games, music, and movies than the types I enjoyed as a kid.

You're still a gamer, Retro64. You're probably just finding the lack of "thrill" in something you loved to be strange, frightening, and maybe depressing. "Oh my gosh, I'm getting old!" But it doesn't leave you completely, anymore than you'll suddenly lose interest in all other "geek" stuff. It's part of you. It's who you are. It's just that there are several extra layers of "who you are" now. Games are still fun pastimes. :-)

You're still a gamer, Retro64. :-) Just find something simple to play, i.e. a Flash game or something. It's still fun. And it's okay not to want to devote 100+ hours on a game anymore. Although when it does happen, it's cool. Then you'll say to yourself "how did I waste the whole night playing a game when I need to finish filing my taxes?!?!"

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.