There you are, finally sitting in the comfort of your own home all cozy with nom-noms and sweet-stickies (or not). You settle warmly into the cushions like they’re heaven on earth and you begin a fresh game. And soon an hour has passed and you’re kind of bored; is it the game? Is it you? Maybe a little too much hype and excitement, you thought you tempered your expectations, but nope, that feeling of dissatisfaction gnaws at the back of your mind and so you turn the game off and play [insert literally any game.].
For most who play games, this feeling is completely understandable, unless you’re one of the few super-humans that can game for ludicrous amounts of time (looks at all streamers) then this happens to the best of us. It’s unfortunate when looking forward to a game only to be completely put off by it or feel disinterest in said game. No matter how bad you wanted to play it, it might just not be the time; a blockade. What does one do then? When having waited to buy ‘x’ game only to find disinterest; not everyone can afford games on a weekly basis and there’s a massive selection to choose from. The first advice would be to tough it out. Maybe that game isn’t the one for now, but at least there are fallbacks until that moment of inspiration hits.
This happened to myself recently with two games that I greedily bought without a second thought — Vampyr and Hollow Knight when it released on Switch. Both games I was immensely looking forward to and with both I hit the same wall. No matter how often I tried playing, every attempt to pick up the controller was met with my mind split between disinterest and intrigue. It becomes hard to tell if the brain is responding in a Pavlovian way for the shiny new toy or there is actual enthusiasm buried under the loss of focus for both games. Luckily it was the latter. There are, of course, times where a game is just not for you, but it was a relief knowing it was just a matter of time.
It wasn’t until this week that Vampyr finally clicked. Soon I found myself picking up pace with the game and diving into the world like it was the deepest of pools. Hollow Knight clicked just the weekend before. Which begs another question, how does one know when they’re fatigued — possibly burning the candle at both ends? Remember to take breaks from games, there are a million things to do out in the world besides play games and falling prey to gaming fatigue isn’t all too difficult. This won’t be a health rant, just looking out. With such a large selection of games coming out through each year it’s easy to want to play them all, but keeping diligent and playing the ones worth it to you will make all the difference. It will cut down on game-time and won’t burn ones eyeballs out from looking at a screen all day.
There is one more option: cut those loses. Yes, sometimes a game just isn’t the one in which case two things will play out, either selling it back to the local game store or having to delete it off the hard drive and realize you get nothing back for purchasing said game. This is where a bit of tactic comes into how games are purchased. For ones that are sure to be a one and done, just buy it from the store/online and sell it back to that local game store where you get cash or credit towards that next game. Buying a one and done digitally knowing there is nothing in return if it’s not for you is just a bummer. Which is why I bought Vampyr physically; it’s easy to know I will play it once and feel good about it, and then it can go towards another game, continuing the cycle.
It’s nice finding that footing to play the games we knew we would love. It doesn’t always work out, but in my case it did and can for anyone. I look forward to the dynamic bloody streets of Vampyr or maybe some dungeon crawling through a labyrinth of a nest for a Hollow bug world (I’m honestly shook how good Hollow Knight is). My best advice: try and tough it out, be patient and know that eventually that feeling might come around. After all, you wouldn’t have bought the dang game otherwise.