A few days ago the wonderful blog Five Minute Discussions posted an article about gamers who’ve grown bored of playing games. The article posits that gamers grow bored with games for two reasons. Either they simply run out of time to play them or there are simply too many games to play; and so decide to just play nothing instead (choice isn’t always a good thing). Whilst I agree with the two points, I felt like it was missing something. A third point.
We all get bored. Bored of life, bored of work, bored of games. It’s natural. A way for the brain to get us doing and learning something new. It should come as no surprise then, that no matter how much you love something, be it sports, cooking, reading or even video games, that too much of the same thing can lead to your brain telling you it’s time for a break.
And that brings me to the elusive ‘Third Point’. I think the main reason people get bored of playing video games is that it’s all we allow ourselves to do.
Now I’m using ‘we’ in the broadest possible way here. As Gamers we love to expel how much our hobby is the best thing, how much it defines who we are as people and how it isn’t just a form of escapism. When we’re not playing games we’re thinking about them, we’re following our news feeds and listening to people talk about what’s going on inside the industry. And you know what? that’s all fine. I’m not here to tell you that your passion is misplaced, because if I was, then I wouldn’t be writing this damn post in the first place.
My argument is this: We need to mix it up a little. We love playing games, but if it becomes all you do then you’re bound to eventually find the entire thing a little tedious. When everything the same, you’re brain demands a change; a new fix. You’ll burn out if you don’t allow yourself that new fix; that change of pace.
And so I implore you to put the controller down and do something different. Not every day, but maybe every now and again you could and should break the cycle. Mix it up. Paint a picture, start a podcast, write a fucking book. Do something, anything to keep the monotone at bay, because eventually it’ll get you, and then you’ll find yourself writing the ‘I’m bored with games, what should I do?’ post on reddit.com at 4am.
It’s okay to put the controller down. Video games will be here for you when you get back. They aren’t going anywhere and believe me, you’ll feel all the better for it when you return.