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Gaming Slump

A disclaimer: This article is in no way an attempt to attack game companies, the specific games I mention, or those who enjoy them. It is simply a self-reflection where I try to analyse how I feel about the video games that have been available recently.

I've been in a gaming slump, Iíd say for the last year or so. When I sit down after a long day to play a game, I think about my list of what I have and just feel unmotivated. When my partner and I decide to have a gaming afternoon, we enthusiastically plan the time and day but once we get in front of the TV, we just stare at our collection with boredom.

Now that†I've†played a few games that†I've†really enjoyed, Iím finding that†there†just†isn't†any appeal for much else. Why is this? Iíll firstly discuss what†games I have played recently and enjoyed, and secondly, discuss what games Iíve had trouble with and attempt to analyse why Thirdly, I will consider games that are coming out soon, and why I find them unappealing. I will mostly be covering AAA games, because these are the ones I have grown up on and mostly play. Iím not very much into indie games, but I will be making more of an effort to play them in the future.

1. Current Games
So, what are some games†I've played recently?

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Now, I am not going to bash all of these games and claim that they will be terrible. I am a fan of the Assassinís Creed series; Brotherhood and Revelations are my top favourites. However Iím gotten stuck as Iíve failed to get into Assassinís Creed III. The French Revolution looks to be an interesting setting, however, so I am more positive about this one. Iím interested in Diablo (Iím aware it is a port), Dragon Age: Inquisition, and Borderlands.

What I will point out is that most games coming out seem to be part of a series. I enjoy series. I played Kingdom Hearts, Assassinís Creed, Ratchet and Clank, Bioshock, and Batman. What is interesting is that there isnít much else at the moment. I know Iím not the first to notice this, but Iíve found it has severely limited my choices and put a dampening on one of my most enjoyable hobbies, not to mention area of study. With too many series and not enough standalone games, we donít get much variation in our gameplay; story, setting, or game design. We also arenít very often introduced to new ways of playing or thinking.

There are some games I write off straightaway Ė kidís ones, sports games, and military shooters. I still enjoy playing games like Spyro and Ratchet and Clank, but todayís kidís games donít do it for me. Iím hesitant to claim this is nostalgia, as I feel the gameplay is inherently different, but I canít put my finger on it. I simply have no interest in sport games because I find them boring; they tend to be something you either love or hate. Finally, shooters just donít do much for me. I enjoyed Bioshock, but military games have absolutely no appeal; I tend to view them as a Ďmen trying to be masculineí kind of game, and that paired with my absolute zero interest in the military makes them unappealing to me. That being said, I am interested in trying out Far Cry and I did enjoy Fallout (New Vegas and 3), until I genuinely found it too difficult to play.

Having said all of this, Iím interested in the latter three games, which happen to not be part of a series. At a glance, Destiny appears to offer something a bit different to the usual science fiction shooter, Dying Light looks very immersive, detailed, and terrifying, and Shadow of Mordor looks very impressive to a newbie to the Lord of the Rings universe.†

So, what do I want out of this? Maybe some game recommendations. But this was mostly an opportunity to reflect on why Iíve been disillusioned with a lot of games. Game series arenít necessarily bad; clearly the designers and developers have created something that people enjoy, and thatís great. Maybe my tastes are becoming more specific, and with everything that is going on in my life, I find it harder to dedicate my time and focus on a game. With more indie developers creating games and a few Iím interested in coming out soon, I hope that changes.
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About emuishereone of us since 5:54 AM on 11.25.2013

Hi there, my name is Sian. I'm a Communication Studies graduate from Australia. Recently I wrote a thesis on how Csikszentmihalyi's Flow theory can be applied to video games, in order to explain how games can contribute to happiness.

Currently I am a PhD student looking at how video game culture creates identities and communities, with a particular focus on women.