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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, I�d 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, I�m finding that�there�just�isn't�any appeal for much else. Why is this? I�ll firstly discuss what�games I have played recently and enjoyed, and secondly, discuss what games I�ve 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. I�m 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 Assassin�s Creed series; Brotherhood and Revelations are my top favourites. However I�m gotten stuck as I�ve failed to get into Assassin�s Creed III. The French Revolution looks to be an interesting setting, however, so I am more positive about this one. I�m interested in Diablo (I�m 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, Assassin�s Creed, Ratchet and Clank, Bioshock, and Batman. What is interesting is that there isn�t much else at the moment. I know I�m not the first to notice this, but I�ve 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 don�t get much variation in our gameplay; story, setting, or game design. We also aren�t very often introduced to new ways of playing or thinking.

There are some games I write off straightaway � kid�s ones, sports games, and military shooters. I still enjoy playing games like Spyro and Ratchet and Clank, but today�s kid�s games don�t do it for me. I�m hesitant to claim this is nostalgia, as I feel the gameplay is inherently different, but I can�t 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 don�t do much for me. I enjoyed Bioshock, but military games have absolutely no appeal; I tend to view them as a �men trying to be masculine� 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, I�m 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 I�ve been disillusioned with a lot of games. Game series aren�t necessarily bad; clearly the designers and developers have created something that people enjoy, and that�s 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 I�m 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.