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Subject: So, I think I grew out of video games today... rss

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Quijanoth
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Crown Point
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This is sort of strange. I've been an avid video gamer since I was very, very young: started with a pong machine, went through the 2600, Intellivision, etc. etc. Did the NES thing. Owned a Neo Geo (twice, including a Candy Cab imported from Japan), etc. etc. So, not a casual fan. I spent quite a bit of my disposable (and not-so-disposable) income on this hobby. I genuinely loved video games.

Tonight, I'm sitting with my son goofing around with Street Fighter 4 on my PS3. We're just unlocking stuff for his PSN account, you know...then we come to Seth. My son wants me to beat him on Easiest with one victory needed. I try. Fail. Try. Fail again.

This goes on for an hour.

Finally, I beat Seth, after a few controller heaves and some language I had to ask my son's forgiveness for. I hand him back the controller, and as I watch him play for a while, I reflect on the last sixty minutes or so.

I feel sick. I'm angry, frustrated; my mood has gone from somewhat bored to downright perturbed. And I'm angry at nothing at all. A video game got the best of me. It has happened a thousand times before, and I got over it. But I'm writing about this hours later and my guts are still in knots. I'm reflecting on what changed about me as a person that made this particular evening so unusually irritating.

And then I get to thinking about the last three times I've sat down and really tried to play a video game. There's the most recent incident, which I mentioned above. Before that, I was playing a game called Valkyria Chronicles, a psuedo-turned based strategy game which I should have absolutely loved. I didn't. I was bored. I spent most of my time hating the dialog. The game before that was Fable 2. Played for four hours, and the game glitched out. I was not having that great of a time to begin with. Parenthetically, it bothers me that as consoles have gotten more expensive, they've gotten less dependable. I don't understand that either.

Is it because I'm older? Am I getting grumpy in my old age? I don't know, but I honestly find myself preferring to play a solo game of Agricola or something like that over video gaming. Or maybe it is because it is all just the same old thing. I was playing Street Fighter 4. I loved Street Fighter 2 as a kid. Really did. But this new game is just so...similar. I feel like I'm being nostalgic for something that happened a blink of an eye ago.

Maybe that's what has happened. Maybe, like any other hobby, it has just lost its luster. Will it return? I don't know. But as my first child approaches his teenage years, and I close in on forty and am a breath away from graduating from law school I wonder if it even matters. There was a time I didn't feel ridiculous playing a plastic guitar. There was a time when I'd print out strategy guides. There were times I'd imagine what each of the video game systems would look like as robots if they were secretly Transformers. It all feels sort of pathetic now. But is it all my fault that my games don't seem to have really grown up along with me? I mean, I thought Bioshock was pretty good, and Fallout 3 had its moments, but...well, I suppose I'm just thinking out loud. But I think I'm going to hand the video game wheel over to the kids. Oh well. Not going to make too much of a dent in that multi-billion dollar industry, I'm sure... I guess that's my Andy Rooney rant about the video games and why I'm going to be saving a little bit of money in the future. Maybe I'll take up stamp collecting or something...

Edited: for creamy filling
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Dan Edwards
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Crotchety old cootiness.

Get used to it, Gramps.
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Ken B.
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Everything's cyclical. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I find myself gravitating in the opposite direction. My last two trades on BGG were to get video game stuff. I just spend an hour and a half tonight playing DS Chrono Trigger. I'd intended to do some heavy sorting of some boardgame stuff but only did some World of Warcraft: TBG re-arranging before I got itchy to do something else.


I've found myself lately bored and indifferent to a lot of new games that I try. You see sameness in SFIV versus SFII; I see the same in almost everything released these days, boardgame-wise.


Will you change your mind? Difficult to say. Will I? Probably. This has all happened before...and will happen again.

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