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Gaming and reviewing your time with it...


MattyP
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Inspired by a post by @Dave White 

 

 

EDIT : Created a post here about it as I was reminded that Trading is for just that and the topic was meandering around a bit!

 

I've been inspired by this post in that whilst on holiday I was pondering over my current life choices. 

 

As @Dave White I think it is long time I revaluated where I'm at with gaming. I seem to get caught on the endless wave of "the new" and am actually enjoying it anymore? Spending lots of time (and money!) on gaming is it giving me a spark of joy? 

 

I think it isn't sadly. Well not console gaming anyway. So whilst not going complete cold turkey like @Dave WhiteI have decided to just focus on what does give me that spark of joy in life. So that is VR and Retro TBH. With this in mind the PC stays with Oculus and emulators. The PS5 is going. I know PSVR2 is heading this way at some point next year but it's yet more outlay and entrapment into another ecosystem. PC is the most versatile box so sticking with just that and a few retro consoles (360/Wii).

 

Feels liberating TBH. Proceeds of the PS5 sale are going towards a new mobile phone with a decent camera (Pixel 6 pro) because I love taking photos/videos and especially find it great when traveling.

 

So going forward health, fitness, career, travelling, community and home are the main core focus of my life. With a touch of video entertainment in between the gaps in the form of movies/TV/gaming.

 

Feeling great about my new era of my life journey! Thanks @Dave Whitefor the indirect inspiration and good luck on your future journey. Perhaps one day I may give up gaming for good myself but the tech of it all will always drag me back in particular VR and graphics tech.

 

Any of you had a moment of clarity regarding your gaming habits? Its quite easy to slip into a hobby that completely dominates and consumes a fair proportion of your spare time to the detriment at times of other areas of your life. 

 

Update PS5 is formatted and ready to go and the new phone has just arrived. So it begins... 

 

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16 minutes ago, MattyP said:

Any of you had a moment of clarity regarding your gaming habits? Its quite easy to slip into a hobby that completely dominates and consumes a fair proportion of your spare time to the detriment at times of other areas of your life. 

 

Not a moment of clarity as such, but I'm trying not to beat myself up too much when I don't spend proper time on one of my hobbies for a while. I count making music, writing and videogaming as my main fun outlets when I'm not working. There's watching TV and film in the mix as well, though, and I have a more-than-full-time job, so there are only so many hours in the day to do things. Plus, I can be a major procrastinator at times. And, of course, I do need to rest! So sometimes I'll have a few weeks of being massively into videogames, then a few weeks of making music, then writing, and my 'focus' of the one I'm concentrating on most can change at any time.

 

Due to this, I used to get a bit down on myself for not achieving enough at any one hobby because I had too many things that I enjoyed. But these days I try to remind myself that enjoyment is the whole point, and that whatever I do, the other stuff will still be there waiting. I don't need to drop anything, just accept that I take turns.  

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I'm falling out of love with gaming. Have been for some time. I always regret my purchases. 

 

A game does come around that I get engrossed in but it's very rare these days and I wonder if it's worth owning a console. 

 

These days I would rather watch a film or TV show in my free time. 

 

Doesn't help that I hate the industry and all the shitty practices. 

 

Although all I really think about is expenditure now. And I feel having a Series X and Gamepass plus Microsoft rewards makes it worthwhile for If i fancy a wee game of something It's not costing me anything really and I don't feel guilty. 

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I don't see myself "giving up" gaming unless it becomes completely inaccessible (costs of service games, online play, the race to keep up with tech) but I certainly don't consume it like I used to. The recent exodus from Spotify has made me more focused on curating the music I listen to; playlisting, following groups and labels, etc. And it's a lot less costly and time-consuming than games. Similarly, on-demand video streaming services are just so much easier to get in and out of compared to another evening attempting the latest obstacle in Elden Ring.

 

That said, retro games are a good palate-cleanser if you're tired of chasing trends and subscriptions and live services. I spent bits of April and May playing FFV Advance and FFIII and it definitely rekindled my passion for engaging gaming experiences. No cringey voice acting or half-finished experiences weighed down by extra purchases; just some satisfying dungeon crawls and fun takes on job/class systems.

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I felt like this a few years ago regarding modern gaming. I also felt caught up in whatever was the new thing. I realised it was a combination of the hype-train and video-game journalism (well reviews really) that was spoiling things for me, rather than the hobby itself.

These days I tend to buy things pretty cheap and just pick up what I fancy. A few months ago I picked up Shadow of War brand new for the bizarre price of £3.97. I'm having a great time with it, and the fact that it was such amazing value for the money I spent gives me a warm glow!
I also bought Immortals Fenix Rising for about a tenner. I got fed up with that one but I reckon I still got my tenner's worth. It was cheap enough that I'll probably donate to the charity shop. 

 

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Its not that I've completely given up on gaming. Just get more pleasure out of using what I do have rather than keeping up with all the new stuff and hand on heart not really enjoying that much. In the case of PS5 where the Sony titles are now £70 it really made me think if I get that value from that rather than spending the same amount on another area on my life. Truth is so far is that I don't. 

 

The 360 gives me a definitive old school console before huge day one patches took hold and massive updates seeming coming thick and fast. It feels fresh when playing - quick hour or so on my fav game and off again.

 

The Wii serves mainly as a health thing... mainly use it with a WiiFit board and doing some Yoga at home and some Wii Sports when the children are over for the weekend. Sure it isn't HD but I have ripped all my games onto a USB stick and it boots really quick and is just perfect for what I need it for.

 

The PC covers off everything else. Including using it for othe "officey" type stuff and more cutting edge tech like VR.

 

Happy days. Think I have found my balance.

 

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I've gone the other way over the past few years.  I had an Xbox 360 and a PS3 (and at least one console per generation prior to that, going back to the SNES) but skipped Xbox One until the end of 2019 (I think).  I found myself watching nothing in particular on TV in the evening after the kids went to bed and thought it would be better to make a positive choice about what I did with that time.

 

Gamepass sealed it so I got an Xbox One S - I never really bought loads of games, so the idea of paying a small amount and getting access to a large library appealed.  I bought a Series X close to launch and have Gamepass paid up until early 2025.  There's also a Switch, but it's not had any use from me in some time.

 

I tend to play a bit each night.  At the moment, that's Halo Infinite multiplayer but I'm on the lookout for a single player game to get stuck into.

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There’s no one right way to be a person who likes videogames. Apropos of that I don’t think people need to read the fact that they play them less than before, or differently, or different kinds of games as a sort of tragic decline, any more than you’d view someone who doesn’t play games as much as you in a negative light.
 

You’re alive for a long time, it’s be absurd if you played games either the same way or in with some ever-intensifying extremity the whole time. People’s passion for books or film or music comes and goes like that and I think it’s considered pretty normal?

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I don't think its possible. I've been drooling over games since I was a few years old, staring at someone else playing Popeye on an Atari 2600. I've had games in my life every year since and only hold my hands hold out into retirement so I can finally play all my backlog.

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I've definitely stopped gaming for x reason over the years, but it's always been temporary. I mean, that's the beauty of hobbies, they're there when you'd like to get into them, and can be put to one side when life gets in the way.

 

I keep meaning to get rid of the glut of my physical games, mind - I simply don't play physical media any more unless I'm backing it up into a console for the convenience of having it, well, on the console. Heck, the most recent PC I use on a regular basis can pretty much play the last four decades of videogames by itself, and it fits in my backpack. Everything else is just an immense pain in the arse for when I eventually have to move.

 

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If anything, I resent that I don't get to spend enough time playing or creating games. Dave's leaving gaming behind to devote more time to his passion and more power to him, but games are my passion, and not one I see being uprooted any time soon.

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The single best thing to make me love gaming again was to stop trying to buy/play everything new that is good. You'll never be able to keep up with this expensive and tiring mindset, this was the case for me and I only stick to PlayStation so I can't imagine how bad it is for people that own multiple formats. Now I really only regularly play one game which I absolutely love, with everything else as more of a curio - I am happy to also play whatever appears 'free' on PS+ that appeals to me and leave it at that. Was nice to get six months PS+ Premium as I had Now before (also as a curio when it was only £25 for a year) so am currently playing some of the excellent PS5 titles on there, Extra is an unexpectedly great service with a brilliant game selection but I will be sticking with the basic tier once this expires as I already feel some stupid-ass psychological pressure to 'make the most' of it and play whatever I can fit in timewise. Will be better for me to stick to my one game and leisurely play the odd good title on the basic PS+ tier whenever one crops up or in the incredibly rare situation someone buys me a game for whatever reason.

 

I have stopped gaming twice before - once when managing Gamestation for many years made me sick of even seeing the things (I was also starting to feel this way when getting new releases free and even being paid to play titles as a fairly successful Twitch streamer which I struggled to keep up with - I solved this by just going back to playing what I want which was mostly the aforementioned one game) and the other time for about a year very recently which was out of my control due to health shit. I think we all go through periods where we don't game when we get a new partner, move somewhere new, find an additional hobby etc but these have always been temporary distractions and not some conscious gaming break for me. I don't play a huge amount now but really enjoy it when I do because I'm playing what I want and not whatever the publisher has recently sent out a code for or by some arbitrary rule to 'play everything good' in my head. FOMO is a real thing in this hobby and can really ruin it, IMO.

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Kinda related but I was thinking yesterday if maybe I don’t need to keep ‘up’ with gaming any more. I think I would be happy just playing slay the spire, fromsoft games, and emulators. 
 

I love looking for new exciting games, but those first two alone can happily fill the gaming time I have for years to come. Why chase for lesser highs?

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I agree with @Haribokart - chasing everything that gaming has to offer is exceptionally tiring for wellbeing, and most of it simply doesn't appeal any more.

 

I'd be perfectly happy for the rest of my days plodding through games that already exist in our lifetimes, along with the one or two good eggs that pop up out of the blue each year.

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Sometimes I go months not really playing much, but I always keep up to date with what’s out, and I always get stuck into something again.

 

It would be like giving up reading or music, I couldn’t do it. 

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Elden Ring did an awful lot to get me back into gaming. Had the most wonderful time with it. Sucker for the Bethesda RPGs, warts and all, so seeing a few on the horizon will keep me interested. Have Disco Elysium and Cyberpunk to go back to so I'm sure they'll keep me engaged. 

 

I do miss the social side of MP gaming though, I was up around 31 days of COD4 on the Xbox and had some cracking times on that. Not sure I could go back to those sort of levels but I haven't really found a decent MP that caters for my ageing skills in the same way. 

 

Gamepass however has been great for keeping me ticking over with varied and engaging content, going through Sniper Elite 5 now with Turtles as a palate cleanser. I would never have purchased either of them but they're decent enough to keep me engaged.  If all else fails there's always Football Manager to get its claws into me; ultimately gaming is inescapable for me. 

 

Edit - I'm also totally unaware of what games are coming out imminently/in the future, so often I get the buzz of a new game just as it's coming out with no waiting around. Tend to avoid pre-release trailers most of the time so I can often fall victim to the hype-train, but this tends to be post-release rather than pre-release. See Elden Ring. 

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I couldn't give up gaming the same way I couldn't give up TV, movie, books or music. If anything, gaming is dearer to me because of how much I'm appreciate of the ability to directly interact with the medium and influence it.

 

I can get tired of games for a while or not have the energy or mood to play certain genres or games as a whole, but I can't see how I could ever replace the sheer joy of getting incredibly immersed in those once in a year or once in a gen type experiences that I love that even as a near 40 year old, I still get to be surprised and delighted with what games can make me feel.

 

I do totally get the whole addictive nature of games and how the hobby can prevent you from being more productive in improving your life. This is why I avoid games that put you in a continual loop of significant amount of hours and grind for rewards. I had it for a few years with Hearthstone and I dumped that. I only play two types of games now. Limited single player experiences, where replays aside I know they have a finite scope of using up my time or a MP game that I play exclusively with my friends for the purpose of hanging out with them, not to earn XP or the next level of progression.

 

I'll always see gaming as a guilty pleasure but the balance has to be where you feel the pleasure more than the guilt or it'll just sour the whole thing.

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Unlike a lot of people here I don't have a family and live on my own, so in theory I have all this free time to really indulge in my hobbies including gaming, but for some reason it just doesn't grab me as hard, the raw pleasure isn't there. 

 

However, I was reading about something called adhedonia, or not feeling pleasure, and to cut a long story short I wasn't allowing myself to enjoy games, was setting up expectations of how much I should be, and of course it would never happen and I'd be left frustrated and bored. But not beating myself up about it, allowing myself to not do things if I wanted to, telling myself it's okay not to do things, it allowed a natural desire to do things to come though again. 

 

Now, that's not to say I'm back in love with games 120%, or that I don't get bored or frustrated, but it does help to not force it. 

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Kinda… I’ve gone all in on game I love, generally all I play now is Fortnite and GT7 as I could play either of those forever! Ive had the odd wobble and ended up buying Spider-Man’s and Ratchet and Clank on the PS5 because shiny but its been liberating not buying all the games and playing them for a few mins before adding them to the eBay pile of shame.

 

I have accepted that I can zero in on a game next play it for a long time, years and years in fact and there is nothing wrong with that 😍

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I don't think I will ever give up gaming but my time has reduced quite a bit from 30 odd hours a week down to about 6 to 8 hours. I tend to stay away from games that require a lot of time to play because they take me months to complete. Indie games are great because they are usually much shorter.

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I go through peaks and troughs with gaming.

 

For every summer 2020 (when I earned the platinum trophies on both TLOU Part II and Ghost of Tsushima and played GTA Online for hours at a time with friends( there's an early 2022 where I've barely played anything and can't stick with one title for more than 30 minutes before wondering if playing is a "good idea".

 

At the moment I'm trying to find "the game" to be my main play but I'm rather particular in my preferences - I got right to the end of Metroid Dread before giving up due to the final boss making me want to launch a JoyCon at the TV (an LG OLED, naturally... ;) ) and played through My Friend Pedro on GamePass by doing a couple of levels a night but I'm now spending my evenings watching a film with the missus instead because, well, it's nice, and I'm absolutely shattered from work to give gaming real attention.

 

I'm sure, in a few weeks, things will reverse and I'll be gaming more than anything.

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2 hours ago, MattyP said:

Any of you had a moment of clarity regarding your gaming habits? Its quite easy to slip into a hobby that completely dominates and consumes a fair proportion of your spare time to the detriment at times of other areas of your life.

 

I'm continually re-evaluating my relationship with games, but there hasn't been a time in the last ten years when I've stopped playing them.

 

I've made various threads about it, but I'm currently trying to get a handle on my backlog, which I feel I've been pretty successful at, and have been limiting myself to buying one game per month. Like you say, it's been quite a liberating and refreshing thing to do. I've also stopped trying to play more than one game at a time. Now, if I find myself getting bored with a game, instead of switching to a new one I'll watch an episode of a series, or a film, or read, or just do something else, then come back to the game once I've given it a break. I purchase games a lot more carefully now than before, and abandon far fewer of them as a result.

 

I will say that I have too many game-playing devices, however. Really, like you, I should sell my PS5, as I don't need it, and probably my Quest 2 as well, as I can never be arsed to put it on, but I just can't bring myself to do it.

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Gaming is not my favourite hobby, but is arguably my oldest hobby. 

 

I've considered chucking it all in a number of times, simply because I couldn't be fucked anymore. I had zero interest in a lot content and if I saw 'Rogue-like' in another game description, I was going to kill someone.

 

But I didn't chuck it all in and I'm glad I didn't, because some of the games I've played since, have been some of my favourites. 

 

Credit to my lovely wife for not knowing about my inner gaming turmoil and buying me an Xbox One with Rise of The Tomb Raider for Christmas one year, because it brought me back. 

 

Things like Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Spider-Man have kept me here, going the other way and going balls deep in the newest console cycle. 

 

From considering pawning my OG PS4 for whatever I could get for it, to pre-ordering a PS5 on day one and being overjoyed when I managed to score a Series X for cost price, it was one hell of an about turn.

 

Now, if only I can figure out why I've fallen out of love with movies, which was my number one hobby, we'll be golden.

 

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I'm drastically scaling back on gaming and in the process of clearing out a lot of my collection. I need to free up the space and i've realised that there is no way that i'll ever have the time to play all of the games i have, especially with another child due in December. 

I'm trying to be a bit more focussed with what games i'm playing and actually finishing them for a change.

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I've gone through a few stages of "giving up". Kinda.

 

After working in the games industry for a little over a decade, I lost the love for gaming. It all felt like a job and, especially when I kinda got spat out of the industry, I just lost the fun. So I almost completely stopped playing anything. 

 

But then I gradually came back to gaming, especially retro stuff, and built up a decent collection. Fortunately, I didn't get rid of anything when I stopped playing.

 

And then I got rid of everything. I didn't realise, but I suffer from anxiety. I'd always just assumed everyone was like this. They're not, it turns out. When I started talking to a professional about this, I got it under control and realised I was clinging onto old games as a kinda comfort blanket. That and the emulation possibilities were endless. So I sold off all my retro games, though I kept the consoles for decoration. It was actually really liberating.

 

Most recently, I cut down the consoles I had in my games room / office. I realised that I only really played on my Series S, because Game Pass provided just about all the content I want and need. And it does emulation. So basically everything else got boxed up and stuck in the loft. Another liberation. I always felt like I should be dusting off my PS2 / 360 / Wii to play something on those. Now they're our of sight, those thoughts have gone away.

 

Essentially, I'm just more focused in my gaming. I have an ongoing game of Stardew Valley on my laptop, then one, maybe two Xbox games I'm playing. I actually feel like I'm achieving something when playing now because I'm focusing on a particular game. I still drop them as soon as I stop enjoying them and never complete anything. When the fun stops, stop kinda thing. But it works, the time I have to play games now feels like a good use of my time. 

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I’m pretty down on gaming of late, with joyful experiences few and far between. I feel I have too many gaming devices, too many games, too many libraries, and I spend far too long thinking about gaming and/or tinkering rather than getting on with my life. The few times I do play I’m always sacrificing time from something else I need to do or giving up sleep, and it’s never worth it.

 

I almost gave up entirely during the PS4/XBONE era and if I hadn’t got caught up with the hype for the new generation I likely would have - I rather wish I did! 

The answer I suspect is one console & laptop - reduce the choice available and simplify my selection. It’s just unnecessary hard to let go..

 

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