Not to mislead anyone reading this post. This post is not about any disorders or research into any disorders. This is purely a self-examination of my personal self and habits.
This question is the bane of my gaming life. One moment I am enjoying a lengthy RPG and then the next minute I’m deep into a visual novel game. What is up with me not being able to commit myself to finishing one game at a time? There are several answers to this really, but out of all the possibilities, I want to identify my biggest reasons. After sitting down and reviewing my gaming habits from the past few months, I have come up with what I believe are my biggest factors when it comes to what I feel like playing. Some of these are obvious and may require me to break the habit, but some things are out of my control. Becoming more aware about my habits will hopefully make me recognize the patterns and work my way around them.
Definitely one of the biggest things that affects my gaming habits. Last year I went through a four and a half month long period where I was in a state of constant stress. From buying our first house to working on my Master’s degree, I had very little time to relax and do what I wanted to do. This affected my gaming habit greatly since I had to choose what I wanted to play based on the time I had. This made playing long RPGs difficult since I could only play for a couple of hours and could never set myself to keep up. This is where short, pick-up and play games came in handy. Games like Super Mario Maker 2 and Tetris 99 were great since I could just pick up and play anytime I wanted to. This was also a good time to play fighting games since I could play a few matches and not keep track of anything. I finally got into Tekken 7 and it reminded me why it is so popular. All in all, stress prevents me from committing my time to long stories and systems that I need to keep up with if I want to enjoy the full game.
This is a new thing that I am dealing with. In the past I had no problem sitting in my room alone playing games for hours on end. This problem has two different factors to them that kinda makes sense to me. When I am completely alone at home, I have no issue making up my mind on what I want to play or for how long. However, if Kat is home with me but not in the same room, I immediately turn to mush. We both feel the same way about this, and for a while we had no explanation for it. The cause may come from the fact that ever since we started living together, we always lived in an apartment where we were always close to each other. Now that we live in a two-story house and keep doors closed to keep the cats out (until we finish cleaning), it brings this unsettling feeling that we are avoiding each other. While in this state, playing anything for too long seems like a waste and that something easy to digest is the best bet. This leads me to staring at all of my games and try to decide on what is best to play in this time frame. I also avoid playing anything online so if Kat needs me I can get to her as soon as I can. My focus also goes out of whack since the eerie quietness gets to me. The solution sounds obvious; open the doors and buy walkie-talkies (we really want to get walkie-talkies). I will have to just trust my small kitten to not destroy anything while I’m in the middle of a game.
The Big D(epression)
While most people experience seasonal depression around winter and during the holidays, I am completely opposite and experience it during the summer time (I really hate the summertime). You would think that during the less busy time of the year I would find the time to relax more frequently. I think it is due to my past where Summer was unpredictable with struggling income and being away from my classmates (I enjoyed going to school). Recently, those feelings never left and I still struggle during that time. Plus I hate the heat. I will take cold weather over the sweaty heat any day. How does this affect my gaming habits? A mix of the other reasons already mentioned. I start to feel guilty that I spend my time playing games when I could be doing “more important things.” What are those things? I don’t know, but my brain will come up with something.
Something Else Comes Along
Moving away from the psychological stuff now, let’s look at some practical reasons why games are left unfinished. A big obvious reason I stop playing things is because something new and shiny might come my way. I am already dreading the day Animal Crossing: New Horizons comes out because I know that me and my brother will be playing it nonstop. This tends to happen when a game that I am hype for comes out and I want to play it immediately. It does not happen often a lot anymore, but when the temptation is there I drop everything.
I sometimes like to watch YouTube videos while I am playing something; just to add some background noise. Most of the time it is let’s plays or old stream recordings. Sometimes when I’m watching these, I get a burst of inspiration to stop what I’m playing and play that game or something similar. Chances of this happening are low, but sometimes happen. Another big influence is watching whatever Kat is playing. Lately she has been replaying Final Fantasy X and now I want to play a Final Fantasy game (I said this once while playing Final Fantasy XIV).
I don’t have many games in this category, but it happens occasionally. Games that come to mind are the Dark Souls trilogy, Shin Megami Tensei IV (I got the neutral path, but missing all the quest I need to do), and Etrian Odyssey. If I could take the time to get better and focus on what I need to do, then this would not be an issue. However, as I have already pointed out, it is not always that simple.
Complete Lost of Interest
I hate losing interest in a game. I like to look past certain flaws and finish a game to the best of my ability. There are some games however that I go back and try, but I start to hate every minute of it. The games that immediately come to mind are Fire Emblem Fates and Rune Factory 4. Are they bad games? No. Do I dislike certain aspects of each game? Yes! I won’t go into full detail on why, but these two games just make me feel miserable when I try to play them. Will I finish them one day? Possibly. Will I force myself to do it? No.
These are a few of the major issues that I have. There may be other factors that I am unaware of at this time. I may make a follow-up to this post if I notice any other habits.
Thanks for reading,