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Losing Interest In Games - A Natural Progression?

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the near-death-experience dept.

Upgrades 320

MotherInferior writes "I'm 27, soon to be 28. I used to fiend over the newest games and eagerly play whatever I could get my hands on. Team Fortress Classic, Civilization, WarCraft, these were all games that I could literally lose myself for days in. I still drool over the newest games at Best Buy, but now that I actually have the money to buy them, I find myself saying, 'Nah, I'll just play what I've got,' or 'Y'know, I'd rather design my own game then play someone else's.' Even still, I don't really play the games I have. What's up with that? I'm sure my mom would sagely say (with some satisfaction in her voice), 'Wellll, you're just growing up...' Am I not as capable of having fun as I once was, or what? Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy gaming, but I can tell there's some kind of trend happening. Will there be gaming Viagra in my future, I wonder?"

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I know what you mean... (5, Insightful)

Gyler St. James (637482) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303481)

I feel like my gaming glory days are behind me. I see all the latest games that I *want* to play, but either I can't bring myself to play (let alone buy) or I find something else more important to do (like programming). I think it's just age. I've heard from others though that gamers that turn about 40ish seem to pickup gaming again (assuming their spouse, if they have one, let's them).

Re:I know what you mean... (3, Insightful)

Gyler St. James (637482) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303554)

Oh yeah. Here's sage advice from the worse movie in the world: "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

Re:I know what you mean... (4, Insightful)

Yokaze (70883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303659)

> Here's sage advice from the worse movie in the world

The bible has now become a movie?

Re:I know what you mean... (4, Insightful)

Hadean (32319) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304055)

Sadly, I think he/she was quoting Hackers [imdb.com] , not realizing (or remembering the full scene in the movie) that the actual quote is from the Bible. The scene has various students writing quotes on the blackboard:

Cereal Killer: When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things. What? It's Corinthians one, chapter thirteen verse eleven. Duh!


(Personally, I think the movie is fun to watch...)

Re:I know what you mean... (3, Informative)

Metal_Demon (694989) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304131)

Actually he wrote an OZZY quote on the blackboard "of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most" the quote you are refering to is later in the movie in zero's bedroom.

Re:I know what you mean... (5, Insightful)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304432)

I used to be an avid gamer, but since I 'grew up' (left the 20's, so to speak) I've found that its just not worth it.

All that harping about how much time I was wasting in front of a computer, essentially producing nothing of any value whatsoever, has sort of accumulated, and now the utter waste of life that video gaming actually is has hit me.

Whatever, if you're having fun, you're having fun... but it doesn't take long until you start to realize that using a computer for video games is little more than wanking. And, everyone knows that the energy you use for that is usually better spent elsewhere ... ;)

Just get over it, is my advice. You don't have to be a gamer to enjoy life. You can enjoy life without getting involved in any 'virtual realities', and if you're feeling that, then go with it ... your life will get better as a result of not playing video games as a habit ...

It's called growing up (5, Funny)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303482)

One other aspect of growing up, besides losing interest in childish things, is moving out on your own. Preferably somewhere where your mom won't be able to give you sage advice so easily.

Re:It's called growing up (1)

PB8 (84009) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303829)

Seriously, when can Slashdot readers rank the story itself instead of just the comments?

Why is some living at home gamer dude's diminishing fixation with games a story? Next thing you know he'll be wanting a real job, to find his own housing, maybe settle down with a good woman (or man) and raise a family, plan to manage his 401(k), buy life and health insurance, and start the real games of life. Heck, he might even vote Democratic or Green party until his kids reach college age and then (maybe not vote) but talk Republican or something wierd like that while arguing with his kids about politics, taxes, sex and religion, and the decline of Western civiliation.

Bring Slashdot back to the Geeks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8303886)

We demand more articles about decorating basements and attics! More stories about silent keyboards that don't wake up parents sleeping in the next room! More discussion of Furries! More debates about who would win a fight between Kirk/Picard, Enterprise/Millenium Falcon, and 7 of 9/Wesley!

No more fluff about Valentines Day, losing interest in gaming, movies that are not Sci-fi or fantasy, and esoteric crap like patterns in social networks! There is no pattern in our social networks of one!

Slashdot for geeks! Let those other sites have those lusers who live alone, have girlfriends, and have interests that reach beyond the bag of Doritos in my lap.

Re:It's called growing up (1)

imr (106517) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303843)

Are you sure?
Have you read the guy's nickname?
oh wait! I'm writing to obvious guy who obviously didnt.

Disillusionment with current crop of games (5, Interesting)

Proud like a god (656928) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303487)

I dont think your age has much to do with your disillusion, the more recent games just arent as innovative. Genres are already formed from the ground breaking classics, and now it's just a race for the best graphics.

Re:Disillusionment with current crop of games (5, Interesting)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303563)

Actually, I had a discussion on this topic with my brother the other day. It seems that the real advancements in gaming come only every few years... which coincides with the release dates for the established and experienced game companies like Id and Epic and Blizzard. These are the people who actually know what they're doing, while the rest just remake existing games with better graphics or a slightly different plot. It's rare to have a new revolutionary game company arise out of the blue. There aren't very many of these companies, and they can't be releasing new games every day. Thus, you have only sparse releases of good games which lesser companies will models in the years to come.

Unfortunately, many of the innovative game companies of old (Bullfrog, Sierra, Psygnosis...) are all but dead. Their hollowed-out carcasses have been commandeered by money-grubbing shareholders simply using their brand to try to absorb as much money as possible. None of the original talent on which the company was built remains. It's sad, really, but new talent will eventually arise.

Re:Disillusionment with current crop of games (5, Interesting)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303799)

It seems that the real advancements in gaming come only every few years... which coincides with the release dates for the established and experienced game companies like Id and Epic and Blizzard. [...] Unfortunately, many of the innovative game companies of old (Bullfrog, Sierra, Psygnosis...) are all but dead.

Look at the companies you mention as the current innovators, and then look at their titles over the past few years. Id: Doom, Doom 2, Quake, Q2, Q3, now Doom 3. Epic: UT, UT2k3, now UT2k4. Blizzard: Diablo 2, WarCraft 3.

These companies have succumbed to the lure of money as well. Instead of innovating, they let others do it, and then simply evolve. The UT line is trying to follow the sports-game model of yearly releases with modest improvements. Id has turned into a factory for new game engines, with other companies like Valve putting those engines to use to create the games people seem to enjoy (though Valve is creating their own engine now), and with Half-Life's success id has decided to build a more story-based game, reverting to the Doom label (and taking quite a bit of lead from the survival horror genre popular on consoles). Blizzard's Diablo 2 was an evolution of Diablo, which manages to be the only title of it's kind that really holds up well in the market. WarCraft 3 was a move in a direction that many others had taken, in a slightly different way, not only moving to 3D but to smaller numbers of units with hero units at the center (an idea used by many other RTS games earlier, but the smaller numbers of units can also be attributed to the limitations of Blizzard's 3D engines).

None of the original talent on which the company was built remains. It's sad, really, but new talent will eventually arise.

This is the real truth of the matter. Eventually some relatively unknown company will come forth to take the place of id, Epic, and Blizzard. After all, id and Epic came out of the shareware scene and Blizzard was a console developer in their early years. Eventually someone will come seemingly out of nowhere to take the top of the pile in the PC game development world, and more than likely when that happens it'll be after releasing numerous moderately successful games just as it was with these three companies.

Re:Disillusionment with current crop of games (3, Insightful)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303968)

It's true that Id, Epic, and Blizzard have all been refining and refining their original ideas: Doom, Warcraft, Unreal. UT2k4 is a refinement of UT2k3, which is a refinement of UT, etc. But despite this recycling of brands, I don't think that discounts their talent or creativity. They are the only ones who are actually doing it right, while all of the knock-offs try to recreate their success and do it poorly. These games are wildly popular, which is a big part of the equation; can you call a game 'good' if nobody plays it?

UT2k4 is a great FPS, and introduces a great blend of genres with a nice mix of new ideas and old but proven features. Doom III should be the same, recapturing what the original Doom once did in its tension and atmosphere. These staple game franchises only get better with age; after all, just how much can you improve on perfection? And their place in the market is clear: they are the founding pillars of the industry around which the lesser visionaries swarm for inspiration. They will eventually fall like all things must, but new pillars will arise and we will again witness the same structure: the initial captivation, the continuous refinement, then eventual exhaustion. But their mark on gaming will never fade.

Re:Disillusionment with current crop of games (5, Interesting)

*weasel (174362) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303860)

Personally I think 'advancements' and 'id, epic, and blizzard' should only be used in the context of graphical advancements.

Yes, Warcraft was a little rough around the edges, and Warcraft II polished that up. But what did War3 give us? heros? A mechanism introduced essentially in the war2 expansion and starcraft?

Diablo was a refreshing change of pace from the RPG-stale early 90s - but what was Diablo2 and what took them so long? Sure, it was fun like the original, but it wasn't so much an advancement as a souped-up 'update'.

Why did Blizzard can the original design for War3, with the hero-centric focus? To me, that sounded really cool. But Blizzard chose to rehash the tried and true with newer graphics and keep the heroes. They just aren't interested in being on the cutting edge.

Sure, people loved war3 and I don't begrudge them that. It just isn't so much an 'advancement'.

And Id and Epic... well hell - They might be fingered as the predominate cause of the deterioration of innovation. their progress is entirely iterative and they don't even bother wrapping a story around their products anymore.

Again, I don't mean to downplay their significance. Indeed the skill with which Id and Epic craft (and resell) technology is unparalleled.

Even Molyneaux (by way of Bullfrog) doesn't seem to be innovating. Black and White had a fairly innovative concept in the avatar, but that was long years ago, and prior to that was a veritable avalanche of incremental tweaks to Populous. His mindchild Big Blue Box still hasn't delivered their overhyped 'advancement' for RPG gaming.

In every interview, the founders of those companies nearly unanimously claim that advancements will always come from small teams - unheard of teams. And frankly, they're right. Look at the half-life mods: Natural Selection, Counterstrike, et al - They're massively more innovative than half-life itself. Look at how desert combat has all but become its own brand.

Quite simply, success itself is a barrier to innovation. After a big hit, you are economically incentivized to play it safe with future projects. There's more money riding on the development side and there's plenty of risk in releasing any game, let alone an actual gaming advancement. Plus, it's no longer just a handful of friends coding in their spare time - wasting weekends and vacation. It's the jobs of 6 other coders, a dozen office and technical support professionals, and 2 dozen artists on the line.

So while it's lamentable, I'm not surprised, nor do I particularly bedgrudge them, that success tends to cut off further innovation. But it's still a measureable and predictable effect.

Re:Disillusionment with current crop of games (4, Insightful)

fireduck (197000) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304124)

Look at the half-life mods: Natural Selection, Counterstrike, et al - They're massively more innovative than half-life itself.

Yes and no. Half-Life (and Valve's attention to it and the community over its span) really is the one of the biggest innovations for gaming in recent history. HL was the first "best" FPS, integrating innovative level design with a compelling story that made you want to go forward in the game. There's a reason it won every award it was nominated for (excepting game of the year, which went to zelda). It pushed FPS into the future.

Then Valve did the amazing thing of releasing the SDK and actively supporting independent developers. CS, Natural Selection, none of those mods would have been possible without Valve actively supporting them. Yes there were mods for Quake, but Valve obviously did something differently than Id and their mod scene exploded. in a way no other game before (or after, yet) has done. The fact that games running on a 6 year old graphic engine are still the most popular online FPS out there shows that Valve really hit upon something.

HL2 won't be as innovative and valve will likely enter the ranks of id, blizzard, epic, etc., as they churn out incremental advances. but to call HL not innovative is to miss out on the community that Valve helped spawn around the game.

Re:Disillusionment with current crop of games (2, Interesting)

*weasel (174362) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304349)

I don't know that I discounted half-life from being innovative in and of itself. I certainly didn't mean to imply that half-life wasn't innovative, or a gaming advancement by itself.

Truly, valve was shown to be amazingly farsighted and astute financially in realizing how much longevity they could grant their product by supporting the mod scene - although counter-strike was massively popular prior to this extra attention.

They also raised the bar for story, immersion, and polish. But i stand by my assertion, merely my opinion, that counter-strike and natural selection are more innovative as games than the engine that birthed them.

They introduced play modes/styles that hadn't been done before. Valve's advancement with half-life was akin to Bungie's advancement with Halo - they simply put together a great complete package, within the tried-and-true gameplay constraints of the genre.

Half-life was a watershed moment in story-driven gaming, and their attention to the fan-content community did change the industry. But it's core innovation, was an advancement in the business side of the industry. To be more concise, I believe Valve was shown to be innovative, but not through Half-life itself.

Re:Disillusionment with current crop of games (1)

CaptMonkeyDLuffy (623905) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304638)

Er... Maybe I'm misremembering release dates, but I'm pretty certain there were three games that predated Half Life which did at least as good a job of level design combined with a story driven game in an FPS. Half Life was simply the first that achieved a certain level of popularity... The Thief, System Shock and Marathon(including Pathways into Darkness, if you want to get nitpicky) series deserve that honor more so than Half Life, assuming I'm remembering correctly that they all predated Half Life. I'm certain at least Marathon did.

Re:Disillusionment with current crop of games (2, Insightful)

An El Haqq (83446) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304147)

Quite simply, success itself is a barrier to innovation. After a big hit, you are economically incentivized to play it safe with future projects. There's more money riding on the development side and there's plenty of risk in releasing any game, let alone an actual gaming advancement. Plus, it's no longer just a handful of friends coding in their spare time - wasting weekends and vacation. It's the jobs of 6 other coders, a dozen office and technical support professionals, and 2 dozen artists on the line.


That's an astute observation, and it's one that rings true outside the gaming business as well. Things may work differently in the movie industry (think of Altman and Van Sant), but as for the tech business, the music industry, or even clothing and other design, an initial success generally leads to iterative "improvements."

Of course, it may be too much to ask a person (or a team of like-minded people) to create something truly innovative twice in a lifetime. Aside from being risky, innovation is difficult. When creating a game, finding something that's both novel *and* fun for the gaming populace is much more difficult than just making something fun.

Within the context of scientific research, there has been some work to determine what environment leads to breakthroughs, but far too little. The preliminary indication is that a group of academics with varied backgrounds makes a better source than a homogeneous group. I suppose that after a first product, many gaming developers tend to think in terms of what has come before as opposed to what should come next. You can't get much more homogeneous in thought than that.

Re:Disillusionment with current crop of games (3, Insightful)

_iris (92554) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304313)

I don't think the situation is as gloomy as it may seem. Some game companies are, albeit slowly, realizing that they will have to base their games on something other than military strategy, giving us a violent heroic character to play, or letting us kill our friends.

Don't get me wrong. The next innovative games are not entirely new. They are just based on different systems and events that technology advancements allow us to explore more deeply. Two examples of innovative, yet-not are Republic: The Revolution [ebgames.com] and The Sims [ebgames.com] . Both systems (politics and real life) have been done before. They just haven't been done since the days of CGA monitors.

Re:Disillusionment with current crop of games (2, Insightful)

Jay Cornwall (525499) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303630)

I disagree. Although many of today's titles are just rehashes of old ideas with up to date graphics, I think we're currently at the start of a whole new generation of gaming in one field in particular: the MMO genre.

The technology has now been developed which allows several thousand players to play simultaneously in a persistent world. Many people are already addicted to the current generation of MMORPG games, but RPGs are only the start: Sony released the world's first MMOFPS (Planetside [sony.com] last year, taking online tactical warfare to whole new levels. In a good team like the Renegade Legion [rtcw.co.uk] the list of tactics you can deploy in the field is almost endless.

I think this is just the start. Bringing massive player cooperation into many different genres could add a whole new dimension to those games. We're riding the first wave of the MMO tide and I think it's going to be as revolutionary as the switch from offline multiplayer gaming to online gaming.

Re:Disillusionment with current crop of games (5, Interesting)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303855)

I think there's definitely room for the MMO genre to grow, but we'll see that growth become more rapid when developers more familiar with the original genres come into the MMO realm. Planetside could've been so much more if it had only been developed by someone else, like Valve, with a real idea of how to build a team-based FPS and scale that idea to MMO size. FFXI may be the first sign of that, although it could be argued that Ultima Online was built by the designer of Ultima, and therefore was the first (I'd just point out that that was done before people really realized how big an MMO game really could be).

Cavedog made the first movements towards MMO RTS, but at the same time didn't go the full distance to actually making it possible for thousands of players to battle each other at once (instead relegating the battles to smaller groups with the overall war being handled outside of the game), yet no one seems to have really picked up on the idea and made it reality (now someone will point out an MMORTS that I haven't seen before).

I believe that MMO could be the future of many genres, but I also believe that it will truly come into it's own from the more common sources, rather than from the companies like Sony just trying to cash in on the trend. I think the real breakthrough will come when someone comes up with a method for distributing the load between company servers and independant servers, reducing or eliminating the subscription fees, and giving players more reason than simple level treadmills to continue playing. Most current MMO games are made simply to keep people playing (and paying) rather than to provide interesting and entertaining gameplay, and I think that trend needs to be squashed before it really becomes as revolutionary as online multiplayer gaming itself.

Re:Disillusionment with current crop of games (1)

Tyreth (523822) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304390)

Thats exactly right. I've put down my lack of gaming interest to two things:
1. Most games that I buy don't run in Linux, and I never take the time to boot up windows, so I never play
2. As you said - there's no fun games being made, not like their used to be. I've been lamenting over this for a while. People have lost focus on what's fun.
I find certain genres keep building on each other - in particular first person shooters. Other genres, like space turn based strategy (Master of Orion, etc), are hardly touched. Same with the old Sierra type adventure games. We need something new. And I personally think independant developers have a potential market in these dead genres. Because the bar of entry is so much lower than another FPS, it is easier for a small group to code. Independant developers could then work to sell their games online, cheap - much like http://www.garagegames.com/.

We need something new, something fun.

its natural (5, Interesting)

fireduck (197000) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303489)

by the time you're old enough to really have really disposable income, you usually have a job that takes up 40+ hours in a week. There's less and less time for games, so you're less likely to buy something new on a whim, more likely to stick with what you know (i.e., established franchises), and since quality game releases are few and far between, even more likely to just play what you've got.

The last game I actually purchased for my PC was War3 expansion. The next game I'm planning on buying is either Doom3 / HL2. Other games have slightly caught my interest (was eyeing galactic civilizations for a while), but I just don't have the time to get lost in a big game, unless it's something I really want to get lost in.

the same phenomena typically happens with music. mid 20s and you start listening to what you have rather than what's new...

Re:its natural (3, Insightful)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303882)

Yeah, tis true. Once you mature, then you start having a wife, kids, house, kitchen remodel, quality time with the family, a real job which ends up being more like 60 hours a week, going out to dinner, etc. etc. there just isn't as much time for games. In order to become Good, you have to play the games a LOT. When you don't have the time, you end up spending time on other things.

Now my computer hobbies include much more programming, playing with neat open source stuff like Asterisk (open source phone system), home automation (replacing furnace controls with a linux box), etc. Hey, I LIKE controlling the boiler water temperature based on wind speed and outside temperature, and being able to call home and turn the lights off in the basement that I just remembered that I left on as I step off the plane in Hawaii... :-)

loosing interest (1)

sknja (196640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303491)

That seems to be the same situation for some, and not a problem for others.

I have many games (some unplayed ) and i just dont have the desire to pick up the controller. The last time I played a game was a bout 2 to 3 months ago.

Then again I have 2 pre- orders out (ninja gaiden ffx2 international. But even so it will Probablly take untill summer to beat them. Assuming Ninja gaiden will ever be released.

you could spend the time studying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8303640)


and then you might be able to spell

Re:loosing interest (3, Insightful)

Yorrike (322502) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304309)

I too am in your situation, but I've made a rather interesting discovery.

If I set aside 20 minutes or so, get comfortable and just start playing, that 20 minutes quickly becomes 20 hours and I've thrown away buckets of time like back in the day.

It's not actually a matter of losing interest in gaming, but rather becoming distracted away from your favourite distraction (if that makes sense).

Take FFTA on the GBA for example. I don't feel like playing it right now, but if my GBA somehow turned it's self on and jumped into my hands, you can bet I'd be playing for at least 3 hours.

Same here (2, Insightful)

bain (1910) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303493)

I've not played or bought new games in a while.
I usually download the demos and play them .. and usually loose interrest when the demo ends.

There are some games that I still buy, mostly RPG style games with much more story line based gaming then action.

Part of my loss of interrest in working for gaming companies and doing QA (quility assurance) testing. After a while you no longer play the game .. you hunt for bugs, which kinda kills the playing experiance.

Just my take on loosing interrest. Maybe try games you always found boring? explore new horizons with games ?

bain

Re:Same here (4, Funny)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303657)


Here's the ideal game [candlelightstories.com] for you.

It happens to a lot of people (3, Insightful)

ASkGNet (695262) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303497)

Sometimes, you realise that the games that you play are repetitive and monotonous, and are really aimed at the younger population. Sometimes (and this actually happens), you purely lose interest in those games. A human being can only perform a repetitive task (which is what current gaming is all about) -that much-.

I would assume that given a good, involving game, or an in-depth roleplaying game, you would be more eager to play it, because of the story involved. Sadly, the current trends are reeking of filler instead of actual gameplay, and games are usually almost carbon-copies of one another. This doesn't really lead to an urge to play something

I had this happen to me much sooner than you, I believe at about the age of 15, when I realised that games have become utterly repetitive and in some cases genuine boring.

Then again, it could be the 'growing up' stage, when you realise that you just don't have as much time as you used to have before, and gaming is shifted to priority B.

But don't worry, you will still enjoy a good gaming session once in a while, humans need games to stay sane :)

Time (4, Insightful)

Robmonster (158873) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303501)

For me its mainly a lack of time.

When I was younger I had oodles of free time so I was able to lose days playing the latest games.

Now I dont have the time to spare what with working, running a house, girlfriend... All the things you tend to aquire as you get older.

I still love games, but find myself trying to spend time finishing th eones I have rather than buying new games.

Re:Time (1)

cassidyc (167044) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303624)

I am forced to agree, I enjoy playing games, and indeed go out of may way to encourage my friends to join me in an online blast everyonce in a while, but the biggest factor is time.

CJC

Re:Time (5, Insightful)

Helpless Will (244732) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303753)

I couldn't agree more.

I still classify myself as a gamer. I own an Xbox, I have a PC dedicated to gaming. I carry a GBA with me everywhere. (I carry a book too, but I digress).

Yet as each week goes on, I pull the GBA or the book out of the laptop bag less often. When I get home, I first sit down in front of the PC to help a friend out with a server somewhere, and if I have time afterwards then I'll play a game, maybe. The Xbox gets more use as a a DVD player than as a game system.

Don't get me wrong, they all get used often enough to justify their existence and expense, but as I've "grown up" the demands on my time, work, friends, car and home maintenance, obligations to other people, divergent other interests, they all take up time, and seemingly disproportionate amounts of time at that.

A friend has a problem with the mail server he's running for his website, and suddenly two or three hours of a Saturday have disappeared. Problem with the servers at work, or a highly placed user who can't seem to grasp that maintenace schedules mean the server won't be available that weekend and another hour disappears by the time you're done with that set of phone calls. Girlfriend is feeling needy or has had a bad day and wants to vent? Give up on getting anything else done for an incalculable amount of time.

A good game is as much a time commitment as any of the above, and I find my gaming is much more oriented toward things I can pick up and put down readily these days.

In essence, my point to the parent post / article is, don't worry, life will fill up with a lot more than you expect, and, eventualy, as Robmonster's indicated, they'll get back to being something that you do as you can, and enjoy when you do. Done to excess anything becomes dull after time, but life is self correcting in that regard.

-H

Re:Time (1)

MagicM (85041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304082)

I agree, especially with " trying to spend time finishing the ones I have rather than buying new games."

I still have 'Christmas money' to spend on video games, but while there are a few out there I would like to play, I know that I only have time for one game at a time, if that. And now that I know how much heat/electricity you can get for the price of one video game, I make sure I get the most out of every game I buy.

Re:Time (2, Insightful)

Derkec (463377) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304379)

It's not just a lack of time, but my time has taken a differant shape. You'd think a 40 hr\week job would leave my evenings fairly free, and they do. However, I spend good chunks of those evenings with my wife, and when I do go ahead and play a game during the evening, it has to be a game that I can pause and come back to. I'm just not willing to ignore my wife if she has anything to talk about.

The pausing requirement is a surprisingly huge one. It totally rules out a game like Warcraft 3's online play. Leaving your team high and dry for 2 minutes makes you an ass. The games aren't short either. Even an online FPS can be tough to step away from. That means I'm usually playing offline. With a general lack of time, epic strategy games like Civ get some attention but I tend to lose interest more than in the past when a 4 hour Civ session was fun and reasonable.

I'm left playing a lot of sports games on consoles and getting my online competitive fix by playing Hattrick which is fairly time independant. I will probably pick up UT2K4 though I skipped 3. I think weekend mornings and some other times will allow me some good blocks to play. I'm not sure how I'll handle not being as good as I was in UT, but I think I'll still be able to take out my share of fourteen year-old pimple faced punks (FPFPs).

I've been pretty darn bummed about gaming recently. I do have hope for UT2k4 as the demo was great, but I've bought a few games recently that I just haven't got much out of. I feel like an athlete who is out of his prime but refuses to retire.

Rather design than play? (5, Insightful)

texchanchan (471739) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303509)

Congratulations! Sounds like you are moving up. This phenomenon happens in lots of areas of activity, not just gaming.

You have the urge to be proactive, not reactive. To produce rather than consume.

You don't have to totally give up $EARLIER_STUFF when you move on up to $NEW_STUFF. That's a common but erroneous belief. You're just adding some more activities that are way more satisfying to you as you are now, with your increased capacity for thinking, etc.

Do not fear that you are getting dull as you get older. Which is sharper, the mind that sees a game and says "Cool!" or the mind that conceptualizes it in the first place?

Any change like this generally requires some re-thinking of how you define yourself, but I think you'll like the new definition better.

Re:Rather design than play? (5, Insightful)

Malfourmed (633699) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303606)

You have the urge to be proactive, not reactive. To produce rather than consume.

To procreate rather than recreate.

Sad (5, Insightful)

rqqrtnb (753156) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303523)

"Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing."
- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

It's sad to see an old gamer quit the hobby. Maybe someday you'll have more free time and some interesting game will catch your eye. Until then, good luck and have fun with whatever you do!

Re:Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8303537)

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

Didnt he get shot in the Civil war Pernisula campaign?

Re:Sad (2, Informative)

rqqrtnb (753156) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303545)

Yep, that's him. Justice Holmes [wikipedia.org] was wounded three times in the Civil War, including Peninsular. He was pretty proud of his service although most historians believed he lived a life of "survivor's guilt" after not re-upping when his first term of service expired. He did get his wish to be buried at Arlington, not far from another famous Harvard colleague: John F. Kennedy. He remains one of the greatest jurists in American History. Man, we could use more like him today.

Re:Sad (1)

Grab (126025) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304037)

When I was a young kid, Sticklebrix and Duplo were just fine. As I got older, I progressed to Technic Lego and Mechano. As a teenager, I got a computer and played that, but simple games like Space Invaders became less interesting than more complex ones like StarGlider 2.

As an adult, my range of games has extended to physical pursuits which I couldn't have enjoyed earlier on. I now get enjoyment from building stuff which will last for some time, and may outlast me - home improvement and gardening, for example. I enjoy tinkering with cars. I play guitar, and own several. Software-wise, although I still play the odd FPS, my coding and electronics projects occupy most of my time, developing software under GPL which will be useable by other people. And I'm married and considering a family (don't tell me that sex isn't playing! ;-)

In other words, as you grow up, you get more advanced ways of playing. As an adult, you take pleasure in more sophisticated activities which have a long-term payoff, which are beyond a child.

Grab.

Minor case of burnout. (4, Interesting)

Drakin (415182) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303526)

Work, like in general, and just problems with sitting in front of the computer for who knows how many hours add up.

Find something to do that's differnt than what you normally spend time doing.

Sit and play with lego
Read a book
Work on a puzzle
Build a model
Walk around outside
Take some time and just wander around a nearby mall

Re:Minor case of burnout. (2, Interesting)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303887)

I find that I tend to flip-flop between reading and playing games quite frequently, and that in the last few years I've generally moved more towards console gaming (away from PC gaming), and even more recently I've probably spent more time with handheld (GBA) games than games on the TV.

One thing I tend to do if a game or book seems to be going a bit more slowly for me is to watch TV and play or read during the commercials (especially with the GBA games). Eventually if the game or book picks back up I'll stop paying attention to the TV.

On the other hand, when writing a particular program takes my interest, I simply do that. There's only so much of my time it can take up before it, too, loses my interest, but eventually it'll pick up again. If it's something I really want to do, I'll make time for it regardless of waning interest.

Finally, I'd say to do something more active like go out and get some exercise, but there's snow on the ground, so I'm not very motivated at the moment to do such a thing myself, and wouldn't recommend it to anyone else in that case.

Losing interest in Generation Zzzzz (4, Insightful)

Jon Peterson (1443) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303531)

It's tough isn't it? I remember when I was about 13 I started to get bored with my matchbox cars and racetrack. It used to be so much fun putting piles of books under the track so the cars would do little jumps, or seeing how big you could make the loop without the cars just falling onto their backs like little turtles.

Then it just started to get boring. I didn't want to play with my old toys any more. Oddly enough, this didn't cause me a huge friggin existential crisis. I didn't post to some Goddam website to find out if the other 13 year olds were suffering a similar confusing emotional trauma. Instead, I took the 'growing up' route, and simply grew up.

Why don't you try the same? Growing up isn't as hard as many people make out. Here are some key tips:

1. Don't idolise your lifestyle. Don't kid yourself that playing Quake II on the office LAN all night was actually some incredibly cool 'in the zone' moment of one-ness with the God of electronic entertainment. It was just being 24.

2. Realise that new things can be fun. If games no longer thrill you, try books, or maybe taking an art class. Perhaps gardening or cooking will be your new forms of relaxation in the daunting world of 'being older than you are right now'.

3. Don't make such a huge deal about it. That way, all the other people who don't give a shit, frankly, won't be disturbed. In time, you too will stop giving a shit, allowing you to simply do something new and different without worrying.

I too wish that computer games gave me as much fun as they did back when I played X-Com for 12 hours straight, or started dreaming about Baldur's Gate or Syndicate Wars.

But then, I wish getting that playing on the swings could keep me happy for 2 hours. I wish that colouring in a picture of a clown gave me a sense of achievement. I wish that I really did believe my lego men were still involved in a desperate war against my brother's lego men.

But, d00d, it ain't going to last, so stop asking where all the good times went, and find something new and fun to do. I mean, why do you think people end up having children?...

Re:Losing interest in Generation Zzzzz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8303601)

Some sagely advice there Jon and without bitchslapping him too hard either, which you must've had to fight to resist ;) Wish I had some mod points...

Re:Losing interest in Generation Zzzzz (3, Funny)

Zangief (461457) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303652)

It's tough isn't it? I remember when I was about 13 I started to get bored with my matchbox cars and racetrack. It used to be so much fun putting piles of books under the track so the cars would do little jumps, or seeing how big you could make the loop without the cars just falling onto their backs like little turtles.

So that is what those "books" are all about! Oh, to think of all the time I wasted reading them!

Goddam you're a dullard (4, Insightful)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304107)

Perhaps his question made it to the front page because others here are interested in the same? Perhaps gaming isn't really synonymous with playing with matchbox cars?

Don't get me wrong, I understand perfectly well the gist of your post, but I think you are jumping the gun.

There are a lot of hobbies that people "grow out" of, such as playing with matchbox cars. However, there are some hobbies that can have more staying power, such as reading, movies, model trains, etc. People don't look at those things and say, "Grow up!" Gaming happens to be one of those new hobbies that people without prior exposure to don't understand and assume to be a hobby for young people, like comic books. But, apparently that isn't necessarily the case. Sure, there are a lot of *"losers" who still read comics and play games at 40, but with the advent of adult-oriented comics(ie. "graphic novels") and games, many older folk (ie. non-"loser" older folk) are continuing with those childish hobbies.

At 25, I don't read the same comics I did when I was 13(rather, I don't read any comics), but some new graphic novels (mentioned here on /.) have interested me.

YMMV, different strokes, etc. But please, don't be an old pompous scab telling us youthful folk how to live.

Paraphrasing:

People don't stop playing because they grow old, people grow old because they stop playing.
- someone less of a dullard than you

* - are they really "losers," I prefer not to label someone so harshly simply for continuing with something I consider to be somewhat childish. Perhaps they just didn't sell out and murder their inner child in order to be accepted as an adult. Or perhaps they are indeed losers and should be derided as such until their sad, lonely death.

That's Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8304293)

I mean, why do you think people end up having children?...

And here I always thought it was because she forgot to take the pill.

(That or the condom broke)

Relax I kid I kid, you lovable bloke

Pointless (1)

Associate (317603) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303534)

My opinion, you probably see the end result of gaming, a sore wrist. You could get the same with a coding hobby, but at least that way you have something to show for your hours spent. Take a look at old people. The ones that stay active and probably have a hobby, are happier and live a little longer. These aren't passive hobbies like watching golf. My grandfather made ceramic statues and what not.
You are now seeing the end result as pointless and the people you have to deal with make it less worth the effort.

Lately I'm playing more often (1)

der_joachim (590045) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303552)

I am 27 yrs old, and have a full time job with long transit times. I am often too tired to do something useful (besides eating, that is), and the crap on TV is boring and repetitive. So I boot up my computer and play a quick game instead.

It's Normal (4, Insightful)

DarkZero (516460) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303562)

This is a phase that everyone goes through. Either because of something in your life (often something subtle) or just a batch of mediocre games that temporarily sour your opinion of the entire medium, you stop playing games for awhile. I did the same thing when I was around 17. I stopped playing games for about a year or two straight and missed out on most of the interesting games that were released for the original PlayStation. But it wasn't a part of "growing up", "putting away childish things", or some other moronic platitude that non-gamers would give you. It's just a temporary change in the way you choose to entertain yourself.

This is something that we all do on a regular basis, but we don't really notice it until it strikes a medium that we actually care about. Personally, there was a time when I watched at least a couple of movies on DVD every week, burning through them at about the same rate as most regulars buyers/renters do. But now I haven't watched a movie on DVD in a good three months or so, but I haven't even noticed it. Why? Because I don't visit six or seven movie sites a day, but I do visit Insert Credit [insertcredit.com] , GameSpot [gamespot.com] , Video Fenky [video-fenky.com] , GAF [gamesarefun.com] , The Magic Box [the-magicbox.com] , Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com] , and Slashdot Games just about every day. If you're actually posting on this site, then I'm guessing that you have a pretty similar set of sites that you visit.

I'm guessing that you'll pick up something really good in about a year or two and then you'll be addicted again just like the rest of us. But then again, if you really are of the mentality that "games are kids stuff", then maybe you'll deprive yourself of them forever. I really don't see how Metal Gear Solid or Knights of the Old Republic are any more childish than any of the TV shows or movies that I watch, but that's just me. Maybe that's why I really don't see myself abstaining from video games as I grow up any more than I see myself suddenly abstaining from television, movies, or music.

Re:It's Normal (1)

SiriusRegalis (470623) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304130)

I tend to agree. My desire to jump on the couch and play a game is still there, but once I sit down and start playing it's too easy to be distracted. The responsibilities of life come crashing in.

Like the other day, I picked up Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. My brother came over and we sat down to play. It was a weeknight, so time was not unlimited. About halfway through the first area my wife informs me that we are out of bread, cheese, milk, etc... She asks if I can go to the store and do some quick shopping. Since she is studying for a second degree, and has a test coming up, my game play is less important then her studying.

There goes an hour of time for the game.

This is what it is always like. Real life interferes with the game. My desire to play is hindered by my need to be a good husband, a good employee, a good brother, etc... On the rare occasions that you find time to play for extended periods of time, you find yourself trying to remember where you were at, you spend half the time working out what was going on last, or re-mastering the controls, or getting the feel of the interface because you've only played 3 or 4 hours in the last month.

It's just life. Especially with a new marriage and a new career, time is spent in other ways.

Define what a game is. (beard-stroking post) (5, Insightful)

Grabble (91256) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303568)

I shall now indulge in reckless and flagrant navel-gazing.

Isn't a game simply a set of arbitrary objectives made difficult by arbitrary obstacles?... but made "fun" by gradual progression and feedback?

I believe that people like to use their minds and actually create "things to do" when there isn't any. When I was younger, I didn't have many obstacles, so I got my "work" on by subjecting myself to the purchased goals and obstacles, IE, a complicated game.

Now that I'm older, I've made my own game: my life. I've created my own "arbitrary" goals and have to work against obstacles to reach those.

At the end of the day, I'm tired from playing a game that's more important to me. Myself.

Yes. That's right. I'm tired from playing with myself.

My quaint little theory works best on brain games. For example, if I have to manage 20 people 40 hours a week, it's not likely I'll enjoy Railroad Tycoon 3 on the weekend. (But that could just be me.) On the other hand, a alpha-state twitchy game might be a nice break from analytical stuff.

I think there's a concept of "control" as well: in one's teens and early twenties, many aspects of one's life is beyond their control. That changes with age, usually and hopefully.

Re:Define what a game is. (beard-stroking post) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8304162)

That was amazing, slipping in that joke. I applaud you. Bra. Vo. *clap*... *clap*... *clap*

Gaming is in a rut (3, Interesting)

pelsmith (308845) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303579)

The business climate has gaming companies acting very conservative right now. You are much more likely to see another Warcraft clone than you are to see an innovative new game. No matter how nifty the graphics, if you notice it is the same old Warcraft, you instantly lose 80 percent of your enthusiasm for the title.

Combine that with the constant nagging voice in the back of our heads, telling us we should be doing something more productive, and it can be a battle.

Personally, I believe we are all just wandering around the lobby, waiting for the doors to open to true, immersive virtual reality. We have seen the pretty sunsets on our CRT, now we want to feel the wind in our hair.

Television (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8303582)

I've never been much of a gamer, but I'm 23, and I've noticed the exact thing happening to me with television. I used to follow a lot of series, now I haven't got a clue when anything is on, and just watch whatever's interesting on the rare occasions I happen to sit down in front of the telly (and if there's nothing interesting, I just do something else).

Mostly, the time I used to spend in front of the telly has been taken over by the Internet, books, and programming. I think that's healthier, the latter is more creative, and all three allow me to go at my own pace, rather than sitting there passively waiting to be spoon-fed information slowly.

nah, it's you (4, Insightful)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303587)

I don't think it's that people lose interest as they get older, I think it's either you specifically are losing interest, or you are bored with the current state of gaming. That you are interested in making games yourself shows that you haven't "grown out" of gaming, unless the games you are interested in making are directed at kids or something.

Another thing that I have noticed now that I've "grown up" is that I simply have not enough time to play all the games I'm interested in. I'm 25 and work full-time and have a house and wife to attend to, family/friend obligations, etc., and I'm lucky if I get to game for 2 hours in as many weeks.

Sometimes I have wondered the same thing as you, "have I lost my interest in gaming," when I have several games I was excited about but I simply don't bother playing. Then I realized that the games I was interested in in the past have started to bore me.

It's the same as anything really. I'm also bored with stupid action flicks, pulp novels, and Star Trek. I'd much rather watch something with substance, action or no, read a long series of classic books(eg. The Foundation series), or non-fiction(eg. The Making of the Atomic Bomb - brilliant book BTW), and as for TV, I really don't care if I miss an episode of one of my favorite show(although I do enjoy 24 and haven't missed an episode, heh).

You get the point. Tastes vary over time. While you may always enjoy a good movie/book/game/etc., you won't want the same thing over and over. And then there's the time and social factors. Don't fret. Things change. Adapt.

Re:nah, it's you (0, Flamebait)

zero_offset (200586) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304343)

Don't fret. Things change. Adapt.

That's exactly what this guy says here [slashdot.org] . Not only do you shoot him down, but then you turn around and post the same thing. Niiiice.

Sticking with "Classics" (4, Insightful)

fuzzybunny (112938) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303615)

I'm going on 30--I nearly fucked up my college education by spending aeons of time on Netrek [netrek.org] and progressed from that to C&C, to Red Alert, to Tomb Raider (my girlfriend loves to watch me play for some reason) to Half Life to Homeworld to Deus Ex to Battlefield 1942 (which I play pretty often.)

I was never too interested in always trying out the latest and greatest, but I notice increasingly that, once I've found something I enjoy, I tend to stick with it for far long--it just holds my attention better.

I don't know how people have time to always finish the newest games right when they come out and move on to something new--the only times I do that is when I find something episode-based or story-based (like Half Life), play it through once, then move on, but I take my time with that, sort of like reading a good book a bit at a time before going to bed.

Looking for something different (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8303631)

I find that lately I've been looking for something different in the games I play. I still play the single-player action games (Splinter Cell) and I still drool over the latest incredible graphics (UT2k4, Painkiller), but what I where I've been spending most of my time is social gaming. Games like MarioKart: Double Dash and Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicle, where you interact with the people in the room with you is not only relatively new, it's loads of fun.

--
Francis

it's not growing up (1)

i88i (720935) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303634)

I'm only 18, and while most of my other friends have no problems splashing out $AU3000 for a gaming system, only to upgrade a year later, i simply don't see the point(or could afford it). Up until a week ago i hadn't played any games for about 2 months, and i didn't really miss em. It's not because im sick of playing games or growing up, it's just that there's other things to do. I enjoy going to the pub with mates just as much as i enjoy having a good lan as much as i enjoy a bit of coding, but it's usually just easier to walk to the pub than to pack up my computer.
If there's anything to be learnt from this, it's Beer time > Computer time.

Me too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8303656)

I still buy a fair number of games (I'm 26), but not as many as I used to. I barely play at all, but except for a year-long CounterStrike fascination, I have never played games a whole lot.

Part of it is that I'm simply not the best gamer in the world. Gaming loses interest quickly when you routinely get your ass handed to you on every server you play on. Not to mention - mostly - I just find that gaming is something I'll do more of "when I have more free time".

At the moment, when I'm not working for a living, I'm working for a hobby. Someday my projects may be finished and I'll have enormous gobs of free time and look forward to playing videogames again. But for now, it's a matter of "do I spent these next 12 hours writing code for my personal project - or do I spend it numbing my brain in front of Halo?".

Of course, all bets are off when DoomIII, Unreal-2004 and Half-Life 2 come out. :)

Less time, other interests, age of fellow players (3, Insightful)

phrasebook (740834) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303661)

For me there are a few reasons why I don't play as many games thesedays:

1. Less time. Got other stuff to do. Study, and work. Work is okay but study consumes a lot of outside hours too. There's always more you could be doing. I find it harder to put time into games now. In the back of my mind, I'm always aware of what else I could be doing.

2. Other interests. Other stuff can be fun too. A few years ago I never read books just for my own interest, now I do. And of all things I've been learning Japanese recently, again something I never would have been interested in when I was younger. I guess I want to expand more, comes with age.

3. Age of fellow players. This one is pretty big. There's only one game I still play occasionaly now, and that's Live For Speed [racesimcentral.com] , an excellent, high-quality, independently developed racing sim. The online play is the best I've come across. But while the competition is good, the competitors themselves mostly seem to be guys who are 13-25 (mostly immature), or guys who are 45+. High school kids or men trying to fit in a few games around their spouse. I feel a little out of place.

Aside from LFS, the last game I played for a while was Grand Theft Auto 3. But I think I played that more for the radio stations & music, and the scale of the city rather than gameplay. I tired of it pretty quick. I definately have less tolerance for repetition now.

Times change :-/

Wanting what you got (4, Interesting)

sjoperkin (110789) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303676)

It's all about the fact that you now have the possibility to buy most of the games you want.

It just isn't that exiting anymore when you don't have to decide whether to buy QuakeIII or Unreal Tournament2003. You buy them both, and get the short end of the stick, because you don't have the time to play both, or find it hard to decide which one to play at any particular moment. A problem which increases in size the more games you buy.

For us with families, the time spent playing games gets ever shorter, which is why we put higher demands on the games we play. Which in turn leads to the conclusion that all of a sudden, games are no longer that good, because you cannot find the time to really get into more than a few games per season.

I buy fewer games nowadays, but instead I really try to play through them. This pays off most of the time.

Do you ever say this: (4, Insightful)

Asprin (545477) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303680)


Fifty bucks?!?!

....for *THAT*?!

That's a week of groceries for cryin' out loud! I'll wait until next year when it hits the $10 bargain rack at Wal-Mart.

I seem to remember going through that with beer, too. At some point, everything just started looking expensive.

Sincerely,
An old fogey


P.S. Just you wait you young buX0rz, pretty soon THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, NIRVANA and PEARL JAM will be on the oldies stations. HAAAAA-HA-HA-HA!

Losing interest in buttsexBox??? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8303720)

first post!!! you lame assholes... I can post first because my XBox is a american product and my pride in my great country and my great XBox accelerate everything...

If only they would make games for that bitch... IAve played Metroid Prime and it ruled... I hope M$ will buy those japanese bastards and port Metroid to my great american console system!!!

Born again gamer.. (5, Interesting)

kilauea (263775) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303726)

I went off games for a period - still bought some but rarely played and never completed. Turned out I was suffering from clinical depression and since recovering I have been right back into gaming and enjoy it as much as ever!
I am 31 btw...

all about time and getting people together (4, Interesting)

kisrael (134664) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303752)

For me, a soon to be 30-yr-old, it's all about two things: the time some of these games would like you to consume playing them, and then the increasing difficulty getting people together for the on-the-couch (as opposed to online) multiplayer games that I like so damn much.

Also, games get no respect from the world at large. Even though I'm mostly a social gamer, though I will play through the occasional one player adventure, my soon-to-be-ex-wife cited that as one of the (minor) issues, my devoting hours to gaming, despite her own f***ing introvert need to sometimes burn hours watching the crappiest of movies on TV to unwind/recharge.

Over 40, and still gaming. (1)

Teddy Beartuzzi (727169) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303759)

I complete a game a week or so, mostly adventure games and turn based strategy. As an old fart, I find that I generally look with disdain on the current crop of games. I spend pretty much all my gaming time on older, classic games.

My interests are shifting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8303786)

Back in the days I used to play NES and SNES, a LOT.

Later I bougth PSX and then PS2 and XBox (sold again) and discovered that the games have changed. I admit that I somehow miss the colorful "kiddie" games Nintendo is so (in-)famous for. Always this boring b/w "adult looking" GFX (that is so motivating like looking out of my windows on a rainy day) with b/w stories and buzzy-buzzword-crap-hyped crap that never lived up to the games I used to play on the NES and SNES.

Is there a happy end?

...Well I play Metroid Prime (GC) right now (and whatever those "other fanboys" might try to tell me about "kiddie" stuff or Sony stock quotes compared to Nintendo stock quotes...) I love it to death!!! I paid $120 for a Gamecube with two controllers and that single game and get more fun out of it than any other system that I own. Strange isn't it?

(Age: 30)

My 8 bit NES is alive and kicking (2, Interesting)

BornInASmallTown (235371) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303793)

I still have my original NES hooked up to the TV in the family room. Never had a SNES, N64, GameCube, PlayStation I/II or anything else.

I'm currently playing in the pennant race on Bases Loaded. I just finished beating Metroid and Contra (again). (For the latter, yes, I still use Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A.) Anyway the list goes on.

I've found that I can get all kinds of games for the NES from people that think they're worthless. Without even trying, I've picked up about 30 additional titles, along with several extra controllers and even a separate console that I use for spare parts when the need arises. :-)

Lots of fun, and I have no plans to upgrade to a "modern" system in the near future.

me too, not just with games. (1)

bear pimp (695195) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303796)

Lately I've pretty much felt the same way, but not just with games. Every year we've pretty much been seeing the same things coming out of both Hollywood, the music industry and the games industry.

I have a slightly older friend who has always gone to see the latest subtitled film, listened to Belgian house, and was into retro gaming before the concept had even been invented. I always used to take the P*** out of him!

The past year I've been buying a lot of oriental films [dddhouse.com] in a big way, in particular I'm getting heavily into Korean cinema [koreanfilm.org] and when I haven't been trying to get Mame [mame.net] games working on a shuttle mini pc [shuttle.com] that's sat under my tv, I've been really into the indie games scene. Gametunnel [gametunnel.com] and games from moonpod [moonpod.com] , pompom [pompom.org.uk] and sigma team [sigma-team.net] have kept my gaming urges alive this year. They might not offer anything new, but at least they are games offering gameplay, rather than chasing the need of the masses to immerse themselves in a movie. I suppose once you've seen so much media of any time, you begine to crave somehting new.

It's not old age, just boredom. Thankfully, I haven't felt the need to get into Belgian trance music yet...

Belgain trance music (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8303821)

I haven't felt the need to get into Belgian trance music yet...

But I can get the hint that you might be waffling on this one.

Happens with music, too (4, Interesting)

Chilltowner (647305) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303818)

Back in one of my college anthropology classes, our professor noted sociological studies that showed people's music buying habits dropping significantly at age 25. Anecdotally, that seems to be true. The history of games is much shorter, so I don't think any similar studies have been done, but they both may be manifestations of the same root cause. That root cause, though, has not yet been revealed.

Re:Happens with music, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8303891)

Yep.

I bought about 300 CDs when I was between the ages of 18 and 21. I've only bought two CDs since then and they were from independant artists sold on cdbaby.com. If I want something, I get it off of p2p. If I can't find it there, I decide if I REALLY want to pay $10 to $20 for it. Usually, I don't want to.

Besides, music sounds like a bunch of blithering noise to me these days. Harsh on the ears. Lacking in content and value and meaning. I'm not just talking "the music today's kids listen to". I am talking about almost all music - including the stuff I used to buy and own in my collection.

Mostly, for the last five or six years (since I turned 21), I've listened to talk-radio. It's an old habit that has returned. (I used to listen to talk radio when I was between the ages of 8 and 16, too).

Re:Happens with music, too (1)

CokoBWare (584686) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304156)

I bet you anything that this is partially a result from people moving from their meager lives as teenagers and college students, to working world people with less time to entertain themselves. After all, the common denominator between gaming and music is the fact that they are forms of entertainment you purchase on a piece by piece basis.

I do find my movie-buying habits going up though. Go figure...

Different Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8303842)

Before I was married and had kids, I played computer games thru the night. Now, my gaming style has changed. I play DND every other week with a group of 30+ year olds. I play in a pool league once a week. And for those 10-15 minutes I get alone, I'll play on my MAME box.

Neverwinter Nights is my favorite PC game at the moment, but I only get to play it about once a month instead of all day long.

So, just try some different games.

Some nature, some circumstance (4, Interesting)

DuckDuckBOOM! (535473) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303857)

I suspect your move away from gaming parallels my own, so here's what moved me:
  • Time, or rather the lack thereof. A decade or so ago I usually had several hours a day to game & code. Now I'm working more, (usually) sleeping more, maintaining a home, getting laid regularly, and engaging in face-time with relatives/friends every week or two instead of every other month.
  • Improving taste. I burnt out on FPSs and flash-bang-for-its-own-sake long ago. I burn out on MMORPGs (sp?) quickly through sheer monotony - another monster vanquished, [yawn]. Nowadays my main interests are sims and strategy games, and there are at best one or two good releases per year in those categories.
  • New hobbies. I transitioned from flight sims to the real thing a couple years ago, and quickly discovered I'd much rather blow $60 on an hour in the air than on Final Fantasy Pi or whatever.
  • Maturity; i.e., the realization that There Are Things In Life More Important And Rewarding Than Finding The Faerie Hat So Zelda Can Get Past The Pond Full Of Zombie Sharks. This is the only thing on the list I really regret. :)

still gaming, still loving it (1)

truffle (37924) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303933)


I'm still gaming as much as when I was in highschool, more probably. I'm 30. I am doing different games than when I was in highschool. I own two console systems, there are way more fun games to play than there is time for me to play them.

Maybe you don't want to game as much any more. If you want to, and if you look, I think you'll find there is tonnes of innovation and entertainment out there.

Pick up a game cube for the best innovation bang for your buck.

I think it's the fact that we get older... (1)

CokoBWare (584686) | more than 10 years ago | (#8303994)

I'm the same way... my money situation has improved, but I find that I am unwilling to just blow money on any game just to have it. I have things I work towards now financially, and I think over time us gamers learn that it takes a particularly good game to engross us. I am currently playing Maximo Vs. The Army of Zin and I find it incredibly challenging. Halo for the PC was my last biggie, however I have bought a few more games between buying Halo and Maximo, and I didn't play them as much as I "should" have... in fact, there's a game I have that I haven't even played for more than 1 hour! As we get older, I think we tend to parcel out our time better and are more likely to spend our time enriching or challenging our lives. Don't feel bad... it just means you have better things to do with your time.

Your preferences may be altering... (3, Interesting)

jonadab (583620) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304025)

> Am I not as capable of having fun as I once was, or what?

Maybe your ideas about what is "fun" are changing. This in itself is not a
bad thing. When you were eight, you probably thought it was fun to run around
on a blacktop with eight-year-old children. At some point you may have thought
it was tremendous fun to read those lame, elementary-school joke books, such
as "101 Fun Food Jokes". Think that's fun now, do you?

The first time I ever played a 3D FPS (it was Wolfenstein 3D at the time), I
thought it was pretty cool. At this point, I've had a belly full of those
and don't care if I never see another one.

Games that demand your time (1)

Fr05t (69968) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304046)

I'm 26 and was starting to have the same problem. I found that I was on average buying and finishing a new game once a month and it was starting to seem like a big waste of time and money. I would sometimes go a month or more without playing, but then I got into the FFXI PS2 beta. This game demands time and commitment and at long last I was getting giddy and excited when the weekend came so I could do a couple 10 hour sessions. Now that FFXI is out in retail I play every night for at least an hour and have been playing since October. It's great because I only pay approx $20 (CDN) a month and right now I can see myself still playing a year from now. My advice is pick up a MMORPG with a developer that is committed to keeping it updated and new.

Are you f'ing kidding us with this? (2, Funny)

dmorin (25609) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304066)

No. Seriously. I'm sitting here bitching to my coworker that this has to be the most ridiculous question I think I've ever seen on Slashdot, and that's saying something.

Do you still play with your GI Joes? Do you still ask mommy if you can ride your bike down to the store to buy some YuGiOh (or however the christ you spell it) trading cards?

Do you really need Slashdot to confirm for you that your interests change when you grow up and get a life? That one day you realize there are better places to spend your money, and your time?

Jesus H, next thing we're gonna be hearing from 13yr old geeks who find hair sprouting in funny places and want to know if that's normal.

Listen. You losing interest in video games at 28 is a *good* thing. The other 28yr olds at the next party you attend want to talk about the new house they bought, or how their job is going, or the plans for the wedding. Not how awesome it was when you shot the guy that was on your team because he picked up the sniper rifle when everybody knows that you kick ass with it.

The only fun part about writing this response is seeing whether I'm insightful or a troll. :)

Re:Are you f'ing kidding us with this? (0)

dukarukus (68326) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304714)

hillarious. made my morning.

35 year old gamer speaks.... (2, Interesting)

ronfar (52216) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304080)

Well, I'm 35 and I still play a lot of games. Sometimes I go back to old favorites, and sometimes I play new ones.

For example, lately I'm playing through Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem for the Gamecube. It was one of the first games I bought when I got my Gamecube, but I didn't really start playing it until recently.

My opinion is this: If you are too busy to watch TV, you'll probably find yourself too busy to play games.

If I ever found myself saying, "Rather than playing a game, I'll watch that new My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance show," I seriously hope somebody will shoot me....

Games suck.. period (1)

pedro (1613) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304083)

I dunno why, but I have always *hated* games, even as a child. They seem so utterly pointless.
If I'm gonna invest the mental firepower that would be needed to become accomplished at some sort of (yuck!) GAME, then I want to see an actual *result* that matters in THIS world when I'm done.
Games are mere mental masturbation, IMHO.
A total waste of time.

Re:Games suck.. period (4, Insightful)

Tyreth (523822) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304568)

Your comment is pointlessly wrong on so many levels.

Games teach you skills, whether physical (hand eye coordination), emotional (confidence in ability to complete a task, or not), and mental (learn how to problem solve in ways others do not). You experience a wide variety of things you can never touch. The rewards are not immediate, but the fruit bear out in the long run.

I suppose you think reading is useless? After all, it's the same principle - reading a book does not affect THIS world. Not immediately, anyway. When you finished, there's no new car in the garage, no revolutions have been won or lost as a result, and the hungry are still hungry. But it has long term consequences, just like games. Games stimulate imagination, or they can stifle it. They have the power to improve or damage, just as much as anything else in this world.

Burning Out (1)

Phayte (225450) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304098)

I know I went through the same thing a while back, and to a point I still am. I figured out it was mostly from throwing down $30-$50 bucks on a game that totally sucked. Now I research a game by reading web sites, talking to other gamer friends, and trying out demos before taking the plunge. All of this basically slows me down from buying new games on impulse and gives me time to enjoy the ones I've already bought.

Interest rekindled (2, Interesting)

Xian97 (714198) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304104)

With my own children growing old enough to play games I have found my own interest rekindled playing with them, showing them the games of my youth. I got the old Atari 800 out and they are having a blast with the classics from that system - River Raid, Pac Man, Ballblazer to name a few. After getting them a PS2 my interest has also picked up. I find myself playing Ratchet and Clank 1 & 2, Jak and Daxter, and Sly Cooper long into the night after they have went to bed. On the other hand, I have found the PC game scene to be stagnating with every new release just more eye candy with the same game play with previous titles in the same genre. For instance, the graphics in the latest FPS are amazing, but the basic gameplay is still "if it moves, shoot it", unchanged since Doom and Wolf3D.

It all depends on what you like... (3, Insightful)

CashCarSTAR (548853) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304145)

If you're a fan of the classics, then really, gaming is moving away from you. Classics meaning like Pac-Man, Galga, etc. They're not going to make any more, because the classics are already there, and anything to try and capitalize on that will just be seen as a copy-cat. (EXCEPTION: Most current puzzle games I see is beeing Classic-ish. Simple gameplay, playing for points, not levels, etc.)

Myself? I tend to play more games now than ever. And I'm enjoying them more too. There are several reasons...The main reason is they're making more games I like, at least on consoles.

Things I like:

#1. The feeling of being busy and intense while not feeling frustrated and out-of control. Viewtiful Joe, being the best example (and one of the best games ever), as well you have Ratchet and Clank:Going Commando, the Dynasty Warriors series, Ikaragua and assorted others. (Some of which are not so good, like Enter The Matrix).

#2. Fighting games that are both deep yet accessable. They still make them, I still love them. Yes, Fighting games are deep. Always lived outside a big arcade scene, but locally, people here are big KoF nuts, and I had a fun time learning 97-98-99 into the ground. But Soul Calibur 2 is great with some people who know what they are doing.

#3. Better stories. This is both a function of technology, but it's also a function of ambition. I'm not just talking about your Final Fantasy type story. (Although the story for X was amazingly deep, yet because of the PoV aspect was still personal) I'm talking Ratchet and Clank with the hilarious commercials in it. Disgaea:Hour of Darkness, the story is just not what you expect at all. I think the word is...snarky among others. As part of the story, the best games just feel fleshed out. They have that something extra that keeps you in there. Interesting characters, if there's not the oppurtunity for a story..an interesting idea.

#4. Eye/Ear candy. I love this stuff. Sure sure, it's all about gameplay. But still. Starting a race in F-Zero GX, and watching all the light trails from the racers in front of you, as they are attacking each other and jockying for position. Metriod Prime, when an energy ball comes flying by your face, seeing Samus's reflection in her visor. At the same time, you have Audio candy as well. The radio stations in GTA 3/VC. The music from Final Fantasy games, (Especially X. Auron's theme pumped through a surround system is mesmorizing.)

Now, if you have better things to do, in your mind, that's a personal decision. But yeah, if those things don't matter to you, then it's fair to say that games have "left you".

As for PC games? PC games are unfortunatly boring. There's not much that's coming out that really pushes the boundries. And when they do, it tends to not be too unplayable. What do I play? Half-Life mods. Natural Selection mostly. I like some of the Microsoft games, believe it or not..Freelancer, Rise of Nations. What else is there? Not very much.

I'm just getting pickier. (1)

raygundan (16760) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304244)

I still play a ton of games, but I won't play crap anymore. When I was a kid, I'd play anything that fell into my hands. Now, I won't play it unless it's exactly what I want to play, and I wonder how I ever managed to deal with some of the crap I used to play.

I also make a point of playing online with friends who are scattered all over the country. Use Roger Wilco and catch up with friends while using your experience and teamwork to slaughter hordes of newbies. Or just get completely destroyed, like I usually do. Whatever.

It's still fun for me.

Your observation is a natural one (1)

TA (14109) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304307)

You get fed up after a while, simple as that.
I used to get hooked on games too, but that is
many years past. Now past 40, I play the occasional
frozen bubble, and (even rarer) tuxracer. But there
are a lot of more interesting things to do out there
than gaming.

Gaming as a social activity (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8304333)

Gaming solo is what I can't seem to enjoy as much anymore. By making it a social event, I can really get into gaming without fear of getting old. I get "together" with my friends twice a week to play games online. We don't get to see each other nearly as often as any of us would like to, so our Monday night Battlefield 1942 and Wednesday night Rise of Nations sessions give us a reason to hook up the VoIP chat and hang out, even if it is only virtual. Since it's a habitial thing, my wife doesn't even give me much flak for it.

too little innovation (1)

ajagci (737734) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304439)

It's probably not you personally, it's that the game industry isn't innovating much. Many games that are coming out are just graphically nicer versions with basically the same gameplay as older games. They still succeed in the market because a new generation picks them up as their first exposure to the genre, but to you, they naturally seem boring.

Furthermore, many computer games are not very replayable. How often can you play through the single player versions of even a comparatively good game like Half Life before you know all the tricks and "surprises"? A humble little game like Frozen Bubble or Alchemy, or a game like Nethack, for that matter, has much more replayability than any fancy single-player FPS. And, of course, with games like Chess and Go, you keep learning as you play them, which is why many people can play them their whole life and not get bored.

Long term success with games means creating games that are replayable and innovating; the mainstream game industry doesn't know how to do that--they just lose themselves in ever more graphics technology.

Is that the real problem? (1)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304442)

Maybe, rather than loosing interest in games, the real reason you are not finding gaming exciting anymore is because no-ones developing anything groundbreakingly different anymore. There are plenty of games that look good, and play well, but most are re-hashes of things that have been done before.

Having said that, I have had some long sessions on THPS4 on the PS2, which also plays well online.

I hear "A Dogs Life [frontier.co.uk] " by Frontier developments is supposed to be quite fun although I've never played it. Its about as original an idea as i've seen in a while. What would else would you expect from David Braben (of Elite fame though ?)

I think we just need more original games.

Congratulations! You've graduated Slashdot. (1)

uradu (10768) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304537)

Incidentally, what took you till 28? As a devout technophile, even as a kid I much rather took apart toys to see how they worked than actually play with them, much to the bane of my parents--and, in hindsight, to my detriment, since that led to getting fewer toys, as I "just broke them anyway". That didn't stop when getting into computers later on: even if playing a game I would often wonder how a particular effect was achieved, so off I'd go trying to program it myself. Frankly, getting seriously wrapped up in programming and hardware takes up so much time, there'd be little left for hour-long game playing. I seriously believe the phenomenon of the technically highly competent nerd that plays games every waking moment is a Hollywood myth, or extremely rare in any case. I have yet to meet one of these creatures; most game enthusiasts I've met tend to be technically fairly shallow.

My $.02 (1)

moebius206 (692162) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304590)

I understand where this guy is coming from... Its getting harder and harder to find a game that leaves me completely satisfied that however much money I spent on the game was well worth it.

These days, most of those good games I find are on consoles.

I agree with a lot of you that there seems to be a cascade of good games every few years, followed by a bad aftertaste of trite titles. Right now, the pc is badly sufferring from something truly exciting. If you asked my opinion, I'd say the most exciting things to happen in the pc gaming world have been MMO's and graphics enhancements to games all around (but that will always be exciting, so it doesn't count). And the mmo's suck, too! (speaking from someone who spent a little over a year - not cumulatively - playing them)

I think the pc game market is gonna hit another milestone soon, if for no other reason that its just due. Seeing games like Half-life 2, while still an fps, gets me really pumped at the level of realism and detail being poured in -- not just in graphics, but in physics, sound, AI, animation, and an extreme level of attention to the psychology of the player.

Take a look at some of the better console games lately. My picks would be those that really suck you into the environment, like a good movie. At least, that's how I judge whether a game is good or not (excusing more old-school-esque games whre its not about environment or story). Think about something like Silent Hill 3 -- do you have any idea how much time went into little details that made that game so creepy feeling? What about Metal Gear Solid / 2 ? Those games really took you into their world. Metroid? These games were all immensely popular for a reason.

I could go on and on, but you begin to get the point. Its hard to put your finger on it, but there's something very cinematic and involving in those games -- not just in storyline, gameplay, or graphics -- but something that really makes you forget to do things like eat and sleep.

When the new consoles hit the markets in the next year or two, I expect we'll see the lull with those games -- as developers will be spending most of their time just fucking with them.

PC games will hit their mark again. Just look for the ones with amazing sales. That's usually a good way to judge a game before buying it ;)

Changes (1)

redtail1 (603986) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304614)

Where I once spent countless hours in front of a computer or console playing games, now that I'm older I can't stand the thought of sitting at home alone and spending that much time on one. I'd feel like a loser.

Asinine (1)

StocDred (691816) | more than 10 years ago | (#8304687)

This is the saddest excuse for a story topic ever. Some idiot hits an early mid-life crisis and we're all supposed to care?

I'm 29, married, with a full-time job, and I still game almost every night. It's my hobby, I enjoy it, and fuck you if you think it's childish. I switch from Warcraft 3 to Animal Crossing to Fatal Frame 2 to Karaoke Revolution without skipping a beat. Good, fun games are always out there... if you've stopped looking for them it's nobody's fault but your own.

All you dicks who have jumped out of the shadows to harp on How Important It Is To Grow Up should realize that you're on Slashdot debating Linux flavors three forums over.

And to the original questioner: Your taste in games has stagnated, and your appeal for sympathy is boring and pathetic.

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