Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Burnout: No, not the game

Maybe it's the brighter days and warmer weather. Maybe it's the string of mediocre games I've been playing for weeks. Maybe it's the steamrolling hype for Smash Bros and GTAIV. Whatever the cause, one thing's for sure: I'm feeling burned out on games.

I don't feel like playing them. Don't feel like writing about them. Don't much feel like reading about them (although Kotaku's story on the haunted Ms. Pac-Man machine was an exception). I've failed to respond to solicitations for pitches from two different publications, which is always a brilliant career move. But what can I say? I'm not feeling the juju, and I don't know why.

Does anybody else ever have this problem? Leigh Alexander once tried to abstain from playing anything for a full week, and found it impossible. Jeff Gerstmann's gamer score is over 55,000. The internet is awash with people who come up with dozens of blog posts per day. That's dedication. It's all I can do to power up my PSP to sock away another level or two of Patapon.

This, too, will pass, but if you were wondering why posting has slowed down lately, now you know why.

And you were wondering, weren't you?


yanzhang said...

=( totally.

Or maybe it is just because I am feeling reaaally lazy now about my own game blog (not to mention personal blog). Seriously, one blog is enough to worry about =)

I think these moments are inevitable, and in some ways healthy. It means you should take a break for a while, and eventually, like finding a freaking powerup, you'll get hit with a ton of ideas and be inspired to write 40 entries and to play a bunch of games all over again.

So if you think of this as a pause to anticipate that, maybe it is a good thing =)

Take it easy,

Tyler said...

Man, why didn't anyone tell me about the free haunted Ms. Pac Man game?? I totally could have gone to pick it up!!

jeffk said...

I played along when Leigh went on her gaming break, and I actually had a hard time putting down my books to go back to gaming--I think I almost made it to the two-week mark. It was nice catching up on some reading and just finding other ways to amuse myself, and I'm sure my girlfriend was happy (although I don't play games very often if she's at home and awake). I could see doing it once or twice a year, just to keep things fresh. It's like fasting, but without all that religion getting in the way!

Mitch Krpata said...

You guys are right. Probably just need to recharge. I bet it would help to play something great again, though. Maybe I should fire up Super Metroid or something...

SVGL said...

Happens to me constantly, actually. Notice Aberrant Gamer is meant to run on Wednesday and quite often doesn't. Notice for more than a week I've only posted about Pokemon, the only thing I can currently tolerate.

I think for me it's because pressure to play constantly is tied up in my job -- it's dangerous for me to be behind the times. I often work way too hard or spread myself too thin, and definitely sometimes I feel resentful of games, because the impulse to play has become artificial. I often wonder how many of the games I've picked up over the past year were games I would have bought if I didn't make a living on my knowledge and opinion of them.

What I did learn is, if you don't worry about it, it's just a phase which passes. For me, when I'm burnt out, I just want to play DS on the couch after dinner -- something familiar and repetitive that I've played a billion times, like Harvest Moon or Pokemon or some old classics on those PSP compilations that don't require me to SIT UP. So that's just what I do, and I turn off the burners and just wait for the desire to come back.

Also, loss of interest in normally enjoyable pastimes could be indications you're under life stress or depression or something. That's often the case with me, at least, and it has nothing to do with games itself.