Are Games Losing My Interest, or Is it Just Me?

marioandsonic

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It depends on the game, honestly.

The game that I most regularly do this with is World of Warcraft, but as an earlier poster said, that game by its very nature get monotonous really quickly.

I also did this with South Park: The Stick of Truth, but that was after already playing the game twice (I'm trying to beat it while playing as all four classes). Same thing happened while I was replaying XCOM.

It seems like if I've already played the game once or twice, I'll do this. If it's a game that I haven't played before though, I'll 100% focus on the game.
 

KissingSunlight

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I am skipping this current generation of consoles. They lack that "killer app" game that the previous console generations had. Right now, I am exploring the games that were exclusive to the PS3. Did you know they have a trilogy of games that is like Indiana Jones if it was written by Joss Whedon?

As listening to music/podcasts while playing games, I have done this with a few games. Mainly racing games like Burnout. Audioslave's first album makes a great soundtrack for the Burnout series. I had music playing for the racing inspired FPS game The Club. Ironically, my favorite song to listen to while playing that game was by gospel singer Mavis Staples singing the civil rights song Eyes on the Prize. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZWdDI_fkns
 

Tiamat666

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Go out into the sun for a day or two. Take a stroll in the park. Have a swim in your local swimming pool. Go drink a cappuccino in a cafe and read something interesting.

You are probably overdosed on gaming. Eventually you will recover and playing video games will be fun again.
 

Meximagician

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If I'm listening to the news or a podcast, I need to be doing something. Usually I play the original N, Superfighters, or any of the many free jigsaw or sliding puzzles that litter the net. I can play these games on their own, but I can't just sit and listen to someone talking.
 

nightowlc

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Needing something to fidget with while listening to audio or video:
I listen better if I'm doing something with my hands. In classes when I was in school, or now when I'm in meetings, I'll doodle on whatever I'm taking notes on and I stay both more interested and less fidgety. I hate watching tv and not having anything to do with my hands. My dad does the same thing during phone conversations, I can tell when he's been on the phone a lot because I'll find his doodles on whatever non-essential piece of paper was in front of hm at the time; he's been like that as long as I can remember.

And I'm 41 and have been playing video games for most of my life, while my dad is 68 and doesn't play video games at all. So I don't think any theories about being part of certain generations or growing up with with constant streaming media would apply to either of us. I think it's just part of how our brains are wired and I think it's possible you're the same way, Yahtzee.

Needing something to listen to while playing a game:

Tiamat666 said:
Go out into the sun for a day or two. Take a stroll in the park. Have a swim in your local swimming pool. Go drink a cappuccino in a cafe and read something interesting.

You are probably overdosed on gaming. Eventually you will recover and playing video games will be fun again.
I was going to say you just sound burned out to me, but Tiamat666 did such a better and more tactful job of that I'm going to quote him instead. :)

I've been watching Zero Punctuation since sometime in 2008. I honestly don't know how you went on this long without hitting burnout sooner.
 

Wraithsight

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Yahtzee, if you are looking for a new podcast may I suggest Welcome to Nightvale? I'm going to post the description from TvTropes.com because I'm terrible at describing things:

"Welcome to Night Vale is a Surreal Humor/Horror Podcast/Radio Drama depicting life in the desert town of Night Vale, a fictional community where the paranormal not only exists, but is a fact of everyday life that the citizens have to deal with in addition to the mundane details of living in a small, isolated town.

Done in a community radio style, the show reports on the various stories around town and the community events happening that week. The host is Cecil, who coolly narrates in a dispassionate manner reminiscent of Garrison Keillor in A Prairie Home Companion. The background music playing throughout the show is composed by Disparition, with the exception of the "Weather" section of the show, which features a different musical guest each episode.

The show treads a fine line between hilarious absurdity and genuine creepiness. Within a flexible format, each broadcast features not only reports on the town, but also Cecil's personal thoughts and experiences. Night Vale is populated by Secret Police, mysterious hooded figures in the town dog park, and just about every possible conspiracy theory come to life."



As for the question at the end, I don't think any art work should be allowed to hide behind the "You went consuming in in the intended way" argument. I have kids, so at least a small part of my brain is always tuned to their whereabouts in the house when I'm playing a game, which prevents me from being really immersed in anything and is differently not the way any game was "intended" to be played, but I still find myself being fully engaged by games like the newest Shadowrun games, Stardew Valley, Ark etc. A good game, and indeed any good peace of art, will be good and keep you occupied regardless of external factors.
 

Sonder Saunters

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I've never really thought about it, though I can pinpoint exactly when it was that I really started listening to other things when I game: 2008, when I played Assassin's Creed II for the first time and thought, "I'm enjoying this so much, I want to complete it 100%!" I would put on stand-up comedy while I tracked down all the feathers and whatnot. I think it stems from games having a lot of downtime. When you watch a movie, the movie is pretty much engaging for the whole time (in theory) and in a constant state of flux. Games come with a lot of busy work, and sometimes that busy work is enjoyable, like when you play Minecraft. Other times it's tedious, see previous example of AC2. But whether good or bad, the fact remains that the games are not entirely engaging in some manner. If you find yourself listening to a comedian while you unload clip after clip of lead into virtual nobodies, maybe it is a failing on the game's part? However, everyone takes a break from routine in real life to do something different because doing the same thing for hours on end is mind-numbing. If you find yourself in need of something to break routine, perhaps its a symptom of a broader issue? Perhaps games are too similar now in tone or setting or something? Maybe it's time to take some time off and just not play games for a while? Maybe games need to be more flexible and not just be 10-100-hour grinds of the same damn thing with only an ancillary sense of progression attached? I dunno, I'm going back to playing Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows while listening to Let's Plays.
 

kris40k

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Yahtzee Croshaw said:
Are Games Losing My Interest, or Is it Just Me?

In this age of instant-gratification user-choice-driven entertainment, am I losing the ability to focus on video games, and consequently finding it harder and harder to get immersed?

Read Full Article
Oh come on now, Yahtzee, this is too easy...

[image height=480]http://cdn.themis-media.com/media/global/images/library/deriv/74/74779.jpg[/IMG]​

But more seriously, I find that many games which are grinders (like muhmorpuhguhs) are improved with a custom soundtrack. There is a running joke that anytime mentions the sounds effects in Eve Online, the response is, "Eve has sound?" as almost no one leaves the music or sounds effects turned on.

I think like you mentioned, it depends on the genere of game, and its overall design. Anything that is going to be repetative, like RPGs and you are looking at something that could likely be improved with your own soundtrack. Games that do not have repetition elements and where every moment will be something new or unique throughout will likely be best played with the intended sounds.
 

Joccaren

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A number of games are designed for just this, and of the games you've said you do it with, there seems to be two types;
1. Games that you're not really interested in to begin with and are playing because I guess you have to. Not enough to hold your interest, your interest wonders.
2. Games specifically designed for that type of gameplay, at least most likely; I haven't played all of them.

Some games are just designed for abnegation. The ability to perform simple, mindless tasks to unwind at the end of the day, or during a break. Games designed such that you can play them and progress, without engaging too much, so you can focus on something else as well. If that's the sort of game you feel yourself enjoying at the end of the day, well, more power to you.

As you've said, games that engage you and demand your attention get it - heavy story elements, or gameplay where you're into it and focused to the point where you can't listen to a podcast at the same time, it'd more just be playing and you wouldn't hear a word that was said as its similar to watching 2 TV shows at once - and you don't need to do that, but if a game doesn't require your attention, either because it doesn't engage you as it should, or because they were designed to need minimal attention, then yeah, its pretty normal to also find something else to do, and unwind with something not stressful, but a mind stimulated enough to not bore you.
 

wax

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I'll bet you didn't multitask on the Dark Souls games. Many games are so generic they're boredom inducing rather than attention grabbing.
 

CaitSeith

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wax said:
I'll bet you didn't multitask on the Dark Souls games. Many games are so generic they're boredom inducing rather than attention grabbing.
I do... when waiting for being summoned. In fact, I'm doing it right now at the entrance of the church. Oh, I've got go...
 

Trunkage

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As stated by some people, I think its representative of the other media your consuming as well. As some poster have stated, they need something to do while listening to the podcast. I actually watched Gotham during while playing ESO (which I did only get into less than a month ago but some parts are really boring already). I watched the first three episode by themselves with multitasking. It was the worst story and characterisation I have seen in a long time. But if I didn't think about what was happening too much (like while playing a game), those niggly things didn't come up. I remember NCIS and CSI being the same way.

As to music, I think I have been spoilt by Fallout 3/NV/4. With a station playing different music than soundtrack makes the experience more enjoyable (GTA etc would be the same thing). I don't want to listen to the soundtrack unless its making a big impact.

I also find that I'm pretty time poor, so the not very informative but semi comedic ones like Cooptional or Jimquistition are better during game. I have economics and philosophy ones for hard thinking (maybe during a run, but sometimes doing nothing depending on the subject)
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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I generally do this MMOs. The sound in those games is usually pretty bad/repetitive, and most of the interactions are done through text. The only exception is for The Old Republic, the VA in that game is very good.
 

Silence

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wax said:
I'll bet you didn't multitask on the Dark Souls games. Many games are so generic they're boredom inducing rather than attention grabbing.
Funfact: Dark Souls games are some of the few I actually listen to a podcast to while playing, because silence otherwise.
Might only be the second time through, but still.
 

Geisterkarle

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I normally put on music for games I know so well I don't care about the ingame music anymore.
A game where I do this and comes to mind is "Super Meat Boy". And interestingly, that is also the game that is HIGH up in my list of games I can play all the time and not be bored!
But I admit, there are very few that really catch me like that. The latest maybe Undertale and Witcher 3. If I look into others, maybe FTL and actually OpenTTD or sometimes I even go back to Civilization 2! :) And except maybe Undertale and Witcher 3 I always play without ingame-sound. There seems to be a connection! :)
 

Cid Silverwing

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I have a feeling it's just games becoming generic products rather than charming experiences telling colorful stories period. Much of this media is bleeding together more and more, and it scares me. I mean remember E3 a few years back that had almost nothing but FPSes to show? Jim Sterling walked into a booth for one of those FPSses (I can't remember the title and don't feel like googling it) and completely mistook it for another.