Viewpoints

Should We All Take A Break From Gaming?

Here and there, of course.

When I first had the idea to write this article I did what I normally do before I started writing it; I made notes to gather my thoughts, then started to type them up. It wasn’t until I’d written up around half of what I wanted to say before I realised I sounded negative and overly critical, as if I had fallen out of love with gaming. This isn’t what I was intending to do at all, so I scrapped the thing and started again, looking to turn what could be a negative suggestion into a positive one.

Games: Too Much To Handle

As the title suggests, I’m wondering whether or not we all should take a temporary break or breather from gaming and give ourselves some time to rest and recover. You may wonder why, and without consideration first, I understand why you may ask this question especially when there’s so much out there to play. And that very point, the sheer number of games out there is one reason as to why gaming took a back seat for me over the Christmas period. At one point, I quickly found myself with five games on the go which I just simply couldn’t keep up with, burning me out and making me lose my motivation to play them. The only solution for this? To put the controllers down.

This wasn’t a permanent measure and didn’t see me going completely cold turkey, but I heavily reduced my gaming time and put time into my other hobbies. I spent more time at the gym, watching movies and catching up with reading on my Kindle and felt much better as a result. I didn’t feel the pressure of having many games stacked up to complete or the feeling of being left behind by friends and peers who were playing games that I wasn’t, (as if that even matters). As a result, I felt the little time I gave to gaming was much more rewarding than rushing through to see the end credits as quickly as possible.

This is the biggest positive (and benefit) to pull from this article; that by taking a break I am getting the fun and enjoyment back out of my gaming time which was slowly becoming lost. If we don’t enjoy our gaming experiences, then what’s the point of them in the first place? Plus, does anyone actually enjoy having an infamous Pile of Shame:

Give up?
At this point, it isn’t even funny.

Now I know that taking a break might not be for everyone, but I have spoken with others and seen people online who have suffered much the same that I have. They have been worn down by the constant barrage of games that they want to play and find themselves playing them because they feel they have to, not because they want to. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that being able to afford a game is a privilege, so we need to make sure we get the best value out of every single game – where we can. If this means taking a break, or playing games slightly after they release, then that is something I am happy to do to keep on enjoying them.

Conversely, taking a break could put you behind and leave you playing catch-up, as the stream of new games seems to be endless these days; the summer drought is no longer a thing. So with that in mind, you can see why people are keen to play games as soon as they’re released, especially considering the social aspect and also wanting to be part of the zeitgeist as it were. People like being caught up in the hype surrounding new games and going to midnight launches or playing on day one, so for those that want that buzz it must be tough when games launch in such close proximity to one another?

It is certainly something to consider and has made me reconsider the volume of games I play and consume at any given time. So with a quiet-ish January come and gone, I look forward to 2018 and all the gaming it will have to offer. I’m hoping, however, that it will be a little less hectic in comparison to 2017.

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2 comments

  1. I agree, we definitely could do with taking a break from gaming every now and then!

    As you say, with the sheer number of games out there, and the ever-growing backlog, gaming can sometimes feel more like a chore. If you’re not enjoying your hobby, then it’s time to step away for a bit.

    I’ve seen some gamers even get actively stressed out about this – that clearing out the next few games on their “to do” list is a source of anxiety.

    Basically if games have become a worry, a chore, something that needs to get done, rather than something you’re enjoying, then you’re doing it wrong!

What do you think?