Video Games are Losing Their Appeal (To Me)

its-dangerous-to-go-alone-take-thisI’ve been playing video games for a long time. I got my first video game system (the Nintendo Entertainment System) when I was around five years old or so. But, lately, video games are losing their luster for me. I find myself not having fun playing them any more.

It started a few months ago. I was playing Halo 4 (one of my favorite games from last year), and I realized I wasn’t having any fun doing it. So, I popped in Borderlands 2; I also didn’t have any fun.

I began wondering what was making these games less fun for me, and I realized it was because I wasn’t having any social interactions.

I’m a work-at-home dad. I freelance edit and take care of my kids during the day while my wife works a “real” job.  Most of my social interactions come from my kids (Ages 1 and 4) and chatting on the Internet. So, for me, games are less of an unwinding escape and more of a chance for me to by myself some more. And that isn’t fun to me.

I’ve stated many times recently that if I could get some regular tabletop gaming done, I would probably give up video gaming all together. Well, that’s a bit of hyperbole (I don’t think I’ll ever totally stop video gaming), but the sentiment is mostly true. I played a four-hour game of X-Wing Miniatures (with a game of Munchkin before that) and had a lot of fun. And the difference was, of course, social interaction! My friends were there. We could chat, rib each other, and generally share in victory and defeat.

I’ve also been playing and running games over Google Hangouts with the Roll20 App, and it’s been great. Again, social interaction makes all the difference. And since I’m playing mostly with friends, I get to stay away from the negative social interactions in Halo Matchmaking.

There are still video games that interest me. I really like old-school style platformers (I started playing Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and really want to try Rogue Legacy), but for the most part, I really just want to play games with my friends.

I played Halo: Anniversary with my wife the other night. I had a lot of fun. Maybe what I need to do then, is focus on video games that have “couch multiplayer.”  Whatever it is, I think I crave interaction with adults, and that’s making multiplayer online gaming boring to me.

Who wants to come over for a game night?

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2 thoughts on “Video Games are Losing Their Appeal (To Me)

  1. T says:

    TJ,

    Do yourself a favor and get a Nintendo Wii. I own a PS3 and now it’s only being used to play Amazon Prime movies or rentals. The fun in video gaming to me has always been social interaction, personal interaction to be more precise. The gloating of a win, the magical high-five of a shared victory, or the furious (insert swearing) of defeat.

    So, to me, the console that gives my family the most pleasure is the Wii. I spent more hours playing Mario Kart Wii this weekend than actually sleeping. Okay, maybe not. But still, my wife and I constantly turn it on and log online to play with opponents, or just by ourselves. Plus, the versatility of actually doing something else like dancing, or swinging the remote around, really appeals to our activity level.

    We are ditching the boring solo single player games that are the vast majority of the titles for PS3 and X-Box, and making a conscious consumer decision of supporting the fun-filled couch coop games (with options for online coop, the more the merrier!) – and decided that, unless Sony and Microsoft start to pay attention to us, we will invest our dollars exclusively on Nintendo games.

    T

    • TJ Johnston says:

      T,

      I was actually considering a Wii-U. I love the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, so the virtual console is an added bonus.

      The PS Vita is also becoming a nice haven for Indy Gaming, so I was considering that as well. We’ll see how the chips fall.

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