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    Gamer Burnout - An interesting article

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    Brakkish
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    Gamer Burnout - An interesting article

    Post by Brakkish on Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:41 pm

    Flame Off

    Sean "Elysium" Sands - Thu, 02/05/2009 - 2:28pm












    I was playing video games before Ronald Reagan was president, before the space shuttle was first launched and before disco was finally dead. When I first put controller in hand, MASH was still on TV, John Lennon was still alive and there was no such thing as Star Wars. The internet was science fiction, phones had dials and coke cans had pull tabs. These were ancient days.

    Gaming has clearly held a secure chunk of real estate in the neighborhood that describes my life, and yet every few years my well runs dry. The neurons and tissues that motivate my game playing, a chunk of fleshy matter that I assume is well developed, will from time to time simply go dark, and suddenly I am staring at virtual worlds displayed for my entertainment purely out of inertia. As odd as it may sound after 30 years, right now I just dont feel like playing.

    This is a troubling situation for a lifelong gamer. Though Ive experienced the phenomena now a half dozen times, and each time I simply wait until the reserves of joy-inducing endorphins kick back in, I feel left adrift in the calm seas that I usually know only as a maelstrom. What is a gamer supposed to do when he doesnt want to game?

    Does this happen to heroin addicts? Do they jam that syringe in deep, only to think, ugh, not this stuff again? Do alcoholics ever get to the bar and say, you know, Ill just have a Sierra Mist?

    I usually try not to think about my gaming habits in terms of addiction, partly because of the ramifications of such thinking but mostly because I think the term addiction is used too casually to justify poor decisions. I am always very conscious of how I game and how that gaming affects and diminishes the time I spend doing other thing. Theres a whole article here about personal responsibility and managing your life, I suppose, but thats not the particular high horse Im trotting astride today.

    Despite my careful measure of game time, the truth is I play a lot. Too much? And, usually, much of the time I spend not playing, part of my brain is thinking about playing. My enthusiasm for gaming is a mostly constant companion, so you would think it wouldnt take me very long to notice when it is gone.

    The truth is something different. Looking back I realize that my excitement for the games I play has been on the down-swing for a season now, finally culminating in the realization that if I dont play another game this month that might just be fine with me.
    And heres the thing: I think this is a critical part of being a gamer.

    In a strange way, I think it is these occasional downtimes that keep gaming fresh for me. I think being able to step mostly away from gaming for a while is a fantastic opportunity to gain perspective on the whole endeavor, and when that familiar urge begins to rise again, I will come back with fresh eyes and rejuvenated excitement. I make this claim with the authority of experience.

    I dont know whether this is a result of some kind of gaming overload, of being a new father with an infant or part of some other environmental factor. I suppose in truth it is in part because of all those things, and probably just a natural defense mechanism that allows me to carry on with this third decade of being a gamer. I dont know whether this happens to everyone, or its my own mechanism. I dont know how long it will last or what game will finally drag me back in.

    Odd as it may seem for a lifelong gamer, its a nice, if brief, reprieve. I actually cherish these occasional releases from the compulsion. Sometimes, the best way to keep enjoying something is to stop for a while.

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    Re: Gamer Burnout - An interesting article

    Post by Paranoia on Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:55 pm

    Crazy I was talking about this very thing today with Ulf....! Brakk you are a mind reader


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    Re: Gamer Burnout - An interesting article

    Post by blmurphy on Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:23 pm

    Yeah, it's nice to step away and do other things. i've finally started playing my guitars again and just put down a deposit on another guitar (being a lefty a lot of my stuff has to be custom ordered). I'm just sitting around waiting for the next game to grab my attention.

    I almost tried WoW again yesterday, but decided not to.
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    Re: Gamer Burnout - An interesting article

    Post by Ulfaro on Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:41 pm

    Aye, good read.

    I've thought about WoW but I can see it now....same as before but other things to kill. No thanks. Had a WoW conversation with my kid and he said that his guild has cleared the 3 instances in WoTLK, several times over. So they're finding themselves asking what's next.

    I'm enjoying this low casual gaming right now...Ikariam,The West, and Perfect World are keeping me entertained. I can't complain.


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    Re: Gamer Burnout - An interesting article

    Post by Breygon on Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:44 pm

    I know the feeling well myself. I am kind of there now and if I hadn't had to help the wife I might have quit LOTRO altogether. I am hoping that something comes along to relieve me of this malaise and send me cheerfully headlong into battle again.

    Right now, I think I'll have another beer.
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    Re: Gamer Burnout - An interesting article

    Post by Alanras on Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:48 am

    That was a good article. The author is one of the guys from the Gamers With Jobs site right? I listen to their podcast sometimes. They are funny guys but always have some good insight.


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    Re: Gamer Burnout - An interesting article

    Post by Annewing on Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:24 am

    Nice Article. I've had a few burnouts with LOTRO and tried other MMO's, but because LOTRO is the first MMO I've played and etc, I keep going back to it.

    Now my time is filled with the 7 week old puppy we bought on Friday night.


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    Re: Gamer Burnout - An interesting article

    Post by Constara on Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:42 am

    I think this is EXACTLY what my fiance is going through right now. He used to play game after game for hours on end. And now, he's happy with watching stuff on Instant netflix or just fooling around on Ikariam. I think that I am just burnt out from MMOs. I've been playing them nonstop for about 4 and a half years now. Console games are grabbing my attention more and more. Hmmm, maybe I need a break. lol
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    Re: Gamer Burnout - An interesting article

    Post by Brakkish on Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:52 pm

    Alanras wrote:That was a good article. The author is one of the guys from the Gamers With Jobs site right? I listen to their podcast sometimes. They are funny guys but always have some good insight.

    Aye, you are correct. "Gamers With Jobs" quite catchy Smile

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    Re: Gamer Burnout - An interesting article

    Post by Andway on Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:04 pm

    Makes sense. I'm at that point too. Eh it guess it happens to all of us. After 10+yrs of gaming, taking a break from mmo's seems to be a good thing for me at the moment. Gives me time to housebreak our new puppy, get school started for my Psych degree finally, and just spend extra time with the hubby watching nonstop House Razz
    It took forever to dl Runes of Magic. I thought I was gonna get into that game..and now it's just a dead icon on my desktop. It doesn't even bother me to have no game to play right now, which shows it's a much needed break.


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    Re: Gamer Burnout - An interesting article

    Post by Kahan on Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:02 am

    Good article. I think I have avoided noticing this in my gaming habits because these breaks just come naturally for me. I don't usually stop playing games all together, but I end up deployed to the desert, or at a school somewhere with no time to do anything but study. Right now I still love playing WAR, and LOTRO, WoW, and the tons of other games that I have, when I get the chance, but with preparing for an inspection at work, and building a new house, and having fun with friends, I'm just not finding the time to play a whole lot. Usually end up logging in on the weekends these days. It does help to keep games fresh and exciting I guess since I'm still playing WAR and most everyone else quit. Laughing


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    Re: Gamer Burnout - An interesting article

    Post by Evadrepus on Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:38 am

    I've burnt out more times than I can count, which is at least one reason I have so many mmorpgs in my checkered past. I enjoy the distraction of gaming, so in the end, I come back to it.
    On a side note, GWJ is a fantastic site. Many many years ago I did some light writing for them and a heavy message board chat there. Found the site after one of my burnouts actually, when I was looking for more mature gaming (i.e. tired of playing with 15 yr old frag kiddies).

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