Too many goddamn games
When I was a kid, I used to buy albums on cassette. They were precious; each $12 – $16 item (when new) was an entire night of experience. I’d lie on my bed letting the music (with my mono-speakered cassette player from RadioShack at first, then my Sony yellow Sports Walkman, then an actual stereo I bought from Sears) flow over me, and I’d stay very still. Listening to the music. Hearing all the lyrics, even the ones I had to make up in my own head.
When I started playing video games for real, back in, say, 2006 or 2007, I had a similar experience. Each tiny Game Cube disc was a watershed moment. I could only buy one at a time, at varying intervals.
As I moved into the Xbox 360 era and then purchased a PlayStation 3 (“It’s for my website, I promise! Tax-deductible!”), new games were still fairly far and in-between, downloadable and on-disc. Gears of War. Flower. Final Fantasy XIII. Each a unique, special moment.
Not so anymore.
Whether it’s my chosen career path as a games and technology journalist, or simply the overwhelming amount of gaming platforms and flood of actual games (or a combination of both!), I find myself bored.
It’s the same with music, these days. The unending utter buffet of choice and access for any music I can possibly want makes listening to music a less-impactful activity. It wasn’t until I got a record turntable to review that I realized I was being suffocated by choice. I’d much rather listen to one side of an LP than the non-stop playlist that is Rdio or Spotify.
Video games! They’re all over my iPhone, my iPad, my Vita, my 3DS. I can play games in HD on my television set from any number of different consoles; I can download free games every month on my PS4, my iPhone 6 Plus, my freakin’ Apple Watch.
What I find, though, is that most of my experience with gaming is flat, lately. There are less and less opportunities for that lustful joy that comes with WANTING something, but not actually having it.
I couldn’t care less about The Witcher 3. I bought Bloodborne; I got bloodBored. Destiny was an exercise in gosh-wow visuals with bland storytelling.
I get at least two pitches per day for games on mobile platforms. “Match-three with a twist,” a “role-playing game like you’ve never seen,” “a puzzler that will stump you for days (like who really wants that?),” and the like.
What do I still play? Vainglory, mostly. I haven’t found a console game I come back to much after the initial five or six hours; once they start recycling the gameplay, I’m done. I’m out. I’m…ugh. Too many games.
Indie games – there are so many of them–most of them goddamn clever! Commentary on our society! So retro! So hardcore!
I can’t be faffed. There’s too many of them. Ugh.
Too many games.