On pecking at games, having many on the go, and leaving things unfini

I have so many hangups when it comes to games that I don‘t have so much with other mediums, because as I think was said on the last episode of the podcast (the one with Gita): games are long and you can’t skim them. They also frequently get tons of sequels.

What is everyone else's relationship to things like not finishing games, playing the first hour(s) of many games just to taste-test them, dropping games either for good or for long stretches of time, and coming in in the middle of a series? Are these all, rather than normal, even "healthy" or beneficial ways to approach games; to in some way, I dunno, develop taste, understand different game design trends and genres you aren't familiar with and even just enjoy the medium?

I can think of two reasons why all of this stuff would make me feel **bad** (about my**self**!): losing my place in a game's narrative, and feeling like I didn't really play a game if I never finished it. The first just happens if a story is long enough. It happens in between seasons of TV shows. Some games are better at keeping you up to speed throughout their run, but it still just happens! Live with it, connrrr!!!!!!!!! The second one, though—what the heck, isn't that the same as feeling like I didn't play the game for real if I played on easy?

Should I just ***relax*** and embrace a messy media diet? Am I the only one like this?? (Someone please give me permission to c h i l l o u t . )

It's gotten late but I wanted to put these thoughts down and start a discussion real bad, to maybe soothe my soul.

@“connrrr”#p95046 please, please, you 100% have permission to chill out. there are so many more things in life that will stress you out anyway, video games oughtn't be one of them.

okay here is the post i wrote about this topic, from May 2021: https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/827-when-a-game-hits-the-point-of-diminishing-returns/14

this post killed that thread! but hopefully it won't kill this one! :O

I‘m comfortable ditching games that have been in some sort of bundle that I’ve got that I check out to see what it‘s like. I’m sad when I ditch games that I've been looking forward to playing but either am not feeling or turn out to be outright hostile to play - that sucks but there are other games out there.

My worst offence is to stare at a library of games and feel a debilitating level of choice-paralysis, eventually pick something, and then put it down after 20 minutes because I don't have the enthusiasm to be onboarded, and then that brief experience puts me off from giving it the time it deserves at a future date.

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@“connrrr”#p95046 The first just happens if a story is long enough. It happens in between seasons of TV shows. Some games are better at keeping you up to speed throughout their run, but it still just happens!

First thought off the top of my head is that this probably has a lot to do with just how self directed games are. Obviously it varies a lot, but it's really one of the defining traits of the medium that it requires at least some application of some degree of agency from the player to proceed, at all. You experience what has been directed, your agency is not required for it to commence as a media/entertainment experience. I been watching a lot of Video Essays lately so I can't remember who made the observation or what the context was, so I'm just gonna steal it wholecloth, but that one _Call of Duty_ truly does demand that you Press [ F ] to Pay Respects. If you refuse to apply your player agency to that and do not Press [ F ] to Pay Respects, or, perhaps, if you refuse to allow the game's acting cue to undermine your player agency because you conscientiously object to Pressing [ F ] to Pay Respects, the game effectively "ends" there, in an eternal limbo of you hovering around some dog bastard's funeral with silent gun guys standing at attention, for eternity.

This means then that the playing of videogames can be interfered upon by, say, interruptions in cognitive/executive functioning. Just gonna throw this out there, but, my game completion consistency went up _quite a lot_ after I got prescribed a daily stimulant to treat ADHD lmao. There are plenty of the kinds of games that take very, very little executive functioning, but they aren't the kinds of games I'm interested in, so if I'm having a bad day in the old cognitive respect because I didn't sleep much or I forgot to take my meds or I'm stressed, I'll often either struggle to initiate playing a game (even if I know for sure I want to play it), or even just feel unable to perform in the way that I want to. Case in point--my manna, my love, my life, my _Factorio,_ a game I can get lost in for entire days for weeks on end, I can't play it if I forgot to take my meds. My cousin who is also neurocool in a similar way has said the same thing, you gotta be in tip top mental shape and well rested to really get what is good to get outta that masterpiece.

In any case, as you can probably expect from me, I'd endeavor to obliterate any idea that there is somehow some kind of moral or character failing to not being able to finish games. I don't mean to project any of my experiences and perspectives on to you and suggest it might be something you can address, say, chemically, but I can reflect on when I rid myself of that sort of moral/character flaw view of not being able to finish games too. Getting rid of it was partially borne out of understanding that I was perceptive and I had strong critical faculties, so, if I didn't want to keep playing a game, well, it was probably something I was perceiving and experiencing in it and not really about me. If the game was, maybe not _better,_ but _designed more aligned to my preferences,_ it would probably captivate me more. I used to worry more about "not being able" to finish games, and yeah the Vyvanse helps that, but I also just came to accept that if my desire to play something vanishes and I don't feel some kind of way about finishing it past the point where I feel a desire to play it--either for bragging rights, or being able to give it the fairest shake critically as I can, or completing of a set of some kind like a series or franchise (for example I have finished all of the purely singleplayer mainline Dragon Quest games and I am glad I can say that), or just my own private satisfaction--it's just whatever! I just decide I'm done with it and move on, like I did recently with [Blasphemous.](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/506-the-thread-in-which-we-talk-about-the-videogames-we-are-currently-playing/3442) I felt I'd seen everything I'd wanted to see, and the end-game bosses were too hard in a way I didn't feel like committing to. Looking back now after I've beaten _God of War Ragnarök,_ I feel no desire to go back and correct the sin of not having finished it. I literally played like 98% of it even if I didn't roll credits, and I might have overlooked some of its most goodest content. But oh well.

I feel like having a completionist mindset about videogames is almost setting yourself up for a bad time, at least in my experience. I try not to get hung up on whether I‘ve finished a game or not and attempt to keep my focus on the good (or bad) time I’ve had with it. I honestly can‘t remember the last game I finished and I’m okay with that. Also permission to chill granted. Generally if something is causing you undue stress its probably in your best interests to take a step back and re-evaluate what you enjoy about said thing. Hope any of this is helpful to you.

Perhaps if any sort of temporally dependent, structurally coherent medium (as in, it‘s something you “finish” by “experiencing it” over “time,” and they are things with “structures” that define usually some kinda “beginning” and some kinda “end”) will allow you to say that you “experienced” them wholly without experiencing every part of it, it would probably be videogames. Because unlike, say, most music, or books, or movies, most videogames do have definite beginnings, almost none of them have definite middles, and a good amount of them don’t have definite endings either.

Videogames have varying middles because of that player agency thing we were talking about earlier. Most games allow for, if not even base themselves upon, having wildly fluctuating forms and especially lengths of internal experiential delivery. Any individual game of _Tetris_ for example has a definite beginning, and a definite end, but the entire point of it is that the agency of the player experiencing its middle through a generative process based on game state formations created out of player choice of placing blocks and the pattern by which blocks are sequenced, and the extension of length of the middle is what defines success in play.

And, actually, I lied, a game of _Tetris_ does not have a definite end. Have you _played Tetris_ if you press start to begin, place some blocks, then get a Game Over? Or have you only _played Tetris_ if you can get up to the highest speed of pieces falling? Do you need to sustain that for a certain length of time? Do you need to hit a certain score amount to have _played Tetris?_ Do you need to initiate a kill screen? Do modern versions of _Tetris_ make "playing" or "finishing _Tetris_ impossible because you can't get a kill screen?

The uncertain experiential structure of videogames should be at least one reason why you can say to have "played" one even if you did not, say, do everything in it, or roll credits, or whatever. Defining that kind of thing is good for speedrunning and not much else. A movie requires that you watch at least most of it in sequential order to have "watched" it because that's just how movies are experientially and temporally. They are (mostly) linear and a moment-to-moment linear sequence of moving images and sounds are what make it a movie. In a book you gotta read every sentence in order for it to make sense--not temporally the same, but it's a medium that is strictly linear, in a way that makes linearity in games feel like comparing them makes no sense.

The most linear videogames still require one to authour the shape of one's experience with it in a way that means, at the very least, it has been "played" when the gamut of most interactive experiences have been experienced, even if it has not been "finished," based on how non-static, even improvisational in a way, they really are. It's different from saying whether or not you've "read" a Choose Your Own Adventure novel if you only get to an ending where you die. Videogames kind of allow you to say that, to pretend we're talking about books and exaggerate a bit, you've read a Choose Your Own Adventre novel even if you intentionally read sentences right to left in an English book and ignore the directions to turn to specific pages.

My only real firm belief about game design is

_Games should not be longer than 30 minutes_

Michael Brough once said that your game should never need a larger possibility space than Go. Likewise I feel you should never need more time to tell your story than _La Jetée_

If a game takes longer than that I might humor it, but I certainly feel no obligation to finish it.

Chill out connrrr! Aggressively!!!

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I‘m in and out of this boat all the time, and I don’t think it really helps that I keep a written list of all the things I‘m currently playing, plus a list of things I’m “in the middle of” but which are “on hold” and which I “could finish, one day, maybe”; eventually these spill over into my written list of “need to restart, if I play this again, which I will, or I could, and maybe I should? One day, maybe.”

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I got sidetracked just now by a feeling of intense déjà vu that I‘d already written about how I got like 25 hours into Okami before dropping it, and forget what I was going to say. Have I “really” played Okami? I was like 14 then anyway. I don’t think about it. Do I have a properly holistic view of the game-ography of Hideki Kamiya if I haven't finished Okami? No, but who cares.

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Sometimes this weird dumb pressure to finish games is socially imposed. You‘re “not allowed” to talk about a game unless you’ve finished it (although no one is forcing me to believe people who make this claim… is it socially imposed? am I doing this to myself?). That's fair enough I guess but only matters when determining who has however much authority to speak on what the content of a game is. You can always talk about your experience, whatever it is.

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Your experience with something exists regardless of how long it was or how “deep.” If the experience isn‘t rewarding, why prolong it? To push the boundaries of your taste? To be better informed? For social capital? For a sense of closure? Because you’ll feel like you wasted 30 invested hours if you don‘t finish it? Don’t force yourself to play a whole list of games in release order if you're just interested in the 9th one. :wink:

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I got two hours into Mundaun and had a good time with those two hours but now it‘s sitting their installed on my computer and I don’t want to finish it (stealth/combat is bad and there‘s more of it to come). "But it’s only a few more hours, just finish it." NO!

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I enjoy long games to be sure but I‘m trying to get better about knowing when to quit them. The other day I decided to shelve a book, on purpose, at 90 pages in, with no intention of ever finishing it. I haven’t done that in years, it felt great.

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Nailing this to the door of my post

[upl-image-preview url=https://i.imgur.com/UXWMVJM.png]


I‘ve definitely had game’s drop kick my self worth when I didn‘t finish them. The two that come to mind are Hollow Knight and Bloodborne. I adore both of those games, but I feel like a poser cause I never got the credit scroll. It doesn’t help that one of my only IRL gaming homies is one of those people that is infuriatingly self driven and beats every game, is in incredible physical condition, is an amazing parent to two kids, and works as a nurse. Whenever I mention that I didn‘t finish a game he’ll eventually say something like: Man, you GOTTA beat it, it‘s SO good! I platinum’d it! making me feel like a foot in a sock full of shit. I know that‘s not what he’s trying to do, but dang, does it sting.

BUT! Recently I‘ve come to a philosophy on gaming that kinda similar to what Tracy said.

I would take Games should not be longer than 30 minutes and tweak it to Players should not go further than 30 minutes without accomplishing something of worth. If I can sit down with a video game and feel like I got something out of it in an hour play session, I know I can beat that game. If that changes while the game goes on, then I don’t feel bad putting it down.

I beat _Elden Ring_ this year. That was shocking to me; it's probably the longest I've ever spent playing a single player narrative game to it's conclusion (I clocked around 106 hours). _ER_ dripped fed me things that made me want to keep playing: I found a cool new sword, I found a boss/dungeon/area that is new and exciting, an NPC shows up and gives me one of those Fromsoftian vague quests, etc.
I put in 106 hours, but felt accomplished every 20-30 minutes.
On the flip side, incredibly strong (and handsome to boot) nurse friend has always gone on about how much he loves _Persona 5_ and how I should play it. I knew it was a long game, but I just beat ELDEN RING, I figured I could handle it. However, P5 rarely gives me the sense of accomplishment. I didn't feel like I got something satisfactory out of that game more than 4 or 5 times in the 20+ hours I dumped into it. So I dropped it, and you know what? I FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT DAMMIT.

Value your time, value your opinion. It's ok to not like something, it's ok to like something, but acknowledge that it's not satisfying you in the want you want it to and move on to something else.

I used to get reeeeaaaalllly uptight about not finishing games, and then I decided that it was only really important that I play a game until it stops being fun or interesting, but I sometimes think I‘ve taken it too far, and I’m just jumping from game to game and not finishing anything. I don‘t really know what the deal is with me, but I also think I feel so conflicted about finishing games because I was conditioned as a kid to finish every game I had multiple times because once I spent my games money, it was spent, and I needed to live with whatever game I had bought, no matter how little I liked it. But I also think it’s worth mentioning that A) games are much longer than they used to be, sometimes ridiculously so, and B) a lot of games can't stick their landing, and end up getting lousy toward the end (a ton of PS2 era games have this problem).


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@“Karasu”#p95126 I was conditioned as a kid to finish every game I had multiple times because once I spent my games money, it was spent, and I needed to live with whatever game I had bought, no matter how little I liked it.

Turns out I was on a similar bent on this very day six years ago:

[upl-image-preview url=https://i.imgur.com/VGAYns0.png]

I've probably progressed more from this position, but, yeah, I'm here for the theory that the way one accesses games as a child can be a factor to consider, here.

EDIT: Also I don't think it was my intent but lmao at describing my childhood as "long." I guess six years ago I had still been a child about as long as I hadn't been!

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@“captain”#p95121 Nailing this to the door of my post

On the other hand can you really trust a guy who hasn't beaten _Final Fantasy X??_ (special gaagaagiins teasing)

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@“captain”#p95121 If the experience isn’t rewarding, why prolong it? To push the boundaries of your taste? To be better informed? For social capital? For a sense of closure? Because you’ll feel like you wasted 30 invested hours if you don’t finish it?

Perhaps I'm more agnostic on this point than others, but perhaps it's also worth saying that while of course these motivations are indeed mostly socially constructed even if they are ultimately completely self enforced, and realizing and accepting that they are socially constructed may be a way for someone to consciously choose to not self enforce them, I think it's also fair to say just because they're socially constructed doesn't mean there's some kind of special value or meaning to rejecting them just for being socially constructed.

I think the important action there is to be making conscious and self/socially aware choices about why we are playing games and why we are feeling compelled to finish them. The existence of something like a media franchise or series, for instance, is also itself socially constructed. _Dragon Quest_ persists as a series, well, because it's a great way to save money on advertising, and consistent gameplay rules and mechanics. I knew that in desiring to have played every mainline, purely singleplayer _Dragon Quest_ game, I was doing it because of such reasons as cultural cachet, personal closure, a feeling of completion, and being able to speak about the series with a high amount of awareness.

...also because Tim Rogers, who I ended up following because of his _Dragon Quest XI_ reviews on Kotako.com, told me that I _didn't need to have played all of them to play_ Dragon Quest XI _first._ I'll be the judge of that, thanks! And I was correct! I really think that the more _Dragon Quest_ games I played, the more I loved each one, and by the time I was beating _Dragon Quest XI,_ I felt I could find just so much to love about it based on my past experiences.

At any rate, all of those reasons are socially constructed if for no other reason than _Dragon Quest_ itself is socially constructed, but I still felt good about having done that even though I knew it was absurd. Sidenote but my dark secret is that _Dragon Quest V_ is actually my _least_ favourite pre-modern one. That was one I actually even _restarted,_ because I somehow lost my initial save file after putting it down like 3/4s of the way through or so. Sorry, the story is incredibly ambitious for 1992, but I don't like the monster taming elements and I don't like how often it switches party members in and out, without giving much indication of how permanent that is! But in any case that was I think the main one where I felt I was _somewhat_ reluctantly giving in to the absurdity of the endeavor. But I'm still glad that when I can say I've played every mainline singleplayer _Dragon Quest_ game, it doesn't require the asterisk that I didn't actually finish one because it got boring to me. Well, besides the "purely singleplayer" asterisk but those two exceptions are on Squeenix, not me. Besides, I didn't have much else to do on the train.

And, perhaps we should never forget why we call them "games" and view them as things we "play." Even games we play alone have had social meaning and value since time immemorial. The act of play is and always has been both for funzies, relaxation, to feel togetherness, healthy competition, and just pure indulgence, but also for serious reasons, learning, enrichment, stretching one's limits and perspectives, high stakes competition, and while for something like Mesoamerican Ball Game it could be for life or death, it of course still is because if you die in the game you die in real life. But more seriously, I think the idea that we're even on this forum in the first place is that even within the context of capitalist alienation and the dissolution of largescale social existence, where we're meant to experience a lot of these videogames as totally insular experiences we enjoy in our rental homes in the dark staring zombie-eyed into a flashing light box, we, that being the forum community, still feel an enormous need to discuss 'em, to complete that perhaps conspicuously missing social element to games and play.

I forgot what that has to do with not finishing games.

@“connrrr”#p95046 i have so many games i haven‘t played, it can feel like a burden. not just games, but movies i haven’t watched and books i haven‘t read. it’s like, i didn‘t go out looking for all this shit, it came looking for me, being all too cheap to resist. but then i think of umberto eco’s assertion that unread books are more valuable than books you've read, and i feel a little better about it.

i went looking for the quote from eco where he asserted that. he probably did it multiple times, but i was thinking of a line from _the mysterious flame of queen loana_. i couldn't find the quote, but i did find an excerpt from nassim taleb's black swan book where he talks about eco's antilibrary:

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We tend to treat our knowledge as personal property to be protected and defended. It is an ornament that allows us to rise in the pecking order.

i think that's right, there is that tendency. there's a conflict between wanting to be a person who has _played_ a game (or read a book, or whatever) and wanting to play a game. i usually get a game because i want to play it, and i usually feel bad about not playing it because i want to _want to_ play it.

but there's another thing going on too: i've got, let's call it eight broad categories of things i do in a day, and one or two of them take the bulk of my time. i'm spread too thin. i know that, given i'm spread too thin, i would feel better about things if i just embraced a realistic view what i can fit in a day, including time to just chill... but i don't wanna and no one can make me. :P

There is less of a completionist mindset for me to get over, and more the hurdle of someone who loves and works in media, who wants to absorb so much of it, who tells himself that one day he will play all those Sword and Fairy games or whatever. I'm not sure how this pairs with someone who also enjoys curating digital media collections, but it leaves a lot of unfinished or unstarted media, particularly games. However, my short answer in a thread of much smarter more thorough answers is: I have very much become a pecker in recent years

And that's OK. Genuinely, you might have a series of frankly silly mental hurdles to get over (speaking of myself), but the truth is -- I think -- that it's better to experience a slice of a work, a taste of a work, be it an episode of a TV show in a series that you'll never finish or the first few hours of a game, than it is to not touch that work at all. Especially if you haven't touched it because you have choice paralysis or you're waiting to finish Final Fantasies one through fifteen before you play the new one. Be a game toucher instead. That way, you're participating in the culture, you're collecting a range of experiences. Even with just a taste, or playing until you don't want to play or until something else catches your interest more strongly, you very often have seen enough that you understand the gist of the work and the basics of how it struck you. You can participate in the conversation, you're becoming more media literate. Touch games.

[upl-image-preview url=https://i.imgur.com/vtf7XeN.png]

(Related, pecking at games via croozing full libraries on an emulator is a wholly wonderful experience. You ain't finishing those games, but I'd disagree with anyone who says that it's not enriching)

I've played probably less than 1% of the games discussed on this forum, and generally play at most 3-4 games a year, finishing maybe one or two, and yet I still feel that I can come on here and talk with all of you, share my experiences, learn from all of your experiences, and generally contribute to the forum and feel the benefits of all the discussion on here.

I don't think breadth of knowledge is all that important, as long as one is thoughtful. You can learn everything about the entire universe from one book, movie, or game, or without reading a single book, watching a single movie, or playing a single video game. I could talk about video games with someone who has played exactly one video game, and someone who has played 10,000, and learn from each conversation

So, in that way, I don't concern myself too much with finishing things or allocating my time to keep up with anything. My main hobby is reading books, and I write about books and have even started a podcast about books, and there's plenty popular and influential books that I haven't read, and plenty that I've started and found that I didn't have much interest in. However, I do feel that I've developed the ability to think and talk about books in some depth, and explore aspects that are sometimes not obvious.

I do go on this forum sometimes and see a lot of games that people have played that seem really interesting, that I might enjoy playing, so I write them down and then think I'll get to them eventually. A lot of them I end up realizing that I enjoyed reading about them more than I enjoy playing them. Some of them, I like the feel for a few hours, and then lose interest. I played one hour of Persona 2: Innocent Sin, and I thought it looked really cool, but the mechanics alienated me. I still consider myself to have played Persona 2: Innocent Sin, and if someone asked me about it, I'd say that I thought the style was very cool, and I liked the way the 3d camera interacted with the 2d character sprites.

In my head, I have a version of Persona 2: Innocent Sin that is built off my small experience with it, and I still think about that imaginary game quite often, and maybe it will inspire novels or what-not that I write in the future. Who knows! But that's something that's there in my head now. And there are a lot of games that, in my experience, are much more interesting in my imagination than they are in actuality, and so maybe it's best to keep them there.

I am quite isolated from the general video game discussion community, or really the discussion community for anything except strange ideas and old books, so perhaps I don't feel the pressure that exists in those spaces. It's probably easier for me to chill out because of this.

But I think we're all pretty chilled out here. There are people here who only play weird old games that no one has ever heard of, people who only play new games, people who play an eclectic mix of the two, people like me who don't really play games, people who play a particular genre to the exclusion of all else, etc, etc. We're all here to chill out and hang out, and all this variety is what makes the place so wonderful. There is no standard anyone is being held to, except the standards we impose on ourselves.

Very good posts in here. Thank you, all!

@"whatsarobot"#p95052 I like your whisky-to-IPAs pipeline analogy. It's like exploring any field of interest I guess, you can't be everywhere at once. You didn't give my thread the touch of death!!

@"LeFish"#p95053 a classic problem. I have full romsets in OpenEmu and on my DE10-nano but in smaller storage places like on my 3DS I keep the library only to what I intend to play exactly to avoid choice paralysis, but I actually think I should browse random games I've never heard of before more often. Maybe it helps to go in expecting everything you find to be awful?

@"Gaagaagiins"#p95057 I don't seem to have anything thoughtful to say, but I wrote my life story out twice before re-reading this part

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I don’t mean to project any of my experiences and perspectives on to you and suggest it might be something you can address, say, chemically

and I just want it to be known that I put in all that effort, even if it didn't turn out to be relevant. Witness me!!!!

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@“captain”#p95121 I don’t think it really helps that I keep a written list of all the things I’m currently playing

You don't? I was actually thinking, keeping track of what I've played for a meaningful amount of time could be a great resource if I treated it like a reminder of what I have to return to anytime I'm wondering what I could be playing. I'd been doing just that most recently with television shows. I treat [the big thread](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/506-the-thread-in-which-we-talk-about-the-videogames-we-are-currently-playing/3587) like a journal, and I guess it is a communal one, but it's not ideal for my own play history.

I picked up an (Inuyasha) hobonichi journal and now I'm thinking it could be a great place to jot down a little about the games I've enjoyed in the coming year!


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I'm developing some new outlooks thanks to this thread. I think sampling a little of many games can be fun and it's own thing. I'm starting to wonder if big breaks in a playthrough don't automatically ruin my enjoyment of a game (I had huge breaks during Pokémon Platinum and still enjoyed the hell out of it) and I wonder if dedicating however many consecutive days it takes to complete a game even enhances my enjoyment at all—maybe all it does is truncate the amount of time I get to hang out in the game's world. Long and short: if I think a game is good then I'm just going to enjoy it no matter what. Thank you for coming to my ted talk etc.

I think I have a problem dropping games I'm not enjoying and I'm going to need to introspect on that more.

Most of the times I put down a game and don't come back for a while it's due to distractions or mood (usually one problem causes the other). I haven't been feeling all that great a lot of the time the past few months. I'd like to meet cool new people but that's always difficult. I'd like for sharing and playing video games to be a more in-person social activity for me. That's just going to take time and work to address.

Psychotherapy in this country is $$$ so thanks for giving me a space to work through some stuff.

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@“connrrr”#p95219 Witness me!!!

# [color=silver]**_We will ride eternal, shiny and chrome!!!_**[/color]

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@“connrrr”#p95219 I don’t seem to have anything thoughtful to say

You say this, on your own thoughtful post, then say thoughtful things just below it... what's the truth??

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@“connrrr”#p95219 I wrote my life story out twice

Just saying, and I hope this isn't overly forward or intrusive to talk about, _and_ if I haven't misinterpreted anything here, if you've perhaps retained some stuff in drafts or on a notepad anywhere, or would, like, write it out again... we could always also have a thread devoted to the overarching discussion of the wide world of Brain Cool, if you'd want that to be a thing. I recall that goonbag specifically desired such a thread to exist, when they were talking about their desire to pursue an assessment for autism as an adult. I have long maintained that Insert Credit is, like, glaringly, _filthily_ obviously a Distinctly Brain Cool Friendly Environment, and, it's like, _preeetty_ clear we're at the very least Disproportionately Brain Cool To The General Population, over here. Which I, of course, say with all the love, but more importantly, all the pride in my heart.

And just for a tangentially related PSA to anyone who might be reading this, do know the prescription medication Concerta has had a generic available for a while. Vyvanse's patent is expiring next year too I think. My partner got prescribed it after a fairly uncomplicated, almost informed consent-esque process via a freaking Planned Parenthood (although her healthcare situation as an undocumented immigrant was perhaps not universal) that did not require more than getting referred by her primary care physician at Planned Parenthood and _one_ conversation with a psychologist, _also_ at Planned Parenthood.

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@“connrrr”#p95219 Most of the times I put down a game and don’t come back for a while it’s due to distractions or mood (usually one problem causes the other). I haven’t been feeling all that great a lot of the time the past few months.

JUST putting it out there but I think you're a funny, vivacious, insightful, generous, and genuine presence on here. Remember, I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together.

I love this subject a lot because it one that I constantly grapple with myself.

I don't think I've finished very many games, and I'm okay with that. I used to feel really guilty when I'd leave a game unfinished, but lately I find myself revisiting a game I had left sitting and really enjoying it the second time around and realizing that maybe the timing wasn't quite right. I think I've touched on this in another thread, and it's helped my anxiety about impulsing buying games and feeling like I need to get into them immediately.

Bottom line, there's just so little time in this world to do everything we want to do ever, so I choose to prioritize if I'm having fun and feeling good when I play a game. If I realize I'm not having fun, I won't bother.

For instance, I love the Dark Souls series. I've played and beat them all to death with the exception of Bloodborne and Sekiro. Those two games depart from the core Souls gameplay so much that I don't really find them all that enjoyable. I've tried numerous times to find the fun in them and just can't. However, my two friends IRL that enjoy Souls games with me love those entries the best and are constantly pressuring me to beat them. But I'm kinda stubborn about that and I'm constantly rebutting that I don't _have_ to like a game, even if I really really want to.

I also really like what @KingTubb touched on about feeling a sense of accomplishment in 30 minutes or less. I really enjoy retro and arcade style games for this reason, you don't have to dedicate a huge amount of time to make progress in a game. Often times when I'm stressed out in real life, I find myself gravitating to quick bursts of gaming with arcade style games that don't let you save or have a "high score" style of gameplay. This assuages that anxiety about committing to a game because I can just quit after a few rounds and feel like I did something.

So yeah, don't fret if you're suddenly just not feeling it anymore. Maybe you will later, or maybe it's just really not for you.