Gaming Burnout


Too Much Gaming?

Over the years I’ve seen gaming come and go from my life. I have periods where I game constantly during my down-time and it’s all I want to do. Every game that is released is the next thing I’m interested in moving to and I just cannot wait… the anticipation is so high for the good games.

On the other side of this interaction is the feeling of “bleh”. Nothing looks interesting, I start up a game and then turn it off within minutes because nothing keeps my interest. I end up forcing myself to play games but hate them or I re-try games that I’ve once played but never really enjoyed that much — like Final Fantasy XIV.

Come to think of it, MMORPGs are my game of choice when it comes to this feeling. I go back to Lineage 2, Tera, Rift, FFXIV, or any other MMORPG that I haven’t touched in years in hopes that it will repair the love I once had for this genre, yet it never does.

Time Spent

One of the things I struggle with is the time investment of games. Often times they take a lot of time — time that I could be using to focus on skills, interest, other hobbies, or my own personal development in attempts to move myself forward in the world. Due to this struggle I tend to feel guilt during the burnout period, guilt for the time I’ve wasted and thoughts of what my life would look like if games were not part of it start to creep in. I start to wonder… how much further along would I be had I just put the games down?

Have you ever felt this way or had these thoughts? If you have, it’s good to know you’re not the only one as I’ve never heard from my friends any similar experiences. While I’m sure burnout occurs, I don’t know to what extent it occurs for them.

Re-ignite The Spark

How do I put an end to this rotation when it comes about?

Mostly, I don’t know. I end up focusing heavily on other areas of my life for several weeks or potentially months at a time.

It turns out, for me, that spending so much time working on side interest and hobbies drives me to want to play games. I feel it a little bit and it just continues to build up as I work on other things eventually getting to a point where either a great game releases or I jump into something and don’t want to turn back from it.

This is what I would suggest. Find a new hobby or do something you’ve wanted to do for awhile but you’ve been putting off. The last time it happened for me I dove into creating some Excel spreadsheets for work that I had been thinking about for months. The more time I invested in working on it and developing the VBA code for the macros the more I wanted to break away from it and play some games to relax or get perspective. I find that helps too — stepping away from our tasks, especially creative ones, to game a little bit and help us process through the problems we’re encountering. Many times I’ll play a game for a bit and suddenly think about a work around or fix for something I was struggling with which leads to immediately ditching the game and getting right back to work!

That’s what somewhat works for me, at this stage of my life, but what works for you?