For the past five years I have been struggling to enjoy games. Games were easily my favorite medium of entertainment and always brought me some kind of joy. I grew up on PC and PS2, and then switched exclusively to console (Xbox 360 and PS3) in high school. I played all kinds of games from old school adventure games like Grim Fandango, Star Wars Jedi Academy, Superman Returns (a classic), and crazy pornographic flash games (I was really young and stupid).
What I’m trying to get at is the fact that I enjoyed most games, regardless of genre. But in 2012 after finishing Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I just started feeling very jaded about games and games culture. Despite this I continued playing them hoping the feeling would pass. For instance last year I played Sunset Overdrive because I remembered an article Justin McElroy wrote about it when he was in a similar headspace as me. While I enjoyed it, the game did nothing to rid my growing apathy towards games.
This past month I told myself I would play Mass Effect: Andromeda and Fallout 4, and depending on whether I enjoyed them or not, either move on from games or give them another chance. I chose these games because the original Mass Effect and Fallout 3 were some of the most formative gaming experiences I had.
Looking back I think the causes of my near retirement from games are clear now. On a personal level I think I was slowly, without realizing it, coming to terms with the fact that games (and art in general) don’t have to be either “great” or the “worst”. This kind of thinking was poisoning my ability to appreciate so much. Just to be clear I am not lowering my standards, and never will. I just understand now that you can learn a lot, and more importantly enjoy games that aren’t great, or even good.
Beyond my own problems, games culture is straight fucked up. My thoughts on this are not fully developed, but the whole gamergate shit really put me off games, especially as a black person. Knowing that a community you ride for and have considered yourself to be a part of, literally for as long as you can remember, does not fuck with you, made me just be like fuck you too!
Now I know that I shouldn’t, and will not, let a bunch of people get in the way of me and the shit I love. Wish they would try talk their shit to me in meatspace. Andromeda and Fallout 4 were both mediocre, but I actually enjoyed them, and kinda feel like games are ok, I still fuck with ‘em.
I wanna know about you though? Have you ever fallen out of love with games, and had that love rekindled? If so how, and why?