How do you enjoy games?

I got kind of caught up in the GOTY hype this year and decided to make a top 10 list. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that I couldn’t come up with 10 games this year that I still felt really strongly about. I got to 8 and even a few of those are a stretch.
So I also decided to look into some games that came out this year that I’ve heard good things about and haven’t played. I’m taking a couple days off after New year’s eve, and I’m hoping to dig into them.

But here’s the problem:
I’m just not that excited about it. It’s a problem that’s been happening to me all year. I may get excited for a game, but after I play it for a few days (granted I may play for 6 hours a day) I hit a point where the game breaks for me, and I lose all interest. I loved Valkyria Chronicles 4 right up to the point where I didn’t, and now I can’t muster up any enthusiasm to touch it again, and I’m not even half way through.

And it’s happneing more and more with games before I even touch them. I’m looking at Ashen, Mutant Year Zero, and Disgaea 1 Complete, and Hob. I have 3 days to play whatever I want, but I can’t find the excitement.

So my question is this: How do you enjoy games? How do you get excited? What makes you want to finish a game? What makes you want to start a game? Help me enjoy my mini New Year vacation!


Not to presume too much, but based on what you’re describing, you just might be a little burnt out on games for the time being. That happens to me as well now and then, and I’ve learned to step away from games until the burnout passes. It can feel especially pronounced around GOTY, when playing games takes on a homework paradigm to keep up with discussion. My advice for your three days off; do something else you enjoy. Hang out with friends, catch up on tv/movies/books/music, whatever. Just do something that you want to do. Nothing kills enjoyment of time off by doing “homework” so don’t do it. Those games will still be there when you’re ready.


I totally get that novelty can really wear off. Lately, I find that the types of games I want to play have shifted. I can’t remember how long it’s been since I really had the patience for a straight-up JRPG. In the past year or so, initial investment started meaning a whole lot more to me (I’ll give Monster Hunter: World a shot… someday…) and I tend to prefer smaller games. When I do pick up longer ones I typically fall off before finishing them (God of War and Valkyria Chronicles 4, for example). For me, smaller experiences can be a nice way to keep up with or join discussions, but avoid 10+ hour commitments.

Also, I completely relate to the GOTY hype part of it. It’s made me really want to play a bunch of games that I skipped earlier! I think it’s fine to push yourself to tuck into something even if your excitement level is low, but make sure you bail if you find you’re not into it or not in the mood. This might just be me, but I definitely go from “I guess I’ll start this now” to “holy shit I can’t stop” every so often. And when I don’t, I just turn it off after half an hour.

Anyway, regardless of all that, also do what Navster said. When I’m tired of games, I turn to anime or my partner’s ever-growing comic book collection and it’s a nice change of pace. Or, I sit down and write about stuff that I’ve already played!

Hope something here helps :slight_smile:


I guess I’m just looking for new experiences. Things that I should love, given that their predecessors are in my top 5 all time, I’m not even getting half way through (Persona 5, Valkyria Chronicles 4). Remakes of games I loved aren’t holding me either (Burnout Paradise, Dark Souls, Lumines). Meanwhile, I couldn’t put Return of the Obra Dinn down because it’s like nothing I’ve ever played before.

Part of it could also be that those are longer games and I’m on call with my job 24/7 so I never feel like I can dig in for a 4 to 10 hour session like I used to, because I might get interrupted by work. And once I put something down it’s not likely to get picked up again.

The exception is FFXII. That’s a remake I couldn’t put down, but it probably helped that I hadn’t played it in 8 years and there was a x4 speed option for grinding and moving across the map.

ah, the Aged Gamer’s Dilemma

this is a common circumstance: you, a Gamer, love games, and enjoy the media around games culture, be it written or recorded, but you don’t find yourself playing (or particularly enjoying) games like you think you should. for me, and for many others who’ve described similar situations, the presumption of how much you ‘should’ enjoy games is based on how much you’ve enjoyed them in the past. now, you find your games experiences wanting, and you feel like something is broken. is it you? is it games? you love games, but do you maybe only love them in theory?

for me, (and from my anecdotal observation of others) this is just a consequence of growing older. experiences, responsibilities, and plain ol’ knowledge weigh on you, sometimes directly affecting your enjoyment (“i’m depressed”), and sometimes indirectly affecting it (“i don’t have time and any time i do have i don’t feel like spending it on games”).

the truth (which was weird to me) is that, right now in my life, i get more out of listening to or watching others play games than I do out of playing them myself, and as soon as I just owned that, I felt better about my interest in games. it’s not waning, it’s just changing. yeah, maybe I do like games more in theory now than I do in practice. but why? because they are interesting to think about, to dissect. it’s very literally like graduating from the halls of a contemporary art museum to the art criticism aisles of your library.

The GB boards are loaded with threads like this. For some, thinking about games is not what they come to games for, but for others, thinking about games is as much the point as playing them (maybe more!) You’re here, at Waypoint, so maybe you like thinking about games critically, too. That’s cool! It’s weird, and, on its face, maybe a little upsetting that you don’t get what you used to get out of playing games, but you like what you like, and it might behoove you to mull over what you get out of the games media you enjoy. I suspect it’s more than just the act of play - it’s why we play (oh hell ya waypoint tagline shout-out baby!!!)


This is all very important, and something I’m still completely adjusting to in myself. I spend a heck of a lot more time reading about games, and watching other people play games, than I do playing games nowadays. When I do play games, I more often find myself disappointed (usually in myself) than I do happy - I need to learn, for example, to stop buying platformers over the holidays, and then becoming deeply depressed about my inability to play them at all well - it’s probably signal that the games I’ve enjoyed most this year have all been closer to boardgames/tabletop games than “traditional video games” (Into The Breach, MTG:A and, from the start of the year, Opus Magnum).
I think it’s fine to change the way you interact with media, of any kind… but, yes, it does require some personal introspection to pull off sometimes.


So I spent a lot of time thinking about this over the weekend. Wondering if I was just burnt out. Because I honestly hadn’t even thought of that. It didn’t feel like the burnout I was used to.
So I also started thinking about what has changed for me in the last year and a half or so, and I think there are some things that have really changed the way I look at games.

  1. I’ve been reading a lot more books. The writing in books tends to be way way better than in games. I’ve also learned a lot more about writing. This makes it harder to relax and enjoy some of the writing in games. Example: I think that broadly speaking Valkyria Chronicles 4 has a great story. But that game also has SO MANY cutscenes, and so many of them are just… ok. There is a lot of so-so writing in that game that makes me hesitant to start a new chapter.

  2. I started reading Waypoint and watching videos about game design (GMTK, Design Doc). Just generally gaining new tools to analyze games. This has made me way more critical. Which I think is a good thing. But also, it makes me so much more aware of things I don’t like. And I have way less patience for it.

  3. I started a relationship with a cool nonbinary person. So I’ve been reading a lot more stuff about inclusivity and marginalization in different communities. I was already doing this (I stopped watching most anime years ago), but I really tripled down and made an active effort so I could better support my partner. So I’m also more aware of the way that Valkyria Chronicles frames all of the women and the way they tried to include a trans character in a way that most people liked but also felt kinda coy.

TLDR: In the last year I’ve gained a lot of tools with which I can be more critical of games, and I have found oh so many of them lacking upon analysis.


That is almost impossible for me to play if the game has bad graphics. I highly appreciate visual perfection of picture. I also like products with interesting unpredictable plot - they can make me play for all night without counting hours. That’s about what makes me continue.
About starting - I look through game forums and articles to find out games which are popular and the ones I may like according to their genres. Usually, I find interesting products, very rarely they disappoint me.
One more thing is playing process. I need something tasty to eat while I’m playing. Not junk food only, but also fruit or vegetable salad. Also, a comfortable chair and silent are required.

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