For the last 8 years, my primary hobby has been playing video games. It’s quite a standard hobby and covers a variety of different genres. One can’t really categorise gaming as a single entity – someone could enjoy playing Candy Crush on their phone, or have fun in the latest VR game. And they can all be referred to as a ‘gamer’.
In my case, after playing on PlayStation 2 as a child, I quickly upgraded to PC gaming. It’s played a huge part in my life – I met my partner online through gaming communities, which ultimately led me to move away from home. I’ve always found it a great way to have fun, and I’ve been guilty of playing a game for hours and hours at a time. While many people may watch television of an evening, I prefer to spend them playing a game of some sort. We don’t even have a TV licence.
However, in the last year or so, I’ve noticed that I’ve been less enthralled with video games overall. While I could easily have played through an entire campaign, or committed to plenty of multiplayer matches in one sitting, I now struggle to play games for more than two hours at a time.
This might sound like a lot, but for me it’s almost minimal. And it’s not like I always have something better to do with my time. Since we bought our first property, there is more housework to do than I’m used to – but it doesn’t take up an entire evening or weekend. In recent months, I’ll often play a game for an hour, then mindlessly browse the internet until it’s time for bed.
Therein lies the problem – I’m now left with empty time which doesn’t fulfil me at all. One could argue that playing video games is also a poor use of my time, and that may be true to an extent – but I enjoyed playing, and was able to make progress and be confident in my abilities. Now, around gaming I struggle to fill the hours in a similar way.
It’s difficult to gauge the reason for this change. I assumed I would always enjoy games as much as I used to, but that’s not the case. It may be due to the industry changing, or a lack of games I want to play – but plenty have been released since I started gaming less, and many of those would usually suit my tastes.
But when I sit down to play, I become fatigued after a short time. Rinse and repeat. I think that what concerns me somewhat about this change is that I didn’t undertake it voluntarily, and it’s probably the first time I’ve been aware that I have changed.
If it’s not obvious from the PS2 comment above, I’m under 25. I recognise that I will change, but it is strange to be sure of yourself as a person while simultaneously changing your opinion on a key part of your life. The consensus seems to be that once one has cleared their teens, they are essentially ‘done developing’ – both physically and as a person. Being faced with the fact that I’m nowhere near done yet is nerve-wracking, yet exciting.