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Upgrades Entertainment Games

Losing Interest In Games - A Natural Progression? 320

Posted by simoniker
from the near-death-experience dept.
MotherInferior writes "I'm 27, soon to be 28. I used to fiend over the newest games and eagerly play whatever I could get my hands on. Team Fortress Classic, Civilization, WarCraft, these were all games that I could literally lose myself for days in. I still drool over the newest games at Best Buy, but now that I actually have the money to buy them, I find myself saying, 'Nah, I'll just play what I've got,' or 'Y'know, I'd rather design my own game then play someone else's.' Even still, I don't really play the games I have. What's up with that? I'm sure my mom would sagely say (with some satisfaction in her voice), 'Wellll, you're just growing up...' Am I not as capable of having fun as I once was, or what? Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy gaming, but I can tell there's some kind of trend happening. Will there be gaming Viagra in my future, I wonder?"
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Losing Interest In Games - A Natural Progression?

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  • by Gyler St. James (637482) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @08:19AM (#8303481)
    I feel like my gaming glory days are behind me. I see all the latest games that I *want* to play, but either I can't bring myself to play (let alone buy) or I find something else more important to do (like programming). I think it's just age. I've heard from others though that gamers that turn about 40ish seem to pickup gaming again (assuming their spouse, if they have one, let's them).
    • Oh yeah. Here's sage advice from the worse movie in the world: "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things."
      • by Yokaze (70883) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @09:03AM (#8303659)
        > Here's sage advice from the worse movie in the world

        The bible has now become a movie?
        • by Hadean (32319) <hadean.dragon+slashdot @ g m a i l .com> on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @10:02AM (#8304055)
          Sadly, I think he/she was quoting Hackers [imdb.com], not realizing (or remembering the full scene in the movie) that the actual quote is from the Bible. The scene has various students writing quotes on the blackboard:

          Cereal Killer: When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things. What? It's Corinthians one, chapter thirteen verse eleven. Duh!


          (Personally, I think the movie is fun to watch...)
          • Actually he wrote an OZZY quote on the blackboard "of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most" the quote you are refering to is later in the movie in zero's bedroom.
            • by christopherfinke (608750) <chris@efinke.com> on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @01:23PM (#8306079) Homepage Journal
              Ozzy? Then wouldn't the quote be "Ommm d*** blke grmble lst I misb emy f***ing mumble grumble SHARON! thme mumblst..."
      • ... but when I became a man, I put away childish things
        until I saw the Red Green [redgreen.com] show.

        Seriously, kid: you think you have problems now, wait until you have kids of your own. You won't have time for sleep, let alone games.

    • by torpor (458) <ibisum AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @10:46AM (#8304432) Homepage Journal
      I used to be an avid gamer, but since I 'grew up' (left the 20's, so to speak) I've found that its just not worth it.

      All that harping about how much time I was wasting in front of a computer, essentially producing nothing of any value whatsoever, has sort of accumulated, and now the utter waste of life that video gaming actually is has hit me.

      Whatever, if you're having fun, you're having fun... but it doesn't take long until you start to realize that using a computer for video games is little more than wanking. And, everyone knows that the energy you use for that is usually better spent elsewhere ... ;)

      Just get over it, is my advice. You don't have to be a gamer to enjoy life. You can enjoy life without getting involved in any 'virtual realities', and if you're feeling that, then go with it ... your life will get better as a result of not playing video games as a habit ...
      • by zatz (37585) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @12:10PM (#8305247) Homepage
        So what you are saying is that playing video games can prevent prostate cancer?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Doing anything at all is wanking. Everyone dies in the end and all works fade away.

        When Sol dies in 20 billion years, what could you possibly have done in your life that will matter then? When the last of the Milky Way is being crushed into a supermassive black hole quadrillions of years from now of what use will any of your life have been?
        • Doing anything at all is wanking. Everyone dies in the end and all works fade away.

          All the more reason to wipe your save-game states and write an opus instead. Maybe someone will read them...

          Humans are a lot more fun than video games. When you do something in 20 minutes of your life for a human being, whatever it is, its far more rewarding than when you do something to a rambuffer designed to keep you interested for hours and hours on end with little or no social interaction whatsoever ...

          My solution
      • by Schemat1c (464768) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @05:15PM (#8309137) Homepage
        It's been the oposite for me. I'm just turning 39 and I've loved video games since my Dad's friend showed us his amazing pong set back in the 70's. What I find myself losing interest in is passive entertainment such as TV and movies. I just get too bored just sitting there and not being involved. Unless it's an exceptional story or is actually teaching me something(which is almost never).

        Besides I don't think playing video games is wasting your time. You are using your mind in new and creative ways, that can't be a complete waste. There are people that go to extremes and neglect other important parts of their life, but that goes with anything. I know people who have done that with cars, work, food, drugs, etc. As long as you keep a balance in your life it should be a positive thing.
    • by Decaffeinated Jedi (648571) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @12:17PM (#8305321) Homepage Journal
      I thought I might have outgrown games in recent years, but it turns out that my tastes had simply changed and I needed to find the right games. For instance, from the age of 10 to around 20, I couldn't get enough of the adventure genre. I played and loved just about anything that Sierra and LucasArts released. Heck, I webmaster a site [wiw.org] dedicated to the Space Quest series. Around 1997 or 1998, though, I found that adventure games just couldn't hold my interest anymore. The puzzle-solving dynamic just wasn't particularly interesting to me, and the stories (by and large) seemed less appealing.

      After a brief period of time spent with shooters like Quake and Unreal Tournament and real-time strategy games like Warcraft, I more or less resolved myself to the fact that I had outgrown gaming. The genres I had loved just weren't that fun anymore. Then, a few years later, I began to discover two genres that really revitalized my interest -- genres that hadn't really interested me in the past. These were stealth-based first-person sneakers like Thief and No One Lives Forever and good old-fashioned RPGs. Now, while I still don't find myself all that interested in adventure games, I still enjoy gaming in new genres.

      If you feel like games just aren't that fun anymore, try something a bit out-of-the-ordinary. You might be pleasantly surprised.

  • by ObviousGuy (578567) <ObviousGuy@hotmail.com> on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @08:20AM (#8303482) Homepage Journal
    One other aspect of growing up, besides losing interest in childish things, is moving out on your own. Preferably somewhere where your mom won't be able to give you sage advice so easily.
    • Are you sure?
      Have you read the guy's nickname?
      oh wait! I'm writing to obvious guy who obviously didnt.
    • by jc42 (318812)
      Yeah; I recall back in the 60's, when I was the undisputed chess champ in my high-school crowd. After a while that started to get old. I mean, you can either become a pro chess player, one of the worst jobs in the world, or you can move on to something else. I did the latter.

      Actually, I started playing the piano a lot. The second-worst job in the world. Now, several instruments later, and with pianos transformed into a zillion descendant instruments, it still hasn't grown old.

      But I also became a compu
  • by Proud like a god (656928) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @08:22AM (#8303487) Homepage
    I dont think your age has much to do with your disillusion, the more recent games just arent as innovative. Genres are already formed from the ground breaking classics, and now it's just a race for the best graphics.
    • by TwistedGreen (80055) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {neergdetsiwt}> on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @08:45AM (#8303563)
      Actually, I had a discussion on this topic with my brother the other day. It seems that the real advancements in gaming come only every few years... which coincides with the release dates for the established and experienced game companies like Id and Epic and Blizzard. These are the people who actually know what they're doing, while the rest just remake existing games with better graphics or a slightly different plot. It's rare to have a new revolutionary game company arise out of the blue. There aren't very many of these companies, and they can't be releasing new games every day. Thus, you have only sparse releases of good games which lesser companies will models in the years to come.

      Unfortunately, many of the innovative game companies of old (Bullfrog, Sierra, Psygnosis...) are all but dead. Their hollowed-out carcasses have been commandeered by money-grubbing shareholders simply using their brand to try to absorb as much money as possible. None of the original talent on which the company was built remains. It's sad, really, but new talent will eventually arise.
      • by PainKilleR-CE (597083) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @09:23AM (#8303799)
        It seems that the real advancements in gaming come only every few years... which coincides with the release dates for the established and experienced game companies like Id and Epic and Blizzard. [...] Unfortunately, many of the innovative game companies of old (Bullfrog, Sierra, Psygnosis...) are all but dead.

        Look at the companies you mention as the current innovators, and then look at their titles over the past few years. Id: Doom, Doom 2, Quake, Q2, Q3, now Doom 3. Epic: UT, UT2k3, now UT2k4. Blizzard: Diablo 2, WarCraft 3.

        These companies have succumbed to the lure of money as well. Instead of innovating, they let others do it, and then simply evolve. The UT line is trying to follow the sports-game model of yearly releases with modest improvements. Id has turned into a factory for new game engines, with other companies like Valve putting those engines to use to create the games people seem to enjoy (though Valve is creating their own engine now), and with Half-Life's success id has decided to build a more story-based game, reverting to the Doom label (and taking quite a bit of lead from the survival horror genre popular on consoles). Blizzard's Diablo 2 was an evolution of Diablo, which manages to be the only title of it's kind that really holds up well in the market. WarCraft 3 was a move in a direction that many others had taken, in a slightly different way, not only moving to 3D but to smaller numbers of units with hero units at the center (an idea used by many other RTS games earlier, but the smaller numbers of units can also be attributed to the limitations of Blizzard's 3D engines).

        None of the original talent on which the company was built remains. It's sad, really, but new talent will eventually arise.

        This is the real truth of the matter. Eventually some relatively unknown company will come forth to take the place of id, Epic, and Blizzard. After all, id and Epic came out of the shareware scene and Blizzard was a console developer in their early years. Eventually someone will come seemingly out of nowhere to take the top of the pile in the PC game development world, and more than likely when that happens it'll be after releasing numerous moderately successful games just as it was with these three companies.
        • by TwistedGreen (80055) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {neergdetsiwt}> on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @09:52AM (#8303968)
          It's true that Id, Epic, and Blizzard have all been refining and refining their original ideas: Doom, Warcraft, Unreal. UT2k4 is a refinement of UT2k3, which is a refinement of UT, etc. But despite this recycling of brands, I don't think that discounts their talent or creativity. They are the only ones who are actually doing it right, while all of the knock-offs try to recreate their success and do it poorly. These games are wildly popular, which is a big part of the equation; can you call a game 'good' if nobody plays it?

          UT2k4 is a great FPS, and introduces a great blend of genres with a nice mix of new ideas and old but proven features. Doom III should be the same, recapturing what the original Doom once did in its tension and atmosphere. These staple game franchises only get better with age; after all, just how much can you improve on perfection? And their place in the market is clear: they are the founding pillars of the industry around which the lesser visionaries swarm for inspiration. They will eventually fall like all things must, but new pillars will arise and we will again witness the same structure: the initial captivation, the continuous refinement, then eventual exhaustion. But their mark on gaming will never fade.
          • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @02:54PM (#8307208)
            > can you call a game 'good' if nobody plays it?

            Good != POPULAR.

            If *you* had fun playing a game, it was good. PERIOD.

            I had a co-worker who played Evercrack. I couldn't stand the game, due to the mechanics. After wasting a few years playing it, he finally realized it wasn't a "good" game, due to it's game mechanics. I told him, "If you had fun playing it, it was a GOOD game [for you], else why did you enjoy playing it for so long?!"

            IAAGP&D (I Am A Game Programmer and Designer)
      • by *weasel (174362) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @09:34AM (#8303860)
        Personally I think 'advancements' and 'id, epic, and blizzard' should only be used in the context of graphical advancements.

        Yes, Warcraft was a little rough around the edges, and Warcraft II polished that up. But what did War3 give us? heros? A mechanism introduced essentially in the war2 expansion and starcraft?

        Diablo was a refreshing change of pace from the RPG-stale early 90s - but what was Diablo2 and what took them so long? Sure, it was fun like the original, but it wasn't so much an advancement as a souped-up 'update'.

        Why did Blizzard can the original design for War3, with the hero-centric focus? To me, that sounded really cool. But Blizzard chose to rehash the tried and true with newer graphics and keep the heroes. They just aren't interested in being on the cutting edge.

        Sure, people loved war3 and I don't begrudge them that. It just isn't so much an 'advancement'.

        And Id and Epic... well hell - They might be fingered as the predominate cause of the deterioration of innovation. their progress is entirely iterative and they don't even bother wrapping a story around their products anymore.

        Again, I don't mean to downplay their significance. Indeed the skill with which Id and Epic craft (and resell) technology is unparalleled.

        Even Molyneaux (by way of Bullfrog) doesn't seem to be innovating. Black and White had a fairly innovative concept in the avatar, but that was long years ago, and prior to that was a veritable avalanche of incremental tweaks to Populous. His mindchild Big Blue Box still hasn't delivered their overhyped 'advancement' for RPG gaming.

        In every interview, the founders of those companies nearly unanimously claim that advancements will always come from small teams - unheard of teams. And frankly, they're right. Look at the half-life mods: Natural Selection, Counterstrike, et al - They're massively more innovative than half-life itself. Look at how desert combat has all but become its own brand.

        Quite simply, success itself is a barrier to innovation. After a big hit, you are economically incentivized to play it safe with future projects. There's more money riding on the development side and there's plenty of risk in releasing any game, let alone an actual gaming advancement. Plus, it's no longer just a handful of friends coding in their spare time - wasting weekends and vacation. It's the jobs of 6 other coders, a dozen office and technical support professionals, and 2 dozen artists on the line.

        So while it's lamentable, I'm not surprised, nor do I particularly bedgrudge them, that success tends to cut off further innovation. But it's still a measureable and predictable effect.
        • by fireduck (197000) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @10:10AM (#8304124)
          Look at the half-life mods: Natural Selection, Counterstrike, et al - They're massively more innovative than half-life itself.

          Yes and no. Half-Life (and Valve's attention to it and the community over its span) really is the one of the biggest innovations for gaming in recent history. HL was the first "best" FPS, integrating innovative level design with a compelling story that made you want to go forward in the game. There's a reason it won every award it was nominated for (excepting game of the year, which went to zelda). It pushed FPS into the future.

          Then Valve did the amazing thing of releasing the SDK and actively supporting independent developers. CS, Natural Selection, none of those mods would have been possible without Valve actively supporting them. Yes there were mods for Quake, but Valve obviously did something differently than Id and their mod scene exploded. in a way no other game before (or after, yet) has done. The fact that games running on a 6 year old graphic engine are still the most popular online FPS out there shows that Valve really hit upon something.

          HL2 won't be as innovative and valve will likely enter the ranks of id, blizzard, epic, etc., as they churn out incremental advances. but to call HL not innovative is to miss out on the community that Valve helped spawn around the game.
          • I don't know that I discounted half-life from being innovative in and of itself. I certainly didn't mean to imply that half-life wasn't innovative, or a gaming advancement by itself.

            Truly, valve was shown to be amazingly farsighted and astute financially in realizing how much longevity they could grant their product by supporting the mod scene - although counter-strike was massively popular prior to this extra attention.

            They also raised the bar for story, immersion, and polish. But i stand by my assertio
        • Quite simply, success itself is a barrier to innovation. After a big hit, you are economically incentivized to play it safe with future projects. There's more money riding on the development side and there's plenty of risk in releasing any game, let alone an actual gaming advancement. Plus, it's no longer just a handful of friends coding in their spare time - wasting weekends and vacation. It's the jobs of 6 other coders, a dozen office and technical support professionals, and 2 dozen artists on the line.
      • by _iris (92554) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @10:34AM (#8304313) Homepage
        I don't think the situation is as gloomy as it may seem. Some game companies are, albeit slowly, realizing that they will have to base their games on something other than military strategy, giving us a violent heroic character to play, or letting us kill our friends.

        Don't get me wrong. The next innovative games are not entirely new. They are just based on different systems and events that technology advancements allow us to explore more deeply. Two examples of innovative, yet-not are Republic: The Revolution [ebgames.com] and The Sims [ebgames.com]. Both systems (politics and real life) have been done before. They just haven't been done since the days of CGA monitors.
    • I disagree. Although many of today's titles are just rehashes of old ideas with up to date graphics, I think we're currently at the start of a whole new generation of gaming in one field in particular: the MMO genre.

      The technology has now been developed which allows several thousand players to play simultaneously in a persistent world. Many people are already addicted to the current generation of MMORPG games, but RPGs are only the start: Sony released the world's first MMOFPS ( Planetside [sony.com] last year, takin

      • by PainKilleR-CE (597083) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @09:33AM (#8303855)
        I think there's definitely room for the MMO genre to grow, but we'll see that growth become more rapid when developers more familiar with the original genres come into the MMO realm. Planetside could've been so much more if it had only been developed by someone else, like Valve, with a real idea of how to build a team-based FPS and scale that idea to MMO size. FFXI may be the first sign of that, although it could be argued that Ultima Online was built by the designer of Ultima, and therefore was the first (I'd just point out that that was done before people really realized how big an MMO game really could be).

        Cavedog made the first movements towards MMO RTS, but at the same time didn't go the full distance to actually making it possible for thousands of players to battle each other at once (instead relegating the battles to smaller groups with the overall war being handled outside of the game), yet no one seems to have really picked up on the idea and made it reality (now someone will point out an MMORTS that I haven't seen before).

        I believe that MMO could be the future of many genres, but I also believe that it will truly come into it's own from the more common sources, rather than from the companies like Sony just trying to cash in on the trend. I think the real breakthrough will come when someone comes up with a method for distributing the load between company servers and independant servers, reducing or eliminating the subscription fees, and giving players more reason than simple level treadmills to continue playing. Most current MMO games are made simply to keep people playing (and paying) rather than to provide interesting and entertaining gameplay, and I think that trend needs to be squashed before it really becomes as revolutionary as online multiplayer gaming itself.
        • I don't know that MMO (acronym rant [blogspot.com]) designers necessarily set out to create level treadmill just to keep people paying.

          It really comes down to design philosophy, and what has sold in the past. Games without distinctive advancement treadmills (UO) simply don't get as many players as those that have such deplorable systems (EQ/DAoC/AC/etc). Financials aside, many designers see this as the key indicator that players want such systems.

          Yes, as with all commercial ventures, the primary goal of commercial gam
          • In fact, those commercial games/designers who do try to innovate typically get hammered by the majority of the playerbase and the gaming press for doing so (SWG/UO/etc).

            This is usually because the player base making the noise had certain expectations going into the game(s) that were not met. People expect every MMO game coming from Sony to be another EQ, even though there's no history there to show that's the case (especially with SWG and PlanetSide). People expect every Star Wars game to allow you to be
    • Thats exactly right. I've put down my lack of gaming interest to two things:
      1. Most games that I buy don't run in Linux, and I never take the time to boot up windows, so I never play
      2. As you said - there's no fun games being made, not like their used to be. I've been lamenting over this for a while. People have lost focus on what's fun.
      I find certain genres keep building on each other - in particular first person shooters. Other genres, like space turn based strategy (Master of Orion, etc), are hardl
  • its natural (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fireduck (197000) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @08:23AM (#8303489)
    by the time you're old enough to really have really disposable income, you usually have a job that takes up 40+ hours in a week. There's less and less time for games, so you're less likely to buy something new on a whim, more likely to stick with what you know (i.e., established franchises), and since quality game releases are few and far between, even more likely to just play what you've got.

    The last game I actually purchased for my PC was War3 expansion. The next game I'm planning on buying is either Doom3 / HL2. Other games have slightly caught my interest (was eyeing galactic civilizations for a while), but I just don't have the time to get lost in a big game, unless it's something I really want to get lost in.

    the same phenomena typically happens with music. mid 20s and you start listening to what you have rather than what's new...
    • Re:its natural (Score:4, Insightful)

      by walt-sjc (145127) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @09:40AM (#8303882)
      Yeah, tis true. Once you mature, then you start having a wife, kids, house, kitchen remodel, quality time with the family, a real job which ends up being more like 60 hours a week, going out to dinner, etc. etc. there just isn't as much time for games. In order to become Good, you have to play the games a LOT. When you don't have the time, you end up spending time on other things.

      Now my computer hobbies include much more programming, playing with neat open source stuff like Asterisk (open source phone system), home automation (replacing furnace controls with a linux box), etc. Hey, I LIKE controlling the boiler water temperature based on wind speed and outside temperature, and being able to call home and turn the lights off in the basement that I just remembered that I left on as I step off the plane in Hawaii... :-)
      • Re:its natural (Score:5, Insightful)

        by meta-monkey (321000) * on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @11:49AM (#8305045) Journal
        In order to become Good, you have to play the games a LOT. When you don't have the time, you end up spending time on other things.

        I think that's a big part of it. In the rare occaisons when I do have time to play games these days, I sure don't do it online. Back when I was an avid gamer, my game of choice was Tribes 2. I played that game for several hours, every day. I was pretty damn good, too. It was a rare game where I didn't end up at the top of the scoreboard at the end of the match. If you DIDN'T play that game for several hours a day, all the people like me who did would stomp you.

        It's the same thing now. I wouldn't mind picking up UT2k4 or something for a bit, but I know that I don't have time to play more than an hour or two a week. So as soon as I set foot on a server, BLAM, some 14 year old with nothing else to do all day is going to blow me away, and then hurl some kind of unintelligible racial slur [penny-arcade.com] at me.

        Now I find that when I do play just about anything, it's on my Xbox. Mod chips are great. Oh, and I also switched to the Mac, and already played the three games for it.
        • Re:its natural (Score:3, Insightful)

          by prockcore (543967)
          I wouldn't mind picking up UT2k4 or something for a bit, but I know that I don't have time to play more than an hour or two a week. So as soon as I set foot on a server, BLAM, some 14 year old with nothing else to do all day is going to blow me away, and then hurl some kind of unintelligible racial slur at me.

          So follow Gabe's advice and play with the bots. I'm having a ton of fun playing UT2k4 Onslaught with a bunch of robots.
  • Same here (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bain (1910) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @08:23AM (#8303493) Homepage Journal
    I've not played or bought new games in a while.
    I usually download the demos and play them .. and usually loose interrest when the demo ends.

    There are some games that I still buy, mostly RPG style games with much more story line based gaming then action.

    Part of my loss of interrest in working for gaming companies and doing QA (quility assurance) testing. After a while you no longer play the game .. you hunt for bugs, which kinda kills the playing experiance.

    Just my take on loosing interrest. Maybe try games you always found boring? explore new horizons with games ?

    bain
  • by ASkGNet (695262) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @08:24AM (#8303497) Homepage
    Sometimes, you realise that the games that you play are repetitive and monotonous, and are really aimed at the younger population. Sometimes (and this actually happens), you purely lose interest in those games. A human being can only perform a repetitive task (which is what current gaming is all about) -that much-.

    I would assume that given a good, involving game, or an in-depth roleplaying game, you would be more eager to play it, because of the story involved. Sadly, the current trends are reeking of filler instead of actual gameplay, and games are usually almost carbon-copies of one another. This doesn't really lead to an urge to play something

    I had this happen to me much sooner than you, I believe at about the age of 15, when I realised that games have become utterly repetitive and in some cases genuine boring.

    Then again, it could be the 'growing up' stage, when you realise that you just don't have as much time as you used to have before, and gaming is shifted to priority B.

    But don't worry, you will still enjoy a good gaming session once in a while, humans need games to stay sane :)
  • Time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Robmonster (158873) <slashdot.journal2.store@neverbox.com> on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @08:25AM (#8303501) Journal
    For me its mainly a lack of time.

    When I was younger I had oodles of free time so I was able to lose days playing the latest games.

    Now I dont have the time to spare what with working, running a house, girlfriend... All the things you tend to aquire as you get older.

    I still love games, but find myself trying to spend time finishing th eones I have rather than buying new games.

    • I am forced to agree, I enjoy playing games, and indeed go out of may way to encourage my friends to join me in an online blast everyonce in a while, but the biggest factor is time.

      CJC
    • Re:Time (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Helpless Will (244732) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @09:15AM (#8303753)
      I couldn't agree more.

      I still classify myself as a gamer. I own an Xbox, I have a PC dedicated to gaming. I carry a GBA with me everywhere. (I carry a book too, but I digress).

      Yet as each week goes on, I pull the GBA or the book out of the laptop bag less often. When I get home, I first sit down in front of the PC to help a friend out with a server somewhere, and if I have time afterwards then I'll play a game, maybe. The Xbox gets more use as a a DVD player than as a game system.

      Don't get me wrong, they all get used often enough to justify their existence and expense, but as I've "grown up" the demands on my time, work, friends, car and home maintenance, obligations to other people, divergent other interests, they all take up time, and seemingly disproportionate amounts of time at that.

      A friend has a problem with the mail server he's running for his website, and suddenly two or three hours of a Saturday have disappeared. Problem with the servers at work, or a highly placed user who can't seem to grasp that maintenace schedules mean the server won't be available that weekend and another hour disappears by the time you're done with that set of phone calls. Girlfriend is feeling needy or has had a bad day and wants to vent? Give up on getting anything else done for an incalculable amount of time.

      A good game is as much a time commitment as any of the above, and I find my gaming is much more oriented toward things I can pick up and put down readily these days.

      In essence, my point to the parent post / article is, don't worry, life will fill up with a lot more than you expect, and, eventualy, as Robmonster's indicated, they'll get back to being something that you do as you can, and enjoy when you do. Done to excess anything becomes dull after time, but life is self correcting in that regard.

      -H
      • Re:Time (Score:3, Insightful)

        I agree, it's the time portion for me that has disappeared. I remember spending 8 hours a day in front of my monitor or TV in high school playing whatever game had my attention. I remember the intense boredom "between games", and in desperation I'd play almost any of the trash released that could hold my attention.

        Then I went to college, had less time and was busy thinking about "what i will do when I grow up", so i often spent at least some of my free time designing and creating, and less time playing gam
    • Re:Time (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Derkec (463377)
      It's not just a lack of time, but my time has taken a differant shape. You'd think a 40 hr\week job would leave my evenings fairly free, and they do. However, I spend good chunks of those evenings with my wife, and when I do go ahead and play a game during the evening, it has to be a game that I can pause and come back to. I'm just not willing to ignore my wife if she has anything to talk about.

      The pausing requirement is a surprisingly huge one. It totally rules out a game like Warcraft 3's online play. Le
  • by texchanchan (471739) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {yelworcc}> on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @08:29AM (#8303509)
    Congratulations! Sounds like you are moving up. This phenomenon happens in lots of areas of activity, not just gaming.

    You have the urge to be proactive, not reactive. To produce rather than consume.

    You don't have to totally give up $EARLIER_STUFF when you move on up to $NEW_STUFF. That's a common but erroneous belief. You're just adding some more activities that are way more satisfying to you as you are now, with your increased capacity for thinking, etc.

    Do not fear that you are getting dull as you get older. Which is sharper, the mind that sees a game and says "Cool!" or the mind that conceptualizes it in the first place?

    Any change like this generally requires some re-thinking of how you define yourself, but I think you'll like the new definition better.

  • Sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rqqrtnb (753156) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @08:33AM (#8303523)
    "Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing."
    - Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

    It's sad to see an old gamer quit the hobby. Maybe someday you'll have more free time and some interesting game will catch your eye. Until then, good luck and have fun with whatever you do!

    • by Grab (126025)
      When I was a young kid, Sticklebrix and Duplo were just fine. As I got older, I progressed to Technic Lego and Mechano. As a teenager, I got a computer and played that, but simple games like Space Invaders became less interesting than more complex ones like StarGlider 2.

      As an adult, my range of games has extended to physical pursuits which I couldn't have enjoyed earlier on. I now get enjoyment from building stuff which will last for some time, and may outlast me - home improvement and gardening, for ex
  • by Drakin (415182) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @08:33AM (#8303526)
    Work, like in general, and just problems with sitting in front of the computer for who knows how many hours add up.

    Find something to do that's differnt than what you normally spend time doing.

    Sit and play with lego
    Read a book
    Work on a puzzle
    Build a model
    Walk around outside
    Take some time and just wander around a nearby mall

    • I find that I tend to flip-flop between reading and playing games quite frequently, and that in the last few years I've generally moved more towards console gaming (away from PC gaming), and even more recently I've probably spent more time with handheld (GBA) games than games on the TV.

      One thing I tend to do if a game or book seems to be going a bit more slowly for me is to watch TV and play or read during the commercials (especially with the GBA games). Eventually if the game or book picks back up I'll st
  • by Jon Peterson (1443) <{gro.tfirdwons} {ta} {noj}> on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @08:34AM (#8303531) Homepage
    It's tough isn't it? I remember when I was about 13 I started to get bored with my matchbox cars and racetrack. It used to be so much fun putting piles of books under the track so the cars would do little jumps, or seeing how big you could make the loop without the cars just falling onto their backs like little turtles.

    Then it just started to get boring. I didn't want to play with my old toys any more. Oddly enough, this didn't cause me a huge friggin existential crisis. I didn't post to some Goddam website to find out if the other 13 year olds were suffering a similar confusing emotional trauma. Instead, I took the 'growing up' route, and simply grew up.

    Why don't you try the same? Growing up isn't as hard as many people make out. Here are some key tips:

    1. Don't idolise your lifestyle. Don't kid yourself that playing Quake II on the office LAN all night was actually some incredibly cool 'in the zone' moment of one-ness with the God of electronic entertainment. It was just being 24.

    2. Realise that new things can be fun. If games no longer thrill you, try books, or maybe taking an art class. Perhaps gardening or cooking will be your new forms of relaxation in the daunting world of 'being older than you are right now'.

    3. Don't make such a huge deal about it. That way, all the other people who don't give a shit, frankly, won't be disturbed. In time, you too will stop giving a shit, allowing you to simply do something new and different without worrying.

    I too wish that computer games gave me as much fun as they did back when I played X-Com for 12 hours straight, or started dreaming about Baldur's Gate or Syndicate Wars.

    But then, I wish getting that playing on the swings could keep me happy for 2 hours. I wish that colouring in a picture of a clown gave me a sense of achievement. I wish that I really did believe my lego men were still involved in a desperate war against my brother's lego men.

    But, d00d, it ain't going to last, so stop asking where all the good times went, and find something new and fun to do. I mean, why do you think people end up having children?...

    • It's tough isn't it? I remember when I was about 13 I started to get bored with my matchbox cars and racetrack. It used to be so much fun putting piles of books under the track so the cars would do little jumps, or seeing how big you could make the loop without the cars just falling onto their backs like little turtles.

      So that is what those "books" are all about! Oh, to think of all the time I wasted reading them!
    • by Ender Ryan (79406) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @10:08AM (#8304107) Journal
      Perhaps his question made it to the front page because others here are interested in the same? Perhaps gaming isn't really synonymous with playing with matchbox cars?

      Don't get me wrong, I understand perfectly well the gist of your post, but I think you are jumping the gun.

      There are a lot of hobbies that people "grow out" of, such as playing with matchbox cars. However, there are some hobbies that can have more staying power, such as reading, movies, model trains, etc. People don't look at those things and say, "Grow up!" Gaming happens to be one of those new hobbies that people without prior exposure to don't understand and assume to be a hobby for young people, like comic books. But, apparently that isn't necessarily the case. Sure, there are a lot of *"losers" who still read comics and play games at 40, but with the advent of adult-oriented comics(ie. "graphic novels") and games, many older folk (ie. non-"loser" older folk) are continuing with those childish hobbies.

      At 25, I don't read the same comics I did when I was 13(rather, I don't read any comics), but some new graphic novels (mentioned here on /.) have interested me.

      YMMV, different strokes, etc. But please, don't be an old pompous scab telling us youthful folk how to live.

      Paraphrasing:

      People don't stop playing because they grow old, people grow old because they stop playing.
      - someone less of a dullard than you

      * - are they really "losers," I prefer not to label someone so harshly simply for continuing with something I consider to be somewhat childish. Perhaps they just didn't sell out and murder their inner child in order to be accepted as an adult. Or perhaps they are indeed losers and should be derided as such until their sad, lonely death.

      • Personally, I think it comes down to doing activities which make you grow as a person. At the end of the day, playing video games are a way of 'marking time'. I used to love playing games to all hours of the night, but these days, I only play them with other people. Alone, I'm get bored. So I usually opt to write, shoot photos, run, or read. I've noticed this isn't just limited to video games, but any sort of passive entertainment. Like movies for instance.
  • It's Normal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkZero (516460) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @08:45AM (#8303562)
    This is a phase that everyone goes through. Either because of something in your life (often something subtle) or just a batch of mediocre games that temporarily sour your opinion of the entire medium, you stop playing games for awhile. I did the same thing when I was around 17. I stopped playing games for about a year or two straight and missed out on most of the interesting games that were released for the original PlayStation. But it wasn't a part of "growing up", "putting away childish things", or some other moronic platitude that non-gamers would give you. It's just a temporary change in the way you choose to entertain yourself.

    This is something that we all do on a regular basis, but we don't really notice it until it strikes a medium that we actually care about. Personally, there was a time when I watched at least a couple of movies on DVD every week, burning through them at about the same rate as most regulars buyers/renters do. But now I haven't watched a movie on DVD in a good three months or so, but I haven't even noticed it. Why? Because I don't visit six or seven movie sites a day, but I do visit Insert Credit [insertcredit.com], GameSpot [gamespot.com], Video Fenky [video-fenky.com], GAF [gamesarefun.com], The Magic Box [the-magicbox.com], Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com], and Slashdot Games just about every day. If you're actually posting on this site, then I'm guessing that you have a pretty similar set of sites that you visit.

    I'm guessing that you'll pick up something really good in about a year or two and then you'll be addicted again just like the rest of us. But then again, if you really are of the mentality that "games are kids stuff", then maybe you'll deprive yourself of them forever. I really don't see how Metal Gear Solid or Knights of the Old Republic are any more childish than any of the TV shows or movies that I watch, but that's just me. Maybe that's why I really don't see myself abstaining from video games as I grow up any more than I see myself suddenly abstaining from television, movies, or music.
  • by Grabble (91256) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @08:46AM (#8303568)
    I shall now indulge in reckless and flagrant navel-gazing.

    Isn't a game simply a set of arbitrary objectives made difficult by arbitrary obstacles?... but made "fun" by gradual progression and feedback?

    I believe that people like to use their minds and actually create "things to do" when there isn't any. When I was younger, I didn't have many obstacles, so I got my "work" on by subjecting myself to the purchased goals and obstacles, IE, a complicated game.

    Now that I'm older, I've made my own game: my life. I've created my own "arbitrary" goals and have to work against obstacles to reach those.

    At the end of the day, I'm tired from playing a game that's more important to me. Myself.

    Yes. That's right. I'm tired from playing with myself.

    My quaint little theory works best on brain games. For example, if I have to manage 20 people 40 hours a week, it's not likely I'll enjoy Railroad Tycoon 3 on the weekend. (But that could just be me.) On the other hand, a alpha-state twitchy game might be a nice break from analytical stuff.

    I think there's a concept of "control" as well: in one's teens and early twenties, many aspects of one's life is beyond their control. That changes with age, usually and hopefully.

  • Gaming is in a rut (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pelsmith (308845) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @08:49AM (#8303579)
    The business climate has gaming companies acting very conservative right now. You are much more likely to see another Warcraft clone than you are to see an innovative new game. No matter how nifty the graphics, if you notice it is the same old Warcraft, you instantly lose 80 percent of your enthusiasm for the title.

    Combine that with the constant nagging voice in the back of our heads, telling us we should be doing something more productive, and it can be a battle.

    Personally, I believe we are all just wandering around the lobby, waiting for the doors to open to true, immersive virtual reality. We have seen the pretty sunsets on our CRT, now we want to feel the wind in our hair.
  • Television (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I've never been much of a gamer, but I'm 23, and I've noticed the exact thing happening to me with television. I used to follow a lot of series, now I haven't got a clue when anything is on, and just watch whatever's interesting on the rare occasions I happen to sit down in front of the telly (and if there's nothing interesting, I just do something else).

    Mostly, the time I used to spend in front of the telly has been taken over by the Internet, books, and programming. I think that's healthier, the lat

  • nah, it's you (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ender Ryan (79406) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @08:50AM (#8303587) Journal
    I don't think it's that people lose interest as they get older, I think it's either you specifically are losing interest, or you are bored with the current state of gaming. That you are interested in making games yourself shows that you haven't "grown out" of gaming, unless the games you are interested in making are directed at kids or something.

    Another thing that I have noticed now that I've "grown up" is that I simply have not enough time to play all the games I'm interested in. I'm 25 and work full-time and have a house and wife to attend to, family/friend obligations, etc., and I'm lucky if I get to game for 2 hours in as many weeks.

    Sometimes I have wondered the same thing as you, "have I lost my interest in gaming," when I have several games I was excited about but I simply don't bother playing. Then I realized that the games I was interested in in the past have started to bore me.

    It's the same as anything really. I'm also bored with stupid action flicks, pulp novels, and Star Trek. I'd much rather watch something with substance, action or no, read a long series of classic books(eg. The Foundation series), or non-fiction(eg. The Making of the Atomic Bomb - brilliant book BTW), and as for TV, I really don't care if I miss an episode of one of my favorite show(although I do enjoy 24 and haven't missed an episode, heh).

    You get the point. Tastes vary over time. While you may always enjoy a good movie/book/game/etc., you won't want the same thing over and over. And then there's the time and social factors. Don't fret. Things change. Adapt.

  • by fuzzybunny (112938) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @08:58AM (#8303615) Homepage Journal
    I'm going on 30--I nearly fucked up my college education by spending aeons of time on Netrek [netrek.org] and progressed from that to C&C, to Red Alert, to Tomb Raider (my girlfriend loves to watch me play for some reason) to Half Life to Homeworld to Deus Ex to Battlefield 1942 (which I play pretty often.)

    I was never too interested in always trying out the latest and greatest, but I notice increasingly that, once I've found something I enjoy, I tend to stick with it for far long--it just holds my attention better.

    I don't know how people have time to always finish the newest games right when they come out and move on to something new--the only times I do that is when I find something episode-based or story-based (like Half Life), play it through once, then move on, but I take my time with that, sort of like reading a good book a bit at a time before going to bed.
  • by phrasebook (740834) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @09:03AM (#8303661)
    For me there are a few reasons why I don't play as many games thesedays:

    1. Less time. Got other stuff to do. Study, and work. Work is okay but study consumes a lot of outside hours too. There's always more you could be doing. I find it harder to put time into games now. In the back of my mind, I'm always aware of what else I could be doing.

    2. Other interests. Other stuff can be fun too. A few years ago I never read books just for my own interest, now I do. And of all things I've been learning Japanese recently, again something I never would have been interested in when I was younger. I guess I want to expand more, comes with age.

    3. Age of fellow players. This one is pretty big. There's only one game I still play occasionaly now, and that's Live For Speed [racesimcentral.com], an excellent, high-quality, independently developed racing sim. The online play is the best I've come across. But while the competition is good, the competitors themselves mostly seem to be guys who are 13-25 (mostly immature), or guys who are 45+. High school kids or men trying to fit in a few games around their spouse. I feel a little out of place.

    Aside from LFS, the last game I played for a while was Grand Theft Auto 3. But I think I played that more for the radio stations & music, and the scale of the city rather than gameplay. I tired of it pretty quick. I definately have less tolerance for repetition now.

    Times change :-/
  • Wanting what you got (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sjoperkin (110789) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @09:05AM (#8303676)
    It's all about the fact that you now have the possibility to buy most of the games you want.

    It just isn't that exiting anymore when you don't have to decide whether to buy QuakeIII or Unreal Tournament2003. You buy them both, and get the short end of the stick, because you don't have the time to play both, or find it hard to decide which one to play at any particular moment. A problem which increases in size the more games you buy.

    For us with families, the time spent playing games gets ever shorter, which is why we put higher demands on the games we play. Which in turn leads to the conclusion that all of a sudden, games are no longer that good, because you cannot find the time to really get into more than a few games per season.

    I buy fewer games nowadays, but instead I really try to play through them. This pays off most of the time.
  • by Asprin (545477) <gsarnoldNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @09:06AM (#8303680) Homepage Journal

    Fifty bucks?!?!

    ....for *THAT*?!

    That's a week of groceries for cryin' out loud! I'll wait until next year when it hits the $10 bargain rack at Wal-Mart.

    I seem to remember going through that with beer, too. At some point, everything just started looking expensive.

    Sincerely,
    An old fogey


    P.S. Just you wait you young buX0rz, pretty soon THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, NIRVANA and PEARL JAM will be on the oldies stations. HAAAAA-HA-HA-HA!
  • Born again gamer.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kilauea (263775) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @09:12AM (#8303726)
    I went off games for a period - still bought some but rarely played and never completed. Turned out I was suffering from clinical depression and since recovering I have been right back into gaming and enjoy it as much as ever!
    I am 31 btw...
  • by kisrael (134664) * on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @09:15AM (#8303752) Homepage
    For me, a soon to be 30-yr-old, it's all about two things: the time some of these games would like you to consume playing them, and then the increasing difficulty getting people together for the on-the-couch (as opposed to online) multiplayer games that I like so damn much.

    Also, games get no respect from the world at large. Even though I'm mostly a social gamer, though I will play through the occasional one player adventure, my soon-to-be-ex-wife cited that as one of the (minor) issues, my devoting hours to gaming, despite her own f***ing introvert need to sometimes burn hours watching the crappiest of movies on TV to unwind/recharge.
  • by BornInASmallTown (235371) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @09:23AM (#8303793)
    I still have my original NES hooked up to the TV in the family room. Never had a SNES, N64, GameCube, PlayStation I/II or anything else.

    I'm currently playing in the pennant race on Bases Loaded. I just finished beating Metroid and Contra (again). (For the latter, yes, I still use Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A.) Anyway the list goes on.

    I've found that I can get all kinds of games for the NES from people that think they're worthless. Without even trying, I've picked up about 30 additional titles, along with several extra controllers and even a separate console that I use for spare parts when the need arises. :-)

    Lots of fun, and I have no plans to upgrade to a "modern" system in the near future.
  • by Chilltowner (647305) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @09:27AM (#8303818) Homepage Journal
    Back in one of my college anthropology classes, our professor noted sociological studies that showed people's music buying habits dropping significantly at age 25. Anecdotally, that seems to be true. The history of games is much shorter, so I don't think any similar studies have been done, but they both may be manifestations of the same root cause. That root cause, though, has not yet been revealed.
    • I bet you anything that this is partially a result from people moving from their meager lives as teenagers and college students, to working world people with less time to entertain themselves. After all, the common denominator between gaming and music is the fact that they are forms of entertainment you purchase on a piece by piece basis.

      I do find my movie-buying habits going up though. Go figure...
  • by DuckDuckBOOM! (535473) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @09:33AM (#8303857)
    I suspect your move away from gaming parallels my own, so here's what moved me:
    • Time, or rather the lack thereof. A decade or so ago I usually had several hours a day to game & code. Now I'm working more, (usually) sleeping more, maintaining a home, getting laid regularly, and engaging in face-time with relatives/friends every week or two instead of every other month.
    • Improving taste. I burnt out on FPSs and flash-bang-for-its-own-sake long ago. I burn out on MMORPGs (sp?) quickly through sheer monotony - another monster vanquished, [yawn]. Nowadays my main interests are sims and strategy games, and there are at best one or two good releases per year in those categories.
    • New hobbies. I transitioned from flight sims to the real thing a couple years ago, and quickly discovered I'd much rather blow $60 on an hour in the air than on Final Fantasy Pi or whatever.
    • Maturity; i.e., the realization that There Are Things In Life More Important And Rewarding Than Finding The Faerie Hat So Zelda Can Get Past The Pond Full Of Zombie Sharks. This is the only thing on the list I really regret. :)

  • I'm still gaming as much as when I was in highschool, more probably. I'm 30. I am doing different games than when I was in highschool. I own two console systems, there are way more fun games to play than there is time for me to play them.

    Maybe you don't want to game as much any more. If you want to, and if you look, I think you'll find there is tonnes of innovation and entertainment out there.

    Pick up a game cube for the best innovation bang for your buck.
  • I'm the same way... my money situation has improved, but I find that I am unwilling to just blow money on any game just to have it. I have things I work towards now financially, and I think over time us gamers learn that it takes a particularly good game to engross us. I am currently playing Maximo Vs. The Army of Zin and I find it incredibly challenging. Halo for the PC was my last biggie, however I have bought a few more games between buying Halo and Maximo, and I didn't play them as much as I "should
  • by jonadab (583620) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @09:57AM (#8304025) Homepage Journal
    > Am I not as capable of having fun as I once was, or what?

    Maybe your ideas about what is "fun" are changing. This in itself is not a
    bad thing. When you were eight, you probably thought it was fun to run around
    on a blacktop with eight-year-old children. At some point you may have thought
    it was tremendous fun to read those lame, elementary-school joke books, such
    as "101 Fun Food Jokes". Think that's fun now, do you?

    The first time I ever played a 3D FPS (it was Wolfenstein 3D at the time), I
    thought it was pretty cool. At this point, I've had a belly full of those
    and don't care if I never see another one.
  • No. Seriously. I'm sitting here bitching to my coworker that this has to be the most ridiculous question I think I've ever seen on Slashdot, and that's saying something.

    Do you still play with your GI Joes? Do you still ask mommy if you can ride your bike down to the store to buy some YuGiOh (or however the christ you spell it) trading cards?

    Do you really need Slashdot to confirm for you that your interests change when you grow up and get a life? That one day you realize there are better places to spe

    • by DLWormwood (154934) <wormwoodNO@SPAMme.com> on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @01:00PM (#8305808) Homepage
      Listen. You losing interest in video games at 28 is a *good* thing.

      *sigh* Yet another fool who equates video games with childishness.

      Remember, video games were first introduced as bar/pub entertainment, as a replacement for pinball. Such establishments were where Pong was first introduced, and you can still find Merit kiosks on bar counters. And most of the surviving arcades in the States are "dating" destinations like GameWorks and Dave & Buster's which have things like Ladies Nights and ID check.

      Video games ended up pigeon holed as "juvenile" like comic books and animation did. While I'm familar with the political history that doomed comics and cartoons to the children's ghetto, I'm not sure why video games shared this fate... Can any one offer any theories about this?

      But I digress, besides the quote about "becoming old when you stop playing," there's another relevant quote. This one's by C. S. Lewis...

      When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be grown up.

      • by ronfar (52216) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @03:07PM (#8307365) Journal
        Video games ended up pigeon holed as "juvenile" like comic books and animation did. While I'm familar with the political history that doomed comics and cartoons to the children's ghetto, I'm not sure why video games shared this fate... Can any one offer any theories about this?
        At home I have some EC library editions of Tales from the Crypt, The Haunt of Fear and the Vault of Horror. In many of these issues there are letters sections, and some of the letters are from soldiers in Korea. These soldiers talk about how great EC comics are, etc, and usually the Old Witch or the Crypt Keeper replies by saying she/he is sending some free comics out to the unit.

        So, some portion of the readership were not only adults, but adults seeing horrors that I hope I never have to see. However, when Congress and Dr. Frederick Wertham decided to go after comics, they treated them primarily as a passtime for teenage boys. This is because warping teenage boys is an easy charge to make, while warping hardened soldiers in Korea wouldn't stick.

        Fast forward to the age of the SNES and Genesis. Video games were resurrected from the crash by Nintendo, which deliberately marketed their NES system in the United States as a toy to overcome the post crash jitters. (Remember the little robot that came out with it? That was purely as part of this marketing campaign, not because it was a good idea for a peripheral.) By the time the SNES comes along, the big games in the arcades are Street Fighter II and, cue sinister music, Mortal Kombat. (Oh, and by the time these reach the home systems, these horrible video disk games, notably Night Trap were being pushed for the Sega CD.)

        Well, Congress's own Music Man, Senator Joe Lieberman, figures out a way to pull in the fretful soccermom's vote in his next re-election bid, "There's trouble, right here in River City, with a capital 'T' that rhymes with 'V' that stands for Video Games." It is in the interest of Lieberman and his ilk to portray video games as primarily children's entertainment, just as Nintendo had done to get away from the post-crash, "video games were a stupid fad," jitters to get places like Toy's R Us to carry their consoles.

        So we get to today, when people forget that originally video games were in places like bars to entertain patrons and people start talking about that, "put away childish things, " nonsense. (Of course, we all know that the early Christians loved to party, especially the dour St. Paul. Remember if you are going to follow his 'childish things' advice that he's also the guy who basically believed "it is better to marry than to burn." [google.com] No wonder he gets the nickname of Captain Fun. But I suppose this nonsense makes sense in the still heavily Puritan influenced United States.)

  • Well, I'm 35 and I still play a lot of games. Sometimes I go back to old favorites, and sometimes I play new ones.

    For example, lately I'm playing through Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem for the Gamecube. It was one of the first games I bought when I got my Gamecube, but I didn't really start playing it until recently.

    My opinion is this: If you are too busy to watch TV, you'll probably find yourself too busy to play games.

    If I ever found myself saying, "Rather than playing a game, I'll watch that

  • I dunno why, but I have always *hated* games, even as a child. They seem so utterly pointless.
    If I'm gonna invest the mental firepower that would be needed to become accomplished at some sort of (yuck!) GAME, then I want to see an actual *result* that matters in THIS world when I'm done.
    Games are mere mental masturbation, IMHO.
    A total waste of time.
    • by Tyreth (523822) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @11:01AM (#8304568)
      Your comment is pointlessly wrong on so many levels.

      Games teach you skills, whether physical (hand eye coordination), emotional (confidence in ability to complete a task, or not), and mental (learn how to problem solve in ways others do not). You experience a wide variety of things you can never touch. The rewards are not immediate, but the fruit bear out in the long run.

      I suppose you think reading is useless? After all, it's the same principle - reading a book does not affect THIS world. Not immediately, anyway. When you finished, there's no new car in the garage, no revolutions have been won or lost as a result, and the hungry are still hungry. But it has long term consequences, just like games. Games stimulate imagination, or they can stifle it. They have the power to improve or damage, just as much as anything else in this world.
  • Interest rekindled (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Xian97 (714198)
    With my own children growing old enough to play games I have found my own interest rekindled playing with them, showing them the games of my youth. I got the old Atari 800 out and they are having a blast with the classics from that system - River Raid, Pac Man, Ballblazer to name a few. After getting them a PS2 my interest has also picked up. I find myself playing Ratchet and Clank 1 & 2, Jak and Daxter, and Sly Cooper long into the night after they have went to bed. On the other hand, I have found the
  • by CashCarSTAR (548853) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @10:13AM (#8304145)
    If you're a fan of the classics, then really, gaming is moving away from you. Classics meaning like Pac-Man, Galga, etc. They're not going to make any more, because the classics are already there, and anything to try and capitalize on that will just be seen as a copy-cat. (EXCEPTION: Most current puzzle games I see is beeing Classic-ish. Simple gameplay, playing for points, not levels, etc.)

    Myself? I tend to play more games now than ever. And I'm enjoying them more too. There are several reasons...The main reason is they're making more games I like, at least on consoles.

    Things I like:

    #1. The feeling of being busy and intense while not feeling frustrated and out-of control. Viewtiful Joe, being the best example (and one of the best games ever), as well you have Ratchet and Clank:Going Commando, the Dynasty Warriors series, Ikaragua and assorted others. (Some of which are not so good, like Enter The Matrix).

    #2. Fighting games that are both deep yet accessable. They still make them, I still love them. Yes, Fighting games are deep. Always lived outside a big arcade scene, but locally, people here are big KoF nuts, and I had a fun time learning 97-98-99 into the ground. But Soul Calibur 2 is great with some people who know what they are doing.

    #3. Better stories. This is both a function of technology, but it's also a function of ambition. I'm not just talking about your Final Fantasy type story. (Although the story for X was amazingly deep, yet because of the PoV aspect was still personal) I'm talking Ratchet and Clank with the hilarious commercials in it. Disgaea:Hour of Darkness, the story is just not what you expect at all. I think the word is...snarky among others. As part of the story, the best games just feel fleshed out. They have that something extra that keeps you in there. Interesting characters, if there's not the oppurtunity for a story..an interesting idea.

    #4. Eye/Ear candy. I love this stuff. Sure sure, it's all about gameplay. But still. Starting a race in F-Zero GX, and watching all the light trails from the racers in front of you, as they are attacking each other and jockying for position. Metriod Prime, when an energy ball comes flying by your face, seeing Samus's reflection in her visor. At the same time, you have Audio candy as well. The radio stations in GTA 3/VC. The music from Final Fantasy games, (Especially X. Auron's theme pumped through a surround system is mesmorizing.)

    Now, if you have better things to do, in your mind, that's a personal decision. But yeah, if those things don't matter to you, then it's fair to say that games have "left you".

    As for PC games? PC games are unfortunatly boring. There's not much that's coming out that really pushes the boundries. And when they do, it tends to not be too unplayable. What do I play? Half-Life mods. Natural Selection mostly. I like some of the Microsoft games, believe it or not..Freelancer, Rise of Nations. What else is there? Not very much.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Gaming solo is what I can't seem to enjoy as much anymore. By making it a social event, I can really get into gaming without fear of getting old. I get "together" with my friends twice a week to play games online. We don't get to see each other nearly as often as any of us would like to, so our Monday night Battlefield 1942 and Wednesday night Rise of Nations sessions give us a reason to hook up the VoIP chat and hang out, even if it is only virtual. Since it's a habitial thing, my wife doesn't even give
  • It's probably not you personally, it's that the game industry isn't innovating much. Many games that are coming out are just graphically nicer versions with basically the same gameplay as older games. They still succeed in the market because a new generation picks them up as their first exposure to the genre, but to you, they naturally seem boring.

    Furthermore, many computer games are not very replayable. How often can you play through the single player versions of even a comparatively good game like Hal
  • Maybe, rather than loosing interest in games, the real reason you are not finding gaming exciting anymore is because no-ones developing anything groundbreakingly different anymore. There are plenty of games that look good, and play well, but most are re-hashes of things that have been done before.

    Having said that, I have had some long sessions on THPS4 on the PS2, which also plays well online.

    I hear "A Dogs Life [frontier.co.uk]" by Frontier developments is supposed to be quite fun although I've never played it. Its about
  • Incidentally, what took you till 28? As a devout technophile, even as a kid I much rather took apart toys to see how they worked than actually play with them, much to the bane of my parents--and, in hindsight, to my detriment, since that led to getting fewer toys, as I "just broke them anyway". That didn't stop when getting into computers later on: even if playing a game I would often wonder how a particular effect was achieved, so off I'd go trying to program it myself. Frankly, getting seriously wrapped u
  • Where I once spent countless hours in front of a computer or console playing games, now that I'm older I can't stand the thought of sitting at home alone and spending that much time on one. I'd feel like a loser.
  • This is the saddest excuse for a story topic ever. Some idiot hits an early mid-life crisis and we're all supposed to care?

    I'm 29, married, with a full-time job, and I still game almost every night. It's my hobby, I enjoy it, and fuck you if you think it's childish. I switch from Warcraft 3 to Animal Crossing to Fatal Frame 2 to Karaoke Revolution without skipping a beat. Good, fun games are always out there... if you've stopped looking for them it's nobody's fault but your own.

    All you dicks who have ju

  • This isn't a question of growing up, it's just that you're bored. The average age of the video game player is 29. More and more older people are playing games. Heck, even AOL suggests that over-40 women are huge online players. (It might be Hearts, but they're doing it online.)

    Video gaming is just as much as an activity as golf, reading, watching television or bowling. It's something you do for entertainment. There doesn't have to be a maturity level attached to gaming. Video games don't age discrim

  • Back to My Roots (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jazman_777 (44742)
    I rediscovered wargames, which I used to play as a teen--the maps and counters type, whereas now it's the PC versions. They're great for business travel--don't need a hefty laptop for them, can make a few moves as time permits, can let games stretch out for months, don't need the constant work on the hand-eye skills, which deteriorate with age anyway. I've always liked the thinking, reflective games better anyway, not the instinct/reaction speed games.
  • Have a baby. That will cure you of your gaming addiction permanently -- or at least for the next 18 years.
  • by Alpha27 (211269) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @02:05PM (#8306568)
    slow maturing nature of gaming.

    If you've played computer games as far back as the atari/coleco days, then you have clocked in many days of game, that can probably amass to half a year by now. With that, you have played a varied spectrum of games in the early years, to more specific genres. Now, what's happening is that you want more complexity in the game play, along with more future possibilities for longer lasting game play.

    For example, you play in an MMORPG and have reached the highest level, tons of credits, numerous weapons/items, have travelled the known universe of the game... what else is left? Retirement? Well... yeah.

    Many games are not innovative enough to keep up with our desires for grander things in the game. Whether you have played that new game that just came out or not, there's a very good chance you have played the same functions in a previous game, and are just redoing what you've done before? Yeah, it has a new storyline, new characters, but same things are happening. I'm currently in that situation now, I've played a number of games, but find the mechanics to be too similar to previous games that after awhile, it's not new and it's no longer exciting.

    You want excitement, go back to pen and paper rpgs, that way you have more flexible mechanics than the computer. I wish you luck in finding a game that can satisfy your gaming needs.
  • by Flyboy Connor (741764) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @02:30PM (#8306888)
    I have celebrated my fortieth birtday. I still play games. Lack of time prevents me from doing it as much as I like to (and certainly not as much as I used to), but I play about three different games each year. Last year, those games were Thief 2, Morrowind and Deus Ex (the original).

    I love to play games. But I am selective. Games I don't enjoy are a bloody waste of my time. Fortunately I played so many different games that I now know what I like and can recognize quality. And quality does not mean "the coolest graphics". It means "the best gameplay". Therefore I don't mind playing older games. As long as they are fun.

    It's the same with music. When you're a teen, you listen to all the crap that's pooped into the airwaves over the radio. Then your taste matures. You may get interested in classical music, or at least you realize there are only a few good bands out there.

    It's the same with books. As a teen you read lots of SF (if you are a geeky type), but when you mature you realize most of it is just a waste of good trees.

    Remember, most of it. Not all of it.

    When you acquire a mature taste, you don't need to spend so much time on something to get your fix. But your love need not diminish.

  • by angel'o'sphere (80593) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @10:23PM (#8312144) Homepage Journal
    I played quite some games.

    Civilization II/III, War Lords II/III, War Craft II/III, Descent I/II, Sim City I/II and endless unknown low sales games. Ah yes and Settlers II/III/IV.

    Point is: Civilization III was "just the same" like Civilization II. No real improvement. On 100 times the hardware power (Pentium III/1400) CivIII was as slow as Civ II on my old Pentium 1/180MHz.

    War Craf III was a complete disappointment. Incredible dumb AI. Boring (IMHO) story, and the new game concept of story/quest IMHO badly adapted. See SpellFore, quite the same game, but 10 times better. 5 times faster building of constructions ... well, what is the good thing of that? If you play alone, or if WC 3 is youor first game you are less bored, fine. And for true players? Building a town and upgrading troop stats is now boring, why not starting with a full town instead? Skip upgradig of troops completely.

    RTS games have not improved besides using 3D engines now. No real new kick except more graphics, more sound, more lightening. Even the 3D characters, the heroes and power units in WC II are so poor designed, rendered. Unbelieveable. I have a super 3D graphics card and a charcter traveling over the screen barely has more than 4 "positions". If you count the waving cape, you have 4 for the characer and 3 for the cape.

    Same for Descent 3. Descent 2 was a quite good game. On modern hardware you realized the bugs caused by network latency and "drifting" world images of the different simulation on the playing hosts. But it was really great fun and we play it still today.

    But D III? Only everythign was FASTER, BRIGHTER, and with more POWER. It makes no sense to shift from a game version 2 to 3 and the main difference is the increase speed of crafts and incresed damage of weapons. E.G: D II you could play wit keyboard only, no need ofr a joy stick if you where good at it. D 3 was impossible to pay with keyboard because you could not configure the autorepeat and delay and acceleration speed of keyboard commands good enough.

    Then came games like Halo. Just an example: the cross hair is as big as my thumb, the hit zone as well. What sense is it to have a 3D first person shooter and the player only needs to run around, avoid getting hit, collect amo and continioulsy keep the mouse button(aka fire button) pressed down?

    Bottom line: I still enjoy playing 12 hours at my PC a computer game. But well ... no new games. The new games of our days simply suck, all of them. As I mentioned Settlers above: Settles IV is just the same like WC 3. The shift from Settlers III to Settlers IV ... they dropped everything and rewrote teh complete game. They could have changed the name and no one had realized the connection between the two games. No deed to say: Settlers II was GREAT, besides it gets a bit boring over time because of the dumb RTS battle AI. Settlers IV was a $40 waste of money. The biggest shit in games I ever bought.

    Since two weeks I play SpellForce. It has disadvantages en mass. Stupid 3D engine whre a standard old day 2D isometric view would be enough. When I have a full fledged army my screen makes only 4 to 5 frames per second. But: the game is GREAT! A lot of the game is so old habited ... its funny. However the coders spend more time in making a good game concept and using a standard vanilla engine instead of crafting incredible fancy effects ... te story line and the way to play it is cool. Only realy bad: the battle AI is as dumb as a 15 years old WC 1 battle AI. No idea why that is constantly bad since decades.

    Conclusion: modern computer games are only "movies" adapted to the computer with a limited possibility of interaction.

    The poster is right: meanwhile I rather code my own game than spending endless hours wasting my energy in playing stupid designed incredible expensive games not even running properly fast on my just one year old PC.

    Sig ... at least Diablo II LOD remains :D

    angel'o'sphere
  • by sbma44 (694130) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @02:10PM (#8317614)
    I'm 24. I've gone through periods where I wasn't interested in games -- most of college, in fact. I was vastly more excited about chipping my xbox than I was about actually playing any of the games that the modchip made available.

    I think, though, that I will always play videogames to some extent. My circle of friends and I discuss this occasionally. Do I think I'll be up till 3AM playing an FPS when I'm 40? No. But when I have my old buddies over to watch the superbowl or a barbeque, could a descendant of Super Smash Bros. make an appearance? I suspect the answer will be yes.

    I also have a feeling that, should I have a son, playing videogames will be a great way to interact with him. My generation (or slightly before) will be the first one with any hope of relating to their kids in this way. Maybe I'm being naive, but I suspect videogames are here to stay, and that the industry is going to be stuck for quite a while with the same 3 spatial dimensions and 2.1 vectors for sensory input (sight, sound, lame rumbling).

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