We’re back with our “thinking about thinking” series! If you’re interested in our previous deep thoughts, check out the Metacognition series. Join us for some deep thoughts (and maybe the occasional not-so-deep thought) about gaming. If you find one you’d like to answer, you can either comment below or write a post and share the link so we can all read your fantastic thoughts!
Have you ever become burned out on a game/genre? What do/did you do?
Yes, on game more than genre.
First, let’s take a look at what burnout actually is, because it’s a real thing with real symptoms.
Burnout is a set of physical and emotional symptoms resulting from prolonged and extreme stress. It can manifest as feeling overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet demands, and may cause you to lose enjoyment in the activity that caused the burnout.
Unlike depression, burnout has a definite beginning, and can usually be traced back to a particular activity that you have been partaking in for a while. It is rarely associated with a general feeling of hopelessness and low energy. Burnout is specific, although it can be comorbid with depression.
In the Case of Games…
This might seem strange that a hobby could cause burnout, but really, a person can become “burned out” with any activity, even if they don’t wind up suffering from an all-encompassing Burn Out. But how can you know if you are burned out on a genre, or are just not enjoying a game anymore?
The difference between not liking a game and experiencing burnout would be that in the case of a single-game effect, the thought of playing a similar game is palatable. In the case of genre burn-out, it’s the thought of any game in the genre causes a negative reaction, or feelings of annoyance or resentfulness while playing.
Usually my burnout occurs for a specific game, and it usually happens if I feel like the “cost of admission” is too high for what I’m receiving vs. what I wanted to receive. As an example, I take my recent abandonment of Witcher 3. I wanted story and I was getting sidequests. For hours. I started booting up the console with a sigh. And the decision to put it aside came with a sigh of relief.
I compare this to my Mass Effect: Andromeda playthrough, which had a break in the middle. In this instance, I didn’t love my time with it, but it felt more like like an intellectual burden that I couldn’t handle, not an annoying thing that I had to do.
But, picking up Knights of the Old Republic was exciting, even though I eventually decided to put it on hold while I switched to the console version, and that is proving just as RPG-ish as any RPG, so to me it’s clear it wasn’t the genre I suddenly couldn’t face.
But even if it was, that’s okay. Burnout isn’t a death sentence for a hobby/event. It just means you need to take a little bit of a break, and come back with fresh eyes, so to speak.
Have you ever burned out on a game? A genre? Gaming in general? What did you do? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
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