Gaming 101 – playing for fun.

Intellivision NFL FootballAt what point did gaming become such a core? I think it must be some kind of a loss of innocence; it’s hard to describe, but I know it when I see it. I think most of my longtime readers know it as well.

If it were not already painfully obvious, I have been saying for a while that I am no longer a serious game. I laugh at the notion of my “hard core” playing days. Countless hours, dollars, and videogame systems later, what do I have to show for my reckless gaming addiction? Some fond memories, a musty old site archive, and of course this humble site.

Last month Gamers with Jobs posted a great article titled “Embracing My Inner Mainstream Gamer.”

“The truth is that the less time I have to game, the more like an average video game consumer I become. I don’t necessarily have the inclination anymore to peel back the onion layers of innovation cloaked as inapproachability in games with obtuse conceits and arcane controls.”

Well said.

The article made me ask myself, “at what point I lost my gaming innocence?” Did it in start in the late 90s with more and more gaming sites selling out (dare I say going mainstream)? Or maybe it was somewhere between the birth of Thing Number One and Thing Number Two (or perhaps Thing Number Three)? Could it just be a sign of growing up, getting older, and moving on to other interests? Or as the author at Gamers with Jobs just mentioned, maybe it all comes down to time.

“Yes, I can compare the relative value of the next Madden to its predecessor. I can carp about how Halo 3 was in no meaningful way different from Halo 2. I can realize the World of WarCraft is basically a big hole into which I can throw my time, but it’s far more enjoyable to just have fun with these games. We constantly run the risk of taking the whole endeavor too seriously.”

I think those monolithic reviews from back in the day sort of did me in to the point where I burned myself out on gaming. The end result is that I have become much more of a casual gamer (that mainstream thing again). Be it football or racing games; the hardcore sim nut in me is almost a thing of the past.

These days I have such a limited amount of gaming time that I have to play games for fun. It is no longer the other way around. I want a quick “pick up and play” experience, that is fun, semi realistic, but easy enough not to frustrate.

I still enjoy writing about games. In fact, I have done more of it this weekend than I have in several months. With that said, the days of long, verbose diatribes on braking lines, statistical abnormalities, and the like are long gone. I am not into scientific gaming these days. When I do play, it is all for fun factor. Simply put; if it is not fun, why bother playing?

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