When I was younger I played video games because I enjoyed them. I loved the Worlds, the high scoring, the challenges, the “one more go” with Bosses
Then I moved to enjoying two player games with Jacqui. Lemmings wasn’t two player but hey she nagged from the back seat. Mario Kart was and we had many many races on the N64 decorating the landscape with bananas. Toejam & Earl was wonderful and funny. Taking turns playing Castle of Illusion. There were quite a few games which we enjoyed playing together.
I remember playing SSX Tricky and Jacqui calling out for the volume to be turned down because of the repeated “It’s tricky to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that’s right on time It’s Tricky…”
but hey, I was that good. How good? Platinum everything, so yeah.
Gaming moved into escapism. It had been something I’d get lost into before – I came home from a Late shift once, 10pm and started playing Shining In The Darkness on the Megadrive. When I remembered to look at the time it was 4am, so I kept playing til 6, had a shower and went to work at 6:15am for the Early shift.
FF VII was a whole new world and my girls will associate that fight music with where we lived and that time.
Caring is hard. It’s more than 24/7. Gaming became a way to switch off my head. Go elsewhere while sitting in the same place.
I remember completing the last action in Fallout 3 and feeling genuinely sad that I had completed the game – so I loaded the last save and stayed well away from that location.
Skyrim captured me completely. I would say “SSHHH!!” to anyone disturbing me as my Stealth Archer crept through dark passageways.
Many other games captured my attention by the hour.
For quite some time it felt wrong to be happy, to escape.
My gaming hours dropped to zero.
I can remember two games I played in 2019. Breakneck (because it was an easy daily no-brainer) and Trine (because Wes and I recently completed it in one go).
I have 7500+ games on Steam. I have a heap on GOG, Itch, Epic, Origin, Uplay, Humble and more, but I’m not playing them.
I think part of it is that I don’t want to escape from my life into a fantasy game experience. What I want is to escape from my life into a real life experience.
The combination of working from home for 16+ years along with the caring role I had closed off every social connection I had. (That’s actual social, not those stupid buttons).
A few years ago if you had asked me if gaming was part of the solution or part of the problem, I would have replied solution.
Now .. it is not.
I am at the point where I am considering selling all my game accounts. Yeah it’s against the rules but rules are there to be broken.
I just don’t want to play any more.