Old School: Almost Leaving Video Games

On a recent episode of the Kinda Funny Gamescast, a question for the cast was if they ever walked away from video games, if any of them had ever stopped playing video games for an extended period of time. I thought I’d give my answer to this question because there was a time when I almost left video games entirely.

The sixth generation of consoles started out on a sour note for me. It’s a story for another time but I had to fight for my PlayStation 2 and challenge my mother to get it. However, once I did have it, it seemed to be smooth sailing. The first game I got for my PS2 was the awesome Twisted Metal: Black, I loved games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3, and I soon after was able to get a used GameCube and Xbox.

However, as games were released, there weren’t many that caught my eye. Sure, there were some great games every once and a while, such as Grand Theft Auto III, Halo: Combat Evolved (the first FPS game I liked FYI), and Super Smash Bros. Melee, but a lot of games were leaving me cold. Wave Race: Blue Storm was disappointing, Dead or Alive 3 couldn’t hold my interest for long, and games like Splinter Cell didn’t interest me.

As a result, I started turning to older games to occupy my time. I got collections like Midway Arcade Treasures 2, King of Fighters 2000 / 2001, and Sonic Mega Collection. I picked up a Dreamcast and fell in love with that, ignoring titles like Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and Metroid Prime for Street Fighter III: Third Strike and Phantasy Star Online. I even picked up a Saturn and started playing PlayStation 1 games again, like Chrono Cross and Twisted Metal: Small Brawl, which is actually a fun game. It was around this time I was introduced to emulation.

However, this worried me as I found myself perfectly content with playing games I had already played and completely ignoring new releases. People would be talking about Bloodrayne and MechAssault and I wouldn’t care. A new Grand Theft Auto is coming out? I’ve already played one of those. Resident Evil 4 is awesome? I didn’t like the other games so I’m not going to bother. I reached a point where I just didn’t care about gaming as it was. This then started to affect the older games I was playing. Crazy Taxi and Clockwork Knight were great fun but knowing that they were never going to be more than that made the games feel a bit empty.

I vividly remember one night I was up late. I wanted to play a video game and I looked at my library of games. I didn’t want to play any of them. I couldn’t think of a game I wanted to play. This depressed me. I just was in my room without something to do and no idea what to do with myself. So I walked out of my bedroom and into the living room that was dark except for the light coming from my room. I sat down on the couch and pondered what I was going to do with myself.

I’ve been playing video games for over 10 years at that point. If I wasn’t going to play video games anymore, then what was I going to do? I had other interests, sure. I loved to read and listen to music but my biggest hobby was video games. Hell, if I was listening to music, it was usually during playing a game. I don’t know how long I was sitting there until my mother came out of her bedroom and noticed me on the couch.

She sat by me and asked me if something was wrong. I was hesitant at first because I knew that this was not a serious problem. I eventually told her after some convincing and she just told me about how people change and their interests in thing change with them. We talked a bit and I came to the conclusion that I needed to find what it was about games I liked. After that night, I got more into the history of games through emulation. By the time the Xbox 360 was released, I felt renewed. Games genuinely started to interest me again and the seventh generation of consoles reestablished that.

Since then, I’ve come to the conclusion that many of the games in the sixth generation of consoles were uninspired and graphically drab. However, as I have a greater appreciation for games now more than ever, I want to return to that generation and give the games I missed another shot. I want to hear from you now. Have you ever stopped playing video games for an extended period of time? Have you ever thought about quitting, like me? Let me know in the comments. Peace and Love, gamers and players! Colorwind out.

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