Video Games

What Keeps Gamers From Gaming?

timemoney

Price? Time? Lack of interest?

As days goes by, filled with obligations, agenda, and responsibilities, I find myself spending less and less time enjoying my favorite pastime, video games. It is not that I don’t enjoy the medium any less than I did as a child, it has just simply dropped (dramatically) on my list of priorities.

With forty+ hours spent working a fluctuating retail schedule; spending any and all shared time with my significant other; setting aside 1-2 hours for jogging per day (ideally); spending money on wardrobe upgrades, food, housewares, bills, transportation, and gifts; focusing on blogging on a near daily basis; and spending time with a large and spread out immediate family, finding the time and money to invest in an expansive RPG or learning (and retaining) all the mechanics in the latest action/adventure game seems nearly impossible.

Being able to set aside 1-2 hours a month to indulge in the latest AAA title does not justify a $60 investment. 1-2 hours is hardly enough time to watch an extended intro, play a prelude, and/or learn a few basic mechanics, most of which I will forget the next time I am afforded the luxury of playing. To add, on most of my 1-2 hour gaming spurts, I become anxious and find it hard to divert all my attention to the story or events for fear that there is an errand I need to run or the notion that if I am not productive, I am of no worth.

Months back, I wrote a post regarding the need for fitness services to partner with video game developers/publishers. To add to this, a fantastic side-effect for rewarding productivity such as jogging with in-game benefits would be the benefit of leisure, period. Credit for this obvious but overlooked observation can be given to my good friend Jered.

Lately, I have been hearing about loads of people struggling to invest time in games but still have an intense interest in the industry. As for myself, I find that I refresh IGN’s iOS App during every 15 minute work break, out shopping, and during every lull in conversation. While jogging, listening to the The Indoor Kids, Game Scoop, Tech Fetish, and The Talk Show podcasts is imperative. I don’t see lack of interest in gaming as a problem, as it is now trumping the movie industry in terms of revenue, I do see the possibility for the 8-bit generation to be spent on today’s huge AAA titles, as Legacy Music Hour’s Brent Weinbach will argue. Take the resurgence of 8/16-bit sidescrollers/RPG/mobile games as a sign.

Evidenced by its success and popularity, there is a cultural importance to video games. Be it the craft of building games, ground breaking visual and art design, riveting and deep narratives, simple to complex mechanics, reflex development, pattern awareness, memorable characters, competition for high scores, or it’s ability to push the world of technology into new realms, video games spark and cultivate imagination and innovation. Whether it is price or time that keeps me from gaming, I yearn for its place in my life. Thanks to IGN, a multitude of video game podcasts and music, and other players in the industry, I am able to peak inside every now and then.

What keeps you from gaming?

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Kyle Starr is the writer of TheStarrList.com and The State of Gaming. Find Kyle on Twitter at @_kylestarr.

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