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Slumped
Posted on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 00:49:11 PST

    I know this happens to most people every once in a while, but that knowledge doesn't make this any more entertaining. See, I've recently hit a bit of  a gaming slump. There are still plenty of games sitting on my desk that I haven't finished, but I can't bring myself to spend any real length of time with them. Even my old boredom bastion of World of Warcraft is losing its flair as I struggle to find groups for the 70+ instances.

    The real issue here isn't why I fell in to this slump, but how to get out of it. With this effort in mind, I've come up with three schools of thought on the matter. The first is probably the worst, hardest to accomplish and least likely to succeed. Basically, it equates games to food or water. If I starve myself of gaming for long enough, my mouth will be watering at the prospect of finishing Mass Effect before too long, right? Probably not. I mean, I haven't been gaming all this time by choice and, unlike willing starvation, I'm not feeling remorse more than hunger.

    With one failure out of the way, the second idea I cooked up is just buying in to whatever Nintendo says about games. Maybe not the parts about friend codes and limited memory on a console, but things like casual play and easy entry. Taking a break from things like level grinds, epic stories and HD graphics might spark a resurgence in some subconscious love of games I'm not quite aware of, but it could also be like telling a withdrawing heroin addict to roll a joint and "chill out." Baby-games may be the hot new gateway drug, but I'd like to think I'm a few miles down that path by now.

    These ideas sure are stacking up to a big heap of nothing! I'd better flesh out the third before I stumble upon a real solution! My final plan comes from my youthful days spent solving games like Final Fantasy 7, 8, 10 and Shenmue. Some good ol' grandiose tales that require hours upon hours to solve. The time investment isn't what this idea hinges on, though. What made those games easy for me to recall were the characters and experiences they offered. Maybe, there's a measurable chance that a game with an engrossing plot, some endearing characters and a fantastical story to tell would get me roped back in to my hermit-like gaming comfort zone. Then again, I'm sure these unsolved copies of Mass Effect and BioShock on my desk would argue differently.

    One of the few recent times where I was able to game lengthily, happily and eclectically was when I was writing reviews for some podunk website, unpaid, with aspirations of one day being poorly paid and receiving free stuff. What games I played didn't matter. How little I enjoyed the actual game didn't matter. Not getting paid a cent for my time only mattered a little bit. What really carried weight was how much I enjoyed bathing in the experiences of these games, then trying to convey the experience to some sort of audience. I've tried a couple times to achieve a similar sensation here, but the "Member Reviews" section doesn't stack up quiet yet.

 Sadly, the most appealing gaming avenue I can fathom traveling is one with a paycheck every couple miles.
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