A personal reflection on outgrowing videogames and their forums. A farewell.

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#1 Posted by Oilers99 (28843 posts) -
The vast majority of you don't probably know me. As recently as five or six years ago, that would not have been the case. Let me tell you something about myself--I signed up for GameSpot's forums about a decade ago. In fact, my ten year anniversary on these forums will be on November 28th. I was considering doing something to commemorate this, but I have realized... almost nobody is around who would still care. ssfreitas is gone, Minda_Cubed gone, SupremeAC, str1... my gosh, does anyone even KNOW about The Virtual Underground, and its several year run as the GGD country club? Primary Games Discussion, I suppose, is a fitting name change--it really has nothing to do with who was really posting here prior to the name change. A few things you should know about where I was a decade ago. I had been taken out of public schooling due to some social issues, that both my parents and I feared would get worse in middle school, and I was relatively isolated for several years. Videogames had, since my childhood, served as my escape, but, and remember, I was a console gamer and I played primarily NIntendo games, so there was no social aspect to it. And, in addition, I was an intelligent kid struggling with school work (due to a number of issues), with a particular gift for writing. The prior year, I had bought, for the first time, a current-generation console. Up to that point, I had received a NES and SNES while their successors were in the midst of their heyday, and bought the N64 quite late into its life-cycle. Owning a Gamecube, within the first years of its launch, was a new, new thing for me. Can you imagine how... liberating it was to suddenly have an outlet for my desire to write, a place to socialize, and with videogames, one of the few topics to which I could speak knowledgeably, as a persistent topic? It was a perfect storm, and after spending some time primarily on the GameCube forum, I began to make the transition to General Games Discussion, as I became more interested in videogames in general. There, I learned you could do things like... add people onto your AIM list and chat with them online (I knew you COULD do this, but had no reason up until that point to WANT to do this) outside of the forums, develop a repoire with some users, identify people who were more like-minded (SupremeAC and Systems_Id tended to be more sympathetic to Nintendo's approach that generation) and those less like-minded (Pedro might have been the least-impressed person by Nintendo's design philosophy that I have ever met). It was a great amount of fun. Then I was asked to be a moderator. Let me tell you, at sixteen, that's a heady amount of trust and responsibility. I was actually being trusted to run things, and make good judgments, and was, you know, actually considered a leader? Me, the socially awkward teenager who was desperately lonely in real life, and was socializing online with other gamers... for lack of anything else going on in his life? That might have been my proudest moment to that date. It also gave me very periphreal contact with the GameSpot staff--these guys were my heroes. I knew that their lives weren't glamorous, but I had very humble ambitions for my life: I wanted to work with videogames for a living. I knew I could do it! I knew I could write, that I could be analytical, and maybe... games journalism wasn't that far off the mark. The other major positive memory was participating in the contests run by Adam_B, who ran Developer for a Day, which let forumites compete for minor prizes by writing game design documents. I LOVED those. It was halfway through the second one, where I was trying to put together a slightly more cogent design than the vague one I had submitted the first time, that I somehow decided... yes, this is what I want to do for a living. I want to be a game designer! I worked hard with each installment on trying to develop innovative designs that developed interactive storytelling, rather than traditional gameplay. Looking back, they probably didn't work. But I truly believe there were some intriguing ideas buried in there. And then... over time, I just started posting less and less frequently. I resigned moderation somewhere along the way. And eventually, my posting dropped off to very random bursts. You see, if you've stuck with me this far, I think I owe it to you to make this not just about me anymore. I think we're doomed to choose between perpetual adolescence, and outgrowing videogames. At least, that's the case today. You see, I do have a very child-like personality in some ways. I enjoy behaving as if I am really just a mischievous five year old, and I can look at the world with the same wildness and wide-eyed wonder, I think, that I did when I was very young. But in other ways, I have grown a lot. I went to several years of university, and discovered a lot about myself. I re-invented myself, becoming a musician. I deepened my faith a lot, and developed intense desires to help heal the world in various ways. Along the way, I met a girl I really liked, and asked her to marry me. The wedding is in May. And when I look at videogames, I see a bunch of titles that are about shooting people in the face, stabbing them in the back, retreading familiar game design ground, and generally appealing to me on a level of either visceral, violent pleasure or long-established design tropes that I am already quite familiar with. There is part of me that can just appreciate good design. I played Gears a while back, and I thought it was a terribly well put-together thing. But I didn't like the people. I felt alienated by the muscle-bound fantasies, the game that conveniently made the targets of maiming machines to be inhuman monsters. We have never had a war like that. Every last person we have blugeoned, stabbed, shot and blown up has had a face, a name, a history and a personality. The monstrous thing is pretending that they do not have human dignity. When I look at a game like Halo or Gears, part of me is bothered by the fact that a big part of the design is to create guilt-free slaughter. Even if I exclude games that are outside of the realm of visceral pleasure that is too simple, and a tad disturbing for my tastes, the rest, even games that tend to rely on pure design, seem to be simply retreading familiar ground. How many times can one play the same game of Mario Kart or Mario platformer? How about Metal Gear Solid? Even Final Fantasy, long a paragon of consistent change, seemed to be predictable in its latest installment in a lot of ways. When everything is a numbered sequel, spin-off, reboot or licensed title, you can't help but feel you've played everything on the market before. Largely because you already have. It's gotten to the point where I can even predict the marketing--GTA V's images will include an attractive girl in a bikini, men with guns, and lots of vaguely satirically looking American urban images, all in a visual style that is more saturated and stylized than the final engine will be. The last thing I had going that really interested me was Nintendo's games. I grew up on them, and their design quality, in addition to a child-like playfulness that I simply cannot grow out of, has always had me more forgiving of their retreads than other gaming companies. That isn't to say they are less guilty--I can just stomach it much better from them. A particular favourite of mine has been the Paper Mario games. The first game, despite my consistently high expectations for Nintendo games, outdid my expectations significantly. I've always felt the simple surface belied a very deep, strategic, and elegant gameplay system. The second game was simply more gorgeous, more polished, funnier, deeper, and significantly, a much better story. In short, it was one of my all-time favourite games. Super Paper Mario, was not something that truly fell inside that style I fell in love with, and liked it quite a bit, though not near as much as the other games, on its own merits. But given how long it had been, I was very much anticipating Paper Mario: Sticker Star as a return to the gameplay system I had loved so much. Then it turns out they completely junked the badge system and the leveling system in favour of a bunch of stickers that don't work as well. Apparently. At this point, I'm not sure I could be bothered to play the game to find out. It's just enough to know... nobody is doing anything that is that interesting to me anymore. There are relatively few developers doing genuinely interesting work (Irrational's work on BioShock comes to mind, though), and the one company who has been doing retreads that I have enjoyed is now doing my pet favourite series as a retread BADLY! In other words, videogames now simply have failed to engage me emotionally anymore. Seem videogames are an emotional medium. We engage with them because we feel entertainment, we feel a power fantasy. But I'm feeling much different things these days. The emotion I wish to dominate my other emotions is compassion. Is there really a single videogame one could say captures compassion, and in an intrinsically interaction fashion? What about my emotions of anxiety and anticipation as I consider a future of marriage and children, and a future which I hope will be filled with music? What about all these much more complex, nuanced emotions I find myself having as I go about the messy, complicated business of being an adult? I know there are a few games that attempt to deal with these things. But why does it seem that whenever you ask for games that deal with mature, adult themes, rather than a mature rating due to presence of digital boobs, you seem to get the same dozen or so over and over? Yeah, I'll probably check out To The Moon, and yes, I know there are many games out there... but on the whole? Videogames are still about shooting things dead. Or experiencing something that is about as emotionally complex as a roller-coaster ride. I'm... just past that. The sad thing is I KNOW that videogames could genuinely be for adults. We could have daring game developers who wrote and designed games that explored complex issues, and asked players to make choices that involved more than hand-eye co-ordination or detached management of statistics and resources, and forced them to think emotionally as well as intellectually. They could push the envelope in technology to improve communication between the player and the story, rather than pushing technology to produce better physics of a person being flung through the air by an explosion. But you know what sells? Guys in their twenties and thirties buying, in droves, games that are about what they wanted when they were teenagers--shooting things in the face. Or failing that, at least pure, uncomplicated pleasures like a Mario or a complex role-playing game. I think we have, in our society, extended adolescence incredibly long, and the result is that adult adolescents are driving a marketplace that no longer has a place for me. So, I'm done. Not with playing videogames altogether, but simply trying to be a gamer. I have a few games that I will try to find time for, and I might even pop by to say something on here once every blue moon, but the simple fact is that I have outgrown games, and I think, as your world becomes more nuanced, as you begin to think through the concept of what it means to be in a long-term relationship, what your answers to questions of the meaning of life and faith and religion and such are, and what kind of mark you really want to leave in the world, you'll end up attracted more to sophisticated films and books that deal with such things with the nuance that videogames, as a whole, simply do not. I do believe that day will come someday for videogames. But in the meantime, they've lost me. And so too, then, has a community in which I might otherwise participate. There's really nothing left for me to talk about. I believe that will be true of many of you someday as well. I'll hang around this thread a little bit if anyone actually remembers me, and wants to bid farewell. So, goodbye, GameSpot, staff and forums. You meant a lot to me. And goodbye videogames. I just outgrew you.
#3 Posted by c_rakestraw (14775 posts) -

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]October_Tide

Really? Really?

Anyways... so long, man. Know what you're going through. Occassionally find myself wondering why I still play games, now and then. Feels like I'm only in it to write baout them, somtimes. 'Bout the only thing that keeps things consistently interesting, for the most part. Not nearly enough games out there to satisfy those desires for more mature, thoughtful games. Kinda wish those that did weren't mostly exclusive to the indie scene. They do some good work, but... it'd be real nice to see the industry at large finally start making some strides to deliver on more mature subjects and the like.

#5 Posted by Author_Jerry (564 posts) -
Goodbye, Oiler. I remember, one year, Sophie (Sophia?) won the Developer for a Day contest, and I know you participated--or had wanted to in some fashion. I had helped the winner proofread her game idea, which, if I recall correctly, was an online co-op adventure game designed for the Nintendo DS. The problem with the video game industry is as you describe. Adult gamers want to say that video games aren't just for kids anymore--and, while that's true, per se, the claim isn't accurate under scrutiny. It'd be like saying animated movies and children's books can appeal to adults, pointing out the exceptions such as Pixar films and the Chronicles of Narnia, while ignoring the large majority that never were meant to, nor could they ever, appeal to adults beyond nostalgia or simple pleasure. The video game industry has failed yet to progress to a mature art form. Its developers are too busy re-creating the games of their youth (see any retro style game out there) or rehashing games for a popular franchise for as long as the money is coming in, and the few games that rise above adolescent fantasies and banal pleasure have failed to inspire many developers to strive for mining the depths of human experience. Part of the problem, I believe, is that, unlike the movie, the play, or the novel, the game's essential focus must be on interactivity, instead of narrative. We can list countless video games that have succeeded on the merits of their gameplay and a narrative that exists as mere context. Without a narrative, the gamer is who is left to drive the character's motivation, not a conflict or a desire: the traditional means to facilitating an exploration of the human condition. What is left are the goals the developers set for the gamer to accomplish, and, apart from form and style, there's nothing for an artist to manipulate. (How many games can boast of being poetic?) Even if we push aside the commercialism that drives much of game development, we can see the difficulty of developing video games as art is in its essence. It can be done with the right vision and insights and ingenuity, as Jonathan Blow has shown with Braid, but there's little incentive to do so when there isn't much of an audience to develop games for or the respect of the mature artistic mediums to be found--much less the funds to recoup the ever-increasing cost of game development. Even still, the likely avenue artistic games would take would be interactive movies, and I hardly would call that innovative or exciting. I believe gamers overstate the potential interactivity has for art. Being another method for art isn't reason enough pursue it or dare to claim its potential is greater than any other medium, like I've heard from gamers before. Artistic video games are a greater rarity than for other art. One wonders whether there's unconscious justification for the inordinate amount of time spent on a beloved hobby behind such ideas. Or my imagination fails to see the great, unrealized potential still left for future developers to uncover. Whichever is the truth, game developers have barely shown any aspiration or progress in the pursuit for art in the forty years they've existed, nor have they much demonstrated a distinctive difference in artistic expression from other artistic methods. Over forty years, it's no surprise video games have reached the point of repeating themselves. You can see the same for movies and books, too. The trouble is video games are little more than entertainment to fill the time in between the mundane activities of our lives--which is fine, as far as that goes. But I can only play so many Mario games before there's nothing left to distinguish them from its past games. I stopped caring about most Nintendo games after New Super Mario Bros. Wii. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword still sits unplayed nearly a year after I picked it up, and I have no inkling to do so. Nintendo's 3DS lineup couldn't be more derivative and the games for the Wii U of any interest to me are from third-parties. I can't say, yet, I've out-grown video games, but there are fewer of them every year that excite my interest, when there are so many books and movies left to experience that satiate the unquenchable yearning for a glimmer of the world reflected back to me. Why escape from the world when there's so much of it to see? I wish you well.
#6 Posted by whiskeystrike (12096 posts) -

The economy and rising development costs is really starting to show... maybe some of the bigger behemoths will fall one day and pave way to newer, younger and fresher ideas. I don't agree that video games are art and I think it's rather silly that people try to continue to push them that way as if it's some plea of acceptance for the rest of the society.

#7 Posted by sexyweapons (5302 posts) -

Bye mate

know what you're going through as I myself have recently found I'm enjoying videogames less and less.

#8 Posted by KungfuKitten (21401 posts) -

Hmm interesting. I had that same feeling about video-games during the end of the previous generation. For me, at least, that has changed. I've been gaming for a while now, as well. I've been gaming since about 1988.
Yet today I find more quality innovation than during the early experimental age of gaming. There are more genres than ever, more control options, more ways of player to player interaction, funding, and more distinguished types of communities and audiences than ever before. And I don't like all of it. In fact I don't like half of it. Specifically the casual and triple A budget half. But I'm still finding cool new things. And amazing experiences that I have never had before. No, gaming is not the cause, I think. It would take me ages to try make that sound convincing, so I can't. I wonder what really creates that divide between our points of view.

To be honest I think you are entirely right about having to choose between perpetual adolescence and gaming. I think that's exactly it. Right on target.
To illustrate, I've never been very interested in growing up. When I was a little kid I wanted to be a little kid. I was the one exception who never asked for growing up. In fact I am sitting at my desk right now in this weird questioning phase of my existence looking for ways to extent youth, health and life and I am repeatedly stunned, just stunned, at the lack of interest there is for those things. And partially I blame adulthood.
You know what I think of when I think adult? The stress involved with having appointments every day, having to perform in front of a man with a metaphoric gun pointed at your head and your wallet. To be treated like someone who should know, and someone who should do. Someone who should have done better, while you didn't know better. The blame game. And having to play several roles at once. One for your job, one for your family, one for your relatives, one for your friends, etc. I don't like that. That sounds like hell to me. So I made the conscious decision to not do that when I was around 14. Every now and then I still fall for it because it's so natural, or people demand it and try to put me in place. But in the end I feel better about myself just being me, not knowing what on Earth is going on in this world, and acknowledging that to anyone. I don't take part in that adult life, so in a sense I have chosen to not be an adult. Though, not because of games.

And that world also gives you a lot of emotional experiences. I know that, cause I've seen it. It's like a roller-coaster. Sometimes I see relatives become 10 years older in a day, only to be 20 years younger the next. Like magic. So I can imagine that you're always busy and don't feel like playing games because, you know what? I don't play games while I am on a roller-coaster. No I don't.
Coincedentally the end of the previous generation, was also when I came closest to becoming adult.

#9 Posted by Lulekani (2151 posts) -
Video games were my sanctuary during an odd time in my life, but luckily i sort of out grew some of them. Unfortunately being detached from my old favourite genres has left me alil jaded, which isnt bad considering the current state of games today. I just don't wana be this way if the day comes for video games to finaly matter again. Farewell . . . . For Now. . . .
#10 Posted by UpInFlames (13279 posts) -

About a year and a half ago, I felt a sharp decline of interest towards video games. Not exactly for the same reasons as you (I don't mind violence, sex and whatever as long as it has some context), but it's just more of the same over and over again. The game industry--consoles ESPECIALLY--are just playing it so safe that it was just boring the hell out of me.

And of course, we're growing up. I turned 30 this year, I'm in a long-term relationship, planning a life, marriage, kids. I'm not exactly sure what kind of an impact this has, but it certainly has something to do with it.

But it's funny. I barely played anything for the past year. Music was ALWAYS far more important to me, and I got more into books thanks to my girlfriend. But a few weeks ago, something just clicked and I got back into Civilization V. And I've been playing it a lot. The other day I started playing Skyrim. After a long time, I finally got genuinely excited about a few upcoming games, namely Dreamfall Chapters and Grand Theft Auto V.

I don't know. Maybe you took it all too seriously. I can get that. I think it's ok to take a step back and just enjoy a few titles here and there that speak to you on a certain level. My time as a "gamer" is definitely done. I'm not buying loads of games anymore, I'm not playing them every day. I'm not coming in here dissecting every design decision, every flaw, arguing with people about this and that. I'm just not in it anymore.

And that's ok. I'll play some odd game I really want to play and I'll write a blurb or two about it every now and then.

#11 Posted by GreekGameManiac (6439 posts) -

O_O wow....what a decision!!!

So long,friend.

One day...one day.

#12 Posted by CarnageHeart (18316 posts) -

Sounds to me like you are just burned out. I've a married father of two daughters (the oldest 11) who has been gaming for 35 years (first system I played was my father's Magnavox Odyssey). Fun is fun, no matter one's station in life. I get tired of some genres and take a break from them until they do something different (LBP2 is my favorite game ever, but in the 16 bit era I had burned out on platformers because everyone justed aped Mario or Sonic) or until I've been away from them for so long that more of the same is different (to me, if not the genre).

Also, I think you are selling the modern gaming industry short. People who are doing something different rather than offering more of the same are the same small minority they have always been, but gaming is so open and widespread nowadays that there are more members of that innovative minority than ever. The Walking Dead is awesome because one is a guy trying to keep himself, a little girl and an oft changing circle of friends alive. One continously makes hard choices and choices tend to have consequences. When it started out it was pretty simple stuff (two people are being attacked, you can only save one, choose) but it quickly became more complex then that. People would make reasonable arguments, and you'd have to take a side and sometimes your agreement or disagreement pushes people to do stuff which is reasonable to them, but unforseeable to you. Also, this little girl is not only relying on you for protection, but reaching conclusions based on your actions. I didn't want to turn her into a sociopath, so sometimes I did the less then expedient thing. I could name more examples and I'm sure there are a lot more out there I am unaware of.

Also, its just not realistic to expect action games to flesh out characters. That's just not the action oriented games/books/movies work. This is true of not only games, but books and movies as well. To an extent, that is realistic. In war or any other fight for one's life, one doesn't humanize the subject, one seeks to survive the encounter, the other guy's welfare/humanity if the last thing on your mind. While I've never been a soldier or a cop, I once had to scare off two muggers. I was walking to lunch with a friend and these guys keyed on us and started following us. Everyone else stepped to one side. My friend stepped behind me (which I really didn't appreciate). I was a muscular black guy with a scar over one eye (nowadays I'm a chubby black guy with a scar over one eye :cry: ), so a lot of people figured me for a mugger or a bodyguard. I am neither and was of course unarmed, but I decided to play the role. I scowled at the guys and reached into my jacket. They then reversed course. My friend (who was mugged and beaten along with another friend two weeks later when I went on vacation) and I were simply targets to them and they were simply thugs to me. Both of us are more than that (I know I am, I assume they are) but none of that mattered at the time to either side.

*Shrugs* But I'm not trying to talk you out of your decision. Videogaming is a legit choice for anyone, but no hobby I've ever heard of appeals to everyone, and there are a lot of great hobbies out there. Goodbye and good luck with your marriage and your life.

#13 Posted by Black_Knight_00 (19009 posts) -
Getting old sucks. That's why I decided not to.
#14 Posted by Archangel3371 (16131 posts) -
Well that's too bad. Good luck in your journeys. Personally I'm enjoying gaming just as much if not more then ever which is really something coming from an old-timer like me whose been an avid gamer for around 35 years now. I still enjoy a very wide variety of games ranging from the child-like adventures to the serious and mature to the frivolously violent and sexual. I really don't ever see myself quitting gaming, that would be like saying I would stop watching movies and tv or stop listening to music. I do find myself getting tired of forums though but that's due to the attitudes of some of the other people that frequent them.
#15 Posted by Business_Fun (2282 posts) -

I can't imagine my life without video games. It would be so barren. Devoid of colour.

#16 Posted by Strakha (1815 posts) -

I remember you well and have gone through a similar experience myself this generation with a steady decline of interest in gaming. Though I was never into games as much as you or as active on these forums (1558 posts in 9 years I guess makes me a mildly interested lurker.)I view my decline in interest as only significant when compared to the years I had the most interest. In some ways it's a return to normal after the high degree interest I had during the previous generation and while I do agree that aging is part of the reason there were periods when I was younger when I had the same or less level of interest as today.

#17 Posted by Phantom_Leo (7087 posts) -

...but... but...

250px-Paper_mario_sticker_star_box-art.p

...teh new paper mario...

I'll miss you if you go Oilers, but I'll understand also...

I'll admit I haven't read the whole post yet, but I see where it is leading. I am in the middle of Hurricane clean-up right now and don't have the time to sit and read all of it, yet, but I will! I'd like to understand the how's and why's.

#18 Posted by Phantom_Leo (7087 posts) -

Oops! Scrolling up the page quickly, I see you DO address Paper Mario!

...and yes, I remember the Underground well...

Peace, man!

#19 Posted by dvader654 (44751 posts) -
Bye Oiler, it was a pleasure discussing games with you on the forums. I dont personally agree with some of your views, like Angel said quieting games to me would be the equivalent of not watching movies or TV and that is just crazy. Its just a normal part of life, its something you can share with friends, family, etc. But I do see why you are bored of them, they arent making the games you want.
#20 Posted by SteelAttack (10520 posts) -
Farewell Oilers! Take care and I hope all the things you have planned for your life come true!
#21 Posted by EdgecrusherAza (7040 posts) -

Hey Oilers, don't know if you remember me as I've had a few different usernames over the past 12 years on this website. But just wanted to say hi...I don't post at all on the site anymore, lost interest in it as IMO it declined quite a bit over the years. But I always remember the cool people like yourself, Minda Cubed, and many others that I haven't seen in ages.

Hey things change in life all the time. Priorities change. I still game quite a bit, but it obviously gets harder to have the time as time passes.

Congrats on the marriage, and I wish you well in all you do.

#22 Posted by Metamania (12025 posts) -

Oilers, I'm not sure if you remember me or not, but I've been here since the launch of Gamespot as a reader and reader review, not to mention being a former mod around here, and I think I've known you long since then. It's sad to see you go, but it's highly understandable. Goodbye and good luck with everything you do! Don't be a stranger, ya hear?

#23 Posted by Brendissimo35 (1930 posts) -

I can definitely sympathize with feeling like having to choose between gaming and maturity. And I've forced myself in the direction of maturity on a couple of occasions, but gaming still keeps coming back. In the process I realized that maturity just sort of accumulates. And you'll probably never feel as mature as you are eventually perceived. Best of luck.

#24 Posted by MirkoS77 (8152 posts) -
I read the OP and can relate, but then a game such as Journey arrives which demonstrates to me the potential of this hobby. Video games are not the problem, and maturity holds no bearing on their allure. As long as games continue to be released that push the boundaries, I will always game. In truth, I find to say, "sorry games, I outgrew you" to be shortsighted (as much as I can see the stagnation taking hold in the industry at present). Comparatively to others, this medium is very much in its infancy.
#25 Posted by Swanogt19 (24159 posts) -
Just need to keep a balance in life to enjoy videogames.
#26 Posted by S0lidSnake (29001 posts) -

He's getting married soon.

I give him two months and then he will be back. :lol:

#27 Posted by DJ_Lae (42748 posts) -
Congrats on your engagement - and hopefully we'll see you around the forums even once in a while. Also, if you're ever downtown during weekdays, I'll take a break and grab a coffee or something. It's all a balance for me. I mean, the past few years I've had the odd bit of gaming burnout, some longer than others. I still detest certain genres as a result (pretty much anything Call of Duty-esque bores me to death) but at the same time a reduced amount of time to play games and some of the widest variety we've ever had in the history of videogaming helps to keep things fresh. Things have also changed. I didn't have kids three years ago. I didn't have a wife/girlfriend back when I first joined the Gamespot forums. I had way more time to play games, to analyze them, to discuss them. I enjoyed that. But even though I have a fraction of the time I used to, I still derive some amount of enjoyment from discussing games. Sure, I might only finish one game for every five I used to, but that's okay. And I'm okay with most games being a juvenile escape - with work, kids and family, it's nice having a break once in a while. As I type this I have Forza Horizon idling on the monitor to the left. There is no greater commentary on mankind found in that game, but it's fun. It's satisfying. But yeah, the aspects of growing old disrupt things. For me moving a couple of months back was a huge disruptor for my game time. I'm still getting used to this city (and the cold, dear god the cold). I'm still learning at my job. My kids are endlessly entertaining. I've cut back my discussion here on these forums a lot since the VU's heyday. I don't mind - everyone gets old and priorities do shift. I also hate being called a 'gamer' even if it's sort of a meaningless moniker. I don't consider myself a gamer, though. I just play games, it's not what defines me as a person. But I still love them. I love sliding around corners in a racing game, bouncing off enemy heads in Mario, pulling a chainsaw up through the crotch of a Locust, yelling at the screen after I make a choice in The Walking Dead, or even playing plastic instruments in Rock Band or dancing around while my Kinect tries frantically to figure out what it is I'm doing. Part of me will always remain a kid. And I'm okay with that - I'd hate to lose it.
#29 Posted by GodModeEnabled (15314 posts) -
Good luck with everything and congrats on the marriage. The games you are looking for are all in the indie scene. You should check out PC gaming and Steam sometime. There are a lot of original games there that will never see the light of day on consoles. Not every game is the equivalent to a summer blockbuster action movie, the fancy pantsy art films are there too if you know where to look. I think quitting playing videogames would be the same as not watching movies or reading books, expand your horizons past Nintendo and you will see a much wider world of gaming.
#30 Posted by xgraderx (2395 posts) -

This thread was a really good read.

Im an older gamer and can relate but games are my entertainment when I have the time.When Im sitting around with nothing to do or relaxing,I'd rather play a game than watch TV or a movie.I wouldnt have cable if it wasnt for my family and very few movies interest me.Its really the only form of entertainment that I find entertaining.

#31 Posted by capaho (1253 posts) -
From what you've disclosed about yourself I think it's safe to say that I entered the world of adult responsibilities way ahead of you. I don't want games that mimick real life, I want games that provide a safe but envigorating escape from reality. I think it's true that there has been a dearth of really good games lately, but more will come and there are still plenty of oldies but goodies that I haven't played yet. Gaming changes, forums change and people change. There's no way to escape the impermanence of life. The people who are here now are no less valid than those who've gone before. Otherwise, in general, I try to limit my expectations. I take my gaming one game at a time and I take my forum participation one post at a time. Keep an open mind and temper your expectations and you will rarely be disappointed. Finally, let me be the first to welcome you back to the forum in advance for the time that will inevitably come when you change your mind.
#32 Posted by JustPlainLucas (74815 posts) -

I just outgrew you.Oilers99

This is the only part of your post that I take issue with, and I take issue with it everytime I see it. "Outgrowing" video games makes it seem like they're only for children, which has never been the case. You may have lost interest in video gaming, or no longer have the time for you, but you never "outgrow" games. I know that you still love them. Hell, you took part in one of the Designer for a Day contests, so that shows your desire and passion for them. Even if I stop playing games for the reasons you've described, I can never say that I "outgrew" them. I'll be playing until I go blind or have arthritis. Gaming is a form of entertainment just as movies, books and music are, and all four mediums appeal to everyone, regardless of age.

Anyway, I do get the whole saturation of shooting-people-in-the-face games. It's what I call the Call of Duty effect. It's actually hazardous the industry, because it's robbing other smaller more interesting and creative games from selling because everyone's clamoring for the next cookie cutter shooter. Then it becomes discouraging for smaller developers and publishers to want to continue to innovate, so they end up going the me too route and add to the problem. How do you fight the ignorant masses, though? If they aren't interested in Shadow of the Colossus because all they want to play is Call of Duty, how can you fix that? How can you educate them? It's like trying to someone who listens to screamo to try to apprecate Mozart and Tchaikovsky. It's a cultural thing and I think it's too late to start truly culturing this new generation of gamers. It bums me out.

But, I still find good in the hobby. I still play the popular stuff, but I also still play the niche stuff. Have you purchased Theatrhythm Final Fantasy? That is so good! I'm still desparately awaiting the Last Guardian and hoping against hope that Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney makes it stateside. The Wii U is very promising and I'm hoping Pikmin 3 will turn out great, unlike Sticker Star which is letting me down a bit. Speaking of Paper Mario, I believe you and me talked the most during my time playing it. I think you also remembered me slipping away to the throes of Final Fantasy XI. Yeah, that game was evil, which is why I'm surprised I'm still anticipating Final Fantasy XIV...

I don't blame you for wanting to give up video games, though. You're about to get married - congratulations by the way! - and that will only further cut into your free time, but you'll view it as a worthwhile tradeoff; real quality time. Regardless, you simply won't have the time or interest to dig deeper through the layers of regurgitated annual sequels to really find the gems worth playing. I just hope you find a way to get in some gaming here or there. Cutting it out completely when it's been engrained in you for so many years is a really hard thing to do. Whatever the case, I wish you the best.

I myself haven't been very active on the forums either. It's gone through way too many changes, and I can blame it it all on Gerstmann Gate. To see this place get split right down the middle birthing Giant Bomb in the process (which is now in the same building again) and losing so many veterans was hard. Then the whole revamp of the Terms of Use a while back hasn't really seemed to improve things. GS never found the proper balance for moderation, so they pretty much just threw it all away. To be honest, the only thing that has kept me on this site has been doing reader reviews and blogs, but now I'm starting to question whether I want to blog anymore. I used to get a lot of comments back in the day, but now if I write a blog more than a couple paragraphs, I only get a couple, and sometimes none. Even reviewing is something that I don't think I want to do anymore. It almost seems pointless, because everytime I see a GS review, I see the comment pages flooded with idiots who either think the score is too high or too low. I don't want this as a profession anymore if this is how my audience is going to react.

Anyway, if you still have me on AIM check in some time and say hi. It was fun posting with you.

#33 Posted by Smokescreened84 (2516 posts) -
I never knew you, or even spoke to you, but I can understand how it feels with losing interest in gaming. I've found myself drifting farther and farther away from it due to the over abundance of always bland and boring male lead only characters in games, the constant mindlessly boring violence - man have gun, man kill many, man pound chest in victory, rinse and repeat for the majority of titles churned out - dull stories with little imagination and tend to come across as something you might see in some popcorn movie like a Bay movie and the ever increasingly lack of imagination and new ideas. It's getting harder and harder to find a game that isn't the usual male lead only boredom, that has more to offer than playing some bland character to some bland story made for those who want the same boring things over and over again while being fearful of change and progress where needed. I look at all the shooters coming out and have been released, with the slight exception of Borderlands 2 since that's the only shooter to at least allow players to choose between male and female characters for once even if the characters are a tad too stereotypical in their designs, and all I see is yet more rehashes and more mindless boredom for the dim witted who lap the stuff up with each release. It's become the same way with the majority of titles that have nothing new or interesting to offer, they just do the same thing that's been done for years. I don't want to play as male, I have no desire to play as male and I'm sick to the back teeth of being forced to be male in pretty much every game, I'm sick of constant violence for no purpose other than to cater to the violence hungry attention deficient crowd, I'm sick of the weak stories, the weak game play, the enforcement of multi player in pretty much every game and I'm sick of the stale ideas that offer nothing new. With so few games allowing for playing as female for a change, new ideas and imagination being very lacking, stories getting ever worse and the constant promotion of violence then there's very little of interest that isn't the same tired thing. So few ever speak up though, too many want things to never change because they're fearful of change and fearful of progress in an industry that is suffocating in the rut it's gotten stuck in. There's too much immaturity and sexism in gaming and with the gamer community, too many small minds that act like anything that could finally help the industry to grow and mature would take away their comfort zone. Almost thirty years of gaming and outside of fancy graphics and technology improvements, there's been little progress when it comes to the game themselves. And so few are speaking up about that.
#34 Posted by Dutch_Mix (29266 posts) -

I joined Gamespot almost 10 years ago as well, and I've always enjoyed reading your posts, Oilers. I hope everything goes well with your upcoming wedding, and say hey to Zeldachu for me, won't you?

Farewell.

#35 Posted by Killzonage (397 posts) -
I don't know you, but good read, and goodbye.
#36 Posted by Allicrombie (25514 posts) -
Hey Oilers, I've been around GS since 2002, and remember reading quite a few of your posts, and your Dev for a Day entry. Sad to see you go.
#37 Posted by rragnaar (27023 posts) -

I've always enjoyed your posts, and I'm sad to see you go. Additionally, I hate that it takes a long time GS vet saying goodbye to bring out a lot of other longtime vets that have become lurkers. You know who you are.:P

I don't know if I'm in the middle of 'outgrowing' games, or if things have just been so hectic in my day-to-day life, and games have been so stagnant, that I've just slowed down. My forum presence has certainly dropped off quite a bit too. That makes some sense as my job has gotten busy enough that I can't check the boards every five minutes like I used to. Next-gen, and PC gaming are going to be the things that determine whether or not gaming remains a passion of mine or not. This current crop of games and consoles are pretty long in the tooth. Right now I'm just cycling through my favorites from this gen and I've all but stopped looking forward to anything.(GTAV being the exception!)

I thought that Dishonored would be a game that would pull me back into paying attention to current-gen offerings, but after spending a few nights with it, it felt too much like a frankenstein monster of a bunch of current gen 'hit' franchises. For me, it represents a lot of what I don't like about games currently. It presents itself as a fairly open experience, but the more I played it, the more I constantly just felt like I was doing it wrong no matter which way I tackled it. Additionally, I think games need to realize that they need to do more than offer a 'good' ending and a 'bad' ending. Bioshock did it poorly, and Dishonored seems to be the same way. When a game makes it clear at the beginning that you either need to be Jesus or Hitler to get the ending you want, it doesn't really encourage choice and open ended gameplay, you essentially are just forced to decide at the beginning whether you want the good ending or the bad and then you have to adhere rigidly to that choice for the next several hours of gameplay to get a meager payoff.

I don't know what the answer is though. I don't think that a more tightly controlled narrative like Uncharted or Gears is as satisfying either because you are pretty much just running down a chute for 8 hours. I think that is why I keep going back to Skyrim, Oblivion, New Vegas, Dark Souls and Minecraft more than any other game that has come out in the last six or seven years. I never feel like I'm compelled to tackle those games in any particular way, which is very freeing. I play games for escapism, and for me, the best escapism is when I feel like I'm in complete control of the game I'm playing.

As for forums, I always wonder if all of us are just lurking and waiting for someone else to post something to respond to, and that is why things are dead a lot of the time. I really miss the good old days of the GGD, which, unfortunately, I think I only caught the tail end of. That being said, this place has remained small and tightknit over the years, and between it and the RoF, I always feel like I'm at home when I'm here at GS. I always hope that there will be a resurgence of quality discussion here, and I don't know if I've helped or hurt the chances of that in my years as a moderator. I eagerly await both new consoles and the new posters that they may bring, I also hope that they might bring some old posters out of the woodwork.:)

#38 Posted by Chevolutionary (23290 posts) -
Cheerio Oilers, have a nice life full of music and wonder and wife, but you lost me when you said that PM: TTYD was funny.
#39 Posted by GT90 (6256 posts) -

Sorry to see you go, your posts were always top notch. I can understand burning out on games, there are times when I question why I keep playing, but for me, it comes down to gaming being one of the few things that allow me to wind down, so I keep coming back. Best of luck to you though.

#40 Posted by turtlethetaffer (17144 posts) -

Didn't read the whole thing, but I can say that this coming generation looks rather grim for me. I'm considering ditching new games and going 100% retro.

#41 Posted by dkdk999 (6741 posts) -
Wow man.
#42 Posted by Travo_basic (38751 posts) -
Best if luck to you, man.
#43 Posted by XVision84 (13804 posts) -

Great read, I can see where you're coming from. Best of luck to you, man :).

#44 Posted by o0squishy0o (2772 posts) -

As someone "who grew out of videogames", honestly you will find that you will come back to them at your own pace. Its a bit like how I fell out with playing guitar, I basically stopped for 3 years after playing everyday and being in a band etc. Now I turn round and pick up my only remaining guitar and have a little tasty jam sandwhich ;) and its cool. For sure I fell out with games as well a bit, I am not sure I will ever properly return to the days of being in a competetive clan etc, because that takes time and I have alot of other things that I would like to do and go see :).

So I have no idea who you are, however I have a feeling like most people on here, we know what you are going through :). Have fun :D

#45 Posted by Vickman178 (866 posts) -

I think your overthinking things & looking at things too deeply, your focusing too much on pure emotions.

#46 Posted by Phantom_Leo (7087 posts) -

This coming from a man who proudly posts that he is Donkey Kong in his signature...

Strong and passionate?

Asking for Love and Peace?

Getting Angry?

Sounds like you're focusing too much on pure emotions if you ask me.

People in glass houses shouldn't throw barrels.

:roll:

#47 Posted by Oilers99 (28843 posts) -
Just a bit of clarification, I am not stopping videogames altogether. It's just I have reached the point where following them more than casually, playing them more than infrequently, thinking of myself as a gamer or investing a lot of energy into finding games that genuinely appeal to me in the indie scene, no longer make sense for me. Could that change? I suppose. But I think a big portion of the industry would have to make a an important shift to reinvigorate my interest. And man, lots of names I remember from here. Starts to dawn on one how much time this place used to take up. If anyone wants to contact me, I will probably come around GameSpot every so often, so I will likely get back to you on a PM eventually. God be with you all. And for those not religious, may fortune favour you.
#48 Posted by MAILER_DAEMON (45906 posts) -
Oilers, good to see you around here, even if it's just for a moment. I've been gaming much less frequently lately - working two jobs, console gaming playing it too safe and costing too much money (on both ends), the new ideas being regulated to cheap phone games, and changing tastes just make it hard for it to be what it once was. I'll never fully get rid of it, but I only buy maybe 6-7 games per year now.
#49 Posted by Grieverr (2766 posts) -

Good luck, Oilers! I've been on these forums about as long as you. You and the people you mentioned (ssfreitas, minda, pedro) were the reasons I pretty much only visited these forums specifically. Great dynamic and great conversations. (not that equally intersting people have not come up over time - which is why I still lurk)

For the record, I am a mid 30's father of 2 working a high-level i.t. job. I can certainly understand how priorities change. And I'm glad to see you'll still game. I was in the same boat and that turned out to be my solution as well. I am a much more casual (or infrequent) gamer. And still find enjoyment in the medium, even if I only finish about 1 game a year.

More importantly, even though I don't know you, I am really happy to read that you went from a troubled teenager into a compassionate, seemingly responsible adult who I'm sure will contribute positively to this society. Congratulations on your engagement!

And just to poke a bit of fun...you'll be back! Even though I have a PS3 and 360, my toddler kids are playing Golden Axe and Double Dragon, and I couldn't be nejoying it more!

#50 Posted by SupremeAC (7521 posts) -
Man, I just dug this up. We're all old hags aren't we? Like Oilers said back then, nobody of our generatin of posters seems to be around anymore. It's like we're all in our 70's and see everyone we know dieing around us. Every now and then you wonder where everyone went, you track some down... But it's never the same. Back when Jeff got fired, we all left as a form of protest. The only thing we did was blow ourselves up. I've recently started comming back here, mostly reading through old threads and remenincing, as old men should, and noticed how much of us still are here. Stings a bit really. Every now and then I'll promise myself I'll get back into posting at GS, but then I see the state of the PGD and just give up again. It's all fodder. It's been 16 years since I first came here, a day behind on Minda_Cubed. I still love videogames. Heck, I probably read more about them then I play them. But I haven't got anywhere to discuss them about anymore. All that's left of the VU is the same 10 people stating what they're playing every week again. Like the console market, it's all just gone a bit stale.