Writers’ block: a phrase that sends shivers down a blogger’s spine. The most excruciating and demotivating points during this hobby can be those times when you stare at a blank page for what seems like hours, knowing you really need to have something ready for the following day but just don’t know what to write.
But for gaming bloggers there’s also the fear of gamers’ block. Have you ever had those situations when you look forward to getting home after work because you know you have a spare hour or two, but as soon as you sit down and pick up the controller you can’t find anything you actually want to play? You look at your physical collection upon the shelf, trawl through the library on your PC, even check out what’s installed on your consoles – and absolutely nothing appeals.
This is what I’ve been suffering from for the past month or so and nothing has been grabbing my attention. There are titles that have spent over a year languishing in my backlog along with a couple of physical releases I haven’t yet opened, but I’m not motivated to start them. Although the Steam summer sale added five new games to my list recently, they were smaller ones that I managed to finish within a couple of weeks and I quickly returned to the position of feeling as though there was nothing I wanted to play.
People say you need to take a break from any hobby every now and again so you can come back to it later with renewed enthusiasm. But I’m not sure this is the right solution for me: I still feel that familiar desire to jump into video games and don’t believe I’m losing my passion for them. They still inspire me to write even now… I just can’t seem to find a release that gets my fires burning, that’s all. The last time I remember feeling that way was in Eastshade over four months ago.
Maybe my current situation has something to do with having too much choice. You know what it’s like when you turn on Netflix: you spend your evening trying to decide what to watch rather than watching anything at all. My post in July about game passes mentioned research which showed having too many options was bad thing as we lose our decision-making powers after around 12. Perhaps there are so many games out there that I’m not sure where to start.
I think limited spare time is also a cause though. The less free hours I have, the more I don’t want to spend them searching for a title instead of actually playing one, so I’ve developed a trend of resorting to The Elder Scrolls Online recently. It’s like junk-food that’s far too tempting. It’s so easy to pick up and being in its world is comforting; it’s familiar, I don’t have to try too hard in terms of gameplay, and I know I can usually manage to fit a quest into the time I have available before sleep.
But it’s no longer a challenge or hides any surprises, and I miss that aspect of gaming. I want something unexpected that’s going to catch me off-guard, transport me to somewhere I’ve never been before and show me things that leave me speechless. Forget your bland first-person shooters, boring battle-royale modes and new releases that don’t live up to the promotional material: give me something different that has an impact on those who play it.
I’m turning to you for advice, dear reader. What do you do when you get a case of gamers’ block? Are there any titles which have pulled you out of its demotivating grasp? Please do let me know because I’m not sure how many more nights I can spend fishing in Auridon.
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.