The piercing sound of gunfire in Black Ops doesn’t move me. The clang of steel in Dragon Age: Origins can’t wake me. Even Glados and her homicidal puzzles fail to shake me from my electronic ennui.
I’m in a gaming funk.
It happens, from time to time, usually in the summer months, when the Florida sun shines down from what seems like an inch from my head, pelting me with a heat that is as oppressive as a batarian slaver. It happened a lot in college, when I didn’t always have the money to get the games I wanted, but the miasma sets in sometimes even now.
I know the cure. I just have to find it: the right game at the right time. That perfect synergy of carefully identifying my mood and calculating what the proper game is to propell me forward and upward, to eliminate the listless that has so gripped me.
Don’t we all feel this way sometimes? When all of gaming seems so boring and cliched? When inspiration seems like something from the ancient 16-bit days, a long forgotten virtue that was once common as an arcade machine in the 1980s, but is now as rare as a forum without a fanboy?
Sequels abound and new IPs that might as well be sequels, blantant rip-offs that are carefully positioned as “homages” or spiritual sequels or whatever other buzzwords that were cooked up inside the unholy lairs of Marketing. I imagine black robes, pentagrams and circles of blood, drawn carefully and precisely to act as supernatural antennea to reach the demons of gaming, to ask for and receive the newest mantras: “Gamification. Transmedia. Motion Controls.” *shudder*
You know the feeling, I’m sure: when you can’t even stomach playing a demo for more than the title screen. When a request to play online from a friend makes you dive for the power switch. When the normally welcoming chime of a newly-earned Achievement/Trophy is met with disdain…it’s like the end of the world.
Doubts set in, sneaking in unheeded like a man with a mullet. Am I too old for gaming? Have I finally found the last princess in the last castle? Is it all downhill from here? Will I be content with the games I still own? A quick glance at my collection of games dispels that notion. Once abundant and seemingly evergreen, now withered and decayed, ravaged by trade-ins and time. Games I once loved with a fervor now cast aside, lured away by the promises something better, something newer, promises that ring false now.
Days pass. My controllers collect a fine layer of dust. My reading and movie backlog dwindle. Life goes on.
But then something happens: a memory perhaps, an urging, deep inside for one more try.
So here goes. But I don’t try. I do. And the piercing sound of gunfire on Black Ops makes my adrenaline surge. The clang of steel in Dragon Age: Origins invigorates me. Glados and her homicidal puzzles make me chuckle with renewed determination. The Great Funk of 2011 has passed. Let us game.