RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on May 8th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Too many games, choice paralysis, take a break, gaming problems, gamer problems


There are times when we, as collectors, have too much choice. Times when, despite curating a highly respectable library of games, our shelves are full to the brim. One might say too full, in fact. In those moments, we can be struck by choice paralysis. We have so many games, it becomes harder to decide what to play. Last month, I wrote an article about "evergreen games" that I can go back to at any time. Those are my "go to" games to play, when I otherwise can't decide. What do you do when you've either exhausted those, or you pop a couple of them in, and you're just not feeling it?



Option 1: Don't play any games right now.

As crazy as it might sound, sometimes the reason your evergreen games aren't clicking with you, or you just can't decide what to play, is that you're just not in a gaming mood, even if you think you are. Or maybe you just finished with a really big game, and what you need is a cool-down period. This happened to me when I finished up with Xenoblade Chronicles X a few months ago. I finished the story, then messed around in the game world for a couple hours afterward, but honestly, I needed a break. So instead of starting up another game, or diving into the Shmup Club game of the month right away, I took a couple days off from gaming. I caught up on some TV, I watched a movie, and I got out for a bit, did some housework, etc. Some of us game a lot, and occasionally, some of us game too much (guilty!). Regardless of how much, or how little, you game, there are times when you just need a break from it. Go for a walk, call a friend or family member, get some fresh air, watch a movie or TV show, listen to some music, read a book, catch up on tasks around the house. Sometimes, you just need to put down the controller and walk away for a bit, so when you come back, it feels more fresh and new. This is a big one for me, because I game a lot, and it's easy to get burnt out, even with a favorite hobby.


In addition to being an avid gamer, I'm also a music enthusiast. With so many game soundtracks getting
vinyl releases these days, sometimes I can combine my hobbies, and get a break from gaming, while
still immersing myself in it somehow. It's a part of gaming culture that I've really enjoyed lately.

Option 2: Catalog your games!

Being that RF Generation is a game collector's community, I know I'm preaching to the choir, here, but please indulge me. Even for those of us who have fully cataloged our collection in the RF Generation Database, there are always going to be holes. Have you submitted any variants you've picked up to the database? Do you have some obscure Korean release that hasn't been added to the site yet? Maybe you own some games that just don't have photos or scans on the site, because no one else has added them. The database is in constant need of updating, and if you own some games that aren't in the list, why not add them? Or photo/scan some covers, carts or discs, etc. and submit those to be added to some incomplete listings? Not only will you be helping the site, but it's a good way to stay connected to your hobby, and maybe as you comb through your collection, you'll find a game you forgot you had, and be inspired to play it! For those of you who haven't cataloged your games, even if your collection is small, what are you waiting for? The tools are free to use, and it's a great way to keep track of what you have, when you're not at home, and out looking for new games to buy.

Option 3: Freshen up your game room.

This might seem too obvious, but every room in your house or apartment occasionally needs cleaning. When was the last time you dusted your game room? I'm writing this as much for myself, as I am for anyone else, because I know it doesn't get done nearly often enough. If you're not in the mood to game, or you are, but you just can't decide, break out the vacuum! Grab the duster, and go over your shelves! Clean your consoles, and dust them thoroughly. Your console cooling fans will thank you. Give your game room, or setup, a deep cleaning, and have the satisfaction of knowing that you're helping to preserve your investment in games. And once again, going through those shelves may inspire you to pick a game off there to queue up for when you're ready to dive back in.


We don't all have a Mrs. Doubtfire to keep our gaming stuff clean.

Option 4: Learn to mod!

Once again, I'm saying this as much for myself, as for anyone else reading this. One of the things I've wanted to eventually get into, is console modding and hardware refreshes. I have a Model 1 Sega CD that probably needs to have its capacitors removed and replaced. I sent my Game Gear away to have that done, and I have it back, but I have another that needs the same treatment. I have a Game Boy DMG that I want to improve with an IPS screen replacement. I'd like to get composite video (or better) out of my Atari 7800. Those things aren't going to fix themselves, and certainly it's going to cost me money to ship that stuff off to someone else, to have them do it. While it will take time, and be something I'll have to invest a little money into, to buy equipment, and spend some time practicing, in the end, I can potentially save money by improving my own stuff, instead of paying someone else. Soldering can be a difficult skill, but not all soldering projects are that hard. I've done enough of them to know that they can be done, even by someone who doesn't have the steadiest hands. With so many resources on the internet, and so many people getting into the modding scene, now's a great time to learn!

Option 5: Spend some more time here at RF Generation!

This is completely self-serving, but so be it. Why not get more engaged in things, here at RFG? Start a topic of discussion about your favorite game - maybe you don't want to play it right now, but you can sure talk about it with other people! Look at the Community Playthrough forum, and see what's coming up next, to see if you want to join in a play-through, either with the regular Community pick, or with the Shmup Club. Check out one of the excellent podcasts the site has to offer! Join the RFG Discord, and come chat some of us up - we're around frequently, and there's good conversation happening there nearly every day. Read more articles on the front page - like this one - and watch the videos from great content creators like Pam, Russlyman, and Neomagicwarrior. They put effort into making their videos, and all of us who contribute to the front page can always use more feedback on our work.

At the end of the day, you're going to get back to gaming. We all do. But sometimes, you just need a break. Again, we all do. Hopefully, these few suggestions will get the creative juices flowing, and help get you through those times of choice paralysis, or when you're just not feeling it, when you pick up the controller. In those times, there are lots of ways to stay plugged in, or even tune out completely, so you can recharge, and come back again to your favorite hobby. Game on!


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Comments
 
Hehe.  I call it getting "dizzy," more specifically when I'm trying to go into too gaming directions at once.  While I generally fall back on my own evergreen games for a good cleansing, in the past year I've employed Options 1, 3, 4, and 5, and can vouch that they all work, even for somebody as "dizzy" as I typically get.

I think this is doubly important for gamers with limited time, as nothing kills more game time than indifference.  I had to take a couple of months off just to let my brain "air out" this year, which almost had me starting over Dragon Quest Builders 2 from scratch because I had almost forgotten how to play the game!
 
Man, I can totally relate to this.  Usually, I will end up playing nothing, sadly, or pick a "dumb" game.  A game where you don't have to think so much such as Animal Crossing.
 
Very good tips!  I came up with my own incredibly nerdy way to decide what to play next, simply because I always felt the pressure in deciding was  just too much...  I just made my first blog post in 6 years the other day, and mentioned that very thing.  haha
 
It may sound different, but I'll start watching speedruns, and a lot of times either I'll want to play something similar to what I'm watching, or the complete opposite.

For instance, lately I've been watching Arcus speedrun Ninja Gaiden, so what did that put me in the mood to play...Super Black Bass (a nostalgic favorite of mine)
 
@bombatomba: You're absolutely right that it's doubly important for those with limited time. I go through stints of time where that's the case, and when I have to maximize that time, it's important for me to have a plan, or at least be ready to stream, so I can keep up with the Shmup Club game. If ones time is limited, and they still feel burnt out, or can't decide what to play, it might be time to take a couple days off and make a list of games to play, just to get a little organization going.

@shaggy: Funny - when I played the original Animal Crossing, that was my big game, so I would occasionally come home and spend just enough time with it to do what I needed (i.e. pull weeds, shake trees, etc.), and then switch to a quick game, like a shmup or NES game, just to scratch that itch, and keep myself from getting bored of AC.

@kornnut43: Welcome back! We hope you stay, and keep engaged with the community here. Thanks for reading, and for the kind words. Choice paralysis is very much a thing, and I say that with multiple hobbies. My music CD collection is well over 3K at this point, I'm probably nearing 1K vinyl albums, and I'm approaching 3,500 games, so I know the feeling well. Sometimes, it's worth it to literally pick a random game off the shelf, pop it in, and see if it clicks. I did that about 5 or 6 years ago with a random PS2 game, and I kept playing until the end, even though it wasn't all in one sitting. Sometimes, that is the only way to break through the barrier.

@EZ Racer: Funny you mentioned Arcus, because I randomly caught part of one of his Ninja Gaiden speedrun practice streams a few days ago. The guy is seriously talented at the game. Watching speedruns, or YT videos about games or game series is a good way to stay engaged, and maybe give you some ideas about what to play next. That occasionally inspires me to pull something off the shelf.

Thanks for the awesome responses and feedback, everyone!
 
Perhaps you're aware of the tried-and-true "Eeney-Meeney-Miney-Moe" method of decision-making?

On a more serious note: as someone with a fair amount of free time and over 3400 games to choose from, I feel for ya. One thing I like to do is see which games I have for different platforms, narrow those down to one game, and then play each version to see how it compares to the others. For example, I recently played Zaxxon for Atari 2600, Intellivision, ColecoVison, C64 on tape, BanDai handheld, Coleco tabletop arcade... and the Milton Bradley board game. The C64 tape version edged out the others for me, BTW.

Another thing I do is pick out several games that are widely considered the worst ones ever, and play them to see if I get any enjoyment from playing them. This happened to me when I first played Shadow the Hedgehog, which became my all-time favorite "guilty-pleasure" game.

I've also been going back to games I was very close to completing, and doing a fair bit of backtracking and grinding to max out the weaponry, XP, and other stats before going into the final level. What can I say, I want Ratchet & Clank to be truly ready to KFA before the reckoning on the Deplanetizer...

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