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Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Are you a lapsed gamer?


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Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Are you a lapsed gamer? published by Evanvinh
Writer Rating: 5.0000
Posted on 2016-04-27
Writer Description: Evanvinh
This writer has written 733 articles.

GameCentral readers reveal whether they’ve ever given up on gaming completely, and what games drew them back in.

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Chickenmoose (gamertag), who asks if for whatever reason – whether it be work, family, money, or simple falling out of love with gaming – you’ve ever given up playing video games for a substantial period of time.

Many admitted to having stopped at some point in their lives, with leaving school and starting a family being the most common reasons. A few also admitted to being on the point of lapsing at the moment, amid concerns about the direction of the current gen of consoles.


Returning to Duty

I had a PlayStation 2 but it was proper dormant.

Just as I was enjoying going out and being sociable I got a message from my elder brother about some Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare game on the PlayStation 3. A quick visit followed and I was totally blown away. Graphics, sound and online. Amazing.

Call Of Duty 4 and PlayStation 3 purchased the following day.

Being sociable was overrated anyway.
Stone Cold Steve Austin


Love, actually

I’m 39 years old and am currently in a resurgent period of video game playing. I have had many lapses, but the thing that brings me back, and will continue to do so, is the pure love and fascination that comes when immersing myself in these interactive worlds.

Video games allow for an escape like any good book or movie, but in an ever shifting and changing way — thanks in part to advancements in technologies. It’s been incredible to go from being a child in a coin-operated world to Atari 2600 and 5200 in my living room!

To Intellivision back to arcades. To Nintendo and Sega then to Super Nintendo and the Mega Drive. To TurboGrafx to Neo Geo. Game Boy, Game Gear, GameCube, Jaguar, Lynx, Dreamcast, PlayStation 1, 2, 3, and now 4 with talks of a five not far behind. Xbox, 360, and One. PCs and graphics cards.

Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Select, Start. Fatalities and sonic booms. Codes, cheats, tricks, and walkthroughs. Guidebooks and wikis. Easter eggs, eSports, tournaments, and PewDiePie. Dreams of shooting cameras in GoldenEye and the sound of your health meter in Halo. And that’s barely scratching the surface.

If that doesn’t make your blood rush, make you recall a time where it made sense to play a game for 72 hours straight, or wanting to throw your controller at the TV, a friend, or both, then a lapse in gaming is not a problem.

Love brings me back. Pure and simple love. It’s what brings everyone back.

That and video games are really cool.
Frank A Queris


Blame the kids

I’m a lapsed gamer at the moment. As my children got older and understood the things around them, I spent and do spend more time with them. I can’t play unsuitable content games with them around. Plus, with their bedtime getting later I find it is too late to go into an involved single-player game.

Loading up a save file after time away, it takes time to remember the mechanics and controls of that game. Most of my gaming now is more pick up and play, short burst arcade types, particularly on handheld. I also play a bit of Mario, Lego titles, and Minecraft with the kids – but my backlog is looking at me on the shelf!
half_empty80 (PSN ID)


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The right size

At the turn of the generation I felt I almost became a lapsed gamer, having become a bit jaded with rinse-and-repeat sequels and finding my gaming time reduced by the usual distractions of work and parenthood. Like many others I found myself acquiring a backlog of games that I never have a chance of playing through, which felt quite daunting, and realised I was spending more time reading about video games than actually playing them.

However, with the current generation of consoles I made a conscious decision to adjust my gaming habits to suit my lifestyle and no longer buy the big budget, open world franchises. I would love to sink 100+ hours into a Dark Souls or Witcher 3 but those days are behind me and through recognising this I no longer buy a game, play for two to three hours and then don’t pick it up again.

I’m happy with smaller packages these days (ooh err!), with recent examples being Bastion, Transistor, Shovel Knight, Hotline Miami, and The Walking Dead series. Coupled with buying a Wii U to play Nintendo classics with my son and I feel like I have found space in my grown up life for my long-time hobby.


Something completely different

I remember when Lovefilm used to let you rent games, so I was managing to get through quite a few without too much expense. It was a great service but due to how many games I was playing in the genres I normally enjoyed I started to get a bit bored of them and wanted something different. I took a small break from games then returned but still I craved something different.

It was at this point I decided to give Catherine a go. I thought I had nothing to lose, seeing as I could rent it and I thought I should follow GC’s advice to try a game out of my own comfort zone. Boy am I glad I did, as it turned out to be one of my favourite games and rekindled my love for gaming.

I won’t go into too much detail about why I enjoyed Catherine so much but at the time it was unlike anything I had played before. Most importantly though it taught me to try new games or genres I hadn’t played before, and I am all the more better for it. It has led to trying games like Bayonetta 2, The Unfinished Swan, Devil May Cry amongst others, with varying levels of success in terms of whether I like them or not.

The Wii U also rekindled my love for gaming as I found the games I have played on it to be far more enjoyable and happy than the stuff on PlayStation 4.

However, I never force myself now to play games if there is nothing I want to play just because I am a gamer. If there is nothing I feel like playing I will watch a TV series instead or read a book. Gaming or any hobby should never be an obligation or chore and there is no shame in not playing for an extended period. In fact it can lead to a renewed love for the hobby.
Truk_Kurt (PSN ID)/Angry_Kurt (Twitter)


Taking a break

While I’ve never been without consoles I have gone for months at a time without using them due to the boredom of the same generic games being released, with even games like Dark Souls starting to get a bit stale.

This brings me to my point that I’m considering lapsing for a while as I have no interest in VR and the thought of potentially buying three new consoles just two to three years after the last three leaves a bad taste, but we shall see!


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Keeping in touch

VLTRFTW Great Hot Topic. I would say compared to my school/college days I have been a lapsed gamer for over a decade now.

From getting a Super Mario All-Stars SNES when I was seven for Christmas I was always a console gamer, falling in love with the Mario world and enjoying so many great single and multiplayer games over the years (with GoldenEye probably top of the pile).

The only exception to console gaming was Championship Manager, the most addictive game ever for me. And I agree with other readers, the stories your imagination could write were endless (a statue outside Morecambe football club was a personal game highlight). But from beautiful ladies and booze at uni through a tough graduate scheme and getting into a career I love, I am at the stage where working 60-70 hours a week in New York City means I need to make choices on what I enjoy doing most with my free time.

Strangely enough though my 3DS has reignited my interest over the past year and I really enjoyed completing Zelda: A Link Between Worlds recently. I find it easy to dip in and out of 3DS games and am currently playing Professor Layton And The Miracle Mask and Shovel Knight.

I have no plans to join the current console generation (or the .5 or the .75 versions to come) but whenever I go back home to where my best friends still live (and who have never stopped gaming), I enjoy getting back into the latest game they are playing and usually being the butt of the joke for my now horrendous gaming abilities for a few nights.

Keep up the great work GC. I have always appreciated the review honesty since the Teletext days and glad you got the chance to do print as well as online after the days of waiting for pages to load ended.



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