I have over 100 games that I own and thanks to GamePass Unlimited, access to many more games. I’d gotten hooked on Elite Dangerous and playing it for hours on end until, one day, eh, I wasn’t feeling it. Unlike the majority of players, I don’t wanna be bothered with PvP stuff (player versus player) and being attacked, pirated, and dealing with the many asshole players I’ve been hearing about. I play in Solo mode so it’s me against whatever computerized NPCs the game decides to throw at me as I operate my ships as freighters or break out my passenger liner to go on long trips. But the last time I actually played, “business” was bad; there weren’t enough high paying jobs to justify taking a ship out; fuel and repair costs for the ships I normally use are quite high and while I do have enough credits on hand to offset those costs, if a job isn’t paying at least a half-million credits, it’s not worth it.
That aside, I just wasn’t feeling the game and I knew it was because I had hit the gaming wall more than anything else. I went to play Minecraft and to test out the new (and for now, experimental) features the game has added and, okay, wow, they were pretty cool… but instead of starting a new world and going through my start-up process, which is usually the best part of the game, bleh – it was a bit of a bother and another symptom of hitting the gaming wall.
I went to a game I hadn’t played in a while: Prey. I picked up where I had left off only to realize that I had seriously fucked up because I didn’t make sure I was fully stocked up before tackling a situation in the game that can be hard to get through if you’re not fully stocked and loaded for bear. So I said, “Fuck it; lemme start a new game!” I could have literally fought my way through the existing game but when you hit the gaming wall, it’s just too much work. In the new game, I blew right past the part where I got stuck in the existing game but as I progressed, the dulling effect of the gaming wall hit me and… I stopped playing.
Another of my go-to games is Borderlands. I’m pissed that my console’s DVD drive died (and they always seem to do that for unknown reasons) so I couldn’t play the games I have discs for but I have Borderlands 1 and 3 digitally and decided to play Borderlands 3 to see what new stuff had been added to the game. I picked my favorite character to continue what I’d been doing with her and got into it but, wow, that character is very powerful and with equally powerful weaponry to match so while I usually take “pleasure” in going on wholesale slaughtering binges, bleh, it wasn’t fun because the gaming wall was really falling down on me. I decided to start a new game, which is usually fun to do as I build up the character and easily so since I’ve defeated this game more times than I can remember and I do love slaughtering the bad guys. But I got to a point in the game and, ugh, I was more aggravated than anything else and while I haven’t quit playing, I’m not eager to get back at it so much.
This is nothing new; ever since I started gaming, I’ve had many moments where I just don’t feel like playing and to the point where I wouldn’t even bother to turn the console on and, at the time, making my son-in-law call me to find out if I was okay because he wasn’t seeing me online. As a bit of an aside, I’m still very much troubled by his sudden and unexpected death almost three months ago now and even after all this time has passed, it feels very weird to be playing a game and knowing that he’s never going to jump in or call me to tell me about certain games. His passing still bothers me but as the show must go on, so must the gaming… but the gaming wall still showed up anyway and becomes more of a pain because while I could watch TV or read, ugh – not much worth looking at on TV and some of the books I’ve been reading are “hard” to read and the wall is so bad that I don’t really feel like playing any of the games on my iPad but since gaming is part of my daily routine, I can fight through the wall’s effects but, yeah, ugh.
You’d think that because I’ve been gaming for as long as I have – and that I’ve hit the wall at times along the way – that I’d be used to it and would have figured out why I hit it and why it even happens at all… and I haven’t even come close to figuring it out. It’s not that any of the games I have are boring because it a game doesn’t interest me, I don’t acquire it. It’s not that I don’t have access to a lot of potentially exciting games because I sure as hell do; Xbox has, through acquisitions and other deals, has more games than I can shake a controller at from major players like Bethesda, EA, and Ubisoft and I have games from all three companies that I love playing… until I faceplant the gaming wall, that is.
It always comes out of nowhere and without the slightest hint that it’s going to appear in front of me. I was in the middle of doing a cargo run in Elite Dangerous and I just wanted to quit before I even delivered the cargo. I did complete the job and there were other jobs to be done… just didn’t feel like doing them so I took my ship back to my home station and parked it and it’s been there for over a week now as I’ve been playing other games in an attempt to break through the wall. It’s just weird; the only way I can break through the wall is to keep playing even though I don’t feel like playing but long experience with running face first into the wall has taught me that if I wanna get through this, I gotta keep playing.
I used to think it was just me but my now-late son-in-law, along with my daughter and their children who I often play with and the other games I often play with, would tell me the same thing and it’s not unlike the ongoing complaint about TV: Hundreds of channels to watch, not a damned thing on any of them worth watching. You can be gaming your ass off and even across multiple games and at some point, the wall appears and just stops you dead in your tracks… and I’ll be damned if I know why.
So I’m off to do some gaming and chipping away at the gaming wall. The “bad” part is that I also feel a very bad case of writer’s block coming on so if you don’t see anything from me, you know what happened.