2022 has been a great year for games so far.
And yet, I haven’t yet felt compelled to play most of them, or even tackle my ever-growing backlog.
For me, it can sometimes be overwhelming when there’s so much to play, as my tastes are quite varied. I often want to play almost every big game released in the year, both for personal enjoyment and because I follow and cover the industry extensively. But I’ve also come to realize that this is unrealistic, and my big epiphany came when I was playing Elden Ring in late February. I really enjoyed my 12-ish hours with the game, but seeing so many people I know put insane amounts of time into it — like, 100 hours in the first couple of weeks — honestly made the prospect of playing more feel off-putting. In fact, I soon found myself not really playing much else. In March, I reviewed Ghostwire: Tokyo and Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin — two decidedly flawed games that I still enjoyed, largely due to their smaller scopes — and since haven’t played anything, outside of a couple of random Super Smash Bros. Ultimate matches online.
And you know what? I’ve loved my time away. Now, gaming will always be my favourite form of entertainment, but you never want too much of a good thing. Why force yourself to play if you’re just not feeling it? Instead, I’ve spent much more time on other hobbies, and it’s been wonderful. I apparently have watched around 80 movies this year (Everything Everywhere All At Once supremacy!), and I’ve enjoyed using the Letterboxd app to pen more personal, long-form pieces about films that wouldn’t make sense for MobileSyrup.
I’ve also been checking out more TV shows, including Severance (my most pleasant surprise of the yar), the latest season of Better Call Saul (as outstanding as expected) and, for the first time, Kim’s Convenience. It was especially enjoyable to finally catch up on that Canadian comedy series ahead of reading star Simu Liu’s new memoir, We Were Dreamers, which is a thoroughly entertaining, heartfelt, sincere and relatable look at one family’s inspiring immigrant journey and eventual reconciliation. Then, of course, there are all of the non-entertainment activities like going to the gym more (#COVIDWeight) and seeing friends and family. The past two months have been rad.
That’s why I find it so funny when people complain about game delays. If you really want a new game to play, there are still so many others from 2022 and previous years. But better still: why not try taking a break from the medium? I saw someone tweet that they’ve been searching for games to “grab” them, and on some level, I get that. I’m sure I’ll love Elden Ring eventually, but for now, it just wasn’t grabbing me. But what it did do was help me realize that I was just burnt out on games in general, and that’s fine! Taking some time away from something only helps you appreciate it even more.
It’s exactly what Doctor Mario ordered as we approach the crazy, eventful month for gaming that is June. Now, my interest in actually playing games has been completely reinvigorated. I’m excited to finally dive into Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, which I’ve been putting off for months, as well as 2022 releases like Lego Star Wars and Tunic.
So if you’re like me and haven’t quite felt into gaming lately or even just find the number of games to play daunting, maybe try stepping away for a bit. It can be really refreshing, and it makes your eventual return to games all the sweeter.
Image credit: Bandai Namco, Giphy