(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr)
I should be really enthused about games right now.
TF2, which I adore, has added ranking and competition along with smooth new interfaces. Games feel they’re taken a bit more seriously now, as opposed to SwagBag420 dancing around his sentry.
Overwatch, which is amazing, is here. It’s got competitive mode and casual mode and great gameplay. It’s got a new character coming.
PokemonGo realizes many of my ideas of augmented reality and socialized gaming. Also it’s Pokemon and it’s highly social.
Except . . . I’m not feeling that enthusiastic about any of them. This is probably a phase, but I realized it said something about me, games, and recreation.
All of these games, for lack of a better word, involve resource and people management. TF2 may require teamwork, but Overwatch’s whole rock-paper-scissors type mechanic means teamwork is overwhelmingly important. PokemonGo is social and can involve various rival gyms and factions – and management.
And lately, busy at work, where I’d probably want to game, I find myself less enthused about two beloved games and one interesting take on the franchise. I should be interested and I’m not. Then, I realized why.
Because these games are about what I do in real life.
I manage people. I direct resources. I’m used to charging forwad, goal-driven, with a team behind me (or me behind them). Work’s been pretty busy lately, and that in turn means the games that I like to escape with . . . seem a bit to much like what I do for a living.
This is weirder to me as I love games that play to my strengths – especially resource management and planning things. I love games with people. But when I have enough of that at work . . . I don’t want it as much in my games.
Moreso, a lot of these games feel “workish” anyway. PokemonGo has things constantly happening in the real world. Game wiht a team of friends in TF2 or Overwatch and people will inevitably want to play competitive – and TF2’s casual mode still has its leveling. The games are a bit too close to my job right now, and then a bit too workish anyway.
It’s a strange thing to feel and I’m curious to what happens to my interests anyway. I feel a bit bad as I haven’t gamed with various friends online from anywhere from a month to a week and there’s a strange sense of guilt about it. But really fun things that happen to be like my job – and like work – in all the wrong ways is a new one on me.
I assume as work calms down my mind will change. Heck I sort of want to force myself to play. But for now I feel like I peered around a corner into some demographic issues that could be explored more.
When are fun thngs too much like other things to be fun? What does tht mean for the audience?