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Posted by Zac MacDonald on Apr 22, 2013

Suffering From Gamer’s Block

It’s Friday night, you’re set for a weekend in chock full of gaming, movies, and junk food. You boot up your console of choice and turn towards your shelf of games, then it hits. That feeling of indecision, you don’t know what it is you should play. You’ve just hit stage 1 of Gamer’s Block, which is a real thing that I didn’t just make up.

You tell yourself, “Oh I’ll just watch a bit of Netflix and in no time I’ll be in the mood to play one game or another”. But after hours of The Office re-runs, you’ve realized that your PS3 has been sitting there, the battery on the controller undoubtedly waning thin, and your room five degrees hotter from the heat generated by the console, and yet no games have been played.

You find you’re still not in the mood, you decide that if you don’t force yourself to play something, you never will. You’ve hit stage 2 of this totally not-made-up illness. You pop in one game, or boot up a downloadable. You play for a few minutes, but you still feel as if you’re not into it; you’re going through the motions, but it’s not fun, it’s a task, a chore.

Scrambling for the nearest checkpoint, you exit the game, and stare a few moments at the console’s home menu, you wonder where the spark went, you wonder why you’re not passionate about all of the games you’d felt you wanted to play on the way home from work. As you slip into stage 3, you start to get angry, angry at yourself, for not jumping into these games, angry at Netflix, for wasting so much of your time. You begin to focus your anger on anything and everything, until your anger finally falls upon the games themselves. “It’s their fault!” you shout in your head, subconsciously, “If only the games were more interesting, they seem that way when you’re not playing, but in-session it’s all just a bore, curse you!” your id blares from the dark side of your brain.

You decide that to calm yourself down, you’ll order a pizza, after all, what’s better comfort food than stuffed crust pizza with bacon bits and pepperoni? You tell yourself after you eat your pizza, you’ll probably have gotten over it all and finally decided what to play. But as the time passes, it never comes, the longing to play a specific game. You begin to feel distressed, upset, sad, even, you’ve come to stage 4, and it is the worst of all of the stages, because I said so, because I am an expert in this field of completely legitimate science.

You wonder if ever again you will want to play games. You were young, hopeful, brimming with thoughts of the future, but now, now you feel as though your entire weekend will be ruined. As you slip further into crippling depression and a few minutes of manly tears, you start to finally come to terms with it, you’ve brought yourself, kicking and screaming by the heels, to stage 5: Acceptance.

You realize it’s okay if there isn’t something you want to play right now, it’s not as if you have to play something, lest your flesh melt or your brain implode. You decide that you’ll just go to bed, and if you feel like playing something tomorrow, great, and if not, that’s okay.

As you tuck yourself into bed, you pick up your phone to get in one last Twitter-fix for the night, but as you swipe and touch your way across the screens, you instinctively tap on Angry Birds, or Cut The Rope, or even something as simple as Sudoku. You don’t know why, but you just did it, as if by habit. You decide to go ahead and play a few rounds, just to decompress, you find yourself saying “just one more round” over and over until you realize it’s now 2AM and you’ve been playing for hours, and to top it off, you’ve been having fun.

You, my friend, have just gotten over your Gamer’s Block, which, again, is totally a thing. The End.

Have you ever experienced Gamer’s Block, or anything similar? How do you generally end up getting out of it? Does it last a few days, or just a few hours? Let me know in the comments below!

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