It’s not difficult for me to remember a time when a new game was on the horizon, tantalizingly out of reach, and building a hysterical excitement within me as I counted down the days until its release. Yet in spite of this easy to recall memory, I struggle to think of a game whose release I have anticipated. After some mental strain I came up with three: Animal Crossing: New Leaf, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon.
Really? I’ve only been excited for three games in one year? That can’t be right. Is the industry slowing down? Am I not paying attention to new titles? Are there fewer games being made that interest me? Or, maybe, am I losing touch with the current generation?
In all honesty, I have to assume it’s the last one. As sad and old as that makes me feel, I cannot deny that video games continue to hum and thrive all around me. I’ve always been at least a bit behind the curve on new releases, and it’s not unheard of for me to take years to actually finish a game (Skyward Sword, anyone? I’ll beat it someday). But does this mean I’ve already turned into a ‘golden age’ gamer who only likes the titles from their youth?!
But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The backlog of games that I have yet to sink my teeth into (Mass Effect and Fallout: New Vegas, for starters) is truly enormous. I could go years and years without buying a new video game and still not run out of content to devour. At least I’m saving money, right?
Mostly it’s just interesting to me that I haven’t really noticed any video game news. Where is all the news?! Is there a single, reliable source for it anymore? Last time I tried to keep up I had to visit a handful of different websites, and most of that information I didn’t care about. Even when I was buying new games regularly I had a specific scope that I paid attention to (Nintendo), and I know that I’ll never stop having a foot in that pool. I definitely saw all of the hullaballoo regarding the re-releases of Ruby and Sapphire, which elicited an almighty shrug from me seeing as that was my least favorite batch of Pokemon (don’t hurt me).
So yes, I have become a dawdling old gamer who loves to wax nostalgic about the PS2 generation and everything that came before it. I’ve moved away from the flashy new releases and have started to focus my efforts on older games that I missed (like my Final Fantasy 8 diary), titles I wouldn’t normally play that have been gifted to me by friends, favorites that will never leave me that I simply have to play every so often, and, yes, the very occasional new game that I won’t even pick up until at least 3 months after it has come out.
Am I sad? A little bit! I didn’t think this day would come. And hey, maybe it’s not even permanent. Maybe a little bit of the other factors that I mentioned are at play, and in a few years the industry will shift in a direction that’s more immediately demanding to my attention. For now at least, I have a huge library to get to, and it’s pretty fun to be the 'old' person who can actually say, “Back in my day…”
Where are you in your video game career? Hardcore fanatic? Calm collector? Dawdling oldie? I want to hear about your journey!
*Header image sources: link, nes, hat.