Okay, perhaps not exactly malcontent. Maybe just a light and airy ennui? A longing for the days I had free time and energy…
Three and a half decades ago I started trying to make sense of this world and I’m still at it. My Dad bought me (us) a Super Pong console from Sears just a few years later. One of my earliest memories is of me and my dad sitting way too close to that TV, twisting those dials, the input device evolutionary dead end. We did our best to our long rectangle vertically to deflect the square towards the other’s long rectangle. We did that for hours.
Now Dad works 6 days a week and I get home by 8:00 (if I’m lucky). Most days after dinner’s over and the mess cleaned up, I just don’t have the energy to play a game. I feel so old. I have stacks of games that I want to play and feel terrible about not playing, but I just can’t muster the engagement to begin such a process. I know, I know, 1st world problems, right?
I don’t know if it’s totally energy. I think there’s a number of factors at work here. Since I spend all day working on Facebook games and studying them, I think I’ve become more attuned to the lowest common denominator, zero barrier to entry, commitment free diversions. I still play three to five games at least every day, but they’re all on Facebook. The biggest thing I miss is playing games with friends. I miss having friends over to just hang out all day and play games. Everyone I know has responsibilities and can’t get even a single day free to just hang out. I know that XBox Live is out there, but I don’t want to game with strangers and I find myself more often than not exasperated by the level of discourage offered by random people on XBox Live.
I suppose before too long I’ll get pulled back in and I’ll forsake all the work I have to do around the house, cooking and cleaning, chores, books to read, etc. Eventually I’ll find a good game that will hook me and keep me up all night. Of course, I’m getting too old for that too. Maybe the game industry as a whole is making awesome games at the rate that a college student would have time to play and I’m playing them at the rate of a man with a house and a full time job plays them. Perhaps my reach is exceeding my grasp and I need to focus more, just pick one game and attack it until I conquer it. Mass Effect 2 is a bit more complicated than Pong, but I think it’s time to get back to saving the galaxy.