Anyone else having trouble gaming right now?

Between pain and this country’s situation, I have not been able to game even though I’ve been home a week and a half now.

If anyone has gotten over this hump, let us know how you did it :)

Animal Crossing

I thought I would have this problem, but I’m not. Doom Eternal, Doom 64, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, DiRT Rally 2.0’s Colin McRae flat out pack all just came out. I am having trouble playing them for long. I do get worried and distracted, and frustrated by difficulty easier, so I quit out. But then I realize I don’t want to go down the rabbit hole of reading news, so I jump back into the next game and keep rotating.

It’s surreal immersing myself in the post-pandemic world of the Division where I am pretending to shoot MAGA types.

I’ve been playing tons. Probably too much. It’s been so fun to spend more time on voice chat catching up with people who are also stuck at home, while progressing through something.

I find this is true not just with gaming but books, movies, basically anything I enjoy. I kind of have to force myself to engage with those things even though all I want to do is stare at the news and refresh the Coronavirus thread. But once I start, I can eventually fall into the thing and enjoy it. Afterwards, I’m glad I did it. It’s almost like everything is exercise right now.

Especially those “True Sons.”

I had been playing Fire Eblem, but was losing steam on it, and I don’t really want to play things that require concentration and strategic thinking right now. I picked up Bloodstained a while back and am playing that now, because it has a good bite sized action scope, but is also kinda grindy enough that I don’t need to really think about it.

Any grindy JRPG or low-stakes life-simulator (Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon) tend to work well when I’m stressed. Alternately, anything mindlessly action-y (I have the MegaMan ZX collection waiting to be opened up).

One of the guys on This Week in Virology – a must-listen podcast – called out Fire Emblem during one of the sign-offs. Something along the lines of “…and if you want to play a really good videogame while you’re quarantined, you should play Fire Emblem: Something of Something”. I think he might have even said it was good for scientifically minded people? Weirdest thing to hear on TWIV.

I’ve been heavily into solitaire boardgaming, with two different games set up on two different tables. I can play one for a bit, then the other, without having to take one down to set another up. I’ve even thought about dragging a third table in from the garage. I don’t know why I’m hitting solitaire boardgames so heavily. I think part of it might be a form of mourning for the in-person multiplayer boardgames I used to play regularly with my friends.


Pick up House Party and relive your early-20’s failures!

The only recent X of Y would be…Shadows of Valentia, I think? A throwback remake of an early game in the series.

I don’t know about scientific thinking, but he might just have been calling it out generically as a tactics game. People who aren’t deep into gaming might not recognize it’s a while genre.

I was having a hard time earlier in the week last week. Stressful situations at work and home compounded by everything happening daily in the local and national news and all the uncertainty and fear surrounding it all, it just didn’t feel right to sit down and game.

But then I realized that I can’t change things by staying glued to the news or freaking out over every little thing, and gaming is what relaxes me on any “normal” day when my biggest stressors are projects at work and what new expensive thing my kids will require next…so why shouldn’t it be what helps me now as well?

It took a couple of tries to get back into the comfort zone. I started with an old favorite, Imperialism II, as I can start a new game and it quickly becomes a mindless rhythm of clicking, exploring, production, etc… After a couple of nights of that I decided to take on Kingdom Come : Deliverance again, as I’d been stuck on a mission and was kind of dreading going back, but I did a little internet research, fired it up, and after a couple of tries I beat the mission and finally advanced. Momentum carried me on from there, and now I’m looking forward to my short nightly gaming sessions once again, and feeling more relaxed and calm when I finish them (which is nice since my only game time is usually prior to bed time).

TL;DR : Remember that gaming is your stress coping mechanism, so use it! Find something simple and enjoyable, an old favorite or an easy but immersive game like Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing, and fire it up. Soon you’ll find your gaming mojo has returned!

Stay safe and game on @jpinard!

Stop reading/ watching/ listening to Coronavirus news. Just stop. Give yourself an hour a day or so to keep up, but avoid it other than that.

Pick a game that’s easy to get into. For me, starting some new WOW characters has worked great, as that game doesn’t require much thought to level now. Yet, it’s distracting.

Whew, no way. I have trouble not gaming, certainly not the reverse! Much to my everlasting chagrin.

I’ve found that while I usually tend to gravitate toward single player experiences in my day-to-day, lately I’ve been feeling multiplayer games a bit more to my liking. I picked up copies of The Division 2 for a few friends when it was on sale for $3 recently, and we’ve all been wandering the hollowed out DC ganging up on all the gangs. Definitely feels weird playing this in the middle of a pandemic. But I’ve also been trying my hand at some multiplayer Age of Empires on my pc. Mostly I’m getting various body parts handed back to me by genial strangers, but it’s still kind of fun.

Animal Crossing has been a bit of a life saver for me. Also find I am playing games based outside like Fishing Sim World and Football Manager Touch.

I’m sorry man. I hope the pain subsides soon so you can game. If I didn’t have gaming and streaming I’d go nuts.

In case it helps…

I definitely had trouble gaming the past two weeks. Work was crazy busy, long days, virtual meeting after virtual meeting after virtual meeting, then trying to actually get stuff done in the evenings. I was sitting so much that I got some nasty sciatica, which put a layer of physical pain on top of everything. I was stress eating junk food and couldn’t sleep. I spent too much time reading the news when I had free moments, which only made the stress worse. I’d finally shake free of everything about 11pm/midnight, and try to play a game to relieve some stress, but my brain was so dead and I had no energy. I’d stare at Steam for an hour without starting anything, then attempt to sleep. So yeah, I didn’t game at all.

Thankfully late last week work turned a corner and things settled down, then this week we went on spring break, so I got determined to fix everything starting on Friday. The past three days I ate well, meditated, limited my news consumption to just a few short dips, stretched aggressively to fix my back, got exercise, and slept a ton. I feel like a human being again now, sciatica is all but gone, and yesterday I felt the curiosity and energy for gaming return.

Bloodborne, sometimes up to 4 hours a day.

Gaming is my escape, well, that and reading. And I usually don’t read a lot per day until I am half way thru a book, unless it is something special.