Becoming ADD

I had one of the most frustrating gaming weekends over the last couple of days.

After working a rare Friday shift (our weekends are Friday and Saturday), I stopped by a video game store to pick up something to play at night and hopefully occupy the next day. I bought Bad Company 2 and Supreme Commander 2, smugly glancing at all the AssCreed 2 boxes on the shelf and moving on, and happily waltzed home, remembering once I got there that I had also installed Napoleon Total War a few days earlier. I figured I was pretty much set for a night of gaming.

I popped in Supreme Commander 2 which turned out to have a Steam tie-in. “Cool!” I thought. No disc authentication later. Plus I generally like having games tie in with Steam. It’s just convenient.

Immediately after installing, the game launches into an extremely lengthy patch download that would have taken a couple of hours. That was no good as I had only gotten home at 10:30 pm. I tried pausing the download and launching the game, offline mode, even uninstalling and trying to quit Steam before the patch would download, to no avail.

All was not lost. I still had Battlefield. I go through the installation motions and run the game. Version check. Downloading patch. Argh. Can’t you just let me play? I didn’t even want to play multiplayer, just the campaign which I heard a lot of great stuff about. But no.

Annoyed, I turned off the game and just logged onto World of Warcraft, started a random dungeon, and felt so thoroughly bored that I switched the game off, turned on the Battlefield updater, and went to bed, more tired after getting home than I was before.

I woke up this morning and the Battlefield updater was done, so I started the game excited. A couple of minutes after getting through the opening cinematic, I started getting a stutter, weird graphical glitches, then the game froze with looping sound. BSOD. Yay. I went over to the BF forums and found an 85 page thread about people having looping sound crash problems. Great.

I started Steam, and swore under my breath again when I saw the huge Supreme Commander patch download I had to go through before playing. So I started Napoleon Total War.

Then I remembered I couldn’t start an actual grand campaign. I had to play through annoying scenarios to actually play a grand campaign with France. I did need some easing into the games, but the initial campaigns are so brain-dead and limited in the scope of buildings and units that they’re extremely frustrated. I started a coalition campaign with Austria, found myself in the middle of a map of Europe, and promptly alt-F4ed and logged on here to whine.

Am I becoming ADD and this is just stupid and I should just learn to deal with this sort of shit in PC games as I always have (no I don’t own consoles and I don’t want to)? I’m mostly just venting here after a really irritating couple of days that punched out of me any desire to play video games for the time being.

Not sure what this has to do with ADD…?

I think he’s equivocating unwillingness to wait to late onset ADD.

When I’m gearing up for a big gaming weekend I tend to leave Steam on and let it do the work downloading and updating while I’m at the day job. Really it’s an underappreciated part of the beauty of Steam that it can cut through a lot of the patching hassle without your involvement.

Well I used to stick with a game if it had issues until I could fix it or play it somehow. Now I’m just so impatient with them that I jump from one to the other, hoping for a seamless experience that I can’t find.

A disease with initials. That’s the worst kind!

BC2 works just fine for me on the 360. The update took all of 20 seconds and I was good to go.

This. I used to share that haughty “consoles are for retarded Lady Gaga fans” attitude, but if you’re older, have less time, and less patience for hardware and software failure shenanigans, get a console and suck it up. A couple days with it and you’ll see how your enjoyment of games comes back.

Not that I don’t like PC games, I love them. But considering your specific complaint, keeping on being a PC-only gamer is a fool’s bet.

You should get a console. Or at least a handheld.

Or just let Steam run and sort out patching itself.

There is something to be said for consoles when you’re feeling like that, but you don’t really need a console to have their advantages. There is a time and a place for everything and when you’re feeling frustrated with all the big heavy games, its a time for casual games. When I am feeling like you described I kick back with a X-Box controller and play Spelunky. No waiting for a party, no wasted travel time, no building an army, no 5 minutes worth of adds before you start playing. Its just kick back and play with no mental investment.