Gaming habits - quitting, rotating or all in?

In my younger years, when I was first getting into gaming, I tended to play through a single game at a time, to near obsession, until I beat / mastered it / etc. Perhaps also a function of game’s being shorter back then, as well as limited budget to expand my library so frequently.

As time has gone on, and especially recently, I’ve found it difficult to play through one game from start to finish. Witcher 3 took me a few years, where I’d play intensely for a weekend or two, burn out, and then set it aside for a few months.

What I’ve been doing more recently, which seems to reduce the burnout and make all gaming time more enjoyable, is increase my willingness to both quit a game entirely, or rotate through various genres of games concurrently.

For quitting a game entirely, its nearly impossible to imagine buying a game 1-2 decades ago and not finishing it. Now I buy discounted games frequently, enjoy them for 5-10 hours, but then find them wearing thin and becoming a slog. A few years ago I “learned” that I enjoy reading books a lot more if I’m willing to give up on books I’m not enjoying, rather than stubbornly pushing on to the end, and then getting to ones I really do enjoy. The same holds for gaming; weird that I had to “learn” that also.

For rotating genres, what I’ve found recently is that I enjoy all my gaming time significantly more if I have 2-3 games on rotation at a given time, rather than just concentrating all of my game time plowing through a single (even very enjoyable) title to the very end. For example, I’ve recently been switching back and forth between TW:W2 and AC: Origins, with a bit of Battle Brothers on the side when I don’t have the time to load up the others. I think this is partly a function of games being so long these days - nearly every non-indie released has ballooned to dozens of hours per play through.

How about your gaming habits, especially commitment to finishing a title you start, or playing through from start to finish without sampling elsewhere? Have they changed with age/free time/disposable income?

I usually go with one game per genre at a time, and when the whim strikes me for a genre then I fire that game up. I NEVER finish games unless I’m playing with someone else. I just like the notion in my head that the world is waiting for me, I guess. That said, I quit a game when I grow tired of it, then toss a new one into my genre. Favorites, I return to periodically.

Nothing outside of the evolution of gaming has changed as I’ve grown. I didn’t finish Zork, either.

I pretty much play to completion. And often exclusively one game for months at a time. Witcher 3, for example, had exclusive use of my gaming time for 6 months.

Which was only about 80 hours of time, I don’t get a lot of gaming time. 3-4 hours a week in the best of times, often months with zero*.

But I also usually have a strategy game in rotation.

Ok a Paradox game. Basically I’m always playing one of their games, though maybe not main focus.

And that’s about it. The pattern is the same, though the cycle frequency is certainly lower these days.

*this is partly just busy life, and partly a reflection on how I have shifted much of my available time to physical board games instead. Mainly X-wing miniatures. I play that 2-3 nights a week sometimes, so that has supplanted much video game time. The rest filtered off to reading. I think I played a grand total of 3 hours of video games for the month of November. Almost all of that Sentinels of the Multiverse.

If I’m not playing with someone else I have the approximate gaming focus of a hummingbird on meth.

My goal is to finish games, but I mostly don’t seem to be able to focus on a single game for more than a few hours at a time these days and even when I make an effort to get back to a particular game repeatedly more stuff enters my life and is inevitably distracting sooner or later. And then something will prompt me to revisit a game I dropped months ago, or even years ago, or that I purchased years ago and never played. And maybe I’ll get back in that habit, and maybe I won’t.

It really doesn’t help that I run into repetitive stress issues and have to spend some time sticking to passive entertainment that doesn’t fuck with my tendons. Between that and my lack of patience for difficulty and lack of interest in playing on consoles, I’ve ended up vicariously “finishing” a lot more games through Let’s Plays than I do myself. That said, it does still happen. I’ve beaten every offline Bioware game to date, for example. (Though I never got to play the ME3 DLC so that is on the agenda for…sometime.) And I did eventually complete Pillars of Eternity and Nier: Automata, and so on.

That’s pretty much exactly how I do it.
I usually have 3-5 games I play in rotation, usually I play in sessions of 1-2 hours and then switch to the next.
If I play to completion or not depends on how much the game grabs me.

Though, it does happen on occasion that I play a game through “in one session” (without rotating, at least). That is very rare, though, the last time was ELEX. And before that, maybe Skyrim with the Requiem mod.

I absolutely prefer the longer games, though. The games I drop after just a few hours are usually those that are short to begin with. Most of the time, those just fail to grab me enough.
While longer games I rarely drop before finishing them.
For example, I stopped playing Hollow Knight after 10-12 hours or so (I think I played through about half the game). While I finished Dark Souls III twice already, each time taking about 50-60 hours.
Would be interesting to dig more into why that is - what is it that makes short games inherently less interesting to me?

I think the reason I play games in rotation, or at least one of the reasons, is that by now I have become so knowledgeable about games that mostly they do not hook me or surprise me as much as they used to. Basically, I’ve “seen it all”. And as with everything, that does take away some of the magic.
Oh, what wouldn’t I do to forget all about Baldur’s Gate and play the trilogy for the first time again…

For me, at least, free time isn’t one of the problems, I make sure to have enough of that.

I tend to play one game for hours. If I get called away for a while, though, it is very tough for me not to re-start the game. Kind of an odd thing, I get totally immersed while in the game, but it’s a real obstacle to get re-immersed after being away. Which is why strategy games tend to be better for me than RPGs – I like RPGs at least as much while I am playing, but re-starting an RPG I find deadly boring, but picking up where I left off is tough.

However, I stick to one title for an extended period of time, often weeks. Once I switch to something else, I really lose interest in the previous game. Especially RPGs. It’s the opposite with books, I always have at least two and often five or six going at a time. But with games, if I am playing game B, I am no longer playing game A.

The result of all this is that I rarely finish any kind of game. Ironically, I will not even consider titles that could actually be finished in one (or a very few) sittings.

I’m terrible, never finish games, have 100’s installed and play whatever takes my fancy, if I get in to a genre I play multiple games in it and am all over the place. As I have got older I get bored more easily as well.

Reemul, you have described my playstyle perfectly too… the older I get the harder it seems to be for a game to hold my attention. The one exception at the moment is Rocket League which I seem to have been playing regularly for the past couple of months. Think that could be because it’s a skill based game though, and the more I play the better I seem to get at it, which seems to be the hook for me.

I am kind of feeling like this too. While there are new games, they seem to be more of the same with nothing really new about them. I know I am not alone on this, several of my friends have expressed the same concern. I was wondering I was just growing bored of gaming until I started talking to this with my friends, so I know its not just me.

Right now I am playing Fallout new vegas again. I am not doing this because I am super interested in this game, but more because I am bored of everything else. With only a very exceptions, the last bunch of games I was interested in turned out to be duds, so in a way, in the past several years very little has come out that has interested me.

I know what I want, which is a game that features exploration and building. That is what I am in the mood for, some game like this where I can get lost in. The only games I can think of I have played to death or have not come out yet (Satisfactory for example).

I used to never watch TV, but it has gotten so bad, I have gotten a netflix subscription and am now occasionally watching episodes of various things to fill the time I used to spend gaming. It really is sad.

Maybe I am at a turning point in my life, or maybe I have just had a few years where the games that have come out have been sub-par and this will hopefully pass at some point.

I used to have 7 or 8 games going and finished them all. It kept me from getting bored and it helped me form opinions on genres and crank through my backlog.

Now I use all that experience I’ve built up to filter out more games. I only buy a few and I play one at a time. If I get bored I spend my time elsewhere. If I really dislike a long game I’m more likely to quit early.

When I started gaming on an Atari 2600 I would play a game and try and beat my high score. I tend to be driven to try and overcome some challenge. As I got more and more games, I would switch between them - but I could still play the same one for hours trying to beat my score (or my Dad’s).

When I started buying PC games, I didn’t buy very many per year - so I stuck with one for a long time. Civilization was a mainstay so that could be played countless times. I’d also get RPGs and strategy games. I think new games were mostly just breaks from playing Civ.

Now I’m similar to @FinnegansFather.

I can play a game like The Witcher 3 almost exclusively for 100+ hours, maybe with short games mixed in for a breather. Same goes for many story driven games that I get into - The Last of Us, Dragon Age, etc… I will deep dive into them and spend the vast majority of my gaming time with them.

When not in those types of games, I can flounder around until I really latch on to something. I get analysis paralysis about wheat to play so I may keep going to a game like Slay the Spire. So ewasy to just jump into and get a variation on the comfortable experiences I’ve had before. Then out of the blue I may play a half dozen games of Civ for 80-100 hours.

I do find myself getting bored more easily. I’ve been playing Hollow Knight, but I find I’m taking breaks of a week or more because I’m not that motivated to play. Then I play and I have fun. But like mentioned above I do have a hard time picking up after taking such a long break.

I am a leaf in the gaming wind, I currently am playing 13 PC games, and 2 on my PS4.

Time available and what I feel like dictates what I am playing on a given day.

I rotate according to how I’m feeling. Sometimes I want a quiet, “zen” game. Sometimes I want a thoughtful one. Sometimes I just want to blow things up. So I tend to have a lot of games installed and ready to go.

Sometimes, though, a game will grab me and not let me go. It’s rare nowadays, but it happens. Those games are usually my “games of the year”, too. ;)

I play one game at a time, even if it takes me 2-3 months to complete. The caveat to that though is that I almost never return to a game. I just can’t convince myself to do it (except rare examples like playing Thief 1 and 2 again after 20 or so years). I look fondly on games I would like to play again but then I look at my backlog and I can never motivate myself to go backwards.

So if I don’t beat a game in my first play through, the likelyhood of me beating it in a few months or a year from now is very slim.

I hinted at this in another thread but aging has changed my attitude about games. Still love them but there’s a difference between having no money and lots of time, and having some money and less time.

Like the original poster, I used to have an expectation that I’d finish games. With great patience I finished Jagged Alliance 2 over about three years. But sometimes a really engaging game can still draw me in, like Fallout 3, which I got to late but played regularly and finished over a few months except for a couple of the DLC.

But I’m currently in my 50s, where I’m sure several of my fellow PC gamers who have been around since the first IBM PC are. And it’s harder to get as much time for gaming between family events and work. Now I’m more likely to quit on grindy games if they don’t find ways to make that grind meaningful (something I think Tom has mentioned in his reviews of rogue-likes, that even losing a game season should add to your learning experience or progressively unlock other abilities).

Most of my RPG loving friends want their games to be as massive as possible and I get that those games feel more epic but I’ve also developed an appreciation for quality shorter games like the stuff from Blendo.

I should note that although I obviously have less gaming time than I did when I wasn’t working or was only working and attending school both part time, I still probably have way more than a lot of adults since I’m single and have neither kids nor pets. When I’m in the right headspace I can still spend 30-40 hours a week playing games. I just…tend not to.

My technique is simple: I can’t quit or burn out on a game I never start to play.

Interesting question. Gaming has been Ione of the few constants in my life from a very early age. The concept of beating or completing a game never really crossed my mind in those days, since you couldn’t really beat most games like PAC-Man anyway. Even when I got my 2600 and could beat a game like Adventure, it wasn’t really a conscious effort, you just find the sword, kill a dragon, get the chalice. And I’d just hit reset and so it all again anyway.

I guess it wasn’t until adventure games started happening that I gave much thought to completing games. I loved Infocom games but I only rarely beat them - I do distinctly remember the euphoric feeling of completing Planetfall though.

These days though, yeah my norm is to beat games. I guess since most have a story I kind of want to see it through unless it just totally sucks, and sometimes even then. I do love the big Bethesda RPGs but I almost always get to a point in those games where I ha e to set it aside, usually for months at a time. Otherwise I risk burnout, and won’t finish at all.

I enjoyed Witcher 3, but had a hard time completing it - that one took me several years from start to finish. I wish there were more sci-fi space exploration type games - I hoped the advent of Mass Effect would bring more of them about but it hasn’t happened. Oh well.

I am the same way game length. I will often find a game that looks interesting but when I discover it’s only a dozen hours long i lose all interest. 30-40 is my minimum.

It’s not value for $. It just that I find short games almost shallow.

It’s odd 😀

I am the same with getting locked in to games and then having a hard time booting them up the next day. It’s so odd. If I stop thinking about it and just boot and play, I find I’m back into it right away.