Have you ever heard the phrase, “throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks?” Aside from being an incredibly weird idiom that people use, myself included, it’s also been the technique I’ve been using to find a game I can really stick with, except the spaghetti in this metaphor is my money and so far the wall is a garbage can that’s on fire.
For those of you who aren’t aware, I have a problem with sticking to one video game for long stretches of time. Not since the days of Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds and Overwatch can I really remember spending significant time with a game that didn’t involve me playing virtual basketball. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy playing the NBA 2K games as kind of a mindless time waster, but it’s been a good long while since I’ve really dug into anything else.
That isn’t to say that I haven’t tried though. I’ve given so many different games a shot, ranging from the underwhelming but somewhat enjoyable Gotham Knights to the eternal grind-fest that is Disney Dreamlight Valley. I took advantage of Black Friday sales and picked up the bland and lifeless reboot of Saints Row, the slick and stylish OlliOlli World, and even four different Crash Bandicoot games, all of which reminded that I never enjoyed those games when I was a kid and I have less patience for their bullshit now. Those games are fine enough but none of them held my attention for any longer than a few hours which is a shame considering that while I do have disposable income, it isn’t that disposable.
I don’t have a problem with running through countless decades of NBA history in NBA 2K23‘s MyEras mode, but eventually I’d like to do something else that doesn’t reimagine what life would be like if LeBron James was drafted by the Knicks or whatever. I have some other games on the docket that I’m eager to try, but I worry that I’m just beyond the point where a single game is going to satisfy me for that long. I’ll openly admit that I’m a very picky gamer who constantly feels like they don’t have enough time to commit to something new, but I know there’s got to be something out there that’ll appeal to my weirdly specific tastes.
But therein lies the problem: I don’t know what I’m looking for. The closest thing I can think of that might even be in the neighborhood of what I’m interested in would be something like Destiny 2, but even that is a tough putt because of how much of that game there is and how much of it I’ve missed that trying to start now seems overly daunting. Maybe I’d enjoy it, but the odds are that I’ll be overwhelmed by the lore, mechanics, and my desire to play the game “correctly” by looking up optimal builds or whatever the hell you do in Destiny 2, that I won’t actually play the game how I would have if it just came out.
I think this all boils down to my anxiety about wasting time. I don’t have as much gaming time as I used to which leads to me being overly precious about how I spend said time ultimately leading me to do nothing with it because I fear that I’ll use it on something that wasn’t worth it. So I use my time doing something I know will mildly entertain me instead of taking a chance on something new that might genuinely captivate me or leave me profoundly disappointed.
I don’t have a curative salve to apply to these particular neurosis that’ll make me suddenly understand that I actually do have plenty of time to engage in my hobbies and I don’t need to be so scared about potentially wasting time, but I’ll keep looking for one. In the meantime I just need to stop wasting all this dang spaghetti.